Livelihood vulnerability assessment to climate variability and change using fuzzy cognitive mapping approach

Pramod K. Singh*, Abhishek Nair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Existing studies in the context of assessing vulnerability to climate variability and change delineate, rather inadequately, interconnected interactions occurring within the climate-human-environment interaction space. Besides, studies documenting stakeholders’ perceptions regarding climate change induced vulnerabilities are limited in terms of providing indicators for decision-making. This paper aims at constructing a livelihood vulnerability index for climate variability and change capturing interconnected interactions based on peoples’ perceptions while providing indicators for evidence based decision-making. A semi-quantitative fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) approach has been deployed to capture peoples’ perceptions of climate induced perturbations and adaptations. This approach helps quantify stakeholders’ perspectives while capturing interconnected interactions in order to estimate livelihood vulnerability to climate variability and change of poor agro-pastoralists in the Bhilwara, a district in Western India. Combining the FCM approach with a sustainable livelihood framework warrants an understanding of assets sensitive to climate variability and change along with those serving as adaptive capacities. The findings of this study confirm that financial and natural assets are most susceptible to harm while organisational and financial assets provide resilience against climate variability and change. The results suggest that livelihood vulnerability of agro-pastoralists lie in the range of being ‘vulnerable’ to climate variability and change while varying across three seasons summer, winter, and rainfall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-491
Number of pages17
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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