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Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems

Climate Change, Social Changes, Technological Development

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Socio-ecological Vulnerability of Smallholders due to Climate Change in Mountains: Agroforestry as an Adaptation Measure

Rajiv Pandey
  • ICFRE, Dehradun Dhanraj Meena, Sushma Rawat, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, India
/ Dhanraj Meena
  • HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, India
/ Roberta Aretano
  • University of Salento, Italy
/ Sachidananda Satpathy
  • MoEF, New Delhi, India
/ Teodoro Semeraro
  • University of Salento, Italy
/ Ajay Kumar Gupta
  • HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, India
/ Sushma Rawat
  • HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, India
/ Giovanni Zurlini
  • University of Salento, Italy
Published Online: 2015-12-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2015-0003


The present study aims to assess the socioecological vulnerability of smallholders through an index of Tehri Garhwal Himalaya. The index provides a realistic approach to recognize the contributions of social and ecological factors for household welfare vulnerability to climate change. The approach puts forward various indices for each component of vulnerability to climate change - exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity including two more indices: one for overall impact under the exposure of climate change and another for overall vulnerability. The five indices were proposed to assess the vulnerability status of with and without agroforestry practicing households in Himalayan region. These indices are based on 35 indicators (8 for exposure; 12 for sensitivity, 15 for adaptive capacity), selected through inductive approaches. A questionnaire for households was designed for the above aim and was administered to 121 heads of households through face-toface interviews with 77 households practicing agroforestry and 44 without agroforestry. The questionnaire dealt the general household information, and indicators of the vulnerability including the issues related to agroforestry. The results highlight slightly higher adaptive capacity of agroforestry practicing households due to specific contribution of agroforestry. The low contribution of agroforestry among smallholders was due to small land holding. The study also results that remoteness, specific issues of smallholders’ such as poverty, education and employment are responsible for the present condition. In particular this study clearly shows that poverty is the key driver for vulnerability. All of these issues can be addressed if future programs and policies, include and implement regulations to remedy attributive factors. This paper may be applicable to other mountainous regions providing insights for effective adaptation strategies to climate change.

Keywords: Adaptive Capacity; Exposure; Global Change; Resilience; Sensitivity; Tree Plantation


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About the article

Received: 2015-03-07

Accepted: 2015-09-23

Published Online: 2015-12-17

Published in Print: 2015-01-01

Citation Information: Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems, ISSN (Online) 2300-3669, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2015-0003. Export Citation

© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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