IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 10771: Perceptions, Vulnerability and Adaptation Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change Effects among Small Livestock Herders in Punjab, Pakistan
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph182010771
Muhammad Amir Shahzad
Muhammad Haseeb Raza
Muhammad Arslan Ajmal
Syed Abdul Sattar
Pakistan is an agrarian nation that is among the most vulnerable countries to climatic variations. Around 20% of its GDP is produced by agriculture, and livestock-related production contributes more than half of this value. However, few empirical studies have been conducted to determine the vulnerability and knowledge of livestock herders, and particularly the smaller herders. Comprehending individual perceptions of and vulnerabilities to climate change (CC) will enable effective formulation of CC mitigation strategies. This study intended to explore individual perceptions of and vulnerabilities to CC based on a primary dataset of 405 small livestock herders from three agro-ecological zones of Punjab. The results showed that livestock herders’ perceptions about temperature and rainfall variations/patterns coincide with the meteorological information of the study locations. The vulnerability indicators show that Dera Ghazi Khan district is more vulnerable than the other two zones because of high exposure and sensitivity to CC, and lower adaptive capacity. However, all zones experience regular livelihood risks due to livestock diseases and deaths resulting from extreme climatic conditions, lower economic status, and constrained institutional and human resource capabilities, thus leading to increased vulnerability. The results indicate that low-cost local approaches are needed, such as provision of improved veterinary services, increased availability of basic equipment, small-scale infrastructure projects, and reinforcement of informal social safety nets. These measures would support cost-effective and sustainable decisions to enable subsistence livestock herders to adopt climate smart practices.
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