Key issues on climate change
- Planning for climate change
- Climate change adaptation happens in two critical ways: through externally planned interventions and through autonomous action at the household and community level. Both are important processes and it is essential that planned interventions recognise existing community scale responses. There is a divide between top-down science and technical responses and bottom-up or community-based approaches that take a lead from social and economic vulnerability and capacity assessments. Aligning both the knowledge systems and responses from these two approaches is an important step in moving forward on adaptation planning. This guide focuses on introducing approaches and lessons in a number of core areas, complemented by links to key resources.
- Community radio and climate change
- Community radio is run by and for communities in local languages, often with programming focused on issues at the heart of local development, such as climate change and environmental degradation. The resources and case studies highlighted in this key issues guide have been selected to help community partners, researchers, and decision-makers learn more about how the strengths of radio can be harnessed, to help address the local impacts of climate change and see examples of good practice already underway in developing countries.
- Indigenous knowledge and climate change
- The potential of indigenous knowledge for informing observations of, and responses to climate change is an area of growing interest, particularly for those working at community level where access to other forms of “scientific” knowledge are inaccessible or incomplete, but increasingly in international forums as well. While this potential is exciting and may offer new ways to directly engage local communities, it also brings with it important concerns about power, rights, and ethics in engaging with these kinds of partnerships. This key issues guide provides resources for better understanding the relationship between indigenous knowledge and climate change, the potential this relationship may hold, and the challenges that may underlie it.
- Gender and climate change
- As weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable and extreme events become more common, the poorest women and men in the global South – who have contributed the least to the problem – find their livelihoods most threatened, yet have the weakest voice and least influence on climate policy. How then do we move towards more people-centred, gender-aware climate change policies and processes? How do we not only respond to the different needs and concerns of women and men, but also ensure they have an equal voice in decision-making in the face of climate change? This key issues guide is based on BRIDGE’s two year Gender and Climate Change Programme, which was run in collaboration with partners based in Paraguay, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Colombia and Germany – and a global community of practice.
- Disaster Risk Reduction
- Disasters are exerting an increasing toll on developing and developed countries, destroying lives and livelihoods and hampering development processes. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is founded on the belief that whilst although disasters are inevitable, death and suffering from them is not and humans can take action to ensure this. With increasing number of disasters being linked to changing climatic conditions, and the escalating frequency of droughts, floods and cyclones, disaster risk reduction is rapidly becoming a key issue in development and climate change policy. This key issues guide presents a critical overview of current DRR practice and policy, highlights new emerging trends and recommends further reading.
- Tackling poverty in a changing climate
- Tackling poverty in a changing climate is going to be critical if our international response to climate change is going to encourage, not constrain, development. Yet at the same time, it is a very large topic, and this Key Issues guide cannot, and does not, attempt to be a one-stop ‘how-to’ guide to ending poverty in the context of climate change. Rather, the approach we take is to consider four processes which we feel will have fundamental implications for climate change and poverty efforts, but which perhaps do not currently receive the attention they deserve. These processes are: deagrarianisation (a long-term de-linking of livelihoods in the global south from agriculture); urbanisation; migration; and equity and economic growth.
- Adaptive Social Protection
Given the increasingly complex and interlinked array of risks that poor and vulnerable people face, it is likely that approaches to vulnerability reduction, such social protection, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, will not be sufficient in the long run if they continue to be applied in isolation from one another. In light of this challenge, researchers at IDS have coined the term ‘Adaptive Social Protection’ (ASP) to describe policies and programmes that combine these as a means to increase the livelihoods resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable people. This Key Issues guide explores the ASP concept, and presents a range of themes and reports exploring the links between social protection and climate variability and change in policy and practice in developing countries.
- Strengthening Climate Resilience
- 'By focusing on linkages between approaches, achieving a triple win of reducing disaster impacts, adapting to climate change and safeguarding development gains is possible' (Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, June 2010). This key issues guide interrogates the possibility through the lens and literature of disaster risk management, and asks whether a climate-smart version of disaster risk management can indeed aid climate change adaptation and protect development. In doing so, it considers what modifications of disaster risk management policy and practice are required, given that climate change is altering the frequency and magnitude of some hazards, increasing vulnerability and magnifying uncertainty.
- Children, climate change and disasters
Research and advocacy on children has been relatively marginalised in debates around climate change and disasters. There is a growing body of research on the impacts of disaster events and gradual climate change on children, especially on child health. Studies have shown that children are among the worst affected in the aftermath of natural disasters. With increasing number of disasters being linked to changing climatic conditions, and the escalating frequency of droughts, floods, water scarcity, malaria and vector-borne diseases, children are likely to be adversely affected both as children and in their adult lives. This key issues guide reviews these issues and recommends further reading.