Tag Archives: Adaptation

“Advancing climate resilient development pathways since the IPCC’s fifth assessment report” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “Advancing climate resilient development pathways since the IPCC’s fifth assessment report” has just been published in the journal Environmental Science and Policy. The paper, led by Saskia Werners with an author team that includes Katharine Vincent, reviews conceptual and empirical advances on climate resilient development pathways since the IPCC’s fifth assessment report.

Through a literature review, this paper analyses goals and approaches for climate resilient development pathways, and discusses what conceptual advances have and could still be made. It finds little evidence of dedicated concept development. Rather, the years that have passed since the IPCC fifth assessment report have been characterised by conceptual ambiguity. Literature showed four non-exclusive clusters of approaches: (a) climate action oriented, (b) social-learning and co-creation oriented, (c) mainstreaming oriented and (d) transformation oriented. The paper recommends operationalising climate resilient development pathways as the process of consolidating climate action and development decisions towards long-term sustainable development, which requires explicit engagement with aspirations of actors, and connecting past developments with future aspirations and understandings of risk. A greater focus is needed on issues linked to justice and equity as climate resilient development pathways will inevitably involve trade-offs. Substantiating the concept of climate resilient development pathways has the potential to bridge climate and development perspectives, which may otherwise remain separated in development and climate policy, practice and science.

“Tailored climate projections to assess site-specific vulnerability of tea production” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “Tailored climate projections to assess site-specific vulnerability of tea production” has just been published in the journal Climate Risk Management. The paper, led by Neha Mittal with a team that included Katharine Vincent, draws on research conducted across a variety of contexts conducted under the Future Climate for Africa programme, explains the process of co-producing decision-relevant climate information to enable adaptation within the tea sector in Malawi and Kenya.

Tailored climate change information is essential to understand future climate risks and identify relevant adaptation strategies. However, distilling and effectively communicating decision-relevant information from climate science remains challenging. The paper presents the development and application of an iterative stakeholder engagement approach and a Site Specific Synthesis of Projected Range (SPR), to co-produce future climate information for Africa’s largest tea producing nations – Kenya and Malawi – for the mid-and late-21st century. SPR demonstrates site-specificity, showing risks of large changes in tea crop sensitive metrics, notably substantial increases in heatwave days and large decreases in cold nights by 2050s compared to the current climate. Having this information enables stakeholders in the tea sector to identify location-specific adaptation strategies and investment priorities, potentially safeguarding supply- chains and millions of livelihoods.

“Gender, migration and environmental change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta” New chapter led by Kulima

A chapter on “Gender, migration and environmental change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta“, by Katharine Vincent, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Attila Lazar and Anwara Begum, is part of a newly-published book “Engendering Climate Change: Learning from South Asia“.

Patterns of who migrates, where and for how long are strongly gendered. Against this backdrop, environmental change is altering the context in which migration takes place. The chapter outlines some of the theory on migration and gender, on how environmental change affects migration, and the gendered effects of environmental migration. It illustrates arguments using primary data from a sex-disaggregated survey of 1356 households in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, from which it is concluded that migration flows and consequences exhibit gender differences and that environmental change plays an integral role. The chapter concludes with some insights into future environmental change and its potential effects on migration patterns in Bangladesh.

“Climate Risk in Africa. Adaptation and Resilience” New edited book with inputs from Kulima

An edited volume "Climate Risk in Africa. Adaptation and Resilience" has just been released, documenting the experiences across the Future Climate For Africa programme. The book, co-edited by Declan Conway and Katharine Vincent, explains how adaptation is a learning process that requires the bringing together of lots of people with different knowledge and experiences. It showcases various ways in which scientists partnered and worked with decision-makers – through co-production, transdisciplinary partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagement processes – to generate decision-relevant climate information to enable effective adaptation to climate change. Case studies cover a range of African countries, including Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Burkina Faso, and sectors from agriculture to water to urban planning.

“Adaptation interventions and their effect on vulnerability in developing countries: Help, hindrance or irrelevance?” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Adaptation interventions and their effect on vulnerability in developing countries: Help, hindrance or irrelevance?" has just been published in the journal World Development. The paper, led by Siri Eriksen with an author team of 20, including Katharine Vincent, uses a review of 33 empirical studies, nearly 200 papers, and the insights of the authors to highlight how some interventions inadvertently reinforce, redistribute or create new sources of vulnerability. These maladaptive outcomes result from shallow understanding of the vulnerability context; inequitable stakeholder participation in both design and implementation; a retrofitting of adaptation into existing development agendas; and a lack of critical engagement with how ‘adaptation success’ is defined. Overcoming these shortcomings requires shifting the terms of engagement between adaptation practitioners and the local populations participating in adaptation interventions; expanding the understanding of ‘local’ vulnerability to encompass global contexts and drivers of vulnerability; and promoting learning processes within organisations and with marginalised populations. It concludes by asking whether scholarship and practice need to take a post-adaptation turn akin to post-development, by seeking a pluralism of ideas about adaptation while critically interrogating how these ideas form part of the politics of adaptation and potentially the processes (re)producing vulnerability.

“Adaptation pathways: A review of approaches and a learning framework” New paper in Environmental Science and Policy, with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Adaptation pathways: A review of approaches and a learning framework" has just been published in the journal Environmental Science and Policy. The paper, led by Saskia Werners with Russell Wise, James Butler, Edmond Totin and Katharine Vincent, is an output of the recently-finished Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia. Based on a review of the literature, the paper finds three clusters of approaches to adaptation pathways, namely (a) performance-threshold oriented, (b) multi-stakeholder oriented, and (c) transformation oriented, each of which broadly corresponds to three desired outcomes of pathways development, namely (i) meeting short and long-term adaptation needs, (ii) promoting collaborative learning, adaptive planning and adaptive capacity, (iii) accounting for complexity and long-term change, including a potential need for transformation. Based on the review, a learning framework then presents a number of propositions to guide systematic reflection about why and how adaptation pathways are developed. 

“Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs” New paper from the UMFULA project, led by Kulima

An output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just been published in Climate Services journal. "Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs" was led by Katharine Vincent, with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson, Joanna Pardoe and Neha Mittal. It is a methodological piece that unpacks the iterative process applied within UMFULA to determine what climate information would be of use to our partners in the water and agriculture sectors to better plan for the impacts of climate change over a 5-40 year period. It discusses how the choice and application of four existing social science methods (interview-informed role play workshop, open-ended interviews, prioritised surveys and enhanced surveys) arose out of, and was in turn embedded within, a different epistemological approach characteristic of co-production, and reflect on the evolution of our understanding of co-production as our assumptions were challenged, from the expectation that we would be able to “obtain” metrics from users, to a dynamic mutual definition based on better understanding of the decision-making contexts.

“Understanding gender differences in availability, accessibility and use of climate information among smallholder farmers in Malawi” New paper from the UMFULA project with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Understanding gender differences in availability, accessibility and use of climate information among smallholder farmers in Malawi" has just been published in Climate and Development. The paper, led by Dr Rebecka Henriksson with inputs from Katharine Vincent, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project. Ensuring smallholder farmers have access to climate information is important to enable adaptation, but access to it is strongly gendered. This study shows that both women prefer radio to access forecasts, but that women also like to access forecasts through a knowledge broker. Those farmers with higher levels of education (mostly men) prefer to also obtain forecasts via internet and cell phone. Understanding gendered preferences and barriers to climate information access is crucial for benefits of adaptation to be accessed equitably.

Cost estimate for the implementation of South Africa’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy released-with inputs from Kulima

South Africa's Department for Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has just released the Cost Estimate for Implementation of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The cost estimate was conducted by a team led by Cowater International that included Kulima director, Katharine Vincent, as the climate adaptation expert. The costing relies on an innovative methodology that involved scoping the activities on the short, medium and long timeframe within the 10 year implementation period, then costing them based on available data, accounting for inflation. Costing data is available per intevention, with breakdown by activity, and all assumptions around scope are transparent to show how figures were arrived at.

Kulima facilitated a remote validation workshop for the IGAD Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation

Yesterday Dr Katharine Vincent and colleagues from Cowater International facilitated a remote validation workshop for a Regional Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region. The validation, which was intended to take place face-to-face prior to Covid19-imposed travel restrictions, successfully brought together participants from the IGAD Secretariat, ICPAC, and the member states of Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The strategy is aligned with the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the draft IGAD Disaster Risk Management Strategy, together with relevant international and continental gender commitments. It has been based on international good practice and priorities identified through earlier consultations with government and non-government stakeholders in the IGAD Secretariat and among the member states.