Saturday Apr 30, 2016
| Text Size
Search IPPmedia
Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

`Conservation, development approach can offer clues on combating of climate change`

4th May 2012

A conservation and development friendly approach pioneered in Southern Africa provides vital lessons that can help communities worldwide adapt to climate change, according to a report by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Muyeye Chambwera and colleagues studied examples of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), a name for systems developed over the past three decades to enable communities to control and benefit from wildlife, forests, water and other resources.

They found that CBNRM methods could inform strategies for communities to become more resilient to challenges such as prolonged droughts, floods, extreme temperatures and rainfall pattern changes.

“CBNRM has enabled communities to take charge of their own development,” said Chambwera in the report.

CBNRM is based on an incentive-driven notion that assumes that communities will manage their own natural resources better and in ways that also result in poverty reduction, if they are in control of those resources and derive direct economic benefits from them. This conservation and development approach has enabled communities to cope with emerging climate change challenges.

Four key elements form the foundations of CBNRM: sustainable use, devolution of management decisions from government to local institutions, collective control and legal rights over resources and economic incentives that enhance the value of resources to communities that conserve them.

The researchers identified eight key lessons that CBNRM has for community-based adaptation: blending strategies for sustainable livelihoods and resource management can make communities more resilient and able to adapt to climate shocks, local capacity can decide whether communities can overcome climate threats and incentives must be direct and visible.

Other measures include sustainable household cash incomes will enhance capacity to adapt, community adaptation projects build on traditional institutions – not just create new ones, institutions for community based adaptation should include all relevant stakeholders, traditional leadership can be an important symbol for community ownership and trust matters – between communities and their leaders and between leaders and project teams.

After three decades of experience, CBNRM is now operating at local, national and regional levels. The report says that for community-based adaptation to climate change to become well established at such scales, it will need financial incentives, enabling policies, research, communication and people, who will champion the approach.

“To succeed, long-term adaptation to climate change will depend on locally-based and proven approaches rather than top-down interventions that are driven by central governments or aid agencies and which depend on external resources,” said Chambwera.

“That’s where CBNRM can provide useful models for community-based adaptation. In fact, both systems can work together and strengthen each other.”

0 Comments | Be the first to comment


No articles