Household Adaptive Capacity and Current Vulnerability to Future Climate Change in Rural Nicaragua

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Byrne, Tanya R.
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
While there is a growing recognition of the impact that climate change could have on human development, there has been a shift in focus from an impacts-led assessment approach towards a vulnerability-led assessment approach. Since many of the most extreme impacts of climate change over the coming years will be on agriculture and food systems, the extent to which farming households and communities have the capacity to respond or adapt to these changes has important implications for development at the national, regional and household levels. This research examines the adaptive capacity of rural Nicaraguan farm households in the face of current and future climate change, and investigates how current vulnerability to future climate change varies on a municipio by municipio basis across the country. We find that household adaptive capacity varies significantly across regions in Nicaragua, and also when households display certain demographic characteristics. We also find that municipios in Nicaragua demonstrate diversity in terms of agricultural response to projected climate change and current adaptive capacity conditions. The results of this research can be used to inform policy decision making and serve as a basis for targeting policy interventions in rural Nicaragua.
climate change , food systems , farming , farming households , Nicaragua