Tropical hillsides in Latin America, Africa and Asia cover 9% of the world’s landmass and hold 20% of the world’s fresh water. These ecosystems, however, are fragile and vulnerable to unstable climatic conditions and human impacts.Nearly half of hillside inhabitants live in absolute poverty. Geographical isolation, social and political marginalisation and limited access to public services result in increased vulnerability to the impacts of climate related disasters. Reducing this vulnerability requires measures that generate income, promote livelihood security, halt erosion and deforestation, and restore hillside ecosystems.The PASOLAC project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been running since 1992 and it's activities now clearly address vulnerability and adaptability to climate change. PASOLAC offers technical, methodological and financial support to organisations working with local communities to implement agriculture practises and sustainable soil and water management (SSWM) techniques. The programme utilises both participatory and demand-driven approaches. To date the project has:established an organisation network working for sustainable agricultureimplemented 50 SSWM techniquescreated a funding initiative to finance project activitiesdesigned and applied tools for monitoring and evaluation.The authors have identified the following indicators demonstrating the increased ability of local communities to adapt to climate hazards:reduced water shortageincreased drought resistancerestored water suppliesincreased resistance to heavy rainfall.