13 October 2011 zichtbaarzijn

By Ben Haagsma

In a three-day workshop with twelve different ICCO partners in Bangladesh this topic was extensively discussed. What is the current situation with regard to climate adaptation? What approaches and measures have they already taken? Have these measures made the farming households more climate proof or resilient? How can partners come to a more joint approach towards climate adaptation? Finally, climate mitigation perspectives stood on the agenda, as the next step beyond climate adaptation. Although partners talk a lot about climate changes as a global phenomenon, the local or practical implications are not considered as an additional factor for redesigning activities. In that regard partners are not very climate sensitive. They are hardly aware of what farmers practically do differently now. Climate change tends to become a new umbrella term replacing sustainable development. Partners have not consciously analysed climate or weather change, and attempted to re-plan and re-budget their activities in order to make households more climate proof.

In reality, partners feel confronted with many other factors, impacting on their development interventions, and not just climate change. These other factors are land grabbing, lack of affordable inputs, lack of markets, lack of supportive policies for small farmers and indigenous people. So, climate change just seems to play a minor role.

The participants made a serious effort to look for hidden knowledge and invisible practices which partners and farmers may already apply, without consciously referring to it as climate change. The ICEBERG model served very well to stimulate this discussion. Partners agreed to make a serious effort to look for climate adaptation measures on the ground.

One important lesson: access to mitigation funds on the basis of carbon credits is a complex, time consuming process. It can only be achieved by means of very good adaptation projects, in which carbon sequestration can be accurately calculated. If that calculation is not possible, then access to mitigation funds is impossible. So mitigation funds are no easy money at all. So successful access to mitigation is directly based on successful implementation and results of climate adaptation projects.

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