Suman K A : Community based adaptation – CBA as it is popularly called is just that! What lies at the heart of CBA is reducing the vulnerabilities and improving the adaptive capacities of communities that are likely to be most impacted by climate variability and change.
The current body of knowledge gained from the CBA field experiences in the last eight years are so is making the international scientific community and the UNFCCC sit up and take cognizance of this approach in accelerating the climate adaptation efforts.
Some of the critical lessons that have emerged from the CBA experiences so far include – the need for long term trust building with the communities, a trusted intermediary, simple and effective communication on integrating climate science into the lives (present and future) of the communities, vulnerability mapping of the communities, SMART adaptation options generation, consistent donor support and effective community scale adaptation programme implementation.
Based on this distilled essence, worldwide efforts are now on towards wide spread dissemination of the BoK (Body of Knowledge) on CBA, youth engagement, policy and institutional capacity building, analytical and scientific rigour development in the CBA constructs( to engage with IPCC for the 5th assessment ) and design of upscale pathways to help CBA reach its full potential. And the recently concluded 5th international CBA conference held in Dhaka bears testimony to these emerging developments.
Then an interesting question arises. Does NAPCC-India have any important innovation lessons to offer to upscale CBA?
Yes. We think so.
For one, staggered CBA programmatic approaches and for two, need for their experimentation at multiple dimensions to cut the investment, execution risks and to help achieve the targets set forth in the National Adaptation Programmes of Action.
1) Staggered: The NICRA programme cutting across different agro climate zones is an example of this approach. The lessons learnt from this smaller programme innovation could feed national development and adaptation plans creating a perfect pathway for upscale. Another example of staggered approach could be to look at incorporating specific adaptation components in the current mission mode livelihood, development, safety net programmes – a case in example would be the Rajasthan livelihood programme. Lessons from such smaller component interventions could then flow into larger development programmes giving an accurate sense of the risks and investments involved.
2)Multiple Dimensions: Extending the above logic, we go one more step in suggesting the development and implementation of exemplar programme models through a ‘CBA National Resource Center’ institutional mechanism and across – missions, package of technological interventions, sectors, select vulnerability and adaptive capacity profiled communities, gender, institutional capacities (PRI/SHG/Cooperatives/Collectives et.al), current (and future) crop of international adaptation funds, indigenous traditional knowledge integration, climate scenarios, mass adoption potential, emission reduction potential, climate science to policy and community communication interventions and ecosystems dimensions.
Well, this might look like solving partial differential equations, but at the least valuable lessons across the said dimensions would emerge while at the same time laying a strong and successful execution foundation for NAPAs. All to ultimately benefit the communities at risk due to the adverse impacts of climate variability and change.
I do hope IIED, NAPCC, and the IPCC experts are tuned to this post.
Featured Photo credit: Dr. Piyush Rautela, Dehradun India
About author: Suman K A wrote this article for Climate Himalaya’s Youth Speak Column. An Engineer by training. Suman has great interest in climate change and mountain issues. She is the founder of Change Planet Partners foundation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Himalaya Initiative’s team.
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