Adaptation is a key feature of sustainable social-ecological systems, as well as a recent and increasing focus of research and policy regarding responses to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. This article examines the meaning of adaptation and its relationship to the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and sustainability. It illustrates that, in many cases, societies ‘manipulate’ their social-ecological contexts rather than adapt to them.
Environmental Vulnerability: Studies & Presentations
Economy-wide and hydrological-crop models are combined to assess the economic impacts of historical climate variability and future anthropogenic climate change in Zambia. Accounting for uncertainty, results indicate that, on average, current variability reduces gross domestic product by 4% over a 10-year period and pulls 2% of the population below the poverty line. Socioeconomic impacts are much larger during major drought years, thus underscoring the importance of extreme weather events in determining climate damages.
Even though energy poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation are inextricably linked policy goals, they have remained as relatively disconnected fields of research inquiry and policy development. Acknowledging this gap, this paper explores the mainstream academic and policy literatures to provide a taxonomy of interactions and identify synergies and trade-offs between them.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and much of its rural population is at, or near, subsistence level. In recent years the timing and intensity of the monsoon in Nepal, as well as temperature extremities, have changed and this is severely impacting upon agriculture, the mainstay for over 80% of the population. Flash flooding and drought has led to landslides, water shortages and irrigation problems, which have adversely affected subsistence farming.
Effects of climate change tend to be more severe where people rely on weather dependent rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. In rural mountain communities with limited livelihood options, adaptive capacity is low due to limited information, poor access to services, and inequitable access to productive assets. Few studies have reported on the current status of rural and remote mountain areas in Nepal with little known about adaptation strategies in use.