MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
SLIDE – Increasing uncertainty and surprises
• Likely that climate change will bring more surprise events
• Disaster risk reduction often based on belief in a „stationary
climate‟ – i.e. what we have seen before is an excellent record for
what we are likely to see in the future. It deals with known risk
• Climate change will act as a multiplier of risk – creating situations
that might never have been experienced before
SO there is need to strengthen not only immediate coping capacity and
preparedness to deal with known risks, but also build ability to deal with change,
the exact nature of which we cannot predict.
Farmers are already experiencing production problems related to current climatic
events, as well as facing the prospect of greater uncertainty; we need a two-
pronged approach to dealing with climate change – the so-called “Twin Pillars of
1. In the short term: helping farmers to cope better with current risks
including normal climate variability
2. Developing options for adaptation to future (largely unknown) risks due to
long-term climate change – “Adaptive Capacity”.
Building livelihood resilience now will contribute to longer-term adaptive
capacity. Many of the strategies which will enable farmers to achieve food
security and increased well-being under current climatic conditions will
directly contribute to increasing their ability to cope with future uncertainty.
They will contribute to adaptive capacity.
A Training Manual on Use of Climate Information and Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment for
Agricultural Extension Staff in Zimbabwe