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In a nutshell: Climate Change & Development

We are facing a global climate crisis. How does this affect the world’s poorest communities? Tim Dunwoody continues our In a Nutshell series…

Reston Njema, Makwasa, Malawi, stood in a ‘run-off pit’ as he spoke to me. His use of the pit, mulching and intercropping were all in response to the more unpredictable weather patterns his community was experiencing.

Farmers in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nepal and South Africa have all told me the same thing. It is becoming more and more difficult to determine when to plant and harvest and to irrigate sufficiently.
Whatever the cause, climate change is happening and the materially poor are the least able to prepare, cope or recover from the consequences.
They may lack the know-how to mitigate against effects and not have the safety nets of savings and insurance to recover when disaster strikes.

Climate change should influence development.
That’s why development programmes need to deliver new ideas and skills for farmers. The traditional ways may no longer be enough.