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Assessing and enhancing project impacts on local adaptive capacity. Experiences from Mali and Bangladesh Aliou Faye (IUCN Mali) & Abdul Quddus, IC Bangladesh Adaptation Day (Montreal, December 2005). Project Summary. Project To strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communities to cope with

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assessing and enhancing project impacts on local adaptive capacity

Assessing and enhancing project impacts on local adaptive capacity

Experiences from Mali and Bangladesh

Aliou Faye (IUCN Mali) & Abdul Quddus, IC Bangladesh

Adaptation Day (Montreal, December 2005)

project summary
Project Summary

Project To strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communities to cope with

Aim: climate-related disasters and adapt to climate change through ecosystem management and restoration (EM&R) or sustainable livelihoods (SL) activities.

Partners: IUCN, IISD, SEI-B, InterCooperation

Funded by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Duration: 2001 – 2005 (with possibility for extending)

Structure: Project Team members from each partner institution

Secretariat based in IISD’s European Office in Geneva

Phase One: research & communications Phase Two: facilitating adaptation – tools

Phase Three (proposed): Capacity building, adaptation monitoring

Approach: a) Starting point of adaptation: Reducing current vulnerabilities

b) Emphasis on locally-driven, bottom-up approaches to adaptation that complement efforts at national and international levels;c) Adaptation should be based on peoples’ livelihoodsd) Given the importance of environmental resources and services to vulnerable peoples’ livelihoods, adaptation must incorporate EM&R

cristal c ommunity based ri sk s creening t ool a daptation l ivelihoods
CRISTAL(Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation & Livelihoods)
  • Rationale:
    • Community-level projects may improve adaptive capacity or constrain it
    • Also, project planners and managers can introduce activities that are neutral where they could have a positive effect
  • Purpose:
    • Help users to systematically understand the links between livelihoods and climate
    • Enable users to assess a project’s impact on community-level adaptive capacity
    • Assist users in making project adjustments to improve its impact on adaptive capacity
  • User:Community-level project planners and managers
FORMAT: Hardcopy & CD-Rom


  • Set the climate context: Identify impacts of current climate hazards and climate change in the project area, including strategies for coping with these impacts;
  • Set the livelihood context: Identify resources needed to help people conduct their livelihoods, flagging those that are strongly affected by climate stress and important to coping strategies;
  • Screen project activities: Assess how project activities affect the availability and access to key livelihood resources that are strongly affected by climate stress and/or central to coping strategies; and
  • Manage climate risk: Adjust project to increase opportunities to enhance availability / access to key resources, and activities that undermine availability / access are adjusted
mali background
Mali: Background
  • Located in Sahelian zone, West Africa: 60% arid and desert
  • Facing recurrent drought, occasional flood, deforestation and desertification
  • 80% people depend on agriculture/ rural sector
Mali test: PAGEIT (Projet d’Appui à la Gestion des Écosystèmes Inondables dans le Delta Intérieur du Niger)
  • IUCN project working in wetland area in the north of Mali (started in 2004, funded by Netherlands, Sweden)
  • For sustainable livelihood improvement through decentralised natural resources management
  • Project activities include:
    • Rehabilitation of channels,
    • wetland forest restoration and conservation,
    • Awareness raising on endangered species,
    • Improving local resources management rules
results of mali test
Results of Mali Test
  • Project activities generally improving people’s adaptive capacity – through equitable access to, and better management of, natural resources
  • A couple of negative impacts identified (rehabilitation of channels affecting roads; protection of hippo affecting movement of boats)
  • Project activities with negative impacts adjusted (construction of bridges, boating outside demarcated hippo habitats
bangladesh background
Bangladesh: Background
  • Located in the north-eastern side of South Asia bordering the Bay of Bengal; mostly low-lying and full of rivers and wetlands; 44% people are poor; depends significantly on agriculture
  • Various natural calamities (floods, drought; tropical cyclone; hailstorms, risk of earthquake) with increasing frequency
  • Sea level rise is a great concern for coastal areas; upward movement of salinity is already experienced
bangladesh tests 3 projects
Bangladesh Tests: 3 Projects
  • Livelihoods, Empowerment and Agroforestry Project (LEAF) – funded by SDC and implemented by Intercooperation through 20 local NGOs
    • Poverty alleviation project; follows sustainable rural livelihoods and value chain management approaches.
    • Activities include institutional development of community based organizations; skills development in NRM and other income generating activities; gender mainstreaming; farmers’ marketing extension
  • Gorai River Restoration Project – funded by Netherlands Govt, implemented by Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB)
    • To prevent environmental degradation in the Southwest region
    • Activities include river dredging and other engineering devices of water flow regulation in Gorai river (main branch river of the Ganges)
  • Southwest Area Integrated Water Resources Management Project - funded by ADB, Netherlands Govt, Japan, GOB, implemented by BWDB
    • Livelihood improvement and economic growth through participatory management of flood control drainage (FCD) systems
    • Activities include participatory management of water management facilities as well as livelihood improvement activities (vegetable and fruit growing, agro-processing, livestock rearing, handicrafts making and better marketing)
results of bangladesh tests
Results of Bangladesh Tests
  • LEAF activities generally improving people’s adaptive capacity – by diversifying sources of income; creating access to resources, markets and services; and improving social capital
  • SAIWRM Project had some potential negative impacts on adaptive capacity (e.g. land acquisition, resettlement)
  • Participants gave useful feedback on the tool (suggesting simplifications)
lessons learned from field testing
Lessons-learned from field testing
  • CRISTAL raises awareness on climate change issues
  • Provides an entry point for discussing observations of climate variability and the impacts of climate change
  • Specifically, it demonstrates the links between climate change, people’s livelihoods and potential impacts of project activities on peoples’ adaptive capacities
  • It is useful in improving project designs
  • Participatory project analysis and adjustments, using the tool, improves people’s participation in the project activities
  • The tool needs certain refinement
next steps
  • Tool currently being revised based feedback from internal review and field tests
  • Revised versions will be tested on IUCN and Intercooperation SL/NRM projects Tanzania and C. America (Nicaragua or Honduras)
  • Results will feed into ‘final’ hardcopy and CD-Rom versions of the tool, available in mid-2006
  • Tool will form basis of capacity building and field implementation phase of project, and will continue to be revised/updated as needed