Understanding How Local-level Environment Stewardship Initiatives Increase Livelihood Resilience to Climate Change
Insights from Rajasthan, India
Keywords:Common Property Resources, Local Governance, Vulnerability to Climate Change, Collective Management of Natural Resources, Secure Property Rights
Common property resources (CPR) are central for the sustenance of biodiversity and rural communities in India. Weak institutional governance and the lack of tenure rights for local communities over CPRs is resulting in degradation and over-exploitation of resources making rural communities vulnerable across India. Climatic variabilities further exacerbate existing socio-ecological imbalances multifold. Within the broader area of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, this paper explores how restoration of CPRs through local environment stewardship initiatives contributes to the resilience of rural livelihoods in the face of climate change. A mixed-methods approach was employed to study this aspect in six villages in two districts in Rajasthan. It was found that secure property rights and collective management of CPRs enhances household resilience and improves ecological health. It concludes that processes supporting local self-governance need to be central to local adaptation to climate change, as they naturally create resilient and sustainable rural livelihoods.
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