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Adaptation: How to adapt - looking for clues in other places.

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  • Ken MacClune
    Mitigation is an important part of climate policy but with the impacts of climate change already being realized and due to inertia in the Earth s climate
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2008
      Mitigation is an important part of climate policy but with the impacts
      of climate change already being realized and due to inertia in the
      Earth's climate system there is another 0.5 degrees of warming "in the
      pipeline". This warming will impact many communities around the
      globe. Warming would lead to increasing sea level and projects
      suggest that drought and increased storm intensity would likely
      increase as well. Thus adaptation is a necessary consideration when
      formulating climate policy.

      A major problem for formulating an adaptation policy is lack of
      history in doing so. Thus basics such as best strategies, methods and
      means are in the nascent stage of discovery. Into this void
      nonetheless we must walk. Perhaps to help on this path of discovery a
      look into how communities have adapted to other human induced problems
      would serve as a template for approaching climate adaptation. To that
      end a reading of the following article might lead to some interesting
      avenues of exploration.


      Landmines and Local Community Adaptation

      Benini, Aldo A.; Moulton, Lawrence H.; Conley, Charles E.

      Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Volume 10, Number 2,
      June 2002 , pp. 82-l94

      Despite international mobilization for greater humanitarian mine
      action and despite considerable clearance achievements, the majority
      of mine-affected communities have not yet been involved in formal
      clearance activities. They adapt to the contamination largely by local
      means. The differing degree to which local adaptation is successful is
      now better understood as a result of the Global Landmine Survey, a
      multi-country survey project launched in the wake of the 1997 Ottawa
      treaty to ban anti-personnel mines. Socio-economic impact surveys have
      since been completed in several countries. In addition to landmines,
      the Global Landmine Survey records impacts also from unexploded
      ordnance (UXO). The ability to avoid mine incidents is used to measure
      adaptation success. We use a variant of Poisson regression models in
      order to identify community and contamination correlates of the number
      of recent landmine victims. We estimate separate models using data
      from the Yemen, Chad and Thailand surveys. We interpret them in a
      common framework that includes variables from three domains: Pressure
      on resources, intensity of past conflict and communities'
      institutional endowments. Statistically significant associations occur
      in all three domains and in all the three countries studied. Physical
      correlates are the most strongly associated, pointing to a lasting
      deadly legacy of violent conflict, but also significant learning
      effects over time are present. Despite different measurements of
      institutional endowments, in each country one factor signifying
      greater local development is correlated with reductions in victims,
      whereas factors commonly associated with the presence of government
      officials do not contribute to local capacity to diminish the landmine
      problem. Strong spatial effects are manifest in clusters of
      communities with recent victims. Two policy consequences emerge.
      Firstly, given humanitarian funding limits, trade-offs between
      clearing contaminated land and creating alternative employment away
      from that land need to be studied more deeply; the Global Landmine
      Survey will need to reach out to other bodies of knowledge in
      development. Secondly, communities with similar contamination types
      and levels often form local clusters that are smaller than the
      administrative districts of the government and encourage tailored
      planning approaches for mine action. These call for novel coalitions
      that bring advocacy and grassroots NGOs together with local
      governments, agricultural and forestry departments and professional
      mine clearance and awareness education agencies.
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