Climate adaptation can be effective
Why adapt to climate change? Without appropriate responses climate change is likely to constrain economic development and poverty reduction efforts. Countries with economies rooted in climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry are expected to be hit hardest. This will be true for many countries in the South. Climate change is both a global and a local development issue, as it could jeopardise the livelihoods of millions. This is particularly so where communities are already vulnerable to changes and have limited coping capacity. Well-designed adaptation strategies can offer ways out.
Adaptation processes do not stand alone, they are part of climate resilience approaches. Climate resilience is the capacity of a person or system to maintain its role, purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances. Resilience is the ability of a (social or ecological) system to absorb disturbances while retaining the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self-organisation, and the capacity to adapt to stress and change. In the face of climate change this capacity needs to be reinforced, at local and farm levels but also at higher levels such as the landscape level.
You can become involved.
Climate change is a hot public and political topic. While climate change negotiations take place in the international arena, there is often limited knowledge and understanding of climate change adaptation concepts and its implications at local level. All countries develop adaptation strategies which are aimed at climate change adaptation for the medium to long-term. The formulation of climate change adaptation projects, covering urgent and immediate needs, is done by most least-developed countries (LDCs) by preparing National Adaptation Programmes for Action (NAPAs). Many economically more developed countries also prepare adaptation programmes or strategies. Often projects formulated under such programmes or strategies focus on technical issues and not on the institutional and organisational capacities that should be in place to implement possible adaptation strategies. Adaptation means also change in attitude, skills and mind-set. The translation of policy documents on climate change (either from your governmental or from your non-governmental organisation or enterprise) into climate adaptation strategies is something that you as a professional can contribute to.
Hot spots for climate change
A hot spot for climate change is an ‘area’ that is already vulnerable and is likely to suffer substantial impacts as a result of climate change. How to design adaptation strategies for these hot spots is part of the group work based on participants cases. There is particular attention for increasing resilience of farmers in the hotspot. The results are well thought out proposals for climate change adaptation which you can apply in your work situation back home.
What will be covered in the course?
- Understanding climate change (concepts such as adaptation and mitigation, causes and risks) and implications for food security, agriculture and natural resource management;
- Concepts and assessment of vulnerability, resilience, coping strategies and sustainable development processes;
- Examples of adaptation strategies to climate change;
- Policy making processes, advocacy and integrating climate change issues into existing policy processes and rural development strategies.
This course uses interactive training methods. Topics are dealt with in a combination of lectures, plenary and group work, study assignments and role plays. Experiences and case studies of participants are the entry point for interaction. Learning from experiences from your peers is an important element.
The course includes field work in the rural area of South-Uganda, and interaction with researchers to discuss and refine strategies for climate smart agriculture and natural resource management. It also includes the preparation of a personal action plan to integrate your new knowledge and skills into your daily work at home.
This regional course will be given in Uganda.