|CARE tackles vulnerability to climate change|
Adaptation: CARE is helping the world’s most
vulnerable people adapt to the impacts of climate
change and contributing to global learning processes -
especially with regards to empowering poor women.
The impacts of climate change including rising temperatures, changing rainfall and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are already being felt in many parts of the world.
The consequences of these changes are particularly serious in developing countries where livelihoods and ecosystems are highly sensitive to changes in climate; the majority of people rely on the natural resource base for their livelihoods; and the capacity to adapt is limited by poverty, poor governance and inequitable distribution of resources and power.
There is no doubt that the global community must act quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the scientific evidence. However, it is also critical that resources and action be targeted towards efforts to help people and systems to adapt to the changes that are already occurring. It is increasingly clear that these changes will be felt most profoundly in those parts of the world that have contributed least to causing the problem, and that the poor and marginalized will suffer most.
The observed and predicted changes in climate have significant implications for food and income security, health and access to water. This is particularly true for poor rural people who are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, and for poor women and other marginalized groups who often lack access to the resources and services which would allow them to adapt. The impacts of climate change pose a serious threat to the achievement of social justice and an end to poverty.
It is clear that adaptation to climate change will be critical to achieving sustainable development, and that this will require action across sectors and at multiple levels. Households must pursue livelihoods strategies that will be resilient in a changing climate. Local government and civil society organizations must learn to analyze risks, plan for change and support vulnerable people in innovating for adaptation. National governments must integrate climate change concerns into development policies and programmes. Stakeholders at all levels must prepare for disasters. The international community must mobilize resources for adaptation, and support capacity development in vulnerable countries to tackle the challenge of climate change.
To address this challenge, CARE is working to reduce the vulnerability of poor and vulnerable people in developing countries to the negative impacts of climate change. We are advocating for sufficient global funds for adaptation, and for funding mechanisms that these funds reach those who need them most. We are developing tools and offering training to build the capacity of our partner organizations to understand the challenge of climate change and to plan appropriate responses.
Within our programming and capacity building, we are focusing our efforts on integrating adaptation to climate change into new and existing projects in climate-sensitive sectors, and on designing new programmes which specifically aim to address climate change impacts through community-based adaptation.
CARE is working with people around the world on innovative, community-based adaptation (CBA) approaches that address the changing climate.
For example, as Magalhaes Matsinhe, Programme Coordinator for CARE Mozambique, explains: "There are many things we can do to help farmers adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. For instance, CARE is teaching farmers to cover their crops so that more moisture will be retained in the soil and they won't be scorched by the sun. This reduces the crops' need for water, which is important since droughts are lasting longer and longer now."