Vulnerability, well-being, and livelihood adaptation under changing environmental conditions: a case from mountainous region of Pakistan

  • Laila Shahzad
  • Arifa Tahir
  • Faiza Sharif
  • Waqas Ud Din Khan
  • Muhammad Ansar FarooqEmail author
  • Azhar AbbasEmail author
  • Zulfiqar Ahmad Saqib
Research Article


Climatic changes pose serious risks to the rural community’s livelihoods of many developing countries whereas people in mountainous regions are exposed to multiple hazards with limited livelihood resources and heavy dependence on natural resources. The objective of the current study is to assess the livelihood practices and adaptive capacity of a mountainous region of Pakistan, the Balakot, where people are highly vulnerable to climatic changes. The study uses a triangulation method to explore various issues and options of climate change risks sand adaptation and impact of well-being on resilience capacity and livelihood strategies. For this purpose, ten focus group discussions (FGDs) with carefully selected key informants and structured interviews with randomly selected 200 local households are conducted to evaluate different hazards and their associated livelihood effects. It is observed that the changing climate has significantly influenced livelihoods of the local community in the recent past through resource degradation, gradual unavailability of sufficient basic services (quantity and quality of drinking water, crop food diversity, fuel wood, and non-timber forest products), low agricultural productivity, and social inequity viz. income distribution, health, education, and food storage. Such a brunt is felt disproportionately more by poor households due to their low adaptive capacity to climate change with constrained livelihood resources. The study emphasizes the need for targeted efforts to move from coping strategies to adaptations among people considering their social inequalities. Timely information sharing, livelihood diversification and preservation of livelihood resources such as crop and forest production, livestock grazing, creating awareness on the pace, and pattern of climate change in the region and subsequent role of adaptation options are major interventions that should be emphasized by the public bodies.


Development Degradation Natural resources Mitigation Assessment Vulnerable 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Science DepartmentLahore College Women UniversityLahorePakistan
  2. 2.Sustainable Development Study CenterGovernment College UniversityLahorePakistan
  3. 3.Tasmanian Institute of AgricultureUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  4. 4.Institute of Soil & Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  5. 5.Institute of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

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