Climate variability and rural livelihoods: assessing the impact of seasonal climate forecasts in Lesotho

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Abstract

Climate variability acutely affects rural livelihoods and agricultural productivity, yet it is just one of many stresses that vulnerable rural households have to cope with. A livelihood approach is used to assess the potential role that seasonal climate forecasts might play in increasing adaptive capacity in response to climate variability, using Lesotho as a case study. An examination of the assets and strategies that rural households employ enables a holistic assessment of the impact seasonal forecasts could have on rural livelihoods. This research thereby bridges macro-level variability with local-level impacts and adaptation to provide insight into the dynamics of forecast use and impact among vulnerable groups.

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