Accessing adaptation: multiple stressors on livelihoods in the Bolivian highlands under a changing climate
Smallholder farmers continuously confront multiple social and environmental stressors that necessitate changes in livelihood strategies to prevent damages and take advantage of new opportunities or adaptation. Vulnerability is attributable to social determinants that limit access to assets, leading to greater exposure and sensitivity to stressors and a limited capacity to adapt. This paper demonstrates the interactions of multiple stressors and adaptations over time through a case study of indigenous farmers in highland Bolivia. The study finds that vulnerability changes over time as multiple stressors, such as land scarcity and delayed seasonal rainfall, compound, simultaneously reducing access and demanding the expenditure of household assets for adaptation. To reduce vulnerability, constraints on access to key resources must be addressed, allowing households the flexibility to reduce their exposure and improve their adaptive capacity to the multiple stressors they confront.