Mapping climate change adaptive capacity and vulnerability of smallholder agricultural livelihoods in Central America: ranking and descriptive approaches to support adaptation strategies
This article (PDF) published by the Climate Change Journal addresses the potential impact of climate change on suitability for major crops and adaptive capacity using indicators of basic human needs, as well as resources for innovation and action framed in a livelihoods approach for four countries in Central America. The article add to the mounting evidence that rising temperatures and longer, more intense dry seasons could redraw the agricultural map of Central America. The authors present a Climate change vulnerability assessment (CCVA) of agricultural livelihoods of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. CCVA integrates biophysical and socioeconomic information to support policy decisions. Cluster analysis of adaptive capacity values shows a gradient between higher values close to urban areas and lower values in agricultural frontier areas and in those prone to drought. Adaptive capacity was estimated using ranking techniques for municipalities and descriptive multivariate analysis. Projected changes in climate suitability for crops show a wide variation between the four countries, and within each country. Municipalities with a high proportional area under subsistence crops tend to have less resources to promote innovation and action for adaptation. The results suggest that a full spectrum of adaptation levels and strategies must be considered in the region to achieve different adaptation goals. They also show that the adaptive capacity ranking and characterization are complementary and support geographical prioritization and identification of adaptation strategies, respectively.