Bioversity and IDS Publish Toolkit to Measure Communities’ Climate Change Vulnerability

19 June 2015: Bioversity International and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) have developed a toolkit to help researchers and extension agents undertake participatory vulnerability analyses in rural communities and assess their potential to adapt to climate change.

The toolkit, presented in the publication 'Climate Change & Food Security Vulnerability Assessment – Toolkit for assessing community-level potential for adaptation to climate change,' includes guidance on how to: carry out participatory mapping and understand the interrelations between climactic impacts, food systems and livelihood strategies at the local level, while considering traditional/indigenous knowledge of the participating community. It also includes exercises that help to access the knowledge and experiences of the local community to understand their vulnerability and develop improved adaptation strategies.

The toolkit takes a multidimensional view of vulnerability, focusing on differentiated access and entitlements to livelihood resources and food for different groups within a community. It also aims to address why and how people are vulnerable to climate change, and the consequences of this for food security. The objective is that through the understanding of local context and vulnerability, combined with other sources of information, such as meteorological data and socioeconomic indicators, the appropriate adaptation measures to be implemented can be identified.

Two case studies that have tested the toolkit in Colombia and Tanzania are also available to illustrate how the toolkit can be used in practice. In Colombia, the toolkit was tested in the Chicamocha canyon, an area that has recently experienced increasing drought and desertification. In Tanzania, the toolkit was used in the Dodoma district, and used to evaluate crops, such as sorghum, cowpea and pigeon pea, and understand how crop diversity could help increase resilience to climate change.

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