Increasing Climate Variability and Change: Reducing the Vulnerability of Agriculture and Forestry

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In the hinterland areas, climate change-related inland flooding is the most pressing hazard with the largest potential for widespread damage. The Himalayan Karakorum Hindukush Mountain region contains the second largest glacier in the world and acts as the main source for river systems in the area. However, it is also prone to climate-related hazards such as floods, avalanches and landslides, which occur annually and can cause significant human and material losses.

Rapid glacial melt due to climate change is causing increased water flow into glacier lakes, threatening the prospect of Glacier Lake Outburst Floods GLOFs. Tuvalu's climate vulnerability stems from its inadequate public service delivery and vulnerable communication network in outer islands, compounded by its geography. The goal of the project is to increase the resilience of outer island communities to future climate change induced risks such as declining marine resources productivity and intensifying climatic hazards.

The occurrence of glacier lake outburst flooding GLOF events in Nepal is potentially increasing due to various factors, including climate change. With a focus on community-based risk reduction - and encompassing much-needed non-structural risk reduction measures such as early warning systems, awareness-raising, coordinated preparedness and land use planning - the objective of this project was to reduce human and material losses from GLOF in Solukhumbu district and catastrophic flooding events in the Terai and Churia Range.

The Cook Islands is subject to highly destructive cyclones, intense rainfall events, and devastating droughts. The isolated populations in the Pa Enua sister islands to the capital island of Rarotonga are especially vulnerable to the anticipated changes in climate, including increased frequency and intensity of rainfall and tropical storms; rising and extreme sea levels and changing wind patterns; and hotter, drier weather. Most aspects of life have suffered: People have been displaced, institutions disintegrated, and essential communal and public infrastructure damaged.

People could no longer access markets as they once had and the transport of goods virtually came to a halt. Once-industrious communities that had produced lush harvests of rice, vegetables, fruits, and other crash crops became impoverished. The "Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda" project will support the Government of Uganda in the management of critical wetlands that are being affected by a changing climate.

With one of the highest rates of disaster occurrences in Latin America, Colombia experiences on average 2. The increasing intensity of these events has consequently pushed back advances in social development, leading to increased inequality and poverty. Climate change severely threatens sustainable development opportunities for Malawi. The country faces a number of climate-induced disasters including floods, droughts, stormy rains and strong winds.

The intensity and frequency of climate-related hazards have been increasing in recent decades, due to climate change as well as other factors like population growth, urbanization and environmental degradation. Farmers and rural populations have been amongst the most affected. Further, the unsustainable use of natural resource costs Malawi USD million or 5. Mitigation of flood damage remains the highest priority need in the area, particularly in light of projected increases in intensification of rainfall and storm events.

Fiji lacks an integrated natural resource management plan that incorporates climate change, agriculture, flood, and drought risk simultaneously. These frameworks will address climate change and pilot adaptation measures. It is one of the first field-based climate change preparation projects in Eastern Africa with strong links to basin and national planning and policy, and as such will build national and regional capacity, provide lessons and serve as a national and regional demonstration site. This project, "Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Zambia to support climate resilient development", responds to priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Zambia which articulate the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes.

The technologies required to achieve these aims will increase the capacity of the national early warning network to forewarn and rapidly respond to extreme climate events. The project, "Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation in Sierra Leone", responds to priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Sierra Leone which articulate the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes.

Vulnerability analyses for Ethiopia suggest that environmental changes over the coming decades present a serious threat to economic and social sectors. These investments are at risk as a result of climate change and therefore require a strategy to ensure their long-term sustenance. The Dili to Ainaro development corridor is one such region that is increasingly at risk from climate change and disaster related impacts including localized flooding, landslides and strong winds.

The project, " Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Ethiopia to Support Climate Resilient Development ", responds to priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Ethiopia which articulate the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes.

The NAPA articulates the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes.

The overarching goal of the project is to safeguard development benefits for vulnerable communities from future climate change induced risks. The community disaster risk management project will enhance local climatic governance by building capacity of key actors and providing necessary risks management tools e. The project will also promote sustainable and equitable economic growth through the adoption of adaptation-related technologies aiming to rehabilitate and protect vulnerable communities assets.

Increasing evidence of climate risks confronts Samoa with decreasing agricultural productivity and climate related water-borne diseases. The Cuvelai Basin has experienced regular flooding for centuries; however over the past three hydrological years the Basin has had extensive floodings with various negative repercussions, including loss of life and property.

According to the Angola Civil Protection Commission, at least persons were killed, , displaced and , directly affected by flooding between January and April throughout Angola. The Cuvelai Basin region was especially impacted. Coastal communities in southern Thailand are amongst the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Over recent decades, tropical storms, cyclones, floods and coastal erosion have become more frequent and severe, with increasing loss of life and damage to livelihoods, property and infrastructure.

Climate change is projected to aggravate existing problems through increased frequency and intensity of existing climate hazards and rising sea levels.

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The project, "Adaptation to the Effects of Drought and Climate Change in Zambia", will support climate-resilient water management and agricultural practices. In , heavy flooding occurred, taking the lives of dozens of people and displacing hundreds of families from Gishwati Forest to Nyabihu District.

Climate change, overpopulation and inadequate disaster preparedness compound the risk of future floods and landslides, putting the lives of the , inhabitants of the district in peril. The project, "Strengthening Climate Information and EWS in Western and Central Africa: Burkina Faso", responds to priorities and actions identified in the NAPA of Burkina Faso which articulate the need for securing, transferring and installing critical technologies, as well as developing the necessary systems for climate change-related information to permeate into decision-making processes.

The Drini and Mati River Deltas in Albania are experiencing stressful impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems as a result of climate change. There is currently a lack of institutional and individual capacities to undertake a rigorous assessment or to address the potential climate change impacts on biodiversity. The aim of this project is to address key risks and vulnerabilities in the coastal areas of Drini Mati River Deltas of the Northern Adriatic by developing the capacity to adapt to climate change.

A country housing the largest number of displaced population, Sudan faces additional stress as a result of climate change.

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Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in North West Rwanda through Community Based Adaptation

This project is designed to reduce drought and flooding risks generated by climate change and variability in the Estero Real River watershed. The impacts of climate change on the Guinean coastal zone are predicted to adversely affect coastal economic development, coastal natural resources, coastal agricultural production and globally, food security. Reducing vulnerability of agriculture and forestry to climate variability and change: Workshop summary and recommendations, Climatic Change Volume 70, Issue , May , Pages Abstract The International Workshop on Reducing Vulnerability of Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Variability and Climate Change held in Ljubljana, Solvenia, from 7 to 9 October addressed a range of important issues relating to climate variability, climate change, agriculture, and forestry including the state of agriculture and forestry and agrometeological information, and potential adaptation strategies for agriculture and forestry to changing climate conditions and other pressures.

There is evidence that global warming over the last millennium has already resulted in increased global average annual temperature and changes in rainfall, with the s being likely the warmest decade in the Northern Hemisphere at least. During the past century, changes in temperature patterns have, for example, had a direct impact on the number of frost days and the length of growing seasons with significant implications for agriculture and forestry. Land cover changes, changes in global ocean circulation and sea surface temperature patterns, and changes in the composition of the global atmosphere are leading to changes in rainfall.

These changes may be more pronounced in the tropics. For example, crop varieties grown in the Sahel may not be able to withstand the projected warming trends and will certainly be at risk due to projected lower amounts of rainfall as well. Seasonal to interannual climate forecasts will definitely improve in the future with a better understanding of dynamic relationships.

Focus on agriculture and forestry benefits of reducing climate change impacts - IOPscience

However, the main issue at present is how to make better use of the existing information and dispersion of knowledge to the farm level. Direct participation by the farming communities in pilot projects on agrometeorological services will be essential to determine the actual value of forecasts and to better identify the specific user needs. Old visits, extension radio and new internet communication techniques, when adapted to local applications, may assist in the dissemination of useful information to the farmers and decision makers.

Some farming systems with an inherent resilience may adapt more readily to climate pressures, making long-term adjustments to varying and changing conditions. Other systems will need interventions for adaptation that should be more strongly supported by agrometeorological services for agricultural producers. This applies, among others, to systems where pests and diseases play an important role. Scientists have to guide policy makers in fostering an environment in which adaptation strategies can be effected. There is a clear need for integrating preparedness for climate variability and climate change.

In developed countries, a trend of higher yields, but with greater annual fluctuations and changes in cropping patterns and crop calendars can be expected with changing climate scenarios. Shifts in projected cropping patterns can be disruptive to rural societies in general. However, developed countries have the technology to adapt more readily to the projected climate changes.

Climate impacts and how to adapt

In many developing countries, the present conditions of agriculture and forestry are already marginal, due to degradation of natural resources, the use of inappropriate technologies and other stresses. For these reasons, the ability to adapt will be more difficult in the tropics and subtropics and in countries in transition. Food security will remain a problem in many developing countries. Nevertheless, there are many examples of traditional knowledge, indigenous technologies and local innovations that can be used effectively as a foundation for improved farming systems.


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Before developing adaptation strategies, it is essential to learn from the actual difficulties faced by farmers to cope with risk management at the farm level. Agrometeorologists must play an important role in assisting farmers with the development of feasible strategies to adapt to climate variability and climate change.

Agrometeorologists should also advise national policy makers on the urgent need to cope with the vulnerabilities of agriculture and forestry to climate variability and climate change. The workshop recommendations were largely limited to adaptation. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate variability and climate change is of high priority for nearly all countries, but developing countries are particularly vulnerable. Effective measures to cope with vulnerability and adaptation need to be developed at all levels.

Capacity building must be integrated into adaptation measures for sustainable agricultural development strategies.

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