Browse by Theme: Climate Change

Community institutions weakening in the wake of climate change

This document contains a community story from the Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP). The story addresses loss of traditional community social capital and safety net practices and has links to gender, traditional governance and environment issues.

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Empowered women lead on community-based adaptation to climate change.

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Climate change poses the greatest direct threat in history to CARE’s vision of a world of hope, tolerance and social justice where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security.

The injustice of climate change is that its negative impacts fall disproportionately on poor communities, who have contributed least to its causes.

CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP), implemented in Ghana, Niger, Kenya and Mozambique with the support of DFID, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Austrian Development Cooperation, acknowledges that inequitable distributions of rights, resources and power at all levels constrain many people’s abilities to take action on climate change.

ALP therefore seeks to improve and promote knowledge on how best to protect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people through community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change.

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Nowhere on the planet are people more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than in sub-Saharan Africa. The continent is already prone to erratic rainfall, droughts, floods and cyclones, and climate change will only exacerbate these ongoing challenges. At the same time, Africa is grappling with the burden of poverty, environmental degradation, inequitable land rights, heavy reliance on the natural resource base for livelihoods, and the HIV&AIDS epidemic - all of which limit the ability of people and institutions to adapt to climate change.

Community-level research conducted by CARE in Africa indicates that climate change is already having significant impacts on food and income security, and that these impacts are particularly serious for women and other marginalized groups.

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The Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) is an alliance of five development partners: Oxfam GB, the Overseas Development Institute, Save the Children, World Vision International and CARE International.

It was established in 2009 with the aim of understanding how development interventions can contribute to adaptive capacity at the community and household level, and to inform the design and implementation of development planning by governments and non-governmental development partners to support adaptive capacity for climate change and other development pressures.

This paper is based on an analysis of three country studies conducted by national research teams in eight research sites in Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique for ACCRA. It describes the Local Adaptive Capacity (LAC) framework developed for this project, its application during the research, and the evidence found about the impact of development interventions on the adaptive capacity of people and communities.

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Interest is growing in supporting vulnerable people and communities to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, and there is a general assumption that there are close links between development and adaptation. Yet our understanding of the impacts that development interventions have on adaptive capacity at the local level remains limited.

Most development interventions are not designed with a climate change ‘adaptation’ label, but it is likely that they influence communities’ capacity to adapt to changing shocks and trends – whether as a result of climate change or other pressures associated with development (see Jones et al., 2010).

A framework for understanding and assessing adaptive capacity at the local level is needed to begin to understand how it can be supported through wider development processes at both local and national levels. Such a framework may in time serve as a platform to monitor progress, identify needs and allocate development resources to enhance a system’s ability to adapt to change.

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Exploring political marginalisation, donors’ policies and cross-border issues – Literature review.

The Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) was commissioned by CARE International (CARE) to provide a review of the literature on the nature of pastoralists’ vulnerability in the Horn of Africa (focusing specifically on Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia) and chart ways in which agencies have responded and identifying best practice. This literature review is part of a broader project that HPG is undertaking to provide learning support to CARE and document and strengthen best practices around drought cycle management in the Horn of Africa (HoA).

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