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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Climate change and livelihoods in Northwest Bangladesh: Vulnerability and adaptation among extremely poor people
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/45225/1/Coirolo,_Cristina.pdf
Abstract
This research contributes to the development of pro-poor approaches to climate change
adaptation through empirical exploration of the nature of climate change vulnerability among
extremely poor communities in rural Bangladesh.
Poverty and climate change vulnerability are widely regarded as being closely linked, however
this is based on a fairly generic understanding of vulnerability and adaptive capacity. There
remains a scarcity of empirically grounded work on how climate related impacts affect
livelihoods across and within groups of poor people on the ground. In particular, there is a lack
of disaggregated research around the factors and processes that shape differentiated levels of
climate change vulnerability—and thus differentiated adaptation needs—across and within
extremely poor communities and households.
A Mediating Factors Framework has been developed to guide data collection and analysis; it
integrates concepts and fieldwork methodologies from livelihoods and poverty fields with those
from the pro-poor climate change literature. The Framework explores both climate related
vulnerability and elements that comprise or influence levels of adaptive capacity among
extremely poor respondents.
Findings suggest that climate-related vulnerability is differentiated at the sub-community level,
mainly between different livelihood and social groups, however areas of commonality also
emerge. A combination of tangible and intangible resources, factors, and processes underpin
and mediate these patterns of differentiation and commonality, and influence levels of response
to climate related impacts. While there appears to be little activity that could be termed
‘adaptation’ currently occurring in either field site, data suggest that addressing underlying
drivers of vulnerability is central for supporting adaptive capacity among extremely poor
communities. In addition, investment in human resources, i.e. health, education, and skills
training, are critical for adaptation through, for instance, supporting flexibility in terms of
accessing less climate sensitive income-earning opportunities in the local area, and migrating to
more sustainable areas.

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