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Photo expo on Climate Change and Adaptation held in Leh
By Rinchen Angmo Chumikchan, Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A 10-day narrative photo exhibition with the theme ‘When Dragon Roar’ on climate change and adaptation in Ladakh was held at Gallery at Leh from 24 July to 2 August. The exhibition was sponsored by National Geographic Society –USA and was initiated by Nancy Perini Chin in collaboration with Nawang Namgail, Punchok Namgail of Footprints.
Nancy Perini Chin is an anthropologist and public health scientist at the University of Rochester, she has been coming to Ladakh since the year 2000.   

The photographs and narratives were from their forthcoming book: When Dragon Roar: Climate change and adaptation in Ladakh which is to be published in 2018. 

Nancy Perini Chin briefing about the idea behind the exhibition said, “The purpose of this exhibition is to document the way in which climate change and extreme weather events have been impacting the Ladakhis' ability to cope up, continue farming, raising their children, worshipping and hosting travellers. What I have noticed after 2010 disaster was that Ladakhi seems unusually resilient. I think Ladakh can be an example for other places grappling with climate change disaster”.

She further said, “This expo is an attempt to document the challenges and how people are responding to climate related disasters and their impacts.  Now Ladakhi seems very prepared to evacuate when danger comes. This is important because at some places people refused to evacuate even when they have been warned but this is not the case with Ladakh.

Adaptation is a long and risky process. Farmers can afford to test new adaption because they can't afford the risk. Therefore adaptations and testing have to be supported by the institution like universities, NGOs, and the government.  

When asked about factors responsible for climate change, she said “ It is clear that Anthropocene is all about the damage that humans have done to the atmosphere that it had resulted in threatening weather. It endangers people who are least able to respond to such threats. So lots of rich countries have created these conditions but the poor countries have to grapple with the consequences of it.”

Giving an example of the 2015 disaster, Nancy added that Ladakhis should be encouraged by their past abilities to meet such challenges. She gave an example as how in Nubra valley people overcame disaster and re-established communities. 

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