Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerabilities in Kangpara

kangpara passaphu

Under the Joint Support Programme (JSP- UNDP,UNEP and DANIDA), funded through Gross National Happiness Commission, RSPN conducted  an assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability for the communities of Kangpara Gewog, Trashigang.

<< Passangphu Tshowog, one of the largest settlements in Kangpara Gewog (Photo: Tshering Phuntsho)

The study was carried out using both primary and secondary data sources using different methods including structured questionnaire interviews, focus group discussions, literature review and field observations. Secondary data were collected through review of past studies on climate change, Bhutan’s Initial National Communication (INC) submitted in 2000, National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA), second national communication of Bhutan, 2011, the RNR Census data, relevant National Plans and Policies and reports and documents of RSPN about Kangpara. The primary data were collected through administration of a structured survey questionnaire at household level.

The survey comprised of collection of information on socio-demography, livelihood strategies, health, water and natural resource situation of the Gewog besides compiling local people’s perceived observation of climate change, its impacts and trends. Kangpara is one of the remotest Gewogs in Trashigang with 383 households, most of whom are dryland based subsistence farmers. Bamboo product is a major source of cash income. While 51.6 percent of population comprised of females, only about eight percent of all households at the Gewog level were headed by females.  The Gewog has a literacy of 48 percent and about 98.2 percent of children under 16 years attend school. The socio-economic problems in the Gewog are labour shortages, low market prices, occurrence of debt at household level, water related conflicts, poor access to market and certain level of unemployment as issues related to the economic environment. Other problems include lack of access to quality  seeds, fertilizer availability and  irrigation.

climate change 2012 household

Percentage of Households reporting trend in event of high severity

The analysis of the survey data was done in the context of exposure and sensitivity to the process of climate change and the adaptive capacity of the local communities and the local environment to adapt or withstand these changes.  The Gewog is exposed to natural and climate related disaster such as drought, strong wind, late rainfall and early rainfall, temperature variations, hailstorm, frost and flooding and earthquake in recent times. These events have affected agricultural activities at larger extent. The graph (below) illustrates the percentage of household which reported their agriculture activities to have been affected by different factors in the last 12 months.

The recommendations of the survey are provided in the form of action plan that are formulated based on the analytical results of information from the survey. The action plan identifies actions in the areas of gender equity, literacy, improving in farm labour shortage situation, livelihood and income diversification, enhancing social support system, improving human health, drinking water management and nature conservation and environment management. Priority areas for these action areas have also been identified in the action plan based on severity and spatial distribution of problems faced by the communities.

Replication of this study in the same location over time might provide information about how the exposure, adaptive capacity, and sensitivity of Gewog change as adaptation practices are initiated. Future work might include refinement of the Social Networks sub-components in order to more accurately evaluate social bonds. Additionally, this approach could be tested at the different community level in order to compare vulnerability among communities within a district. Overall, it is hoped that the study will provide a useful tool for development planners to evaluate livelihood vulnerability to climate change impacts in the communities in which they work and to develop programs to strengthen the most vulnerable sectors. In order to facilitate, this study provides a rich repository of data.

You can download detailed report HERE.