Adaptation to Changing Climate: Promoting Community-based Approaches in the Developing Countries
Climate change is a reality, although its specific impacts in various parts of the world are unknown. In addition to the long-term effort of curbing greenhouse gasemissions, it will be essential to be prepared for shorter-term changes. Adaptation to climate change will be a major challenge to vulnerable communities, especially in coastal areas and regions susceptible to climatic hazards, such as floods and drought. This article describes two novel international initiatives that work in the field in the developing countries to test and pilot approaches to community-based adaptation. Their goal is to generate knowledge about how to achieve adaptation at the local level and ultimately to reduce community vulnerability to climate-related hazards. Emphasis is given to participatory approaches to planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation that would promote identification of successful approaches and learning from experience. In order to achieve sustainability and replication of effective initiatives, it is essential to incorporate climate risk and disaster management into local development policies.