Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Communities the key to adaptation in Zimbabwe

Jeffrey Gogo in via the Herald (Zimbabwe): Indigenous knowledge and active community participation will be critical in any strategy that seeks to deal effectively with the impacts of climate change in Zimbabwe. These are the findings from a report, "Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation in Zimbabwe", released last month by the International Institute for Environment and Development. The paper strongly advocates a community-based approach (CBA) to climate change adaptation and in addressing vulnerability along with other climate impacts.

For effectiveness, it recommends that the Zimbabwe Government re-think participation in CBA projects as an instrument for empowering communities to influence policy-making at all levels as well as consider climate information including scientific data and local knowledge about trends and changes.

Drawing from practical vulnerability and adaptation experiences in several areas across Zimbabwe, the paper examines the impacts of climate change on vulnerable sectors including health, water, energy, agriculture, human settlement, gender, forestry and biodiversity and tourism. Adaptation projects have been piloted with measurable success in Chiredzi, Wedza, Shurugwi, Mberengwa and some sections of Matabeleland.

A key similar finding from the case studies was that climate change and variability was already impeding or reversing development, particularly in relation to poverty reduction, agricultural livelihoods and human health....

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