Vanuatu Agriculture & Climate Change Assesment Methodology
Agriculture practices and traditional knowl-edge have been passed down through many generations of Ni-Vanuatu and are particular to different areas of the country. However, these methods may need to be shifted. Predicted changes to rainfall, temperature, storms and sea level linked to climate change may result in changes to planting, fruiting and harvesting times, pests and diseases, location of gardens, soil fertility and other inputs of agriculture products.
This agriculture field assessment guide is de-signed to be used with communities or farmers to identify changes to agriculture that may be a re-sult of climate change. The methods included to identify issues and possible solutions are based on participatory rural appraisal techniques (PRAs). The tools found in this field guide were compiled and refined over a 2 day meeting of Vanuatu gov-ernment and NGO agriculture field workers. While an individual can facilitate the assessment, the ideal assessment facilitation process would include a team of experts from many relevant fields (agriculture, health, environment, meteor-ology, etc.)
The assessment within this field guide should be led by a facilitator (or facilitation team) who will ask agriculture-focused questions and then listen and record the responses from the community members. By using each of the tools provided, a comprehensive assessment can be made of the community’s agriculture situation. The goal of these tools is to identify 3 themes:
1. Observed changes to subsistence agricul-ture
2. Adaptive strategies being employed in re-sponse to these agricultural changes, spe-cifically in relation to climate change
3. Community agricultural vulnerability to any expected changes (climatic or other-wise)
The tools are intended to focus on root and per-ennial crops. However, because each Ni-Vanuatu community and island utilizes different crops and agriculture systems, the facilitator may see a need to assess other areas of the agriculture sector.
When identifying the communities or areas for this assessment, facilitators should consider the selected areas vulnerability to possible climate change impacts. Those areas the facilitators feel are more likely to face impacts before other areas should be assessed. Also look at areas where pos-sible solutions can be implemented. The area of observation should be agriculture, however if the facilitator sees the need, other areas can be in-cluded.