Lessons from semi-arid regions on how to adapt to climate change
This blog by weADAPT discusses how farmers in semi-arid regions adapt to climate change and what is needed for sustained and equitable adaptation. The blog links to research done in Northern Ghana, India (PDF) and Kenya, which show how farmers and pastoralists deal with the effects of climate change, like disruptions to rainfall, spread of diseases, and water and pasture shortage. It shows that farmers experiment with water-storage systems, turn to irrigation crops or search for new types of livelihoods. There are many ways of preparing for, and adapting to, changing climates. The authors argue that it is important for projects to build on local knowledge of climate vulnerability and responses. This results in more sustained and effective adoption. Next to this, climate information that is tailored to users’ needs can help vulnerable farmers make better decisions. But this information needs to be transparent, high quality and context specific, and must deal with current and expected climate impact. Lastly the authors plead for collaborative learning and decision-making so that all stakeholders gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the limits and uncertainties of climate information. Co-production of knowledge also supports the use of climate information in the local context and cooperative development of possible solutions.