Mainstreaming the Adaptations and Reducing the Vulnerability of the Poor due to Climate Change

C. R. Ranganathan, K. Palanisami, K. R. Kakumanu, A. Baulraj
JEL codes: 
ADBI Working Paper Series

Many rural poor people in developing countries depend on agriculture and are highly influenced
by climatic change. Hence, sustainable livelihood approaches are used at both policy and
project level to initiate new poverty reduction activities and modify existing activities to improve
livelihood incomes. Practices relevant to climate change adaptation around the world are wideranging
and include development of technology, management, infrastructure, livestock,
groundwater, and knowledge. Both structural interventions (such as building flood
embankments, dikes, or seawalls or enhancing the natural setting or landscape) and
nonstructural interventions (policies, knowledge development, awareness, methods and
operating practices, including participatory mechanisms) have helped to reduce the impact of
climate change. Further, market-based instruments such as credits and crop insurance were
also developed to help poor households in many developing countries to cope with the
uncertainties. The uptake of such adaptation practices is lagging, however, but informal
institutions are playing a key role as they rely on enforcement methods and are not supported
by the government. Mainstreaming adaptation and enhancing adaptive capacity could be
increased by encouraging partnerships between informal processes and formal interventions to
facilitate adaptation by the poor. The cost of adaptation is also significantly higher in developing
countries. Nonetheless, more attention is needed in addressing future climate scenarios through
agricultural research and development, irrigation development, infrastructure, and improved
irrigation efficiency.