page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64 page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
< prev - next > Environment and adaptation to climate change mainstreeming climate change adaptation in agricultural extranison (Printable PDF)
The multi-dimensional nature of poverty and uncertainty
Three out of four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas (UNDP, 2007). Of these,
most live in fragile environments such as arid or mountainous areas often at long distances
from markets and other services. They have few resources at their disposal and have
inadequate access to skills and technologies that could help them to make best use of those
resources. Therefore their income earning options are limited and their ability to diversify or
adapt when circumstances change is constrained. Poor people also often live in risk-prone areas
such as on steep slopes, river embankments or floodplains because they cannot afford to live in
safer areas. The impacts of drought and floods are often exacerbated by unsustainable
development such as deforestation or a combination of increasing population pressure,
political tensions and economic changes that lead to practices that cause environmental
Conflict is fuelled by easy access to weapons and the increasing competition over scarce
resources such as pasture and water. In the event of hazards, the poor and their livelihoods
tend to be the hardest hit. The livelihoods of marginal and small farmers, artisans and
fishermen are affected through the loss of assets, loss of food sources (crops or stores) and loss
of employment or income earning opportunities. When disaster strikes they may be forced to
take desperate measures to survive such as abandoning their homes or selling vital land or tools
on which their livelihoods depend because they have no savings or other alternatives. This
undermines their future recovery and each shock can drive them deeper into poverty. The poor
are often politically marginalized and have little voice in the policy or institutional decisions that
affect them. Services, such as schooling, health, extension, transport and markets are often
inadequate or unavailable to people living in more remote or challenging areas. They lack the
safety nets that are taken for granted in richer countries, such as savings, insurance policies or
government services to warn and protect them from disasters.
Growing uncertainty is a further characteristic of the lives of the poorest. As the world becomes
more interconnected, the livelihoods of the poor can be affected by events happening in
distant parts of the world. Financial markets can affect prices for staple crops in developing
countries. Policy shifts, for example towards biofuels, can contribute to rising grain prices and
urban food shortages. The impact of climate change is being felt directly by increasing numbers
of people as changing seasons and more extreme weather patterns affect the natural
environment that people depend on and contribute to crop failures and livestock losses, thus
tipping the balance between survival and destitution. Poverty, vulnerability and disasters are
closely related and cannot be viewed in isolation from one another. These multiple factors: lack
of resources; fragile livelihoods; exposure to hazards; climate change and other trends; and
weak institutional support mechanisms must be understood in a more integrated manner in
order to seek effective ways to address them.
Source: From Vulnerability to Resilience. Pasteur. 2011
A Training Manual on Use of Climate Information and Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment for
Agricultural Extension Staff in Zimbabwe
Page 63