FEATURE: Caribbean communities on the front lines of climate change adaptation
Newly-released analysis from CDKN has identified a series of approaches to help community-level organisations to increase climate resilience. The analysis focusses on the Caribbean, but has widely applicable lessons for community-based adaptation in other parts of the world. Will Bugler and Olivia Palin explain further:
The research acknowledges that the success of adaptation measures is highly dependent on local context, and shows how multi-level governance approaches can deliver locally-appropriate adaptation actions. By using approaches and methods such as network analysis, community-based vulnerability assessments and a ‘local adaptive capacity framework’, the research suggests that communities can improve the efficacy of climate action at the local level. What’s more the analysis also finds that more co-ordinated action at the local level can lead to increased influence on regional and national decision making.
The new analysis draws on outputs from three CDKN-funded projects spanning a decade’s worth of applied research in the Caribbean region. A summary of the findings is presented in a single ‘knowledge package’, comprising a policy brief, an infographic and a short video. This provides an overview of the multi-level governance approach, and illustrative examples of how it has been applied in Caribbean countries including Jamaica and Saint Lucia.
The key messages from the knowledge package are:
- Adapting to climate change is, to a large extent, a local process. Effective solutions to climate challenges should be sensitive to local context.
- Multi-stakeholder, multi-level governance approaches are increasingly recognised as best practice for local adaptation.
- Local networks of stakeholders can be analysed and shaped to maximise their effectiveness for dealing with external shocks like those from climate impacts.
- Community-based approaches to understanding local vulnerability and adaptive capacity can provide useful insight for climate resilience building.
- Such approaches also stimulate conversation at the local level, raising awareness and understanding of climate change.
- Local level approaches are not effective in isolation, and require good links with regional and national government to maximise their impact.
- CDKN funded research offers tools and methods for analysing networks, assessing vulnerability and scaling up local action.
The package consists of an information brief, video and infographic. To access these and to find out more about the research on which they were based visit: www.cdkn.org/caribbean.
Picture: Stuart Claggett