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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Climatic Change
Title Vulnerability of Himalayan transhumant communities to climate change
Volume 125
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 193-208
URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-014-1157-5
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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