Adaptation Communication of Indigenous and Local Knowledge: Can Community Radios Be Mobilized in the Hindu Kush Himalaya Region?

In Media and Disaster Risk Reduction Advances, Challenges and Potentials
Chapter: 8
Book Chapter
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The Himalaya and Hindu Kush Region (HKH) is one of the world's most fragile ecosystems in terms of climate change and its impacts, such as, slow- and fast-onset disasters. Traditionally, nature and human beings have co-existed in this area with indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) systems and practices being used in different ways, such as for agriculture, water resources, forest management, disaster risk reduction and early warning and health risk management. ILK could be an entry point for introducing appropriate adaptation know-how and practices through enhancement and customization in a cost-effective manner. However, communication is a major challenge when it comes to the promotion and diffusion of potential ILK and practices for climate change adaptation (CCA). Lack of scientific assessments, inadequate documentation, and wide-ranging diversity, constitute some key barriers to communicating the merits of ILK for CCA. In this chapter, the role of community radio networks in HKH is discussed as an effective vehicle to bridge the existing communication gaps in three ways. First, community radios can be used as a platform to share climate change impacts and ILK based coping mechanism among local communities. Second, community radio networks can share potential ILK based solutions relevant to CCA across the local communities. Finally, this type of communication can be used to connect with stakeholders beyond the community level (such as government, researchers and scientists and development partners) to disseminate local issues, financial and capacity needs, and to assist in mainstreaming local practices into the region’s adaptation planning and climate actions.  This chapter highlights the potential role of community radio in documenting and disseminating ILK for CCA, and proposes a framework to incorporate ILK into formal adaptation communication.