The effect of climate change and climate change policies on high mountain rural livelihoods in Nepal – The case of Kunjo village in Mustang district

Start date: 10 April, 2016 End date: 10 May, 2016 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A29503 Countries: Nepal Institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Grant recipient: Christian Michael Skou Knudsen and Sarah Pyndt Andersen Total grant: 40,000 DKK



Multiple studies have shown that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Their vulnerability is due mainly to a high degree of physical exposure, dependency on natural resources, and low adaptive capacity. This study assesses the climate change vulnerability of a high mountain rural community in the world's fourth most vulnerable country, Nepal. The study examines the effects of climate change impacts on household income sources and evaluates the success of the Nepalese National Adaptation Programme of Actions (NAPA) in reducing vulnerability. The study uses a case study research design, combining qualitative interviews, climate data analysis, and literature. The findings show that the study site is exposed to climatic changes, but that the current impacts do not restrict economic and social development. However, various barriers at local and government level greatly limit the adaptive capacity of households and communities. At present, NAPA projects are not implemented at the study site, and the lack of financial resources and national political involvement hinders the potential for current NAPA activities to be scaled up. Furthermore, the implemented NAPA projects have shown inefficient use of funds and the short-term focus of the current donor-driven approaches is unlikely to sustain long-term vulnerability reductions. In conclusion, the communities of Kunjo and Lete are unlikely to receive the assistance needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and their limited adaptive capacity leaves them vulnerable to the expected exacerbation of current climate change impacts.