Vulnerability of mountain communities to climate change and natural resources scarcity in Northwest Ethiopia: the case of Debark Woreda


  • Yohannes Belay Azene Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Menberu Teshome Zeleke Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Debre Tabor University
  • Addisu Baye Chekole Development and Environmental Management Studies, University of Gondar, Ethiopia



climate change, Debark woreda, Ethiopia, livelihood vulnerability index, natural resource scarcity, vulnerability


In recent decades, climate change causes distressful shocks upon the poor people’s natural resources and socio-economic processes from local up to global scales. The crisis is more severe in Ethiopia, where harsh ecological changes are frequent. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the vulnerability levels of rural communities to climate change and natural resources scarcity in Debark woreda, Northwest Ethiopia. Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) and IPCC methods were used to analyze the data. The meteorological data reveal a declining precipitation trend by 61.13 mm in the past 31 years whilst maximum and minimum temperatures increased by 0.62 0C and 0.74 0C respectively. The LVI result indicates that the Debark community is highly vulnerable with land (0.59) and forest (0.57) scarcity. Water scarcity (0.50) and climate exposure (0.30) put them in a vulnerable class. Both the total LVI (0.48) and LVI-IPCC (-0.69) approaches placed the woreda community again in a vulnerable position. The findings imply that climate change should be placed within the broader context of development strategy and rural poverty reduction. Particularly, concerted efforts should be exerted to participatory integrated watershed management strategies supported with farmers training to ensure sustainable development of natural resources. Farmers’ best natural resource conservation practices should be incorporated in the local plans.

Author Biographies

Yohannes Belay Azene, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Gondar, Ethiopia



Menberu Teshome Zeleke, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Debre Tabor University

PhD in Development Studies (Specialization in Environment and Development Studies)

Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Debre Tabor University, Nothwest Ethiopia


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How to Cite

Azene, Y. B., Zeleke, M. T., & Chekole, A. B. (2018). Vulnerability of mountain communities to climate change and natural resources scarcity in Northwest Ethiopia: the case of Debark Woreda. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management, 6(1), 1467–1482.



Original Paper