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Journal Article

Building resilience to climate change: Examining the impact of agro-ecological zones and social groups on sustainable development


Kandel,  Giri Prasad
External Organizations;

Bavorova,  Miroslava
External Organizations;

Ullah,  Ayat
External Organizations;

Kaechele,  Harald
External Organizations;


Pradhan,  Prajal
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Kandel, G. P., Bavorova, M., Ullah, A., Kaechele, H., Pradhan, P. (2023): Building resilience to climate change: Examining the impact of agro-ecological zones and social groups on sustainable development. - Sustainable Development, 31, 5, 3796-3810.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_28487
Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, which is negatively affecting agricultural production and food security. However, the role of agro-ecological zones and social groups in climate change adaptation and its impact on smallholder farmers in Nepal remains unexplored. To fill this gap, this study aimed to identify the effect of agro-ecological zones and social groups on smallholder farmers' adaptation to climate change using the multivariate probit model. Multistage sampling was used to collect data from 400 households in three agro-ecological zones of Nepal. These zones were highland (mountainous region), midland (hilly region) and lowland (terai/plain region). The results of our study showed that farmers in the Mountain region are more likely to adopt off-farm activities and temporary migration as a climate change adaptation (CCA) strategy than those in the Terai/plain agro-ecological zone. In the Terai/Plain, farmers mainly adopt small-scale irrigation and agroforestry. In terms of social groups, the Brahmin group was more likely to adopt new crop varieties and small-scale irrigation than the Sudra group. The Sudra farmers preferred temporary migration and off-farm activities more than the Brahmins. Our study shows that policies to promote the adoption of CCA strategies need to take into account location and social differences in order to improve the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable farmers. Mountain and Sudra farmers need support to adapt to climate change and sustain agriculture.