This study assessed the vulnerability of biophysical and socio-economic systems to the impacts of climate change and variability with particular emphasis on gender, age and marginalized groups using household survey. The study was carried out within the Mau Forest Complex, Narok County in Kenya where the sample size was calculated based on probability proportional to estimated size. Proportionate stratified multistage clustered sampling design and purposive snowball sampling for key informant interviews were used to determine the sample respondents. Data was collected using questionnaires, key informant interviews, field observations and analyzed in SPSS software and MS excel. Results from 405 respondents revealed that 84% were aware of climate change and variability and their perception of climate change and variability was influenced by the occurrence of extreme weather events and persistent reduction in the forests composition and coverage. The biophysical and socio-economic systems are greatly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and variability as indicated by existence of climate related food insecurity, reduction and changes in livelihood sources, diseases and deaths. As a result, afforestation, reforestation, agroforestry, home solar systems, energy efficient appliances, improved cook stoves, adoption of drought tolerant breeds, drip irrigation, conservation tillage, community environmental conservation awareness and proper waste management have been adopted to cope with the changes. In order to inform decision-making, formulation of appropriate and adequate adaptive strategies and policies to strengthen forests and societal adaptive capacities, response strategies, resilience and gender parity are required.
Keywords: Climate Change and Variability, Montane, Vulnerability, Biophysical, Socio-economic, Resilience, Narok County.