Agriculture, livelihoods and climate change in Bosnia and Herzegovina : impacts, vulnerability and adaptation
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Bosnia and Herzegovina is still recovering from the shocks caused by armed conflict during the nineties, while being faced with a long and difficult path of institutional and economic reforms of transition from central to market economy at the same time. Nearly a third of the households in this predominantly rural country resorted to agriculture as a livelihood strategy to cope with the effects of the multiple shocks caused by these events, resulting in limited income opportunities, especially in rural areas. Agricultural sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing many challenges, which are expected to be further exacerbated by climate change and variability. This thesis analyses the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector; on the vulnerability and livelihoods of the rural population in Bosnia and Herzegovina; as well the different adaptation strategies, with the focus on conservation tillage. A multidisciplinary approach, using different conceptual and methodological approaches depending on the objectives of the individual papers, was used to define and discuss the research outcomes from different perspectives and scale. Research findings indicate that the agricultural sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from low general productivity, a weak and inefficient agrarian policy, low budget allocations for agriculture, imperfect markets and a general lack of information and knowledge. At the same time, the negative impacts of climate change are already being felt and will continue to increase according to the currently available climate projections. The rural population is vulnerable to climate change due to present significant dependence on agricultural incomes as a particularly climate sensitive livelihood option. Quantitative analysis of vulnerability indicates that low adaptive capacity to cope with the negative effects of climate change and high sensitivity of the current human and environmental systems to climate impacts are currently the main sources of vulnerability in the most vulnerable rural municipalities, rather than the degree to which they are exposed to climatic variations. This finding is consistent with the results obtained at the micro-level, where rural households were found to be relatively asset poor, dependent on agriculture irrespective of location or total income, with their access to assets further constrained by the ongoing structures and processes. The studied households were found to be aware about the recent climate trends and did report to adopt a wide range of more long term adaptation strategies. In the context of agricultural production, the level of adoption of different agricultural practices and technologies shows the signs of the overall intensification of agricultural production in BH, as well as adaptation to the perceived changes in climate. Further adoption and adaptation at a farm level is constrained by a lack of asset access, most notably financial capital, as well by a lack of knowledge and labour. Conservation agriculture was one of the least adopted agricultural practices in this study, despite its documented potential to offer both environmental and economic benefits for farmers. The results of the field experiments carried out in this study indicate that the reduced number of tillage operations has a potential to achieve high net returns due to decreased production costs, while maintaining the same level of crop productivity, when compared to conventional tillage. Reduced tillage cropping system was also less susceptible to weather extremes under differing weather conditions and was more Nitrogen efficient when expressed in yield-scaled N2O emissions. The application of no-till, however, led to reduced yields and resulted in economically inacceptable returns. The general conclusion derived from this thesis is that the rural dwellers and the agricultural sector in the current state are unlikely to cope with the consequences of climate change and undergo the process of successful adaptation without the support of other political, institutional, economic and social actors and policies.I Bosnia-Hercegovina (BH) arbeides det fortsatt med å gjenreise landet etter den langvarige væpnede konflikten på nittitallet. Samtidig står landet overfor en lang og vanskelig prosess med institusjonell og økonomisk reformer i en overgang fra planøkonomi til markedsøkonomi. For nær en tredjedel av husholdene i dette primært bygde- og landbruksbaserte landet har jordbruk vært brukt som en overlevelsesstrategi for å håndtere effektene av både eksterne hendelser og indre konflikter. Disse konfliktene har også ført til lavere inntektsmuligheter, spesielt på landsbygda. Jordbrukssektoren i Bosnia-Hercegovina har fortsatt store utfordringer på mange plan og disse kan bli ytterligere forsterket av økte klimavariasjoner og endringer. Denne avhandlingen analyserer hvordan klimaendringer påvirker jordbrukssektoren i BH gjennom økt sårbarhet og mer marginale levevilkår. Den ser videre på ulike tilpasningsstrategier, med vekt på redusert jordbearbeiding. En bred tverrfaglig tilnærming med vekt på ulike begrepsmessige og metodiske tilnærminger er benyttet for å definere og diskutere ulike funn i de forskjellige artiklene. Forskningen viser at jordbruket i Bosnia-Hercegovina har lav generell produktivitet, delvis som følge av en svak og ineffektiv jordbrukspolitikk, et lavt nivå på budsjettoverføringer til sektoren, mange ikke-fungerende markeder, samt mangel på informasjon og kunnskap blant ulike aktører. Samtidig påvirker klimaendringer allerede i dag landbruket negativt, noe som vil fortsette og bli forsterket i følge nåværende framskrivninger for klimaendringer.
Består av1. Synthesising Chapter
2. Compilation of Papers (four papers)