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Delali BK Dovie Local vulnerability of the human-biodiversity interface to drought in S. Africa Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) First meeting of Vulnerability of Food Systems to GEC Research Network 17-18 May 2006, Oxford UK
Challenges of communal area landscapes? • Major sources of safety nets (e.g. natural resources) • Sources of livelihood incomes (cash & non-cash) • Livelihood insecurity (i.e. optimizing benefits) • Changing culture of resource use • Changing institutional & social structures • Increased traditional farming (crops + livestock) • Direct extraction of plants • Poor social infrastructure & high unemployment
Goals • Examine livelihood options, and in relation to changes in the human-environment system • Define typologies of households responding to the effects and impacts of drought • Establish variables defining the vulnerability of households to drought
Typologies of stresses • Chronic (e.g., Joblessness, illness, death and resettlement) • Acute (e.g., rain floods) • Recurring (drought and livestock losses) • Intermittent (e.g., veld / forest fires, marital problems)
Effects / impacts of drought & responses HH response / affected groups DROUGHT Impacts >> outcomes Hunger Food insecurity Loss of livelihood Malnutrition / disease Poverty Effects Response group II Biophysical environment Impacts Response group III Exposure >> effects Farms Grazing areas Woodland resources Water bodies Biodiversity Effects >>Outcomes Outcome Pasture loss Livestock loss Crop loss / poor harvest Dried water bodies Response group I Vulnerability identity
Households’ responses to drought • Dryland farming • Stockpiling / sales of woodland resources • Home / backyard gardens • Keeping of small-bodied livestock • Cattle relocation • Family emigration & relocation • Cultivation of wild fruits & herbs
Functions of HH vulnerability to drought (i) The production system (ii) The consumption (dependence) system (iii) Resource accessibility and distribution (iv) Options (v) Resilience = [abundance (quantity), supply, diversity] = [socio-economic & financial value, availability, extent of use, knowledge & skill] = [demand, wealth status, marketing, transport, technical services] = [production, consumption, accessibility, opportunity] = [options, response & adaptation] VULNERABILITY = [RESILIENCE, SAFETY NET, IDENTITY]