Growing social vulnerability in the river basins: Evidence from the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Region

Dilshad, T and Mallick, D and Udas, P B and Goodrich, C G and Prakash, A and Gorti, G and Bhadwal, S and Anwar, M Z and Khandekar, N and Hassan, S M T and Habib, N and Abbasi, S S and Syed, M A and Rahman, A (2019) Growing social vulnerability in the river basins: Evidence from the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Region. Environmental Development, 31. pp. 19-33. ISSN 2211-4645

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Vulnerability is a set of conditions of people that is derived from the historical and prevailing socio-economic, cultural, environmental and political contexts along with understanding future scenarios, especially for climate change. This study aimed at better understanding the nature and types of socio-economic drivers and social vulnerabilities in the context of increasing climatic stresses in four river basins in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. A multidimensional, contextual and integrated approach has been applied using participatory qualitative tools and techniques to identify major socio-economic drivers and conditions along with climatic factors in upstream, midstream and downstream of the river basins. In upstream and midstream region, people’s livelihood is dependent on subsistent agriculture, horticulture, pastoralism and tourism while in downstream, agriculture and fisheries are the major livelihood options. Climate sensitive natural resources based livelihoods are severely affected across the river basins. Poor and marginal population are not able take adequate adaptation measures due to lack of capacities, poor access to resources, services, information, which push them into greater vulnerability. The vulnerable groups in all four river basins are marginalized sections who are conditioned by economic classes, gender and social norms and living in geographically underdeveloped areas. For instance, poor, women, religious/ ethnic minorities, subordinate caste groups, char dwellers. Poor governance and the lack of access to resources and services have made the situation worse. All these factors are enhancing social vulnerability across the basins and study sites. Social protection measures, enhancement of human capitals and livelihood diversification with pro-poor and gender responsive adaptation and socially inclusive policy are needed to address growing social vulnerability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research article was published by the author with the affiliation of International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, Nepal
Subjects: Sustainable Development
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2023 12:02
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2023 12:02

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