Livelihood Vulnerability Approach to Assess Climate Change Impacts to Mixed Agro-Livestock Smallholders Around the Gandaki River Basin of Nepal

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Jeeban Panthi Sr, The Small Earth Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Climate change vulnerability depends upon various factors and differs between places, sectors and communities. People in developing countries whose subsistence livelihood depends upon agriculture and livestock are identified as particularly vulnerable. Nepal, where the majority of people are in a mixed agro-livestock system, is identified as the world’s fourth most vulnerable country to climate change. However, there are few studies on how vulnerable mixed agro-livestock smallholders are and how their vulnerability differs across different ecological regions. This study aims to test two vulnerability assessment indices, livelihood vulnerability index (LVI) and IPCC vulnerability index (VI-IPCC), around the Gandaki river basin of Nepal. A total of 543 households practicing mixed agro-livestock were surveyed from three districts (Dhading, Syangja and Kapilvastu) representing the mountain, mid-hill and lowland altitudinal belts respectively. Data on socio-demographics, livelihoods, social networks, health, food and water security, natural disasters and climate variability were collected. Both indices differed across the three districts, with mixed agro-livestock smallholders of Dhading district found to be the most vulnerable and that of Syangja least vulnerable. This vulnerability index approach may be used to monitor rural vulnerability and/or evaluate potential program/policy effectiveness in poor countries like Nepal. The present findings are intended to help in designing intervention strategies to reduce vulnerability of mixed agro-livestock smallholders and other rural people in developing countries to climate change.