Climate change threatens to damage the eco-systems on which poor people depend, thereby impeding their livelihood strategies. Poor people's adaptation to climate change is a major research theme for the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). This Brief, based on a synthesis study of 105 projects completed under the Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS), proposes a new strategy for research on such adaptation that will both add value to the earlier research and evolve to address knowledge gaps and key questions. The strategy is based on five research themes. The first four focus on providing opportunities for poor people to strengthen their livelihoods through technologies, strategies and institutions in the natural resources sector, thereby improving their capacity to adapt to climate change. The fifth theme recognises the importance of non-farm options in diverse and resilient livelihoods. It is important to link climate change adaptation research with other activities within DFID, develop regional partnerships, and engage policy processes at all scales from local to global. A systems approach is advocated. Demand-led research that builds on peoples' capabilities rather than further analysing their vulnerability should be at the centre of a new framework for studying and supporting the adaptation process.
Mortimore, M.; Manvell, A. Climate change: enhancing adaptive capacity. (2006) 8 pp.