Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers around the world are encouraged to write on the same topic, which this year is climate change. I have written an article on the importance of empowering communities so that they have the ability to adapt to climate change.
In Africa particularly, stresses are already being felt - climate change is not something that relates only to the future. The most vulnerable communities are those who struggle the most, as they are living on the edge - quite literally on the periphery of economic activity, whether they are subsistence farmers or urban slum dwellers. In this position, they don't have 'wiggle room', or the flexibility to adapt their lifestyles to the changes they are experiencing. As a result, strategies for climate change adaptation must ensure that communities do have the means and understanding and support structures to enable them to keep ahead of environmental changes. A key point to be made is that the answer lies not primarily in technology or aid, but crucially in building relationships - institutionally, socially and financially.
The full article is in Farafina Magazine. Sadly, the magazine has found itself in financially hard times, and has just stopped publishing. But it's a great Kenyan-based magazine, and if you want to support it you can still order back copies. Hopefully they will be able to resume activity in future.