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      Cascading Adaptation of Rural Livelihood to Changing Environment in the Koshi River Basin


      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Exploring the vulnerability of livelihoods along the Koshi River basin and how they can be made more resilient. Professor Yi-ping Fang, Vice Director of Academic Committee, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), is leading a team that is considering the multiple dimensions that surround the vulnerability of the Koshi River basin. These include the sensitivity, vulnerability, marginality and multi-hazards arising from environmental change. The changes, in turn, impact livelihood and livelihood strategies, requiring a need for adaptation in the form of cascading adaptation. These measures are hoped to enhance the efficiency of livelihood adaptation and lead to more resilient livelihoods. Changing climate patterns, with an emphasis on increasing frequency and/or severity of extreme events, is increasing vulnerability to natural disasters. 'Warming trends in growing season are negatively impacting yields, which has a huge effect given that 83 per cent of people in the Koshi River basin districts in Nepal depend on agriculture as a source of income, and 49 per cent as a primary source,' observes Fang. In addition, rural livelihoods depend on water availability, while rapid population growth, deforestation, soil erosion, sediment deposition and flooding are all putting water resources at risk. The team has completed a sensitivity analysis of different livelihood capitals to climate change, which forms the basis for further research on cascading adaptation of rural livelihoods. 'The sensitivity of different livelihood capitals to climate change (precipitation, temperature, snow disaster) varies, but on the whole, natural capital and financial capital are most sensitive to climate change in the upstream of Koshi River basin,' Fang says. Fang is collaborating with other institutions in addressing these issues. These are the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Tribhuvan University of Nepal. Fang emphasises the importance of these partnerships. 'Through cooperation, we can mutually promote the linkage between fundamentality, practicality and applicability.' To date, the team has made important progress, including the completion of questionnaires as the basis for further research in this area, performing a quantitative assessment of changes in livelihood resilience in the upstream of the Koshi River basin, and the development of provisional cascading adaptation measures based on different livelihood issues and spatial scales.

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          Author and article information

          Science Impact, Ltd.
          November 26 2018
          November 26 2018
          : 2018
          : 8
          : 42-43
          © 2018

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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