Yenny Tjoe. 2017. Sustaining Livelihoods: An Analysis of Dryland Communities in West Timor, Indonesia.Thesis (PhD Doctorate), Griffith University, Brisbane.
What enables a community to cope with stress, to recover from trauma, and to provide the next generation with the opportunity for a sustainable livelihood? What makes a community vulnerable to, and lack the capacity to sustain livelihoods? This thesis is a case study of three subsistence communities in semi-arid West Timor, Indonesia, that belong to the Atoin Meto tribal group. While climatic hazards can leave a community vulnerable, there are other underlying factors, particularly in rural West Timor, where the societal structure has failed to protect all members of the society adequately. This thesis seeks to understand the problem of what causes vulnerability to the livelihood of these communities in the era of global warming, and why their societal structure is unable to protect all members adequately in this circumstance.
Since the aftermath of WWII, the welfare of the rural poor in developing countries has not substantially improved (Griffin & Khan 1978; Streeten 1984; Chambers 1995) exacerbated by environmental and developmental problems which have arisen due to the disconnections between the policy makers, the rural poor and their environment (Agarwal & Narain 1985). In the era of global warming, communities in rural drylands will be the most vulnerable group (Solomon et al. 2007; Fraser et al. 2011). A critical assessment is therefore needed to discover the real problems experienced in rural dryland regions in order to empower the local people and support their livelihoods in the future.