ELLA Guide: Improving Small Farmers' Adaptive Capacity in Semi-arid Regions

Abstract

In Latin America, as in Africa and Asia, 15-25% of the population lives in semi-arid areas, mostly in small isolated rural communities that are often the most severely affected by, yet least equipped to cope with, the impacts of climate change. Strategies employed to build adaptive capacity in Brazil's semi-arid areas focused on improved water supply, management and use, while at the same time promoting access to technology and improved production techniques, all with a focus on knowledge sharing and multi-level collaboration. The lessons from Brazil's response will be useful for policymakers and community organisations in other semi-arid regions.

Key Lessons:

  • Brazil's successes were underpinned by integrating government policies and incentives, NGO projects and community participatory development (adaptation across scales).
  • Improving water access is insufficient without building capacity, introducing technology and providing technical assistance to enable communities to put water to its most productive use.

Citation

Cesano, D.; Obermaier, M. ELLA Guide: Improving Small Farmers’ Adaptive Capacity in Semi-arid Regions. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2011) 7 pp.

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