C. Valdivia; E. Jimenez; A. Romero
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Place of Publication:
La Paz, Bolivia
Climate and market shocks impact on the livelihood strategies of families in Altiplano communities. A household survey of 360 families in the Altiplano sheds light how families participate in markets, cope with climate and market shocks, and their feelings of control over these events. Theory proposes that the higher levels of capitals and climate resilient activities will result in a greater sense of control and therefore lower sense of dread. Cluster analysis identified three groups by wealth and life cycle characteristics in each region, as well as clear differences in income, assets, and market production activities between and within regions. Coping strategies in region facing warming and drying trends has focused on loss of assets, such as sales of animals. While in both regions there is diversity of income sources, the major source of diversity in Ancoraimes is crop varieties. While in both regions climatic shocks have had a negative impact on production, this has been experienced in Ancoraimes by 99 to 100 percent of the families, which has implications in terms of coping mechanism that rely on community networks. The other region has also experienced high rates of production shocks, from 71 to 92 percent of household members in each group. Strategies to diversify to climate resilient activities have resulted in increased off farm activities, mostly migration, in the lower income, lower asset region, while the greater assets in livestock, which face a more stable market and ability to withstand climate shocks presents a bifurcated response. Comparison between groups identified in the clusters for each region found no significant differences between groups on climate shock and climate change perceptions, in both regions. The rating on the risk of climate shock hazards at the household level was above 4 in a scale of 1-5 where 4 meant a very high threat and 5 an extreme threat. Umala households ratings were higher for the shocks than for change in climate with an average of 3.79 for the latter, while in Ancoraimes most of the risks were rated from 3.70 to 3.92, with the exception of climate change that was around 4. Overall though, in both regions climate hazard perceptions are high. Market risks are also considered a threat but rated lower than climate. Dread of losing outside networks of support was ranked high by elderly men and women, as well as the change in climate, in Umala, with no differences in Ancoraimes, but higher rates of dread overall do to the significance of this income in their livelihood strategies. Finding to date are consistent with theory, in that the dread, a reflection of the coping or lack of coping mechanisms, is higher in terms of markets for livestock in Umala, and higher in terms of loss of remittances from family members in Ancoraimes. The study finds that coping mechanism are based on individual household strategies, rather than community or institutions.