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Climate Change and Rural Livelihoods -adaptation and vulnerability in Rajasthan

Paper Topic: 
Climate Change Impacts and Societal Adaptation in the Indian Subcontinent

Pages :
41 - 49

Corresponing Author: 
Garima Kaushik
Garima Kaushik and K. C. Sharma
Paper ID: 
Paper Status: 
Date Paper Accepted: 
Paper online: 

natural resources, is already experiencing the effects of climate change. The region’s climate is projected to become harsher, with increased average temperatures, intensity of rainfall events, and increased variability in space & time of monsoon rains being consistently projected for the region. Without action in the form of adaptation of social, human, economic, and natural resource management systems, these weather changes are predicted to result in decreasing surface and ground water availability, flash floods, degradation of soil resources, decrease in crop yields, greater vulnerability to crop pest outbreaks, and declines in forest and pastureland ecosystem goods and services, thus rendering agricultural and herding communities extremely vulnerable to weather related losses of life, livelihood, and food security.

In Rajasthan, government is focussing for sustainable development and climate change adaptation by finding and administering alternative methods to deal with issues of poverty and environmental degradation in context of linkage between livelihood and the immediate environment of the people. The livelihoods of the rural poor are directly dependent on environmental resources like land, water, forests — and are vulnerable to weather and climate variability. Climate change affects every aspect of society, environment and economy requiring adjustments in behaviour, livelihoods, infrastructure, laws, policies and institutions in response to experienced based expected climatic events. However, it was found that local coping strategies and traditional knowledge need to be used in synergy with government and local interventions. Solutions must be integrated to address the interrelationships between water, agriculture, forests and pastures, livestock. Finally, there is great potential for existing policies and schemes to be employed synergistically towards building true adaptive capacity for the rural communities. However, adapting to climate change will entail adjustments and implementation at every level – from community to national and international.

Rajasthan, Climate change, Natural resources, Livelihoods, adaptation