MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
“Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic
stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities”.
Adaptation reduces vulnerability to change, either by building adaptive capacity or by
reducing exposure or sensitivity to climate change impacts. We must ensure that
poverty reduction strategies/ development interventions do not inadvertently increase
Adaptive capacity refers to the ability of a system to adjust to climate change,
including climate variability and extremes, to moderate potential damage, to take
advantage of opportunities to cope with the consequences (IPCC 2007). One of the
most important components of adaptive capacity is access to and control over
natural, human, social, physical and financial resources.
Access and control over resources is influenced by external factors such as policies
and institutions and power structures. Adaptive capacity is not static but dynamic
changing with changing circumstances.
Capacity is the combination of all the strengths, attributes and resources available
within a community, society or organisation that can be used to achieve agreed goals.
“Climate defined as the average weather, or as the statistical description in terms of
the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from
months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period for averaging these
variables is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. The
relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature,
A Training Manual on Use of Climate Information and Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment for
Agricultural Extension Staff in Zimbabwe