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Vulnerability of rural households to climate change and extremes: Analysis of Chepang households in the Mid-Hills of Nepal

Listed author(s):
  • Piya, Luni
  • Maharjan, Keshav Lall
  • Joshi, Niraj Prakash

Rural communities, who are dominantly dependent upon natural resources, have always been adjusting their livelihood against the vagaries of climate. With the global climate change, these communities have been placed in greater vulnerability as the weather and extreme events have become more unpredictable. In order to formulate suitable policy measures to address their livelihood, assessment of local level vulnerability is very important. This paper analyzes the micro-level vulnerability of rural Chepang community in Nepal utilizing the data collected from 221 Chepang households from four villages located in four different districts. The analysis is based on indices constructed from carefully selected indicators for exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. The indicators are weighted using Principal Component Analysis. Inter-village analysis of the vulnerability index indicate that the existing exposure in a locality is often modified at the household level depending upon the inherent adaptive capacity of the households to give the picture of overall vulnerability. Using only the biophysical indicators of vulnerability (exposure and sensitivity) can thus lead to an erroneous policy implication. Furthermore, inter-household analysis of vulnerability indicate that poor households with low adaptive capacity are vulnerable anywhere, irrespective of where they are located. Policy measures and development efforts should be focused towards improving the adaptive capacity of the rural households, while keeping the post-disaster emergency relief measures in place for localities with higher exposure to climate extremes. The poorest households should be the primary target of any interventions.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/126191
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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 126191.

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Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126191
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.iaae-agecon.org/
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  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. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
  3. Susan L. Cutter & Bryan J. Boruff & W. Lynn Shirley, 2003. "Social Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(2), pages 242-261.
  4. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
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