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Climate change and urban children: impacts and implications for adaptation in low and middle income countries

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S. Bartlett
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This paper examines the possible impacts for children of different ages from the increasing risk of climate change, focusing on preparedness and responses to extreme events, as well as constraints that climate change is likely to bring to urban centres in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Without adequate planning and good governance, poor urban areas can be among the world’s most life-threatening environments. The document highlights that adaptations to climate change need to take account of the risks for children.There are two key areas discussed in this paper.

Understanding the impacts for children of factors related to climate change. Here issues such as learning and competence, coping with adversity, household coping strategies, among others, are highlighted.
The implications for adaptation. Focuses on basic guidelines for adaptation actors, reducing the longer term risks with children in mind, preparing for extreme weather events and adapting to impacts and losses.

The author argues that in every aspect of adaptation – protection, preparation, relief and rebuilding, and at every level of response some basic concerns regarding children and their caregivers need to be taken into account. The document concludes that although addressing concerns for children maybe a burden especially when resources and time can be spent on so many other priority areas, it has been found that there are strong synergies between what children need and the adaptations required to reduce or respond to more general risks of climate change.