Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 267–280 | Cite as

Climate change and poverty: building resilience of rural mountain communities in South Sikkim, Eastern Himalaya, India

  • Anamika Barua
  • Suparana Katyaini
  • Bhupen Mili
  • Pernille Gooch
Original Article

Abstract

The rural mountain communities have long faced challenges from a range of social, economic, political and environmental factors and the threat from these factors has only intensified due to the current climate change. This study was conducted in South Sikkim, a mountain region located in the Indian Eastern Himalaya, to get a deeper insight of the multitude of barriers and stresses that a poor rural mountain community experiences. The purpose of the study was to get community’s perception on the kind of interventions that they consider important to lift them out of poverty and enhance their resilience to manage climate risk. The analysis is based on focus group discussions and household survey, using a multidimensional poverty assessment tool. The study highlights that the vulnerability of the study region to climate change is not concentrated to physical or geographical factors alone, but mostly to the socio-economic factors like lack of access to education, health care, limited livelihood opportunities, limited resources, etc. People consider that these non-climatic factors act as barriers for them to overcome poverty, contribute to their weak resilience, and make it extremely difficult for them to manage the risk posed by climate change. The study therefore suggests that it is of utmost importance that the interventions are planned in ways that address the multidimensional poverty in the region which in turn will enhance community’s inherent capacity to adapt to current as well as future climate risk.

Keywords

Climate change Multidimensional poverty assessment tool Poverty Resilience 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anamika Barua
    • 1
  • Suparana Katyaini
    • 1
  • Bhupen Mili
    • 1
  • Pernille Gooch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of TechnologyGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.Human Ecology DivisionLund UniversityLundSweden

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