Migration patterns in the study sites are diverse, ranging from seasonal/circular migration to international migration. However, most migration is internal and international migration is limited mainly to South-South movement. Migration is mostly male-dominated; however, female migration is increasing with women getting more educated and seeking employment opportunities in urban destinations. The major driver of migration decisions is economic, but environmental displacement was also prevalent in the study sites. The reasons for migration were consistent across the study basins, but differed between different streams of the same basin.
The adaptive capacities of households in four key sectors are analysed – agriculture, livestock, forestry, and water. The capacity of households to adapt to the negative effects of environmental changes and shocks in the study sites was low, and the adaptation measures undertaken mostly autonomous, except in the case of the water sector. The linkage between migration and household adaptive capacity was found to be positive, but statistically significant only in the agricultural sector. Thus, migration helps households’ adaptive capacity by spatially diversifying household income sources, but this potential is limited at present as remittances are small and mostly invested in meeting basic requirements. Thus, at present, migration is more a response strategy of the households to various changes, including environmental changes and their effects on local livelihoods.