|CARE promotes integrating adaptation into development initiatives|
Link to: CARE's Integration Toolkit it for step-by step-guidance for integrating adaptation into projects
Climate change impacts can seriously affect development results, in some cases completely reversing any gains that have been made. At the same time, development projects can make a signification contribution to the adaptive capacity of target populations - if they are designed taking climate change into account.
CARE believes that integrating, or "mainstreaming," climate change adaptation in poverty reduction projects increases the sustainability of impacts – especially in highly sensitive sectors such as water, agriculture and health. Integrating adaptation into development entails of taking current and projected climate risks into account during project design and/or implementation, and adjusting activities or approaches accordingly.
By integrating adaptation into our development projects and programmes, CARE:
- Reduces the risks that climate change poses to activities, stakeholders and results. This is sometimes referred to as "climate-proofing."
- Maximises the contribution that our interventions make to people's adaptive capacity while minimising their potential to exacerbate vulnerabilities. This means we need to ensure project/programme activities maximise contribution to building the adaptive capacity of target populations -- and do not inadvertently increase vulnerability to climate change -- through interventions designed to build resilience while achieving development goals.
"Climate-proofing" is primarily concerned with protecting development investments and outcomes from the impacts of climate change. It increases the sustainability of projects by analysing the risks posed by climate change to project activities, stakeholders and results, and then modifying and/or adjusting project designs or implementation plans to mitigate those risks. For example, an increase in the frequency and severity of floods may require water pumps to be built at a higher level to ensure that people can access safe water during and after flood events.
The second objective of integrating adaptation recognises that development activities can build or inadvertently undermine the adaptive capacity of target populations. By analysing people's vulnerability to climate change and adjusting project activities to build adaptive capacity, the benefits of development projects can be significantly increased. For example, choice of technologies and crop varieties can have major consequences for the results of an agricultural project. In a changing climate, the introduction of high-yield, high-input agricultural models can actually increase people's vulnerability if new seed varieties cannot cope with shifting rainfall patterns and the purchase of inputs requires credit, leaving farmers in a risky position in the event of crop failure.