Pastoral pathways: climate change adaptation lessons from Ethiopia

Pastoral pathways: climate change adaptation lessons from Ethiopia

Sustainable climate adaptation for pastoral Ethiopia

A key aim of the Norwegian Development Fund is to increase the adaptive capacity of marginalised rural poor farmers and pastoralists in the South.  The focus country of this project study, Ethiopia, has a legacy of variable and unpredictable rainfall, causing frequent droughts and heavy floods, undermining local as well as national food and water security.  The analysis in this paper is based mainly on interview data collected in two sites in Afar as well as insights from past studies in the region as documented in published literature. Some of the key issues identified for Afar are followed up with a smaller number of interviews in another pastoral area, the neighbouring Somali region.

The report aims to:

  • increase the knowledge and understanding of key themes of the program and policy work of the Development Fund and its collaborating partner organisations in pastoral and agro-pastoral rural areas of Ethiopia, and to give guidance for future program planning in these areas
  • raise awareness among planners and policy makers and strengthen understanding of the critical situation the pastoralists are facing today, and to provide recommendations for sustainable pastoral adaptation pathways in the future

Four normative principles are presented that can guide policies and interventions towards achieving development pathways to strengthen social equity and environmental integrity:
  • recognize the context for vulnerability, including multiple stressors
  • acknowledge that different values and interests affect adaptation outcomes
  • integrate local knowledge into adaptation responses
  • consider potential feedbacks between local and global processes
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