WP4 Socio-economic impact assessment
WP Lead: Dr. Shilpi Kapur, TERI

Objectives: 1) To develop an understanding of the nature and degree of livelihood dependence of the downstream communities on melt water; and their perception of changes in natural factors regulating their livelihood; 2) To identify the degree of vulnerability to variations in melt water and changes in precipitation on the downstream population; 3) To suggest measures for the identified stakeholders as adaptation responses to these variations.

WP4 will assess the impact of cryospheric variability on the socio-economic status of downstream communities, with particular focus on their livelihoods. Output from WP1, WP2 and WP3 will provide input to WP4 and help quantify the degree of vulnerability of the downstream communities and identify specific adaptation measures for the downstream communities to cope with the potential impact of climate change. WP4 will build on experience that TERI has from the High Noon Project (Himalayan Glacier Retreat and changing monsoon pattern).

The downstream impact zone will be delineated using topographic maps on GIS platform. The approach for delineation will be the identification of watershed/sub-basin for meltwater draining from Kolahoi and Chhota Shigri glaciers. Toposheets and ASTER satellite images will be used to identify the impact zone downstream of the meltwater stream. The concept of watershed and river catchment will be applied to demarcate the boundaries of river impacts. Subsequently, vulnerability zones will be identified based on the degree of dependence on meltwater. Once the downstream area is delineated, a detailed stakeholder mapping will be undertaken to identify local communities, individuals, groups or institutions that depend on meltwater, or have an interest in its use. The 4Rs framework is proposed for the stakeholder mapping. It identifies the Rights, Responsibilities, Returns and Relationships (4Rs) of each stakeholder in relation to the given resource, and thereby establishes the level of influence and interest each has. This is important for determining the degree and role to be played by each stakeholder in adaptation measures.

The sample size for the socio-economic assessment will be based on criteria such as degree of livelihood dependence, gender, subsequent impacts, and adequate coverage of all impacted groups. The livelihood impact assessment will draw heavily from the methodology for socio-economic impact assessment that uses a combination of social impact assessment (SIA) and social life cycle assessment (sLCA) using the methods developed by Diaz-Chavez, 20121.  To examine the livelihood dependence, focus is made on energy (the supply of hydroelectricity and operation of water mills), production (irrigation, fishing , industrial use) and household consumption of river water (drinking, washing, livestock feeding), religious and recreational activities. The sample will cover a range of communities spread across different spatial scales downstream of the study glaciers and will include settled and nomadic populations and capture heterogeneity within the groups. A survey of the target communities will be performed and a mix of participatory techniques (e.g. structured questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), key person interviews). Data collection will focus on: Demographic characteristics (population density and distribution, household characteristics), livelihood and production systems, including agricultural/other livelihood systems, land use systems, and associated future change scenarios.

WP4 will ascertain the dependence on melt water. It will interact with WP1 to WP3 by using the output from these on the availability of melt water, and generate the vulnerability scenarios by combining this with the degree of dependence assessed through survey in the delineated downstream impact zone. WP1 will provide significant input for establishing the linkages of vulnerabilities with the variations in climatic factors, through climate modelling at various time scales. The results of WP1 will be used to perceive the vulnerability scenarios of the communities. Similarly, results from WP2 and WP3 will provide downscaling results of water availability for the present as well as future scenarios. Based on the index of present dependence, vulnerability to livelihood of downstream community for the future will be derived.

Deliverables: 1) Report delineating the vulnerability scenario, defined and classified as per the spatial location of the downstream communities; 2) report suggesting the measures for adaptation defining the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders based on the degree of influence and interest in relation to the resource; 3) policy brief defining the governance related adaptation measures; stakeholder workshops for dissemination of adaptation strategy: State level (Jammu and Kashmir); 4) article draft for submission in a peer-reviewed international journal.

1 Diaz-Chavez, R 2012: Methodology for social sustainability assessment in biorefineries. BIOCORE internal report.