Climate-related vulnerability and adaptive capacity in Ethiopia's Borana and Somali communities Climate-related vulnerability and adaptive capacity in Ethiopia's Borana and Somali communities download

Climate-related vulnerability and adaptive capacity in Ethiopia's Borana and Somali communities

Pastoral communities in the Borana and Shinile zones of Ethiopia have been changing and adapting their livelihoods to changing environmental conditions for centuries. Recurrent droughts have been a major issue throughout history in the Ethiopian lowlands, and strategies to cope with, and adapt to these droughts are embedded in communities’ traditional social structures and resource management systems.

Despite the sense of determination, pastoralists’ ability to adapt is constrained by many factors including increasing land degradation; conflicts over scarce resources, which limit movement and destroy assets that are key for adaptation (especially in Borana); limited access to information (including that on weather, climate change, markets, as well as pest and disease outbreaks); limited education, skills and access to financial services and markets required to diversify their livelihoods; inadequate government policies, capacities and coordination; demographic pressures; and social and gender inequalities and marginalization, which reduce the voice and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable.

Enhancing the adaptive capacity of pastoralists will require community-based and community-led interventions, but will also require tailored support from NGOs, donors, and governments and this study explores the issues and options facing all stakeholders.

  • Countries: Ethiopia
  • Co-authors: IUCN, IISD, Save the Children
  • Published: June 2009

Related Publications

Women and girls in emergencies

This report collects and summarises new data and evidence from reports and research on women and girls’ specific vulnerabilities in natural disasters and conflicts. It shows that disasters disproportionately affect women and girls and offers... Read more...


Suffering in silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2017

The year 2017 was marked by scores of humanitarian crises: armed conflicts, natural disasters, climate shocks, hunger, displacement. While most of these crises made the headlines, there are others which barely made the news. And when crises are... Read more...


Cash in crisis: The case of Zimbabwe’s ‘Cash First’ humanitarian response

Based on the experience of delivering the first large-scale humanitarian cash programme in Zimbabwe, this briefing paper argues that even during a liquidity crisis, cash transfer programming can still be a feasible option, giving people greater... Read more...