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Differential impacts of climate change on communities in the middle hills region of Nepal


  • Popular Gentle


  • Rik Thwaites
  • Digby Race
  • Kim Alexander


There is a growing understanding that the impacts of climate change affect different communities within a country, in a variety of ways—not always uniformly. This article reports on research conducted in the middle hills region of Nepal that explored climate change vulnerability in terms of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity across different well-being groups, genders of the head of household and household location. In the study region, dry land farming has increasingly experienced climate-induced changes to farm productivity and natural resources. The experience of vulnerability to decreased livelihood options and natural resource hazards due to a changing climate varied according to household wealth and well-being status, with very poor and poor households more vulnerable than medium and well-off households. The research indicates that the climate change adaptation would benefit by considering: (i) differential impacts of vulnerability mainly based on well-being status of households; (ii) understanding of the local socio-political context and underlying causes of vulnerability and its application; and (iii) identifying vulnerable populations for the units of vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Popular Gentle & Rik Thwaites & Digby Race & Kim Alexander, 2014. "Differential impacts of climate change on communities in the middle hills region of Nepal," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 74(2), pages 815-836, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:74:y:2014:i:2:p:815-836
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-014-1218-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. W. Neil Adger & Saleemul Huq & Katrina Brown & Declan Conway & Mike Hulme, 2003. "Adaptation to climate change in the developing world," Progress in Development Studies, , vol. 3(3), pages 179-195, July.
    2. S. Mansoob Murshed & Scott Gates, 2005. "Spatial–Horizontal Inequality and the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 121-134, February.
    3. Barry Smit & Ian Burton & Richard Klein & J. Wandel, 2000. "An Anatomy of Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 223-251, April.
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    5. Dilley, Maxx & Boudreau, Tanya E., 2001. "Coming to terms with vulnerability: a critique of the food security definition," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 229-247, June.
    6. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Analysis of experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1253-1268, September.
    7. Neil Adger, W., 1999. "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change and Extremes in Coastal Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-269, February.
    8. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, potentials and paradigm," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1437-1454, October.
    9. Adams, Alayne M. & Evans, Timothy G. & Mohammed, Rafi & Farnsworth, Jennifer, 1997. "Socioeconomic stratification by wealth ranking: Is it valid?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1165-1172, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Popular Gentle & Rik Thwaites & Digby Race & Kim Alexander & Tek Maraseni, 2018. "Household and community responses to impacts of climate change in the rural hills of Nepal," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 267-282, March.
    2. repec:spr:nathaz:v:91:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11069-017-3120-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:nathaz:v:88:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11069-017-2911-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roopam Shukla & Ankit Agarwal & Kamna Sachdeva & Juergen Kurths & P. K. Joshi, 2019. "Climate change perception: an analysis of climate change and risk perceptions among farmer types of Indian Western Himalayas," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 103-119, January.
    5. S. Nazrul Islam & John Winkel, 2017. "Climate Change and Social Inequality," Working Papers 152, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    6. Baral, Sony & Chhetri, Bir Bahadur Khanal & Baral, Himlal & Vacik, Harald, 2019. "Investments in different taxonomies of goods: What should Nepal's community forest user groups prioritize?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 24-32.
    7. repec:spr:endesu:v:21:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10668-017-0031-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Khadka, Chiranjeewee & Aryal, Keshava Prasad & Edwards-Jonášová, Magda & Upadhyaya, Anju & Dhungana, Nabin & Cudlin, Pavel & Vacik, Harald, 2018. "Evaluating participatory techniques for adaptation to climate change: Nepal case study," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 73-82.


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