Climate change adaptation – responding proactively to the effects of climate change

A kneeling woman picking fruit.
The SDC helps people adapt to the effects of climate change. © Neil Palmer (Flickr/CIAT)

The consequences of climate change affect people in developing countries in particular. For this reason, the SDC is helping population groups that are exposed and vulnerable to the effects of climate change to improve their livelihoods. People are thus able to take proactive measures to cope with the long-term consequences of climate change and extreme weather events. 

SDC focus

The SDC promotes development that takes the present and future effects of climate change into consideration. The main goal of climate change adaptation is to mitigate the negative effects of a changing climate on people and to help those affected to adapt.   The sustainable use of land, water and forest resources is crucial to achieving this goal. This is the only way to mitigate the long-term and often drastic consequences for the population of the creeping progression of climate change and of increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. The SDC supports partner countries in three principal areas: 

1. Promoting concrete climate adaptation strategies and measures

Example: With the Programme of adaptation to climate change in Peru (PACC) and the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), the SDC is helping to improve the livelihoods of mountain communities. Expertise from Switzerland and other countries helps the affected communities, as well as public and private institutions, to develop measures in the areas of water, food security and disaster risk reduction.

2. Underlying data for climate strategies

Example: The Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems (CATCOS) project helps developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia collect climate data used as the basis for climate strategies and measures.

3. National climate adaptation planning processes

Example: The SDC is assisting interested partner countries, including China, in drawing up national climate adaptation planning processes (NAPs) to enable them to develop integrated and coordinated solutions.

Background

Climate change affects the entire planet. However, the consequences of climate change vary enormously from one region to another because of different social and economic conditions. Socially and economically disadvantaged communities are particularly badly affected. Climate change exacerbates poverty, hunger and conflicts in the countries of the South in particular. The SDC is therefore committed to development that is climate compatible in the long term.

While people living in coastal regions are especially affected by rising sea levels, people in arid and desert regions are suffering from increasing water scarcity. Mountain regions, for their part, are experiencing flooding and mudslides ever more frequently. The livelihoods of the inhabitants of these regions are therefore in special need of protection.

Vulnerability and adaptability

Planning and implementing climate change mitigation measures requires technical expertise, financial resources and the commitment of political decision-makers. All of these are often in short supply in developing countries. Targeted measures can however reduce the climate risks faced by communities and preserve or even improve their livelihoods. For example, thanks to seasonal weather forecasts, smallholder farmers in Peru and India have been able to choose the optimal time to sow and harvest their crops, and have thereby markedly improved their yields.

Links

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Current projects

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Restoration of the Strumica River Basin

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2022

As a continuation of the support to the Macedonian water and nature sector, Switzerland developed a group of projects that will assist the country to have cleaner water and a healthier environment, as well as to move forward in meeting its obligations towards the EU. Through this project, Citizens and farmers in the Strumica river basin will benefit from improved economic wellbeing as a result of a better ecological status of the river basin and reduced flooding hazards.


IGAD-FAO Partnership Programme (PP) on Building Resilience for (Agro-) Pastoralist Communities

01.06.2014 - 31.08.2021

IGAD and FAO will jointly contribute to build resilience of communities in the Horn of Africa’s cross-border areas by addressing marketing and trade, transboundary animal diseases and natural resources management. It will also contribute to strengthen the capacity of IGAD specialized agencies to lead the regional agenda for the improvement of cross-border pastoral livelihoods.


Home Garden

16.01.2014 - 31.12.2021

Small and marginal farmers in Nepal, especially women and children, are regularly exposed to malnutrition and are vulnerable to external shocks such as health risks and natural hazards. Home garden aims to improve family nutrition and reduce vulnerability of such individuals and households. Objectives are to diversify dietary sources of disadvantaged groups in homestead for family consumption and increase capacity for adaptation to natural hazards and climate change. The project strengthens the safety net and the coping strategy of the most vulnerable in Nepal.
 


Aga Khan Foundation: Integrated Health and Habitat Improvement (IHHI) Rasht Valley

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2017

Tajikistan is the poorest country of the former Soviet Union and is marked by a sluggish transition and fragility patterns. This project contributes to improving the Rasht Valley (the most neglected and fragile area of the country) population’s quality of life through better provision of and access to water and health services, as well as increased resilience against natural hazards. Moreover, it enhances professional skills and empowers the local population in planning and investing in its communities.


Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development - Research Module on Ecosystems

15.05.2013 - 31.12.2023

Enhancing sustainable and climate-friendly use and management of ecosystems for human well-being is at the core of a new research module in the context of SDC’s and the Swiss National Science Foundation’s (SNSF) joint r4d Program (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development; www.r4d.ch). Researchers from Switzerland with their partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America will jointly generate new insights and develop innovative concepts and tools for a more sustainable and equitable provision of ecosystem services benefiting the poor.


Haïti : Programme de préservation et de valorisation de la biodiversité (PVB)

01.04.2013 - 30.06.2021

Dans le Massif de la Selle – situé au sud-est d’Haïti – se trouve une des dernières forêts natives du pays. Malgré son statut d’Air protégée, la préservation de la Forêt des pins est menacée par l’instalation autour et dans celle-ci de population à la recherche de revenus. Ainsi, le projet vise à renforcer l’Agence Nationale des Aires protégée du Ministère de l’Environnment dans ses efforts de prise en charge de la gestion participative de l’Aire protégée en incluant les acteurs locaux et en soutenant la population locale dans la création de revenus alternatifs.


Catastrophic Microinsurance in Central America

01.03.2013 - 31.03.2022

Central America is a natural disasters prone region where large vulnerable populations suffer over-proportionately from increasing frequency and impact of climate change events, as traditional disaster coping mechanisms are eroding with growing environmental pressures and rising urbanisation. The public-private development partnership with Swiss Re, FOMIN, and KfW’s Climate Adaptation Fund supports MiCRO in strengthening the disaster resilience of at least 80’000 vulnerable households by 30.9.2016.



Energising Development - Support to the Energising Development (EnDev) Initiative

01.11.2012 - 31.12.2023

Providing sustainable access to modern and climate friendly energy services to households, health centres, schools, and small enterprises impacts the lives of the beneficiaries in many ways: improved cooking reduces the burden on women and girls of fire-wood collection and their exposure to indoor air pollution; access to improved lighting reduces health hazards and allows children to study; energy availability improves access to information and communication and extends the range of productive activities; and energy access improves the conditions and quality of services such as education and health; all while reducing CO2 emissions.


Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development - Research Module on Employment

01.09.2012 - 31.12.2023

SDC and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) are offering a new long-term funding scheme for development-relevant research on global issues (www.r4d.ch). The main focus lies on the generation of new insights and solutions as well as on the application of research results into policy and practice through partnership projects between researchers from Switzerland and from developing countries. The overall r4d.ch program consists of five thematic modules and a module for thematically open research. The second module focuses on employment in the context of sustainable development.

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