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Climate 2018, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020027

Vulnerability Assessment of the Livelihoods in Tanzania’s Semi-Arid Agro-Ecological Zone under Climate Change Scenarios

1,2,†,* and 1,3,†,*
1
Centre of Excellence for Soil Biology, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
2
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Solomon Mahlangu College of Science and Education, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro 3038, Tanzania
3
School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Abstract

Despite the established literature on the vulnerability to climate change in various parts of Tanzania, it is worthwhile to assess the extent of this vulnerability of the peoples’ livelihoods and predict its future outcome. This is particularly important in the vulnerable ecosystems, that is, the semi-arid zones of Tanzania where the people’s livelihoods are highly attached to the declining local condition. The present study aims to assess the livelihoods vulnerability in Kongwa District, the semi-arid zone of Central Tanzania. In doing so, a wide range of methods were employed during data collection and analyses including surveys, informative interviews, discussions and observation. The study sampled 400 (≤10%) respondents during a survey. The Mann-Kendall Test with SPSS V20, Microsoft Excel and Theme content techniques were used for data analyses. The results indicate that climate stress has adversely impacted the quality of soil, vegetation, crop yields and intensified environmental degradation. Since most people depend upon the mentioned affected aspects, it is expected that also the level of livelihood vulnerability has elevated. Further, this situation has greatly contributed to increased poverty and thus, propagates the “tragedy of the common” to the available environmental resources. As a response to increased vulnerability, some farmers have abandoned thousands of hectares of agricultural farms that seemed to be less productive. Despite this, slight measures have been taken by both the government and other key stakeholders to limit vulnerability. The findings of this study provide a theoretical and practical basis for coordinating a sustainable man-environment relationship, ensuring the sustainability of the environment which is the major source of peoples’ livelihoods. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural production; climate change; environmental sustainability; environmental tragedy; people’s livelihoods; semi-arid ecosystems; vulnerability; Tanzania agricultural production; climate change; environmental sustainability; environmental tragedy; people’s livelihoods; semi-arid ecosystems; vulnerability; Tanzania
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mkonda, M.Y.; He, X. Vulnerability Assessment of the Livelihoods in Tanzania’s Semi-Arid Agro-Ecological Zone under Climate Change Scenarios. Climate 2018, 6, 27.

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