Poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change synergies and contradiction
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Poverty Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change: Synergies and Contradiction Reinhard Wolf, GTZ Climate Protection Programme for Developing Countries (CaPP) derived from the shared goals of the international community

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Poverty Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change: Synergies and Contradiction

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Poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change synergies and contradiction l.jpg
Poverty Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change: Synergies and Contradiction

Reinhard Wolf, GTZ

Climate Protection Programme for Developing Countries (CaPP)


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derived from the shared goals of the international community

Millennium Declaration and the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

inter-ministerial Program of Action 2015:Germany's strategy paper for realising these development goals

poverty is not defined solely by low income, but is a complex state of life, characterised by need, vulnerability, injustice and a lack of prospects

Poverty reduction as overarching task of German development policy


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Negative impacts of climate change are more severely felt by poor people and poor countries

  • impacts of climate change are likely to intensify further

  • Identifying appropriate responses to climate change should be key element of the sustainable development strategies

  • At present little experience of how to manage this adaptation process

  • Poor people often directly dependent on the natural environment and agriculture for their survival, are therefore most vulnerable and have least adaptive capacity


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There are clear synergiesbetween successful climate change adaptation and poverty reduction

Deaths from droughts and related famines

International Disaster Database 1992-2001/ Ian Noble/WB

  • 􀂾 High income 0

  • 􀂾 Upper-middle few 10s

  • 􀂾 Lower-middle few 1000s

  • 􀂾 Lowest incomes many 100,000s


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GTZ approach with regard to adaptation to climate change: mainstreaming (1)

  • screening of GTZ supported projects

    • 330 projects contacted with questionnaires, 104 replies

    • Identification of relevant sectors (agriculture, water)

    • Identification of pilot projects

    • Awareness creation


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GTZ approach with regard to adaptation to climate change: mainstreaming (2)

  • Initiation of (small) pilot projects, which are integrated into ongoing large scale development programmes

    • Due to uncertainties in climate predictions: Favour “win-win” and “no regret options”

    • gain experience on methods for climate change adaptation, which can be fed into national policies and planning process (e.g. NAPAs)

    • India, Tunesia, and Benin on Watershed Management / Agriculture, combat desertification

    • Mozambique and Nicaragua: Desaster Risk Management / Early warning systems


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Possible contradictions

  • construction of unappropriate dams to prevent floods or protect coastal areas

  • Maladaptation: introduction of drought resistant crop varieties which are, however, also prone to diseases

  • introduction of shrimp farming for income generation, for which mangrove forest, vital for coastal protection, are destroyed


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Outlook and open questions

  • uncertainties with regard to precise regional trends of climate change bring about uncertainties with regard to the cost – benefit ratio of climate change interventions

  • In order to „kick start“ successful mainstreaming of adaptation and integration into development policy-making and planning, additional funds have to be made available to initiative successful pilot projects which can be used as learning ground and models for larger scale implementation


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