Seasonal migration as strategy for livelihood diversification and environmental adaptation in Nepal
This article explores seasonal migration as a household strategy for livelihood diversification and environmental adaptation in Nepal's rural mid-hill region to secure livelihoods and cope with environmental difficulties. This relational ethnographic study was conducted in Rukum East, the western part of Nepal, among the Kham Magars, where families migrate seasonally within their region, country, and India, and linked to the New Economics of Labor Migration theoretical approach. Information was obtained through in-depth interviews, participant observation, and living with community members in the study area. Families migrate seasonally to diversify and maximize their livelihood opportunities and income, which helps them with quick remittance earning, risk reduction, increased food security, and the utilization of family labor forces. Seasonal migration to pastoral land for cattle rearing and marijuana cultivation, combined with small-scale farming activities, contributes significantly to the generation of quick cash and food balance. The decision to migrate seasonally is made after assessing agriculture season, weather change as an adaptation to the extent of agriculture, and livelihood activities that will assist families in preserving and utilizing resources that are directly linked to an environmentally dependent livelihood system.