Vulnerability of Himalayan transhumant communities to climate change

Aryal, Suman and Cockfield, Geoff and Maraseni, Tek Narayan ORCID: (2014) Vulnerability of Himalayan transhumant communities to climate change. Climatic Change, 125 (2). pp. 193-208. ISSN 0165-0009


Climate change vulnerability depends on who you are, where you are and what you do. The indigenous communities who primarily depend on natural resources for subsistence livelihoods are among the first and most affected by climate change. Climate models have predicted pronounced warming in high altitude regions of the Himalayas. The transhumant communities of the Himalayas follow traditional lifestyles based on seasonal livestock rearing and subsistence agriculture. There is however, no information on how vulnerable transhumant communities are to climate change,and how vulnerability of transhumant herders differs across the mountainous areas of Nepal. Based on semi-structured interviews with transhumant herders and using the IPCC climate change vulnerability framework, this study assessed and compared the vulnerability of transhumant communities from three districts representing Eastern, Central and Western mountainous region of Nepal. The results showed that the livelihood vulnerability and the climate change vulnerability differ across sites; both of them having lowest index values in the Central region. The vulnerability dimensions viz. exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity are largely influenced by diversity in livelihood strategies, income sources and crops, and access to food, water and health facilities. The findings will inform the design of policies and programmes to reduce vulnerability and enhance adaptive capacity of indigenous communities in general and the transhumant communities of the Himalayas in particular.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 01:21
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 04:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: subsistence farming; high altitude farming; Himalayan Mountains; Nepal; warmer climate; climate change
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370201 Climate change processes
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) ""
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