Climate-smart women in Pakistan
The climate resilience programme assists communities to resist, absorb and recover from climate change. Climate change can irreversibly damage the natural resource base rural communities depend on, affecting their right to food. Lack of resilience is caused by among other things a limited knowledge and capacity to adapt to climate change. Though the effects of climate change are disproportionate, the poorest are the most vulnerable in both rural and urban settings. However, they are seldom included in decision-making or organised at community, national and international levels.
In 2018, targeted communities worked to mitigate risk by creating context specific minimum standards for structural interventions. Minimum standards are needed simply to keep people safe and protect their assets. Investing in the planting of vegetation around structures has protected important infrastructure, such as roads, schools, buildings, bridges, housing, storage facilities and water supply schemes. In Angola, twenty communities developed minimum standards for water-related structural interventions that protect water sources and distribution.
Communities have worked to adapt their food production to changes in climate. Across the programme in 2018, 14,500 households were trained in agricultural practices better adapted to climate change. Farmers in Ethiopia showed that it is possible to significantly reduce yield gaps even in a continuous drought, if climate-smart agricultural methods are applied. The net deficit gap has been reduced by 600 kilos per hectare in project areas, from 1,380 kilos in 2015 down to 740 kilos in 2018. An additional 20% of the total programme area comprising of 7,100 hectares of land is under climate-smart agricultural management.
Sustainable land management is critical to withstand the impact of floods and droughts. It requires collaboration of communities and local governments. A shift in mindset is noted in all the countries working with this programme, as rights-holders and duty bearers now consider the value of trees higher than the sheer value of the timber they produce. In Burundi, faith leaders have embraced the massive reforestation initiatives of the programme. A review of the Burundi programme verified that the target coverage of sustainable land management plans has already nearly been reached, in 2018 at 95% (baseline 0). In Guatemala, a total of five Environmental Impact Assessments have been conducted as part of the development of sustainable land management plans.
A proactive approach to climate change necessitates long-term solutions where communities themselves can manage, maintain and implement measures. Targeted communities now have better capacity and are more and more being recognised by the authorities for their role in Disaster Risk Management. NCA’s partners have been successful in establishing 127 community task forces in 2018 that can prepare for climate shocks and respond within 72 hours from the onset of an emergency. In Haiti, task forces have become specialised in village early warning communication, mitigating the severe effects of cyclones. As part of their preparations, they regularly perform mock drills indicating a mature resilience mechanism.
As a result of investments made in fostering south-south exchanges on climate resilience facilitated by NCA across its offices, colleagues from NCA Zambia certified by the Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre in 2018 assisted in NCA and its partners’ response to cyclone Idai in Malawi in 2019.