Safeguarding livelihoods in a changing climate

19 November 2010 | News story

With millions of livelihoods in Africa set to be hit hard by climate change impacts on agriculture, water availability and biodiversity, countries need to take action to adapt to their changing conditions.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by 2020, 75-250 million people in Africa will be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. In some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could fall by up to 50% by 2020.

There is an urgent need for countries in the region to take action to reduce their vulnerability and enhance the capacity of local communities to adapt to changing conditions.

IUCN’s response

Through its Climate Change and Development Project (CCDP), IUCN is working with local and national stakeholders to develop adaptation measures which will safeguard local livelihoods and habitats into the future, in a sustainable way.

The project aims to ensure that climate change policies and strategies incorporate the role of forests and water resources in supporting people’s livelihoods and associated farming systems. Pilot studies have been carried out in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia that give new insight into how local livelihoods are being affected by climate change and what measures they can take to make those livelihoods more resilient.

Steps have been taken to develop Ecosystem-based Adaptation practices at the community level including re-vegetation and reforestation of dunes along the Mozambique coast, tree planting in flood-prone areas in Tanzania, and promoting the use the of non-timber forest products in Zambia.

For more information contact: Annita Annies, e. annita.annies@iucn.org