Climate and Development

Published by Taylor & Francis
Online ISSN: 1756-5537
Print ISSN: 1756-5529
Publications
National governments and development agencies have invested considerable effort in recent years to develop methodologies and tools to screen their projects for the risks posed by climate change. However, these tools have largely been developed by the climate change community and their application within actual project settings remains quite limited. An alternate and complementary approach would be to examine the feasibility of incorporating consideration of climate change impacts and adaptation within existing modalities for project design, approval, and implementation. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are particularly relevant in this context. Les administrations nationales et les agences de développement ont consacré un effort considérable ces dernières années à la conception de méthodologies et d’outils d’évaluation de leurs projets du point de vue des risques posés par le changement climatique. Une bonne part de ces instruments ont toutefois été élaborés au sein de la communauté des spécialistes du climat mais sont encore rarement appliqués à des projets concrets. Une autre approche, complémentaire, serait d’étudier la faisabilité de la prise en compte des incidences du changement climatique et de l’adaptation à ce changement dans les modalités existantes de conception, d’approbation et de mise en oeuvre des projets. Les études d’impact sur l’environnement (EIE) sont particulièrement intéressantes à cet égard.
 
The Conchos River basin area, Mexico 
Irrigation efficiencies before and after modernization
In Mexico, due to reduced and unevenly distributed hydrological resources and incipient water management capabilities, climate change adaptation in the water sector is recognized as an urgent issue. To derive lessons for climate change adaptation, this paper evaluates the results gained after five years of an integrated river basin management (IRBM) programme in the Conchos River in northern Mexico. Autonomous adaptation measures assessed include: modernization of irrigation practices; pilot sustainable watershed management projects in the upper basin; development of an environmental flow assessment and a proposal to improve water allocation; and the creation of the Inter-institutional Working Group as a basin organization. These measures have improved river basin management, yet adverse outcomes were also observed, such as impacts of surface water efficiency measures that were not managed in conjunction with groundwater. Key adaptation lessons derived include: the importance of multi-stakeholder participation in designing and implementing adaptive management measures; the need for significant investment in transfer of expertise and capacity building; and the positive effect of linking local, national and international institutions. These results highlight the need for more investment in `soft' adaptive management in place of infrastructure. In the Rio Conchos, if these `no regrets' adaptation measures are consolidated in the following years, they will serve as a foundation to develop planned and more effective climate change adaptation programmes, and enhance institutional, environmental and societal resilience.
 
This article provides critical reflection on the notion of sustainable adaptation. It discusses how the concept resonates with debates on sustainable development, and how the key elements of sustainable adaptation presented in the literature relate to sustainable development. It discusses three major challenges to the promotion and implementation of sustainable adaptation and achievement of its objectives. First, many current approaches to adaptation are far from sustainable. Second, the relationships between poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change are complex and highly context specific. Third, sustainable adaptation may be co-opted to support development-as-usual rather than more radical options which put social justice, equity and environmental sustainability at the core.
 
Climate shifts are not new in the experience of humans and other species, but the capacity of potential evolutionary and ecological responses to climate change has been reduced through widespread human modifications of natural ecosystems. The magnitude, duration and timescales of altered climate threats require multigenerational strategies for climate change adaptation. In many places terrestrial and aquatic species and human livelihoods are limited by the availability of freshwater resources. Current climate change adaptation practice places great faith in the ability of climate models to predict specific impacts, which then become the focus of climate change adaptation activities and thus foster reactive `impacts thinking'. Given that freshwater climate variables are associated with high predictive uncertainty, a novel approach referred to here as `adaptation thinking' treats ecosystems as dynamic entities that will be inherently different from current and past ecosystem states for multiple reasons, including climate change. As a result, adaptation thinking emphasizes the shifting relationship between institutions and ecosystems. This approach promotes flexibility and continuous scenario development. Using natural modes of adaptation as a template for sustainable development should promote collaboration between scientists, policymakers and development professionals.
 
This review article examines the challenges that flood disasters in the Zambezi basin pose to development, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and humanitarian interventions. It analyses how interventions address these challenges to identify how to reduce vulnerability to floods. Data are examined from disaster database entries from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, Emergency Database, and scientific articles and other literature. Results show that development interventions and DRR are not keeping pace with the vulnerability of the population affected by flood events, as humanitarian interventions seem to dominate. The article highlights the significant role played by international humanitarian agencies, the challenges posed by inadequate preparedness and weak collaboration, the exclusion of the vulnerable from active participation, and the frequent declaration of states of emergency. If these challenges are not addressed, climate change will exacerbate humanitarian crises and competition for humanitarian aid resources. Changes in social factors that do not require finance can improve flood disaster risk management. Accessing funding for adaptation for use in DRR can further alleviate the severity of flood impacts, but development interventions remain crucial for addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability.
 
Terminology similarities and differences
Different adaptation typologies a
Adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction both focus on society-risk dynamics. However, each field does so through different actors and institutions, and with different time horizons, policy frameworks and patterns in mind. Recently, dialogue between the adaptation and disaster risk-reduction communities has focused on creating stronger links between the two by putting greater effort into learning from each other and collaborating conceptually and practically. In part, this common interest has come from a simultaneous recognition that risk reduction requires a far more holistic approach than has previously been applied. Both adaptation and disaster risk reduction require the same underlying aims, namely, to reduce vulnerability and create sustainable and flexible long-term strategies to reduce the risk of adverse impacts. However, neither is able to address these single-handedly. In both adaptation and disaster risk reduction, there is an implicit acknowledgement that risk is part of everyday life, and thus social development plays a vital role. An outstanding question for these communities to address is whether a convergence of the two tracks is desirable. Furthermore, if such a convergence were to occur, what forms would it take and what outcomes could be expected.
 
Conversion of the Danube river floodplains through dyke construction for farming and other development has cut off 95, 75 and 28% of the floodplains of the upper Danube, the lower Danube and the Danube delta, respectively. Together with channelization, this has exacerbated flood peaks. Anthropogenic climate change is anticipated to bring more frequent flooding and reduced water quality. In assessing ongoing floodplain restoration work that commenced in 1993, this paper finds the following. (a) Along the lower Danube River, restoration of floodplains by decommissioning under-performing flood protection infrastructure has provided many benefits. The benefits of these adaptation measures include improved natural capacity to retain and release floodwaters and remove pollutants, enhanced biodiversity, and strengthened local economies through diversification of livelihoods based on natural resources. (b) The drivers for more successful adaptation measures in the Danube included EU expansion, legal mechanisms, and local desire to improve livelihoods. The support of non-governmental organizations (WWF and partner organizations) for basin- and regional-level planning for more effective water resource management has also been a powerful driver of policy change in the lower Danube countries.
 
Autonomous adaptation in the water sector is assessed to derive lessons for more successful climate change adaptation from six empirical, consistently designed river management case studies based on projects of WWF. They show that when adaptation measures are considered in the context of common problems in water management, many practical ways of building resilience to climate change through mainstream programs are evident. The cases are mainly from developing countries - India, China, Mexico, Brazil, the lower Danube basin and Tanzania - where efforts to reduce environmental degradation and enhance livelihoods have directly helped to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change. The key lessons include: the benefits of concurrent measures for improving livelihoods and reducing physical vulnerability; the need to enhance and fund local institutions to mainstream adaptation programmes; and the value in implementing `no and low regrets' measures despite uncertainties.
 
This article investigates how pastoral and agropastoral populations interact in adapting to climate variability and change, particularly to drought. Interactions within trade, livestock and human mobility, and accessing forest resources are critical to local adaptive capacity in Kenya's drylands. Qualitative interview data collected between 2004 and 2007 in Endau, eastern Kenya, are analysed to explore the role of these interactions in sustainable adaptation, and how they have been affected by formal policies and informal governance. The article also explores how politics, decision making and conflicts interact in practice to shape decision making, and how dominant state orientation may facilitate or constrain sustainable adaptation. We conclude that both official policy and state practice in terms of actual decision making (whether in line with policy and legal frameworks or not) appear to undermine human security in terms of political and social rights, as well as sustainable adaptation in terms of social equity and environmental integrity. Sustainable adaptation for the case of Endau would imply a fundamental change in governance regime from one of imposing punitive measures to stop dynamic interactions to one through which, instead, interactions between the various groups are strengthened.
 
The author's interview results from 45 households in Hong Ha commune, May–October 2000 
The article is based on qualitative research in the provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue in central Vietnam during the years 1996-2009, by the author and colleagues at Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry. The focus of the article is on policies that, while increasing resilience at one scale, may cause increased vulnerability at other scales. Policies on forest protection and construction of hydroelectric dams contribute to regulating flooding of the lowland areas. However, the policies also result in severe constraints in access to land and forest products for the mountain population, which has impacts on their capacity to manage risk and adapt to environmental change. Forest resources have previously functioned as an important buffer for mountain households when coping with crises like serious floods. This reduced adaptive capacity may be a critical issue for equity and social sustainability in adaptation.
 
Climate change is one of a complex array of risks facing the planet and society. It is argued that adaptation to and mitigation of climate change will be required to avert or reduce adverse impacts. Governments are developing climate change adaptation (CCA) strategies. The business community is also stirring to the need to adapt to as well as mitigate climate change, but progress has been slow, particularly in the case of adaptation. This paper explores emerging perceptions of the need for adaptation and some initial adaptation actions within a `business as usual' economic mode of operation. It also identifies constraints to further action among a cross-section of actors in the business community in South Africa. Data from semi-structured interviews and scrutiny of reports reveals that there are a number of constraints preventing business from engaging more fully in CCA. These findings correspond with findings in other business-sector and CCA studies. They include: issues of terminology (adaptation versus risk management); uncertainty over climate-change projections and scenarios; and concerns about how such information can be used effectively in decision making, particularly long-term business planning. Despite these challenges, some potential synergies between policy, planning and the business community for promoting adaptation are suggested.
 
The way the issue of global environmentalism is now being framed around convergence of living standards within ecological limits may succeed in securing international cooperation in a manner that the focus on percentage reductions in greenhouse gases, that considered symptoms rather than the causes of climate change, was not able to achieve. The unresolved issue is no longer the approach of the USA but whether in writing its own urban future China will shape new rules and a new type of global partnership based on shared responsibility and prosperity.
 
There is growing realization that ignoring the mediating influence of gender relations may impact on the effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation policies, which has gradually brought gender issues onto the agenda of national and international fora. Against this background, this article confronts discourse with reality, by investigating to what extent and in what way 31 Sub-Saharan African National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) integrate a gender dimension into the different phases of the NAPA cycle, and the different sectors that are especially related to climate change. Additionally, this paper analyses the extent to which women and gender experts participate in diagnosis and decision-making, as well as the gender sensitivity of the format used for participation. The findings of the gender scan demonstrate, among other things, that there is a decline in gender sensitivity throughout the intervention cycle. Furthermore, processes have been more gender-sensitive than the actual content of NAPAs, which suggests that gender actors around the table in NAPA decision-making have not always been able to influence the content of the NAPAs. When it comes to integrating gender issues in climate change budgets, our study suggests that the insights, approaches and tools of gender budgeting could be particularly useful.
 
Areas with an anomaly in total annual rainfall amounts during the rainy season preceding the respective survey years. The fi gures depict the different production zones of the country, the sampling villages and the 0.5 × 0.5 grid cells where a rainfall anomaly occurred (own fi gures, original rainfall data from Lebel & Ali, 2009). 
At the household level, nonfarm activities are thought to help rural poor households buffer against agricultural risks related to local climate variability by providing them with cash to buy food in the case of harvest shortfalls. Over the recent decades, households in rural Sub-Sahara have been found less dependent on land and subsistence agriculture and an increasing number of households here derive their income from nonfarm activities. This study tests the hypothesis that rural households in Burkina Faso have diversified to the extent that they no longer rely on nonfarm activities as a safety net against adverse local rainfall events. Results show that household decisions to participate in the nonfarm economy could not be directly linked with local rainfall events during the study period in the mid-2000s. However, household participation was determined by adverse rainfall conditions in the major staple food production zone of the country, presumably because these caused a rise in food prices. Results also suggested that Burkinabe households adopted a flexible approach to nonfarm participation in terms of locality and plurality, depending on short-term rainfall conditions.
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) reports that the number of extreme precipitation and temperature events in India are projected to increase in the short term. The negative effects of this on rural populations in India may include crop and livestock loss, livelihood risk, health and sanitation disruptions and shelter risk. Overseas Development Assistance, in the form of aid, will help rural communities to counter these impacts; several development agencies already require that the adaptation to climate change risks be included as project activities in the aid programme. However, it is often difficult to accurately target development aid in developing countries due to uneven and cluster-like development of areas. To help counter this problem, we developed a poverty index intended to help prioritize development aid towards communities at risk, in order of need. The district-wise poverty index was created for seven states of northeast India, a region with highly uneven development, and has been developed from data available from the North-East Data Bank (DoNER). The indicators were selected to adequately represent the poverty of the people as well as to act as a prioritizing mechanism in a data scarce region. The inclusion of a Gini coefficient of land distribution is new to poverty indexes, and helps to capture the pattern of highly unequal land distribution in northeast India, which in turn affects the distribution of income. Although primarily developed for northeast India, the index can be used in other developing countries with imbalances in regional development. If the biophysical factors affecting vulnerability are known, this index can be used in a weighted combination with vulnerability.
 
Ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation (EbA) integrate the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy for helping people adapt to climate change. To date, however, insight into these approaches has often been based on anecdotal case studies of local peoples' use of ecosystems. A systematic map of EbA-relevant peer-reviewed literature, and a sample of grey literature, was undertaken to (1) give a methodical overview of the state of the evidence-base on EbA effectiveness and (2) identify key knowledge gaps. A framework was developed with stakeholders to assess the evidence-base for EbA effectiveness. The literature reviewed showed that much can be learnt about EbA from articles which considered climatic variability and climate extremes. Measures of the effectiveness of EbA-relevant interventions recorded in the articles showed positive results, although discussion of thresholds, limits and timescales related to these interventions was limited. Social, environmental and economic benefits of EbA interventions were in evidence in most articles, and though costs were discussed, this was limited in extent. It is concluded that the literature on EbA-relevant interventions addressing climatic variability, change, and linked extremes and natural hazards, contains some information that will support making the case for EbA, but the evidence-base has a number of gaps that should be addressed.
 
Some socio-economic characteristics of sampled households by headship and class.
Mean rice yield and productivity in Ky Nam commune, 2000–2011. Source: Ky Anh district's Statistical Department and Ky Nam's annual socio-economic reports.  
Socio-economic differences among women in diversified livelihoods. a
This field-based study applies a mixed methods approach that combines both qualitative and quantitative analyses to investigate the differences in women's vulnerability and adaptations to climate-related agricultural water scarcity in Ky Nam commune, Central Vietnam. The study highlights the heterogeneity of women as a group and their intersectional dynamics as they adapt to increasing agricultural water scarcity on their rural livelihoods. The findings show that social differences including gender, class, household headship, age and stage of life shape women's differentiated experiences in vulnerability in access to water, to forestland and credit; in turn mark their adaptation differentiation to climate-related agricultural water scarcity. It also stresses that existing development policies can cause inequality in resource access in practice, running the risk of further marginalizing certain groups of women, especially female heads of household. Meanwhile, the current National Target Program to Respond to Climate Change of Vietnam is blind to issues of women's differentiated vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study suggests that if these current development and adaptation measures do not pay proper attention to differentiated gender experience, it is likely to exacerbate the vulnerabilities of those affected, particularly female heads of household, rather than help them. In addition, these development and climate programmes have to be redesigned to accommodate more context-specific policies instead of one-size-fits-all packages that will effectively address women's (and men's) differential needs and unequal relations and circumstances.
 
Although adaptation to climate change is vital in vulnerable developing country communities, there are limits to what these communities can do autonomously. Many face existing challenges such as poverty, food insecurity and lack of resources. Hence, there seems to be a logical case for planned community-based adaptation (CBA) in these contexts, but there is limited empirical evidence of planned CBA in developing countries. Numerous barriers hinder the implementation of planned CBA. This systematic literature review investigated what these barriers are and how they influence adaptation. Context-specific social, resource and physical barriers are significant, and these overlap and interact with one another. The most pervasive of these barriers relate to poor coordination within and between organizations responsible for planning and implementing adaptation actions, who adhere to discourses that are often technical and managerial and therefore not well suited to supporting CBA, and a lack of, or irrelevant knowledge/information on climate change as well as ineffectual communication between stakeholders involved in CBA actions.
 
Research sites: Langa and Philippi, Cape Town. Source: NASA/JPL/NIMA.
Expense priority by burial society membership. Source: FinScope (2004) in Schneider (2010).
Major flood incidents in Cape Town 2001-2009. Major flood incidents Number of households displaced by flooding in informal settlement Estimated proportion of total dwellings in informal settlements in Cape Town affected by flooding (%)
Collective actions enable poor African communities to achieve common goals and respond to key life hazards. This paper draws on in-depth interviews among poor entrepreneurs in two informal settlement areas in Cape Town, South Africa and how they manage climate-induced hazards, particularly flooding. The study assesses how one form of collective action, burial societies, can be used by members to overcome flood hazards. The findings suggest that the reciprocity principle in burial societies makes them a useful mechanism for flood management. However, there remains a gap in our knowledge on the ability of burial societies to respond to climate-induced shocks, and the issues that need to be addressed to make burial societies more appropriate to deal with flooding. These issues are outlined in the conclusion.
 
This paper integrates information on climate-change, hydrodynamic models, and geographic overlays to assess the vulnerability of coastal areas in Bangladesh to larger storm surges and sea-level rise (SLR) by 2050. The approach identifies polders, coastal populations, settlements, infrastructure, and economic activity at risk of inundation, and estimates the damage from storm surge inundation versus the cost of several adaptation measures. A 27-centimetre SLR and 10% intensification of wind speed resulting from global warming suggest that the vulnerable zone increases in size by 69% given a +3-metre inundation depth, and by 14% given a +1-metre inundation depth. Estimates indicate investments including strengthening polders, foreshore afforestation, additional multi-purpose cyclone shelters, cyclone-resistant private housing, and further strengthening of the early warning and evacuation system would cost more than $2.4 billion, with an annual recurrent cost of more than $50 million. These estimates can serve as a prototype in climate negotiations of the adaptation costs of extreme weather events.
 
The carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) has become one of the most important and universal measures adopted to mitigate climate change. As the largest emitter and a major developing country, China is also preparing for the introduction of a mandatory cap-and-trade pilot scheme. This article takes a close look at the ETS for China from a legal perspective. If China is to have a new carbon market, that market will undoubtedly need to have a legal basis. The following three central pillars of the legal basis for a cap-and-trade programme are analysed under China's legislative framework: first, the government should have power to set limits on the total amount of certain greenhouse gas (GHG); second, the regulated entities must be under obligation to reduce emissions; and third, the participating entities should have legitimate interests of legal right to emit certain amounts of GHG. It can be found that policy and principle of carbon trading in China are clear and definite, but the legal basis and legal support for operating the carbon market are quite obscure. Without explicit legal provisions and prudent regulatory authority, it is doubtful that emissions trading can be successfully applied to address climate change.
 
The need for international cooperation to deal with the global environmental consequences of natural resource use was first recognized in 1972. Now, the ‘sink’ constraints of the planet have taken natural resource scarcity to a new dimension, highlighting the interdependencies of the global society in providing development opportunities for all people within the boundaries of the natural environment. Consequently, the key drivers of sustainable development should be defined in terms of enhancing services provided by the global ecosystem for human wellbeing, rather than in terms of merely controlling global environmental degradation, to ensure equity. The various mechanisms evolved through global negotiations to deal with shared environmental problems, such as climate change, fall short because they are not located within a larger debate on dealing with human wellbeing and instead focus only on limiting damage. The post 2012 future should, therefore, focus on modifying consumption patterns, enhancing non-market services provided by ecological services and blurring the distinction between environment and development that emerged in 1992.
 
Climate change is increasingly altering the pattern of climate-related risks. Developing countries and in particular least developed countries will be among the most severely impacted by climate change. These risks can seem remote in comparison with more immediate threats and needs, but if climate change is not considered upfront in existing planning and policymaking processes today, decision makers risk locking-in future impacts that may prove irreversible or much more costly and difficult to rectify than is necessary. The challenge for planners and policymakers, explored in this paper, is that future climate conditions are deeply uncertain. Decision methods are available to tackle these problems; however, these tend to be data- and resource-intensive and therefore, difficult to routinely apply. Further, a gap in currently available guidance is the explicit link to the adaptation needs of a developing country. We discuss the implications of this development context for the priorities for adaptation and the relative allocation of efforts in adaptation. This paper focuses on the identification of adaptation options and strategies that are robust to the deep uncertainties in future climate risk, culminating in a framework of six building blocks. It takes the perspective of exploring how decisions today might be adjusted to account for uncertain and changing long-term climate risks. We suggest a core principle is to focus on promoting climate-resilient development and increasing long-term adaptive capacity while, crucially, avoiding inflexible decisions that could lock-in future climate risk or foreclose adaptation options.
 
Combine the intervention theory (program theory) approach with the value chain approach! Use the term "assessment" instead of "ex ante evaluation"! Regarding climate action as anticipated, positive side effects on non-climate policies may be fruitful! Climate and Development, special Issue: International Mechanisms for Linking Climate and Development Policies. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2012.730979 (retrieved 20150304).
 
Climate change is presenting new and, to a large extent, unpredictable challenges to communities in Malawi and effective adaptation requires a well-coordinated organisational framework. This study looked at the success of organisations and the processes they employed for implementing policies that have implications for climate change adaptation in Malawi. This was done by assessing the linkages between different interest groups, as well as potential conflicts of interest between actors from the national to the local level. One of the major findings was that although national organisational and policy interventions seem to be well linked among various actors, community needs are mostly compromised. There is no effective communication between adaptation strategies which are proposed and the livelihood strategies in communities within the country. Local knowledge is given very little attention in formulating, communicating and implementing policies that have implications for adaptation to climate change. The study highlights inadequate human and financial resources to support climate change adaptation in Malawi. It also exposes the weak links between different stakeholders and the subsequent lack of collective commitment. Results suggest that there is a lot of talk about climate change adaptation strategies but the actual implementation needs improvement.
 
This paper examines the challenges and opportunities for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to integrate climate change adaptation into development projects, focusing on the potential contribution of community-generated information. The research, undertaken with agricultural NGO FARM-Africa, centres upon subsistence farming communities in the Kenyan Districts of Mwingi and Kitui, where a succession of droughts has blighted agricultural production in recent years. Discussions with FARM-Africa staff highlight how recent climate variability and possibly climate change, is already affecting project-level operations. In particular, the interaction between the secondary impacts of climate hazards and livelihood responses presents a challenge to local staff as there is no obvious means of reflecting the complexity of local experiences and impacts within project planning processes. In response, drawing upon discussions with Farmer Groups, a matrix for each community was developed comprising environmental, social and agro-economic hazard (drought) consequence indicators and corresponding measures under ‘extreme’, ‘severe’ and ‘moderate’ scenarios. This paper concludes that a structured approach to gathering locally held knowledge on the consequences of climate hazards appears to present a potentially valuable means of exploring the complex web of interactions between climate, livelihoods and vulnerability. Such community-generated information can be used to inform future project planning and community decision making, increasing the likelihood of achieving locally appropriate adaptation outcomes.
 
This paper provides empirical evidence of agricultural adaptation strategies being adopted in the Mid-Hills regions of Nepal in response to climate change. Farmers were interviewed across four districts and climate change observations were reported, most notably those of increased temperatures and unpredictable precipitation. Agricultural adaptation strategies adopted in response to climate change were varied, with agroforestry and organic farming being the most popular practices. Most adaptation strategies were thought to be development-facing actions to reduce vulnerability, rather than specifically addressing climate change. From this research it is evident that indigenous knowledge, financial support and increased accessibility all play a pivotal role for successful climate change adaptation in the Mid-Hills. This case study provides valuable evidence-based research of autonomous adaptation techniques in a highly climate-vulnerable location of Nepal. Recommendations are made for donors to learn from best-practice and adopt local knowledge when investing in climate change adaptation strategies to most effectively reduce the vulnerability of some of the world's poorest communities.
 
Crop-growing environments, cropping systems and production constraints in Nepal. Source: Sthapit (1983).
Climate change continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of small farmers of Nepal. Given the importance of Nepal's agriculture to the nation's economy, potential impacts of climate variability and change on national food security is a cause for concern. Notwithstanding this challenge, efforts are being made to identify the climate-change impacts on agriculture and actions that farmers and their supporting institutions can take to adapt. The repository of local agro-ecological knowledge available across Nepalese communities is worth exploring. This study, through analysis of four examples of innovative agricultural practices – referred to here as niche-based, details the responses of farmers and their supporting institutions to climatic limitations in Nepal. We identify and synthesize commonalities of the four case studies that may be integral to climate-change adaptation as: (1) the need for participation, flexibility and integration of all stakeholders in the process of innovating adaptation technologies; and (2) the potential for farmers (end-users) and their supporting institutions to take on more leadership and responsibility to sustain the effectiveness of adaptation measures.
 
The private sector is increasingly being engaged in climate finance and climate-related activities. Private sector opportunities for engagement in climate change adaptation are less clear than for mitigation, particularly in developing countries. This article first conceptualizes private sector engagement in adaptation by exploring (1) different roles of the private sector in adaptation in developing countries and (2) the way governments can create an enabling environment to increase private sector engagement. Second, it analyses how 47 least developed countries (LDCs) envisage the role of the private sector in their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). This article argues that private sector engagement in adaptation is often inevitable and potentially significant. Yet, the results show that it receives little attention in NAPAs. This may have three explanations: (1) an intentional approach of LDCs to avoid a distraction from the necessity to scale up public funding; (2) a lack of awareness of the potential of the private sector; and (3) the NAPA formulation guidelines focus on the public sector in the context of public financing, potentially causing path dependency. Developed countries’ historic responsibility for emissions obliges them to upscale public climate finance. At the same time, however, LDCs should further explore private sector engagement in adaptation.
 
Changes in climatic conditions and increases in weather variability affect human health directly and indirectly, including through agricultural changes and urban warming. Adaptation to climate change is receiving increasing attention, given, now, the inevitability of further climate change and its diverse impacts. However, with increased international funding for adaptation comes challenges such as ensuring supportive national policy environments for developing and implementing effective adaptation activities. Adaptation at community and population levels is underpinned by governance processes, such as the nature by which decisions are taken and implemented by government, community and private organizations. Thus an understanding of the policy context is necessary to identify the factors that enable or inhibit adaptation policy and programmes. This article examines to what degree there exist enabling factors to support the development of adaptation policy and activities, with relevance to the health sector. Results of a policy analysis are presented, which used stakeholder participation to investigate the context in which adaptation decisions were made within organizations across different sectors in Cambodia. Five factors were identified as critical components of the governance environment: (1) policy development processes; (2) the existence of a political recognition of climate change and (3–5) the organizational barriers relating to coordination, funding and lack of information. Without achieving a supportive policy environment, future adaptation actions are likely to have limited effect.
 
Based on recognized gaps in adaptation research the article begins by identifying the need to empirically investigate the ‘governance of adaptation’. Drawing on Kooiman's interactive governance framework, the study examines through collaborative methodology how adaptation agency and the space for adaptation is constructed and restricted in the case of an Indigenous reindeer herding community in Sweden. Findings demonstrate that climate change and variability is currently a matter of concern. The greatest problem, however, is the diminishing space for adaptation due to accumulated pressure of predation and competing land-uses in combination with herders’ lack of direct and indirect power to influence the actors and institutional factors currently limiting adaptation options. This study carries relevance not only for reindeer herding communities in Sweden, but also for the general adaptation literature in demonstrating that limits and barriers to adaptation can be essentially political; requiring the making of hard choices and hence active governmental intervention. It also shows that marginalized groups, even in contexts where adaptive capacity is considered high, are likely to remain highly vulnerable with restricted adaptation opportunities unless deliberate structural and institutional transformation are initiated.
 
This study applies programme theory to analyse ways in which adaptation to climate change may emerge as a consequence of development polices, specifically by examining the case of rice production in Mozambique. The case study indicates that adaptation and development interact better when policies are designed to integrate different needs, and that existing processes like the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) can help to mainstream adaptation into development policies while keeping objectives separate. The assessment shows that synergies between development and adaptation can be promoted to increase adaptive capacity and implement adaptation measures. A Sustainable Development Policies and Measures (SD-PAM) mechanism, similar to the one more commonly discussed for mitigation, can also be used to identify, finance and monitor adaptation through development activities. NAPAs can further facilitate the identification of common resources, leverage mechanisms and activities required for success in adaptation and development interventions. Adaptation can be integrated into development interventions, as well as into institutional arrangements, resource management and legal frameworks. Integration of adaptation can also support sustainable development through a systemic consideration of the assumptions and interventions in development policies. The implementation of adaptation could be advanced through targeted development interventions that create traceable adaptation benefits through mechanisms that incentivize and support sustainable development policies and measures.
 
Climate change may lead to shifts in the distribution and prevalence of a range of diseases that already pose severe health threats in many developing countries. In order to understand better both human vulnerability to those changes and prospects for adaptation, it is important to direct research attention in this field to aspects of the health behaviour of people currently exposed to disease risk. This review paper explores the potential for building on health behaviour theory to frame analysis of adaptive capacity to climate-sensitive infectious diseases at the grassroots level. It focuses on vector-borne diseases currently endemic in many lower-income countries and draws on existing behavioural studies to examine the applicability and limitations of a social cognitive approach. The review suggests that such an approach has clear value for deepening analysis of adaptive capacity, but needs to be complemented by a wider understanding of how adaptive behaviour is likely to be socially structured, economically constrained and modified over time.
 
Vulnerability assessments (VAs) are the dominant method to establish who and what is vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Researchers and practitioners typically use VAs to measure material vulnerability in terms of unbalanced sets of assets and institutional vulnerability regarding socially differentiated access to rights and decision-making processes. However, as scholarship on vulnerability and adaptation aligns in a better manner with development and sustainability priorities and focuses more explicitly on interrelations between climate and global change, creative complementary approaches to understanding vulnerability are needed, both conceptually and methodologically. This article discusses the generational shifts of climate change VAs over the last 25 years, their achievements and blind spots. We note declining attention to broad structural and relational drivers of vulnerability and inequality, and an inadequate understanding of vulnerability dynamics which hampers forward-looking change processes. To remedy these blind spots, and based on the reflections on building adaptive capacity coupled with emergent debates on societal transformation, we propose a comprehensive framework for Inequality and Transformation Analyses. The framework, fusing previously fractured approaches, combines assessments of structural and relational drivers of inequalities and marginalization as well as possible solution spaces with reflective and relational opportunities for anticipatory learning and transformative change. It contributes to alternative framings for a more relational research agenda on social-ecological vulnerability and adaptation.
 
Rural women in Botswana are predominantly dependent on subsistence agriculture and natural products from the wild (natural environment). The effects of climate change and variability affect their sources of livelihoods. Over the years, through experience and interaction women have developed resilience to climate variability and change. Through government policy implementation and traditional knowledge, women have managed to protect themselves against adverse effects of climate change. This paper investigates how rural women have developed resilience to climate change and variability. The emerging main adaptive strategies used by women are social interaction (and social learning) and the integration of local knowledge and new technologies to improve on their resilience to climate change.
 
This paper describes the conceptual and practical development and testing of the Rainfalls Agent-Based Migration Model – Tanzania (RABMM-T). Drawing upon the literature on the process of developing and parameterizing a social simulation in the absence of spatio-temporal data, the paper outlines the translation of the conceptual framework into a working agent-based model. The possible impact of a change in local rainfall variability and mean upon household income, food production, and therefore the resilience and migration of members, is simulated to permit consideration of the possible impact of the artificial scenarios tested. In addition to the influence of changing rainfall, other non-rainfall scenarios are tested to explore the scale of the changes simulated. It is proposed that while a relatively clear impact of rainfall scenarios upon household resilience is simulated, the impact upon migration of household members is generally less clear. Furthermore, demographic and societal changes to the model are also seen to clearly contribute to the simulation outputs generated. The paper concludes that RABMM-T offers the first step in developing a potentially valuable resource for producing comparable migration forecasts that consider a range of contributory mechanisms. However, careful parameterization is required to ensure the quality and value of model outputs.
 
Location of the research site (map prepared by Milan & Rossow).
Total rainfall and number of rainy days per year from the Shullcas meteorological station. Rain years are calculated from July to the following June.
Average monthly rainfall of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons versus long term average from the Shullcas meteorological station.
The relationship between climate change, environmental change and migration in mountain areas is a relatively understudied research topic, particularly from an empirical point of view. This article aims at contributing to the literature by analysing the relationship between increasing rainfall variability, livelihoods and human mobility in three rural communities located in the Central Highlands of Peru. Traditional rain-fed agriculture is the most important economic activity in the area. This article highlights differences in livelihood and human mobility patterns between households located at different altitudes. While at higher altitudes (above 3900 m.a.s.l.) non-agricultural diversification is limited, at lower altitudes (up to 3600 m.a.s.l.) non-agricultural diversification is widespread and income from non-agricultural activities exceeds agricultural income. In this rural–urban context, rainfall patterns influence local livelihoods and migration decisions through their effect on agricultural production. More than four-fifths of the population noted changes in rainfall patterns and their negative effect on livelihoods. However, mobility patterns in the area are determined primarily by broader economic considerations. In the lowlands, one or more members of most households commute daily to work in the city of Huancayo. In the highlands, households (or some of its members) often resettle there. In both cases, circular migration patterns (including daily mobility) can be identified and households combine the scarce income from agricultural production with urban income rather than abandoning the farming land.
 
SD benefits across project types. Note: Number of claimed economic, environmental and social SD criteria and +1 standard deviation are shown for each project type. Results for specific biomass energy projects are from this analysis. Results for other CDM project types are from results in Disch (2010). Number of biomass projects indicates the number of projects sampled in this study. The number of thousand Certified Emission Reductions per year (kCERs/yr) is the sum of the average number of kCERs/yr expected to be generated by projects sampled in this analysis during their first crediting period (UNEP Risoe Center, 2011). 
'Development dividend' index by region. Note: Figure shows the number of claimed SD benefits for economic, environmental and social criteria, with one standard deviation indicating the range. The number of projects sampled from each region is indicated in parentheses. The number of kCERs/yr is the sum of the average number of kCERs/yr expected to be generated by projects sampled in this analysis during their first crediting period (UNEP Risoe Center, 2011). 
Summary of biomass energy projects sampled in this analysis by project location, resource type and annual total thousand Certified Emission Reductions (kCERs) generated. 
Modern bioenergy sources are often viewed as important components of a low-carbon, energy-secure future. By reducing the dependence on imported fuel and providing new employment opportunities, bioenergy production has the potential to stimulate local economies in developing countries. Yet, given the diversity of biomass resources, options, markets and scales, a better understanding of how well different bioenergy project types can provide sustainable development is needed. This analysis evaluated how the potential for sustainable development benefits differs across five bioenergy project types, in order to help identify which project types are best positioned to provide such benefits. It systematically examines the benefits claimed in project design documents for 77 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) bioenergy projects in India, Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa. The claimed sustainable development benefits differ as widely among bioenergy project types as among all other CDM project types. Among CDM bioenergy projects, those that rely on agricultural farm residues claim to offer the greatest number of benefits, while those that rely on industrial forest residues the fewest. Improved sustainability assessment of biomass energy project types, benefitting from a requirement for ongoing monitoring of sustainable development benefits and on-the-ground post-implementation evaluations, are needed to guide priority-setting for international mitigation finance and CDM reform efforts.
 
Historical development of household biogas (unit: 10,000 digesters). Adapted from Hao (2010).  
Comparison between new and abandoned household digesters every year (unit: 10,000 units). Adapted from Hao (2010).  
Financial support from the government (unit: Remnimbi (RMB) 100 million yuan). Adapted from Hao (2010).  
This article is part of a special issue with the aim of assessing the potential for Sustainable Development – Policies and Measures (SD-PAM) to stimulate developing country commitments in a future climate regime. In China, agricultural waste products, particularly manure from animal husbandry, represent a local source of rural energy, which can possibly be utilised through simple biogas digesters, thereby promoting rural development. For at least 50 years China has promoted this among farmers’ not only with the goal of providing local clean energy for rural development, but also to improve health and reduce pressure on fuelwood. Until the early 2000s these policies failed or had limited impact, although substantial subsidy-based programmes in the past decade have led to considerable growth. However, our field trip interviews suggest that this growth hides deep-rooted problems. For biogas to fulfil its potential, it is crucial that the policy adapts to the changing realities of Chinese livestock production. Arguably, policies to promote rural biogas combine development goals with mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in a way that matches well with an SD-PAM mechanism. There are two main ways in which China could benefit from submitting its rural biogas policies to an SD-PAM-based regime. Such a biogas programme could get access to technology and funding for large-scale biogas systems and/or opportunities to sell credits. However, it would need to adapt to the international requirements and to accept international monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV). Alternatively, China could register its rural biogas programme as a unilateral SD-PAM, with less strict MRV requirements. This may win China recognition for its domestic policies, but would then not provide a mechanism for bringing international knowhow or possible financing to China.
 
Location of the research area (map prepared by Milan & Rossow).
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) and mean monthly temperature (°C) in the study area (years 1977 – 2011). Source: Elaboration of the authors on data from INSIVUMEH, Labor Ovalle Meteorological Station, Quetzaltenango. 
Annual rainfall (mm) in the study area (1977–2011). Source: Elaboration of the authors on data from INSIVUMEH, Labor Ovalle Meteorological Station, Quetzaltenango.
This article presents data and insights on rainfall variability, food insecurity and migration in four rural mountain communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. In mountain areas, climatic patterns and impacts change over short distances and no meteorological station is located within the range of a few kilometres from the selected communities. Therefore, rainfall patterns and impacts were investigated with local communities in a participatory way. Rainfall is crucial for local livelihoods because their most important source of food is the yearly harvest of a rain-fed corn-based crop sub-system called milpa. The great majority of survey respondents and participants in the participatory research approach sessions believe that climatic conditions have worsened in the last 20 years and are affecting their food production. They also remarked that the profitability of in situ diversification options is decreasing and associated with decreasing migration opportunities. These trends expose local populations to the risk of becoming trapped in the near future in a place where they are extremely vulnerable to climate change. In fact, no long-term risk-management and livelihood diversification strategy, including ex situ strategies, seems to be sustainable for people in the study area.
 
This study analyses the feasibility of China's electric car policies as a potential Sustainable Development – Policies and Measures (SD-PAM)/National Appropriate Mitigation Action credited action. In doing so, it brings an additional perspective to the discussion regarding institutional arrangements intended to promote climate mitigation through development policies, by highlighting the particular challenges of introducing a new technology in an environment where there have been no previous policies. The article confirms the large mitigation potential of similar policies in the Chinese context. Yet, it also highlights some potential problems in making it an SD-PAM. One concerns the challenges of establishing baseline criteria and time scales for greenhouse gas mitigation as well as finding a suitable definition of additionality. Second, it provides insights into some particular implementation problems in the Chinese context related to appointment and budget matters. Third, it illustrates the problems of finding external support for a technology transfer that effectively helps the Chinese to leapfrog many development steps to effectively create a gigantic and competitive market. Finally, it argues that there might be geopolitical reasons why China may not be interested in national SD-PAM projects.
 
Distribution of projects by type.
Distribution of project developers by type.
Distribution of projects by discourse.
Distribution by discourse affiliation and project type.
Key elements of the discourses of sustainable development, strong and weak versions of ecological modernization.
This paper focuses on market responses to climate change, specifically a particular example of voluntary carbon market development, in sub-Saharan Africa, and seeks to identify the principles of sustainability that carbon markets draw upon. We explore how key discourses and their application in the context of the carbon market construct a vision of sustainability. We argue that the prevalence of neoliberal and technocratic ideas and values preferring weak ecological modernization, coupled with the contemporary climate regime, marginalize alternative perspectives on climate-constrained development, thus weakening prospects of averting the dangerous impacts of a changing climate. The analysis is based on the evaluation of 78 projects in the voluntary market across supply chains in 23 countries in the region.
 
A considerable number of development activities could be negatively affected by the impacts of climate change. Accordingly, it is important for climate change to be taken into consideration in the early stages of development plans and projects. Climate Proofing for Development is an approach consisting of specific analytical steps, which was developed by GIZ (Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) to systematically assess climate risks and opportunities in development planning and to help identify and prioritise necessary responses. The approach has been applied in over 10 countries. It builds on the participation of different experts and stakeholders in the process and is flexible enough to be used at different levels. Lessons learned from the application of the approach in Mali, Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries include the importance of creating a common understanding of impacts of climate change in a given area, identifying the right stakeholders, finding good entry points in the planning process, and integrating the results into monitoring and evaluation procedures.
 
Current climate change protocols only marginally address the issue of technology transfer, and where they do, financing is far from what is necessary. This article proposes a new technology transfer mechanism, labelled Green Technology Banks, as part of a climate change agreement that includes emission limits for developed and developing countries. We evaluate the mechanism according to the following five criteria, standard in the literature that analyses technology-oriented agreements: environmental effectiveness, technological effectiveness, economic efficiency, incentives for participation and administrative feasibility. Under the assumption that several permit markets exist that are imperfectly linked, we show that the mechanism performs well according to the specified criteria, while the largest obstacle remains the acceptance of emission limits by developing countries. However, ancillary benefits, access to advanced technology and increased government revenue from emission trading represent a sizeable compensation package. Developed countries would have to shoulder most of the cost, but considering the recent efforts to establish the Green Climate Fund as part of new international climate change architecture, the willingness to pay for such efforts seems to be on the rise.
 
Participatory processes are increasingly promoted by various groups as among the best approaches to increase efficiency, democracy and equity in decisions involving climate forecasts. Yet little is understood about the interaction between participation and its surrounding socio-cultural environment in the context of the dissemination and use of climate forecasts. This article draws on two case studies: water allocation choices in Brazil and agricultural decision making in Uganda. The focus is on two under-studied aspects of participatory processes: (1) the social norms of interactions that affect activity and outcomes through exclusion, pre-meetings, alliances, language and non-linguistic events; and (2) the diversity of goals and outcomes that motivate participation, including desire for consensus, social networking and community building. These norms and goals often result in behaviours and outcomes unanticipated by the promoters. We argue that the influence of socio-cultural context on the process is not only an unavoidable characteristic of participation, but also what makes it possible in the first place, bringing meaning and purpose to the activity for many participants.
 
This article addresses the interrelation between rainfall variability, food insecurity and human mobility in three villages located in the Same District, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, namely the villages Vudee, Bangalala and Ruvu Mferejini which are of distinct elevation and precipitation levels. It runs a comparison between the three villages and shows that there is a positive relationship between rainfall shortage and out-migration, after taking other important demographic and socio-economic factors into account, such as age, wealth and education. The article further argues that the mechanism through which rainfall variability affects human mobility in the research site is food insecurity for humans and livestock.
 
The Development & Climate Days celebrated its 10th anniversary at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 18 in Doha, Qatar (1–2 December 2012). With a vision of re-energizing the original purpose of bringing together policy-makers, practitioners and researchers for intensely participatory learning, dialogue and networking, this event convened over 200 negotiators, policy-makers, scientists, funding agencies and development practitioners. A highly interactive, out-of-the-box programme featured ‘speed networking’ icebreaker sessions, experiential learning games about climate risk management and development, sharply moderated discussions, high-level panels and a ‘Beyond the Film Festival’. Without support from the habitual Powerpoint presentation format, each of these sessions aimed to foster an environment of collaboration among participants, and inject serious fun into the climate and development dialogue processes. Key messages emerging from the event included: (i) considering ways to reduce social exclusion and generating ‘constituencies of demand’, in order to place the injustice of climate change in a political agenda guided by science, (ii) addressing the role of sub-national governments in delivering climate and development financing at community level, (iii) integrating climate services into climate-smart development, and (iv) improving understanding of Loss and Damage from the research, policy and practice perspectives.
 
Top-cited authors
Ioan Fazey
  • The University of York
Christopher Lyon
  • The University of York
Robert Zougmore
  • International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics
David Mkwambisi
  • Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Patti Kristjanson
  • Independent Consultant