Like most African countries, Kenya is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. There is growing concern about potential stress on fragile ecosystems and rural communities, especially in the arid and semi-arid agro-ecological zones and some humid highland areas of the country.
Adaptation is a key feature of sustainable social-ecological systems, as well as a recent and increasing focus of research and policy regarding responses to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. This article examines the meaning of adaptation and its relationship to the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and sustainability. It illustrates that, in many cases, societies ‘manipulate’ their social-ecological contexts rather than adapt to them.
European funding to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate is dropping remarkably at a time when it needs to be scaled up in line with UN commitments and people are dealing with increasing impacts of extreme weather events.
As part of an assessment that shows significant cuts in development aid to poor nations, the OECD has just revealed that funding for programs mainly focused on helping developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change fell globally from $3.1 billion in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2011. Although the OECD has not yet released climate finance figures for 2012, research by Oxfam suggests that levels of public climate finance did not improve last year.
The question of whether accepting and acting on climate change adaptation amounts to an admission of defeat for climate change mitigation was the most pressing topic discussed by climate experts on a panel this week at an event sponsored by The Earth Institute.
The debate around applying climate change science to urban environments has been reinvigorated in the wake of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy on New York City and its 500 miles of coastline in October 2012, as well as on the coastlines of neighbouring New Jersey and Long Island.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and much of its rural population is at, or near, subsistence level. In recent years the timing and intensity of the monsoon in Nepal, as well as temperature extremities, have changed and this is severely impacting upon agriculture, the mainstay for over 80% of the population. Flash flooding and drought has led to landslides, water shortages and irrigation problems, which have adversely affected subsistence farming. This research conducted social surveys in rural locations to ascertain which adaptation initiatives have been implemented at the community level and determine how indigenous populations have adapted to climate-induced environmental change, with a focus on water resources.
Climate change, poverty and livelihoods: adaptation practices by rural mountain communities in NepalPosted on: 25 February 2013 - 11:35am
Effects of climate change tend to be more severe where people rely on weather dependent rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. In rural mountain communities with limited livelihood options, adaptive capacity is low due to limited information, poor access to services, and inequitable access to productive assets. Few studies have reported on the current status of rural and remote mountain areas in Nepal with little known about adaptation strategies in use. This article is based on a study in the remote mountainous Jumla District of Nepal to explore how climate change is affecting the livelihood of local communities and how different wellbeing groups are differentially impacted.
Environmental resource conflict – or the potential for it – is never far away in the Himalayas.
In the west of the region, arguments between Pakistan and India over vital water resources in areas bordering the two countries continue. In the east tensions are rising as India expresses concerns about a spate of planned dam-building projects by China on rivers flowing into Indian territory, particularly on the mighty Brahmaputra. Meanwhile Nepal and the north Indian state of Bihar accuse each other of mismanaging water resources that straddle the border.
I recently attended the “Coastal Cities At Risk 2013” conference organized by the Manila Observatory and the Coastal Cities at Risk Initiative supported by the Canadian Government. As many remarked, the venue was quite apt because Manila has the distinction of being one of seven cities globally judged to be at extreme risk from the combined impacts of climate change and climate-related disasters – and only Dhaka in Bangladesh is estimated to be at higher overall risk.
Gazi's two sons are in Dhaka with their families. Gazi is clinging to village life the way he did the palm tree. It is the only existence he knows, but he realizes he soon may not have a choice but to leave. "Climate change has wrecked everything," he says. "Our people are living in other towns and cities, like refugees."
Climate change means higher temperatures, more rain, stronger winds. It will trigger a migration unlike anything the world has seen.
As it gradually render parts of Asia and Africa uninhabitable, as many as 250 million people - seven times the population of Canada - will be forced to move by 2050, experts predict.
They will go from deserts to places where water is less scarce, the land not so arid; from coasts, they will move inland, where they are safe from cyclones and tidal waves. They will move from flatlands to higher ground, where sudden storm surges don't flood their villages and destroy farmland with salt water.
A short film by ACCCRN partner Mercy Corps showcasing a range of projects in Indonesia aimed at building urban climate change resilience in coastal cities and vulnerable communities.