Because of this ‘epistemological trap’ there is a need for in-dep

Because of this ‘epistemological trap’ there is a need for in-depth, selleck kinase inhibitor place-based assessments, especially in places like the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) in East Africa, where imminent vulnerabilities are present (Fuggle 2002; United LY2606368 supplier Nations Environment Program 2006; Olago et al. 2007; Odada et al. 2009) and where such integrative investigations are missing. But there may be many financial and temporal constraints on the performance of such an inclusive vulnerability assessment ranging over a vast number of communities, including the knowledge and participation of affected

stakeholders. Consequently, this calls for a more generalizable and easily transferable methodology for vulnerability assessments that can be applied in settings where such constraints are severe, including the LVB. Inspired by Schröter et al. (2005), we constructed and applied a modified version of their assessment approach for analyzing the climate vulnerability of smallholder farmer livelihoods in the LVB. Our objective is an empirical analysis of the convergence of climate induced stressors and of how such dynamics I-BET151 molecular weight turn into recurring periods of hardship detrimental to local communities in terms of low food security and low well-being. Drawing on a range of

mainly qualitative data, and following a multi-scalar strategy that combines village data with regional district level data, as recommended by other scholars (see Morton 2007; Preston et al. 2011), we assess ‘the factors that determine the potential for harm from exogenous threats as well as the endogenous adaptive capacity’ (Preston et al. 2011: p 183). To that end we have tried to downscale global climate change into the local context in which it is experienced. From that position we map local vulnerability through participatory processes. By emphasizing

the temporal aspects of climate vulnerability and by examining the differential adaptive capacities of farmers to buffer themselves against such vulnerabilities, we show the importance of place-based vulnerability mapping and analysis selleckchem for informing viable climate adaptation and development policies. Conceptualizing climate vulnerability Vulnerability is a compound of three partly overlapping elements: exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity (McCarthy et al. 2001; Yohe and Tol 2002; Adger 2003; Smit and Pilifosova 2003) (Fig. 1). Exposure is defined as the degree to which a system experiences environmental or socio-economic stress (Adger 2006). To exemplify: how may rainfall increase in a particular period or how may droughts extend over time? Sensitivity refers to the extent to which a system is modified or affected by such stress. For example, how many more people are at risk of catching malaria when rainfall increases? (Adger 2006: p. 270). Adaptive capacity refers to the ability to cope with and adapt to these changes.

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