'The changing climate of livelihoods in Lesotho' : the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, to climate variability and change

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. C. Kelso; Dr. L. Leonard en_US
dc.contributor.author Bell, Jarred
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-04T07:16:22Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-04T07:16:22Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-04
dc.date.submitted 2012-03-07
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4768
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract At the local-level, rural households in Lesotho, like across much of Southern Africa, suffer high livelihood vulnerability from their experience of poverty, marginalisation and dependence on natural resources. In Lesotho, rural households experience similar livelihood vulnerability from their exposure and sensitivity to these numerous social, economic and environmental stressors. In the coming decades, rural households, like those in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, will face even greater livelihood vulnerability from the impacts of anthropogenically influenced climate change. This phenomenon will possibly become one of the greatest stressors that rural livelihoods in the village will experience and have to adapt to. The overall objective of this dissertation was to undertake a site-specific assessment of the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village to the impacts of future climate change. The rationale behind this was that the impacts of future climate change will not be spatially homogenous across a region. A vulnerability index, based on the composition of household livelihoods of the five livelihood capitals, was utilised to determine the livelihood vulnerability of Phelantaba households. In addition, participatory rural appraisal methods were applied in village focus groups to identify the coping strategies households relied upon to cope with climatic variability. Results illustrated that the most vulnerable households in Phelantaba village face the greatest livelihood vulnerability due to their poor access to physical capital and mimimal financial capital, coupled with their dependence on natural capital. Least vulnerable households faced lower vulnerability as they have good financial capacity and access to physical capital to respond to impacts of future climate change. Focus groups highlighted how households in Phelantaba do not have any specific coping strategies designed to address climatic variability. Rather, coping strategies to address poverty and economic stressors were indirectly applied to assist households to cope with climatic variability. In conclusion, the dissertation successfully conducted a site-specific assessment in Phelantaba village of the livelihood vulnerability households faced from future climate change. This research can assist policy makers to understand some of the key vulnerabilities rural households face at the local-level and begin to focus adaptation initiatives on the key areas of concern where they are needed most due to the impacts of future climate change. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Rural conditions - Lesotho en_US
dc.subject Rural development - Lesotho en_US
dc.subject Phelantaba (Lesotho) en_US
dc.subject Climatic change en_US
dc.title 'The changing climate of livelihoods in Lesotho' : the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in Phelantaba village, northern Lesotho, to climate variability and change en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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