With rising temperatures, developing countries are exposed to the horrors of climate change more than ever. The poor infrastructure and low adaptation capabilities of these nations are the prime concern of current studies. Pakistan is vulnerable to climate-induced hazards including floods, droughts, water shortages, shifts in weather patterns, loss of biodiversity, melting of glaciers, and more in the coming years. For marginal societies dependent on natural resources, adaptation becomes a challenge and the utmost priority. Within the above context, this study was designed to fill the existing research gap concerning public knowledge of climate vulnerabilities and respective adaptation strategies in the northern Hindukush–Himalayan region of Pakistan. Using the stratified sampling technique, 25 union councils (wards) were selected from the nine tehsils (sub-districts) of the study area. Using the quantitative method approach, structured questionnaires were employed to collect data from 396 respondents. The study reveals varying public perceptions about different factors contributing to the causes and impacts of climate change and the sources of information in the three zones of the study area. The primary causes of climate change are deforestation, industrial waste, anthropogenic impurities, natural causes, and the burning of fossil fuels exacerbated by increased population. Changes in temperature, erratic rainfalls, floods, droughts, receding glaciers, and extreme weather events are some of the impacts observed over the past decades. While limiting the indiscriminate use of fossil fuels combined with government-assisted rehabilitation of forests can help combat climate change, the lack of proper education and economic, social, and governance barriers are hindering the local adaptation strategies. In addition, reduce environmental pollution (air, water, soil, etc.) and plantation polluted areas with suitable plants, are the two main actions in combating climate change. This study recommends policy interventions to enhance local adaptation efforts through building capacity, equipping local environmental institutions, discouraging deforestation, and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.
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