Risks, Livelihoods & Vulnerability
Understanding Mobility and Livelihoods Vulnerability in the Context of Environmental Risks
This sub-project focuses on vulnerability and resilience of rural livelihoods to climate-related risks and seeks to understand the role of migration in rural livelihoods systems.
Thailand is particularly vulnerable to droughts and floods and has experienced several extreme climatic events in the recent past, such as the severe drought in 2010 affecting 54 provinces or the heavy and long-lasting flooding in 2011 affecting more than one million people. Such events have significant impact on rural areas where the majority of households depend on agricultural production for their livelihoods security. Rural livelihoods in Thailand are highly diversified. Migration – internal as well as international – has been a common strategy used by the rural population to cope with and adapt to the seasonality of agricultural production, climate variability, land pressure and economic crises. The relation between vulnerability and resilience, migration and translocality will build the focus of this subproject.
Aim: This subproject seeks to understand patterns of vulnerability and resilience to climate-related risks of households and communities in rural Thailand. The guiding questions are: To what climate-related risks are smallholders exposed? What is the importance of these risks compared to other risks? What groups are particularly vulnerable to climatic risks? Which groups are more resilient, and why? What kinds of coping and adaptation strategies do they apply? What resources are important for successful adaptation, and why? What role does migration play in the livelihoods system of smallholders? For what purposes do different groups migrate? What different spatial and temporal patterns of migration can be identified?
Methods: The subproject will carry out a detailed vulnerability and resilience analyses. This research will be applying a mixed methods approach by combining Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) in combination with small-scale standardized quantitative in-depth surveys and qualitative social science research methods.
This sub-project is located at the interface of other sub-projects. It will provide background information on agricultural transformation, risks, vulnerability, and resilience of rural communities in North and Northeast Thailand, which will be used as a building block for other related sub-projects, including social networks and translocal Resilience, social translocal practices, and the governance of translocal resilience.
» Flooding after heavy rain in Northern Thailand (Source: TransRe/S. Naruchaikusol)