How Do Capital Asset Interactions Affect Livelihood Sensitivity to Climatic Stresses? Insights From the Northeastern Floodplains of Bangladesh
Tuihedur Rahman, H.M, Robinson, B., Ford, J., Hickey, G. (2018) How Do Capital Asset Interactions Affect Livelihood Sensitivity to Climatic Stresses? Insights From the Northeastern Floodplains of Bangladesh. Ecological Economics, 150, 165 – 176.
This paper offers a novel methodological approach for better understanding how different capital assets can be organized, transformed, and used in different combinations to reduce livelihood sensitivity to climatic stresses – an area that requires greater research attention in the context of adaptation policy. Research was conducted in the northeastern floodplain communities of Bangladesh, regarded as one of the most climate sensitive, resource poor, and highly understudied areas of the country. This wetland-dominated ecosystem is home to diverse resources user groups (e.g., farmer and fisher) who are subjected to regular seasonal flooding, excessive rainfall, drought, and flash floods. Working in 12 adjacent villages of two significant wetlands (Hakaluki haor and Tanguar haor), qualitative and quantitative data were collected through 15 focus groups (n = 15), 35 key informant interviews, and 356 household surveys to better understand how community members adapt in response to their livelihood sensitivity to the climatic stresses. Results indicate that community members organize and transform capital assets in diverse ways to escape climate-induced “poverty traps”. Findings also reveal that interventions from external agencies (e.g., government, non-governmental organizations and market institutions) are an important key to livelihood sustainability for many households.