Drought Adaptation, Climate Change in Africa (Land-l.IISD)

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UNDP, GEF Progam Tackles Drought Adaptation, Climate Change in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe

Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are addressing drought-adaptation and climate change through an ongoing UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) program, titled “Coping with Drought and Climate Change.” The three-year program aims to increase the use of drought-adaptation farming techniques and coping mechanisms and to facilitate sharing of experience and knowledge among the four countries.

The program trains farmers on how to implement drought-adaptation measures, including through using high-yield, drought-resistant seeds and employing early warning systems to predict the rainy season and to plan crop cycles. These strategies have increased crop yields and resulted in more stable crop yields during periods of erratic rainfall, according to UNDP. In Ethiopia, for example, where erratic rainfall patterns have increased vulnerability to climate-related shocks and increased food insecurity in already fragile communities, the introduction of drought-resistant seeds have increased farmers’ adaptive capacity and income and decreased reliance on food aid.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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