Accepted Paper:

Dev Pratha as a social democratic practice in climate change mitigation  
Syed Shoaib Ali (Microsoft Research)

Paper short abstract:

An ethnographic enquiry into sustainability of horticulture practices in marginal landholdings of Western Himalayas amidst climatological uncertainties, price fluctuations. It notes the fundamental importance of social networks and democratic practices in effectuation of sustainability.

Paper long abstract:

Although agriculture, climate change, environmental conservation among others have been central issues in Himalayan studies, there is a pertinent lack of rich ethnographic material exploring the social dynamics of risks and sustainability in these practices. This paper presents preliminary ethnographic insights from a longitudinal study of mechanisms of agrarian change in the widely visible shift to horticulture in Banjar Valley in Western Himalayas. It argues that the sustainability of horticultural livelihoods is facilitated by networks that are a part of the Dev Pratha. It further explores the importance of Dev Pratha, as a democratic, regional, village level religious institution in channelling mobilization for transition to horticulture and facilitating networks across which information on new technologies is experimented and shared in face of increasing climatological uncertainties.

Panel P090
Himalayan climate change: conflicts and related effects