Browse by Theme: Resilience

This report outlines the practical lessons learned by CARE about Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) to climate change, and explores how elements of the approach are evolving and being integrated into other development sectors.

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This short briefing paper demonstrates how community based adaptation is an invaluable and essential component of the vision for resilience across Africa.

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Participants from 12 West African countries confirmed the urgent need for community based adaptation to respond to the adverse effects of climate change at a West Africa Learning Event in Cotonou, 3-6th September 2013. Seventy two participants from a diverse range of 36 NGO and research organisations, and 14 government organisations shared and reflected on their experiences, successes, challenges, opportunities, questions and future perspectives across the region.

This communiqué is the collective product of these deliberations conveying strong messages on the crucial need to develop effective adaptation practice and policies to secure livelihoods and realise resilient development and economic growth in the face of an uncertain and changing climate.

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When I first worked in Kenya, 20 years ago, I saw how farming practices could provide a good life for men and women in rural villages even with little rainfall and where basic services, such as water and electricity were almost non-existent. Farmers and livestock keepers in the dry areas of Kenya have been, by necessity, resilient to difficult conditions. But this is at the cost of hard physical work over long hours on the farm alongside a constant search for additional income sources such as from small business activities just to feed the family and send children to school.

20 years on, rural communities are still dependent on the land but are now facing new challenges from the effects of climate change. Perhaps the biggest impact is the increased uncertainty of the weather patterns. Farmers are no longer sure when to plant, where to take animals for good grazing or when they will be affected by the increasing frequency of droughts and floods. This places a new demand on already vulnerable people. How can they adapt to climate change in the face of all this uncertainty?

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The 2011 food crisis in the Horn of Africa demonstrated that community resilience is more urgent than ever. Using evidence from a five year, cross border programme in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, (RREAD) this paper aims to share evidence of approaches that work in building community resilience to shocks and stresses.

Key lessons for more effective natural resource management include, linking traditional knowledge with science and innovation, fostering inclusive local planning processes and improving access to markets to diversify livelihoods.

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Boran, Gabra and Garri pastoralists in the border areas of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia have long relied on the management of natural resources to maximise land use and sustain livestock productivity. Managing herd movements plays a key role in rangeland management, with some areas suitable for use during the dry season and some during the wet season.

The rangeland as a whole constitutes a communally owned economic resource that must be shared among the different pastoralist ethnic groups and clans living in the area. They have developed an institutional system of primary and secondary rights of access with procedures and principles for negotiations between different pastoralist groups to regulate the sharing of water and pasture.

This indigenous institutional framework governs the mobility of herders and their livestock, including across the international border, maintains and restores collaboration among clans and ethnic groups and provides a framework for managing disputes and conflict.

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This research is a result of considerable input and support from various individuals across ACCRA’s consortium of members: Oxfam GB in Uganda, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), CARE International in Uganda, World Vision Uganda, and Save the Children in Uganda.

Special thanks go to all our colleagues in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Department of Water, the Ministry of Health and the Department of Meteorology for their continued support and inputs to ACCRA’s work.

Thanks are also due to the country researchers and the ACCRA coordinator who led the data-collection process and contributed greatly towards analysis of the research findings: Doreen Ruta and Fredrick Ayorekire (Gender Development |Initiatives), Margaret Barihaihi and Anthony Kagoro (World Vision Uganda). Special thanks also go to Josephine Lofthouse and Catherine Pettengell.

This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in it are not  necessarily those of, nor endorsed by, DfID or the members of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), which can accept no responsibility or liability for such views, the completeness or accuracy of the information, or for the reliance placed on them.

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