9, April, 2014

ELLA Learning Alliance on Climate Change Adaptation in Semi-arid and Arid Regions – Module 3: Long-term Considerations

Based on a wide breadth of experiences with climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, practitioners from Africa, Asia, and Latin America discussed their local climate realities, identifying shared challenges and exploring what could be learned from one another to improve long-term considerations of climate change adaptation in arid and semi-arid lands in developing regions.

The previous module covered a variety of topics, such as the use of small-scale technologies for adaptation, including their potential limits under increasing climatic variability; the diverse role of community institutions in enhancing adaptive capacity, including coordination, exchange of information, and training; the role of women in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) to help increase the adaptive capacity of their families; and the question of whether or not the effectiveness of indigenous knowledge will suffer from climatic impacts, including how best to combine traditional with modern knowledge to increase effectiveness.

Despite the geographic diversity of the Learning Alliance participants, their discussions on climate change adaptation (CCA) exhibited similar perspectives and goals regarding best practices for policy design and implementation strategies to address existing and near-term impacts of climate change. However, an important question remained with respect to adaptation: how to mainstream, finance and plan adaptation processes that incorporate no-regret strategies for today, while accommodating tools and processes that cater for the known and unknown of our future climate? This third and final module of the Learning Alliance focused on exploring these issues by drawing on Latin American examples and encouraging participants to share experiences from ASALs in their regions.

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Key Conclusions:

  • Broadly, the main issues for successful long-term CCA are clear political will at all levels of governance, direct involvement of local communities, sustained funding mechanisms that prioritise cross-sectoral interventions and solutions, and funding that is connected to private businesses that support the application of new CCA technologies.
  • Reducing existing vulnerabilities and preparing for upcoming climate change impacts can only succeed in a context where pro-poor development strategies properly account for the manifold needs of communities in ASALs.
  • In order to know whether CCA initiatives are on track to meet long-term goals, monitoring and evaluating (M&E) is essential.

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