The existing poverty and the likelihood of severe effects of climate change in developing countries highlights the critical importance of adaptation to its impacts. Without substantial intervention, the likelihood of reaching global and specific national poverty reduction objectives will be severely hampered. This toolkit provides guidance on the adaptation of livelihoods in normal and emergency situations.The toolkit focuses on:
the need to acknowledge livelihood adaptation with the overlapping mitigation
planning for adaptation
developing an analysis of future climate change that can be integrated into livelihoods work
aiding country program and partner staff dealing with disaster risk reduction and livelihood adaptation to climate change.
The following key factors lead to the conclusion that past adaptation is not adequate for future climate change:
magnitude of impact – the level of change in climate is now irreversible in the short to medium-term
the time-scale of climate change reduces the effectiveness of individual and community coping mechanisms and the development assistance designed to strengthen them
the geographic scale of climate change will limit coping mechanisms that previously relied on a localised response
time-scale and geographic scale combined – adaptation must respond to short and long-term climate risks and consider upstream and downstream impacts
climate change, sustainability and poverty – there is need for climate change adaptation to form part of an approach which reinforces sustainability and a development path which protects natural resources and reduces vulnerability and lack of resource-use rights for the marginalised.
The toolkit highlights the essential stages of climate change analysis using the following stages:
the short-term weather and the longer-term climate science
the indigenous knowledge of those communities and individuals most directly affected
the participatory vulnerability and capacity assessment which focuses on several priority factors increasing vulnerability, including climate change
selection of the most appropriate option across a spectrum from screening existing projects.
The paper writes about community-based adaptation which it says is a community-led process which complements development and disaster communities and that its plan is subject to revision. It also discusses the climate risk cycle whose basic features include:
building in a climate risk cycle management approach to adaptation
it considers the pre-existing adaptation efforts
it proactively distinguishes between short and longer-term adaptation
it maximizes the time a community spends in the normal-alert cycle and minimizes time spent in the emergency-recovery cycle.