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Household capacity to adapt to climate change and implications for food security in Trinidad and Tobago

Kalim U. Shah, Hari Bansha Dulal


July 6, 2015
The authors investigate household-level food security in the face of climatic change in coastal wetland-situated households in Trinidad and Tobago. These communities rely heavily, but not solely, on natural resources and agriculture for their livelihoods. Household data were collected for a representative sample of 138 households in the Nariva and Caroni communities. This included data on household adaptive capacity including socio-demographics, livelihood strategies, and social networks; exposure to climate change and climate-induced extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts; and sensitivity factors related to local access to services and infrastructure. Using ordinary least-squares regression analyses, the authors investigate influences of adaptive capacity to climate change on household food security in these ‘at-risk’ communities. The results suggest that household socio-demographics and livelihood strategies are strongly related to food security and that the level of food security provided by those two factors is reduced in the face of climate variability and disaster. Social network capacity of households does not have a statistically significant influence in the context studied. This is a valuable insight for community and national planners and policy makers both in this and in similar country circumstances that must consider food security in light of climate variability and related weather-induced impacts.
Latin America & the Caribbean