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CBA add value to DRR & sustainable development approaches by building the adaptive capacity & resilience of vulnerable communities.



The challenges facing poor and marginalised communities in today’s society are multiple and complex; from economic crises, to natural disasters, to environmental degradation and conflict, all of which are increasing poor people’s vulnerability and posing significant challenges to securing their livelihoods.

Climate change threatens to exacerbate the problem further by creating an additional layer of uncertainty and risk for vulnerable communities to deal with, increasing the severity and frequency of disasters and jeopardising development gains made to date. The cost of ignoring these impacts will soon become impossible to meet.

An approach which draws on all sectors, contexts, levels and actors, from government officials to climate scientists, to vulnerable people themselves, recognising the contribution of the different knowledge, capacities and experiences of each.

CBA recognises the inherent adaptive capacity which exists within vulnerable populations and seeks to build on this .Adaptive capacity is central to building resilience because it involves the processes and capacities which enable continued response to a changing and uncertain climate over time.

Building resilience requires working at multiple levels with a range of different stakeholders. Climate resilient development will not be achieved through community action alone. A wider approach is required, in which local to national level actors work together to support community decision making and action in adapting to climate change and building resilience.

Category of the action

Communicating Coastal Risk and Resiliency

What actions do you propose?

The key actions are:

  1. Practical approaches to community based adaptation: CBA involves an integrated response which combines livelihoods and DRR strategies with building adaptive capacity and addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability, all of which is informed by climate knowledge and understanding of risk and uncertainty. CBA approaches are inclusive and participatory in order to facilitate meaningful involvement of all community groups, particularly the most vulnerable, alongside other stakeholders in the planning and decision making process.
  2. Participatory Scenario Planning for Climate Communication: Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP) is an approach which enables communities and local governments to use seasonal forecasts to develop climate resilient plans and advisories for livelihoods, DRR and sector services. PSP workshops bring together local actors with meteorological services who share seasonal forecasts and listen to local forecasts generated by communities. Participants collectively interpret the forecasts in light of current conditions, forecast probabilities and inherent uncertainties. They develop scenario based advisories which translate the forecasts and their probabilities into information which can be used to make development and DRR decisions at community and local levels. PSP provides a simple means of collectively understanding, interpreting and using forecasts to take advantage of opportunities and to help overcome the challenges experienced in changing climatic patterns such as shorter rainfall seasons, shifting of the time when rains start, extreme events such as flooding and extended drought periods amongst others.
  3. Community Adaptation Action Plans: Community adaptation action plans (CAAPs) empower communities to make their own collective decisions on priority actions they can take to better adapt to climate change. The CAAP’s contain agreed priorities and plans for adaptation for and by different groups. They are based on a series of participatory community analysis and planning discussions, starting with a climate vulnerability and capacity assessment (CVCA). The CVCA results are validated by the community as a whole leading to identification of potential adaptation actions. Gender based focus group discussions ensure that the priorities of men, women and youth are included. Focus groups deepen their exploration of critical causes of vulnerability and risk, and develop their development aspirations or goals to further refine the priority list of adaptation strategies.
  4. Integrating CBA into disaster risk reduction/early warning systems: Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and early warning systems (EWS) are essential responses where extreme climatic events threaten livelihood security. Community based DRR/EWS systems enable more localised information on vulnerability and capacity to be gathered leading to decisions and actions better suited to the local context.
  5. Farmer Field Schools: The Farmer Field School (FFS) approach provides a learning platform through which adaptive capacity of vulnerable farmers affected by climate change can be built, alongside the technical agriculture practices the schools are designed for. Through practical learning on a demonstration plot, farmers are able to share their experiences and observations, analyse their own techniques and local knowledge and assess the value of new practices introduced by extension workers. This promotes experimentation and innovation and leads to replication on their own farms and uptake by neighbours. One discussion which has been generated as a result of ALP supported FFS, is the need for access to weather information via text message sent to local disaster risk reduction agents or through radio. Early warning for cyclones and seasonal forecasts which give rainfall probability amounts and start and end dates can enable farmers to make better informed decisions about which crop and variety combinations to invest in on their own farms. ALP plans to further develop the FFS model by more explicitly including climate change awareness and adaptation planning.

Who will take these actions?

The key actors are:

Government leader, Climatologists, Hydrologists, Researchers, Farmers, NGOs, INGOs, Communication medias, Banks, Private sector, local civil society and governmental institutions and other concerned parties.

What are other key benefits?

The key benefits are:

  • Promotion of climate-resilient livelihoods strategies such as diversification of land use and incomes.
  • Disaster risk reduction strategies to reduce impacts of increasing climate-related natural disasters on vulnerable households.
  • Strengthening capacity in a) community adaptive capacity and b) local civil society and governmental institutions to better support communities in adaptation efforts.
  • Local and national level empowerment, advocacy and social mobilization to: a) address the underlying causes of vulnerability, such as poor governance, gender-based inequality over resource use, or limited access to basic services, and b) influence the policy and enabling environment.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Proposal cost will be determined by the type of project, site of project, duration of time, implementing agencies, type of technology used in project site and number of beneficiaries groups of local communities and vice versa.


Time line

Depending on the nature of project, site of project, amount of budget, type of technology used in project site and number of beneficiaries groups of local communities. Generally, the project time line in short term 2-5 years for baseline survey, creating awareness of local communities, building networks, Research on climate change in coastal areas. After, 5 years, in medium term 5-10 years, implement the project activities timely and monitor regularly. After, 10 years, long term evaluate the project goals and outcomes as well as number of beneficiaries groups of local communities.

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