Friday, November 25, 2011

Malawi study reveals climate adaptation costs

Nyasa Times (Malawi): A study done in Malawi and other countries in Asia and Africa has revealed that efforts to assess what is needed to adapt agriculture to a changing climate often miss the point by trying to estimate an overall price tag that fails to reflect the diversity of the sector. The results have been summarized in a briefing paper published by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) on Friday.

Dr Muyeye Chambwera at the IIED in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP) led the study that was also done in Bangladesh, Nepal, Rwanda and Tanzania. They sought to identify ways to assess the cost of adapting different agricultural systems from the local level, as each will respond in a different way to climate change.

Chambwera says climate vulnerable countries need to combine better information about the costs of damage and investments in adaptation at the farm level with improved climate data. According to Dr Chambwera, adaptation means many different things in different contexts.

“The cost of adapting a integrated farming system in a village in Nepal could be US$20,000 per year, that of a rain-fed maize system in a district of Malawi’s US$55 million, and protecting the entire livestock sector of Tanzania could cost up to US$280 million — with all costs likely to treble by 2030,” he said...

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