Assessing the Livelihood Vulnerability of Herders to Changing Climate in Chui Oblast, Kyrgyz Republic

Aliya Ibraimova, Woo Kyun Lee, Murat Zhumashev, Sonam Wangyel Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kyrgyzstan is a country that is heavily reliant on agricultural products and animal husbandry, making it particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Using the livelihood vulnerability index (LVI), this study attempted to assess vulnerability to climate change impacts on land, biodiversity, herders, and livestock in Kyrgyzstan’s mountainous areas. The survey was conducted using respondent interviews. In the Chon-Kemin valley target area, we interviewed 198 nomad households with livestock. The study found that communities rely heavily on pasture resources, that there are almost no human–wildlife conflicts (HWCs), and that climate disasters have limited impact. Major components of herders’ sensitivity and adaptive capacity resulted in low numbers. This, combined with rare climate disasters such as droughts and thus low exposure, reduced vulnerability under the IPCC framework. However, any increase in climate disasters, combined with continued land-use pressure, will severely impact herders and their livelihoods. In Kyrgyzstan, hundreds of livestock and dozens of wild animals have already died as a result of late frosts in pastures. National policies and programs should be revised to improve adaptive capacity. This study calls into question the importance of improving wildlife research and capacity building, as well as cooperation between local and national stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1520
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
To the research team of CAMP Alatoo–Ruslan Ismailov, Barchynbek Meimanbekov and Kanat Zhuzubaliev; data analysis team-interns at CAMP Alatoo: Jan Austen and Johanna Antretter; editing by Helen Koch. The authors would like to thank the National Research Foundation of Korea and the OJEong Resilience Institute at Korea University for supporting this study. In addition, we would also like to thank the nomads for voluntarily participating in this study.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Core Research Institute Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2021R1A6A1A10045235).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • climate change
  • herders
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • livelihood vulnerability index
  • Third Pole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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