Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in the development process in Uganda

Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in the development process in Uganda

Strategies for incorporating adaptation measures within current low level sustainable development

Uganda is highly vulnerable to climate change due to limited financial resources, low levels of income per capita, limited disaster management skills and weak institutional capacity. A large proportion of the population is employed within the agricultural sector contributing to 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product. An extreme event induced by climate change, such as drought or flood, may severely reduce agricultural production therefore having a detrimental impact on domestic food prices and revenues.

The author identifies local level coping strategies used during extreme climatic events such as migration, trading assets, diversification of crops and adoption of alternative sources of income. The report exemplifies options for incorporating adaptation strategies with generic strategies aimed at livelihood and socioeconomic development as a means of mainstreaming adaptation within the overall development process in Uganda.

It is suggested that addressing current actions to strengthen livelihoods would be a less costly approach to climate change adaptation and target the most appropriate groups. Incorporating traditional systems into future policy is highlighted in addition to integrating climate change adaptation with the regional and local development rather than retaining adaptation as a unique sector.

Several comprehensive adaptation and development measures are illustrated that specifically target the poor and vulnerable groups:

  • strengthening the availability of household labour, by addressing the issue of health services and hygiene
  • strengthening local resilience to climate change, by addressing insecurity in agricultural and pastoral sectors
  • strengthening community development in general, by identifying that water resources are currently a critical limitation to adaptation.

It is concluded that effective adaptation strategies, as well as mainstreaming such strategies within national development measures, involves coordination between all levels of management and policy making. Most importantly, mainstreaming adaptation strategies within national development requires involvement and representation of vulnerable communities in the implementation process therefore ensuring that all measures are appropriate to target groups.

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