Home Institution

Middlebury College

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Nepal: Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya


The looming threat of climate change will lead to significant alterations in livelihoods and daily practices for individuals across the world. This paper seeks to identify the effects of climate change on hydrological regimes in Himalayan communities in Nepal with particular focus towards livelihood and socio-ecological transformations. Using the socio-ecological systems framework to analyze specific communities and their resource use, along with vulnerability and adaptative capacity analysis, this paper includes a meta-analysis of existing literature. Numerous findings indicated that rural, mountainous communities of Nepal face a variety of environmental impacts which may reduce viability of two significant modes of production: agriculture and pastoralism. Vulnerability to climate change among these communities is often related to socioeconomic status and history of social, economic, and political power. Additionally, the most significant method for reducing vulnerability is to diversify income generation. This research emphasizes the need for further exploration of the unique vulnerabilities of high altitude communities to transformations of hydrological regimes affected by climate change.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agriculture | Asian Studies | Climate | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Economic Policy | Environmental Studies | Hydrology | Place and Environment | Rural Sociology | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


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