Browse by Theme: Climate Change

Climate change impacts involve three defining features that are not always a part of other development challenges: they are diverse, long-term and not easily predictable. Adapting to these three traits is difficult because they require making contextspecific and forward-looking decisions regarding a variety of local climate impacts and vulnerabilities when the future is highly uncertain. The 2010 World Development Report: Development and Climate Change, echoes this by stating that, “Climate change adds an additional source of unknowns for decision makers to manage” and planners must accept “uncertainty as inherent to the climate change problem.

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Insights from Application of CARE’s Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) Methodology.

This report was written by Angie Dazé, with significant inputs from Vu Lan Huong, Dang Thu Phuong, Nguyen Thi Yen, Dang My Hanh, Julie Webb, Romanus Gyang, Cynthia Awuor, Maurine Ambani, Gabriela Fontenla Razzetto and Tatiana Farfan De la Vega. The report benefited from useful feedback from Karl Deering, Agnes Otzelberger, Tonya Rawe, Fiona Percy, Cynthia Awuor, Bruce Ravesloot, Kit Vaughan and Phil Franks. We are grateful to all staff and partner organizations that conducted field work and analysis that contributed to the report. Finally, sincere appreciation to all of the people in the communities we work with who took the time to share their experiences and provide their perspectives.

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In Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands, livelihoods are dominated by pastoralism. Pastoral communities are accustomed to dealing with drought and erratic rainfall and have traditionally utilized systems and practices that minimized the impact of climate-related shocks to their livelihoods. Recently however, the impacts of climate change have combined with other environmental, economic and political factors to create a situation of increasing vulnerability for poor and marginalized households.

The situation is particularly serious for women, who face additional social, cultural and political constraints to resource access and adaptive decision-making. In response, some households have transitioned into an agro-pastoral way of life, combining the traditional livestock rearing with crop production and other economic activities. While this shift represents an innovation for these communities, it has also
exposed them to new risks and a different set of challenges in securing their livelihoods.

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Over 40 participants from 12 organisations and institutions working on climate change adaptation in Africa participated in a learning workshop on Gender and Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) in Ghana. The event was organized and supported by the Adaptation Learning Programme in Africa (ALP), implemented by CARE International in Mozambique, Kenya, Niger, Ghana, and brought together gender and climate change practitioners from these four countries, France, Denmark, Austria and Morocco.

Through the workshop and community visits to Farfar, Saamini, Zambulgu and Kugri communities in Northern and Upper East regions, the participants deliberated on the gender related issues that impact on successful adaptation to climate change and the methods available for mainstreaming gender into CBA.

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A snapshot of the climate change impact on the Munyo Yaya community.

Abdi Turura is a 56 year old man from the Munyo Yaya (commonly referred to as Munyo) ethnic group in Balich, a settlement 45kms north of Garissa town in Northern Kenya. He is married to three wives and has 17 children, 8 sons and 9 daughters. Abdi lives with his family on Baad farm, a ‘community’ farm owned by a group of 47 members (10 women and 37 men).

The community has traditionally relied on small scale rain fed agriculture for subsistence. ‘However, now times have changed’ points out Abdi, ‘we used to have two planting seasons in a year, we call it ‘ganna’ and ‘hagaya’ (long and short rain seasons respectively). This has recently changed to either one season or none at all in a year.’

With the change in the rainfall patterns, it has become difficult for the Munyo community to practice rain fed agriculture.

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Anabig Ayaab is a 50 year old farmer from Tariganga, Garu-Tempane District, in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Tariganga is in the dry savannah zone of northern Ghana where vegetative cover is sparse, especially during the dry season. The village and surrounding landscape is flat and dusty at this time, with the few trees that still stand, including shea-nut used for cosmetics and dawadawa, a local medicinal tree, shedding their leaves. The landscape will become increasingly green with the June rains. These rains will only last until October when the dry season, with varying temperatures and wind conditions, will set in again and last for the remainder of the year, guaranteeing a hungry period from March or April until the next rains.

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Human and natural systems are influenced by climate variability and hazards, though the negative impacts are most severely felt in developing countries. Increased climate variability, such as the occurrence of more frequent droughts and storms and more erratic or intense rainfall patterns, is associated with climatic change. Such climate change effects will intensify significantly in the future.

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