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The adaptation advantage: The economic benefits of preparing small-scale farmers for climate change

This paper features five case studies of rural development projects which represent a variety of situations in which environmental or climate-related problems pose a challenge to human development. The projects are based in Kenya, Turkey, Viet Nam, Bangladesh and Bolivia. It is argued that it is possible to quantify the benefits that arise from adaptation investments in economic and financial terms. The methodologies applied to the case studies look at factors such as avoided damages from investments in climate change adaptation, increased production functions as a result of sustainable intensification or diversification, net incremental income for smallholder farmers and employment gains. They examine a range of adaptation activities that are geared to reduce risks from specific climate hazards. It is argued that climate adaptation is proving its effectiveness in equipping smallholder farmers with the tools and practices they need to carry on their livelihoods in a future with many uncertainties.