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IISD Publishes Reports on Adaptation Strategies in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru

January 2013: Four reports published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) address climate risk management (CRM) in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru. The reports were written as part of the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) CRM Technical Assistance Support Project (TASP).

CRM TASP is led by UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) with inputs from the UNDP Bureau for Development Policy Energy and Environment Group (BDP/EEG). The objective of the project is to analyze risks to development associated with climate variability and change in order to define and prioritize risk management solution measures in both the short- and long-term.

The reports illustrate how different communities in high-risk countries may have to adapt to a changing climate across a range of sectors. “CRM for Water and Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Focus on the Yaque Del Sur Basin” stresses that current coping strategies are insufficient to address future climate risks, particularly severe water stress. The report recommends CRM strategies, including: building water reservoirs; climate-proofing access roads; implementing agroforestry systems; promoting reforestation through payment for ecosystem services (PES) systems; increasing irrigation efficiency from 20 to 45%; and using drought-adapted crop varieties.

“CRM for Smallholder Agriculture in Honduras” identifies low adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers to adapt to additional climate-related water stress, given existing environmental degradation and farmers' low education and income levels. The report proposes several CRM interventions, inter alia: building climate-proofing infrastructure; implementing sustainable agriculture practices, including agroforestry, reforestation and soil conservation; improving water management; increasing access to finance and insurance; and increasing adaptive capacity through improving local governance and social organization.

“Climate Risk Management for the Health Sector in Nicaragua” states that universal access to clean water and sanitation is a priority for Nicaragua to manage climate-related health risks, including increased prevalence of water-borne diseases and the destruction of health infrastructure. The report also recommends additional strategies, including: flood control; expanded health service coverage; reforestation; integrating disaster risk management and climate change adaptation approaches into sectoral and national development planning; increased support for community disaster committees; and water conservation.

“CRM for Agriculture in Peru: Focus on the Regions of Junin and Piura” finds that CRM strategies in the agriculture sector must address current climate variability while also preparing for impacts from glacier retreat and warming. The report recommends, inter alia: climate-proofing local infrastructure; coordinating CRM policies; diversifying livelihoods; increasing irrigation and water management efficiency; increasing access to markets and financing; and reviving ancestral agricultural practices and coping mechanisms that can reduce drought and frost, such as diversifying crops, topographical planning and using organic fertilizer.

Each report includes chapters on: development profile, climate profile; climate impacts and risks; institutions and policies for climate risk management; and recommendations for CRM, including priority actions, governance recommendations and areas where further research is needed.

IISD also implemented the CRM TASP project in Africa (Kenya, Niger and Uganda). [Publication: CRM for Water and Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Focus on the Yaque Del Sur Basin] [Publication: CRM for Smallholder Agriculture in Honduras] [Publication: CRM for the Health Sector in Nicaragua] [IISD CRM Website][Publication: CRM for Agriculture in Peru: Focus on the Regions of Junin and Piura] [Publication: UNDP Climate Risk Management]