Climate Change and Humanitarian Action

Complex Systems, Change and Poverty Alleviation: An Interactive Learning Session
29 April, 2008
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Douglas R. Brown and Christopher Shore

Climate Change
• A growing global consensus that human activities are leading to Climate Change • The poor are the least equipped to tackle Climate Change and hence will be disproportionately affected in adverse ways
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• Since the poor are most VULNERABLE and least able to ADAPT to Climate Change, WV must be involved • The poor can gain access to a multi-billion dollar carbon credit market. They can:
– – Participate and benefit from these markets Have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere

World Vision’s View

• Corporations, churches, and individuals can exercise their environmental responsibilities in a way that also alleviates 3 poverty

• Ensure participation of the poor in the emerging carbon market – Provide access to carbon credits – Encourage community based activities in existing Area Development Programmes – Provide direct environmental benefits to communities through CPR activities The CPR Initiative • Link Climate Change mitigation with AFOLU projects in the developing world for poverty reduction – – – – 4 Reforestation Avoided deforestation Increased agro-forestry Sustainable agriculture (e. no till – improved soil carbon) .g.

Expected WV Policy Framework KNOW Know. IMPROVE REDUCE the negative impact the WV Global Partnership has on the planet’s environment. the activities the WV Global Partnership. OFFSET OFFSET those negative activities which cannot be effectively reduced. 5 . which: NEGATIVELY affect the planet and its environment. by measuring and monitoring. or POSITIVELY affect the planet and its environment. And INCREASE the positive impact the WV Global Partnership has on the planet’s environment.

environment) Public Engagement & Policy All people everywhere can contribute.Environmental Policy Needed KNOW our impact. 6 . We ensure that our development activities are ecologically sound.We are stewards of God's Creation. We care for the earth and act in ways that will restore and protect the environment. OFFSET remaining negative impacts.Expected Way Forward Mitigation Reducing greenhouse gas: Emissions Concentrations Adaptation Coping with and adapting to Climate Change effects .largely DRR and Resilience (Community. the poor must be part of the solution WV Policy Framework . REDUCE negative and INCREASE positive impacts. Existing Core Value .

7 . Communications. Executive Team Adaptation Working Group Very tight and natural connection to HEA.PROPOSED Climate Change Community of Interest Reference Team Mitigation Working Group Very tight and natural connection to TD and work of various parts of the Integrated Technical Teams. Other Working Groups Other Working Groups Other Working Groups Other Working Groups Other Working Groups Small Climate Change staff group supporting the Climate Change COP and its 3 Permanent Working Groups. Business Team Public Engagement & Advocacy Very tight and natural connection to Advocacy. and Marketing.

which will affect ALL parts of our work • Climate Change will force WV to explicitly consider the natural environment – our impact upon it. how to improve it.World Vision and Climate Change • Climate Change is NOT a new sector in TD or HEA • Climate Change is a long-term reality for WV. how it is changing • WV needs to build capacity and understanding of Climate Change issues • WV has been working on Climate Change issues for last 2 years 8 .

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CΔ and Human Well-Being • Combating climate change is central to humanitarian action – Climate change is not only an environmental problem as there are: • Social aspects • Economic aspects – Climate change is fundamentally a development problem 10 .

Low lying islands – Extreme weather and climate events • Frequency and severity • Drought. sea surge – Changing precipitation patterns • Seasons and precipitation regimes change • Water and sanitation – Changing disease patterns 11 .Climate Change – why important • The predicted impact of climate change – Sea level rise • Coastal cities. flood. landslide.

Climate Change – why important • Linkages and feedbacks with other systems – Social systems • Conflict arising from competition for scarcer resources – Environmental migration • Forced displacement • Voluntary movement – Local and global economic systems • Food grain availability and prices • Viability of livelihood strategies 12 .

Economic Change – why important • Changing food prices and vulnerability – Winners and losers • Farmers and consumers – Changing demand for food grains • Biofuels • Dietary patterns – Changing supply of food grains • Cost of production • Environmental change/degradation – Impact on humanitarian assistance 13 .

Implications of Change • Environmental degradation • Settlement patterns • Livelihood choices • Behaviour • Probability & severity of events • Modulates effect of extreme events • Disaster risk • Ecosystem health 14 .

Implications of Change • Recurrent disasters – Repeating with greater frequency and intensity • Result in – ↓ Livelihood assets/resources – ↓ Recovery capacity (resilience) – from current shock – ↑ Vulnerability – to next shock – ↑ Numbers falling into destitution 15 .

Implications of Change • Uncertainty of region-specific effects – Need to emphasize increased capacity to respond to a range of possible impacts – Coincidence of activities – Surprises – past not reliable predictor • Adaptive capacity • Sustainable development 16 .

Vulnerability and Adaptation • Vulnerability – “The degree to which a system is susceptible to. or unable to cope with. including climate variability and extremes” (IPCC 2001) • Exposure and adaptive capacity • Poverty and vulnerability – – – – 17 Livelihood resources Inequality in access and distribution of resources Institutions and social capital Non-climatic factors that limit adaptive capacity . adverse effects of climate change.

Vulnerability and Adaptation • Adaptation – “Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects. vulnerability-driven approach • Examples 18 . scenarios-driven approach – Bottom-up. which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities” (IPCC 2007) • Approaches to adaptation – Top-down.

Incidental or Automatic Responsive or ex post Proactive or ex ante Long term or Cumulative Short term. Spontaneous. Natural.Types of Adaptation Typology Main Descriptive Term Planned Autonomous Timing Reactive Anticipatory Duration Strategic Tactical Additional/Alternative Terms Purposefulness Public. Contingency or Routine 19 . Instantaneous. Policy. Intentional. Purposeful. Active or Strategic Private. Passive.

Very little attention is given to specific climate change impacts but actions can increase resilience to climate stresses and shocks These capacity building actions lay the foundation for more targeted adaptation actions Examples? Actins which build response capacity Actions which manage climate risk Climate information is incorporated into decisions to reduce the negative affects of climatic impacts—due to either variability or climate change—on resources and livelihoods Actions taken respond almost exclusively to impacts known to be caused by climate change. Actions which confront climate change 20 .A Continuum of Possible Actions Actions which address the drivers of vulnerability Activities reduce poverty and address other fundamental shortages of capability that make people vulnerable to harm.

holistic approach 21 . sustainable development mitigates the need for relief responses – Good. proactive relief is somewhat developmental in nature • A three-legged stool – Advocacy.Avenues for Action • Relief-development dichotomy is unhelpful – Good. relief and development – A combined.

Avenues for Action • “We are responsive” – Tendency to be reactive • Proactive action – Capacity to respond • What is needed? – skills. resources – Reduce the need to respond • Disaster risk reduction? • Adaptation and mitigation? – Environmental stewardship • What example should we set? 22 .

Avenues for Action • Proactive humanitarian action – Prevent destitution (protect livelihood assets) • Facilitates recovery – Environmentally sensitive assistance • Reduce negative impact • Restore damaged ecology – Livelihood recovery • Restoration of a nonviable livelihood strategy • Facilitate transition to a sustainable livelihood strategy 23 .

Avenues for Action • Proactive humanitarian action – Response capacity of NGOs – ability to react • Skill set • Resources • Types of response needed – Rapid onset – Slow onset – Adaptive capacity of local populations • Disaster risk reduction • Resilient ecosystems and communities 24 .

Scenarios 1. Hilly landscapes – Latin America and Caribbean – 4. Agro-pastoral regions – Africa – 3. Coastal cities and island states – Asia – Impact of sea level rise and increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms on low-lying coastal areas Impact of more frequent and severe dry periods and flooding on agropastoral ecosystems and rural livelihoods Impact of more frequent and intense tropical cyclones on peri-urban populations of poor living on sloping landscapes Impact of higher grain prices on poor populations and the provision of humanitarian assistance 2. Global grain supplies and prices – 25 .

Scenario One • Coastal cities and island states – Impact of sea level rise and increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms on low-lying coastal areas – Urban poor – Displacement/migration – Rural-urban linkages – Economic vulnerability 26 .

Scenario Two • Agro-pastoral regions – Africa – Impact of more frequent and severe dry periods and flooding on agro-pastoral ecosystems and rural livelihoods – Migration – Vulnerability and resilience – Repeated shocks overlaid on chronic poverty 27 .

Scenario Three • Hilly landscapes – Latin America and Caribbean – Impact of more frequent and intense tropical cyclones on peri-urban populations of poor living on sloping landscapes – Deforestation and destabilization of slopes 28 .

net buyers.Scenario Four • Global grain supplies and prices – Impact of higher grain prices on poor populations and the provision of humanitarian assistance • Rural poor – Farmers – net sellers. seasonal buyers and sellers – Non-farmers • Urban poor – Need for and provision of humanitarian assistance 29 .

economic. NGOs. urban) 30 .Scenario Analysis • Identify the principal actors – Poor/rich. forces. political • Identify the linkages and feedbacks – Positive – reinforcing changes – Negative – moderating changes – Between actors. government. other • Identify the principal forces/issues – Environmental. rural/urban. regions (rural. issues. social.

Scenario Analysis • Change – Past and current changes – Likely future change • Identify the areas of vulnerability – Possible scenarios and how they might evolve – Impact on the most vulnerable – Impact on coping capacity 31 .

DRR) • Which areas can we act upon? – How? – When? – Who’s responsible? 32 .Scenario Analysis • Identify pressure points – areas for action – Reactive adaptation (disaster response) – Proactive adaptation (mitigation.

Thank You 33 .

Larissa Fast. Simon Harris. ISDR. Jo-Ellen. Tufts University: Medford. Save the Children UK. IISD. Tasneem Mowjee. Perry. 2007. 2008. Asia Pacific Region. IISD. World Vision Australia. Human tide: The real migration crisis. https://wvioqp1. Christian Aid: London. Antonio . Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Risk Reduction.org/QuickPlace/carboncredits/Main. Greg Hansen. 2007. 2008.nsf/h_Toc/4DF38292D748069D0525670800167212/?OpenDocument • • • • • • • 34 . and Andrew Wilder. Legacy of Disasters: The Impact of Climate Change on Children. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD): Winnipeg. Feinstein International Center. Regional Climate Predictions: Horn of Africa: Sudan. Ethiopia & Somalia.Selected Sources • • Christian Aid. 2008.wvi. Vulnerability and Adaptation: The Basics. World Vision International. Regional Risk Mapping Project Report. Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs. World Vision Australia: Melbourne. Save the Children UK: London. 2008. Larry Minear. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR): Geneva. 2008. Vulnerability and Adaptation in Developing Countries. Donini. World Vision International. 2005. Humanitarian Agenda 2015: The State of the Humanitarian Enterprise.

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