The issue of achieving sustainable livelihoods (SL) is a persistent problem that has gained significant interest for all countries. Even though contexts of vulnerability have been highlighted to be critical to SL, the difference of SL under vulnerability contexts, particularly disaster, has been ignored. As one disaster-prone area, there is an urgent need to conduct studies on SL in Shenzha, within the context of the construction of a national park. This paper proposes to address this research gap by evaluating SL under various disaster contexts in Shenzha, China. According to the frequency of natural disasters, towns in Shenzha can be divided into three groups: Snowstorm and windstorm-dominated towns (SWT), mixed towns (MT) and drought-dominated towns (DT). The results showed that (1) a great disparity of SL can be observed among the three vulnerability groups. The scores of these SL were sorted into descending order as: DT > SWT > MT. (2) In detail, herdsmen in DT have a high value of SL because they have high livelihood assets, livelihood strategies and disaster management capabilities. (3) Herdsmen in SWT have high livelihood assets, particularly human and financial assets, and livelihood strategies. (4) The low livelihood assets and livelihood strategies have restricted the SL of herdsmen in MT. An analysis of SL under various disaster contexts helped to depict the characteristics of SL. Accordingly, targeted policies were developed for the development of SL under various disaster contexts.
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