The Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership Programme (CC A/M) at HoA-REC/N was initiated in 2009 and formally established in the first half of the year 2010. Since then, it is operational with a staff of three people: the programme head and two programme officers. The need for Climate Change Adaptation has been identified as one of the major social-environmental concerns of Ethiopia and the entire region of the Horn of Africa.
The programme’s activities and projects are based on, and designed in response to, the findings of a comprehensive climate change adaptation study. The research was conducted from February 2009 until March 2010 by HoA-REC. The empirical fieldwork of altogether 24 months was realized by Ethio-German teams, which worked partly parallel and in participatory cooperation with farmers and agro-pastoralists at 13 sites in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR.
In reflection of the generated comprehensive data on climate change impacts in Ethiopia, the climate change adaptation programmatic as of today was established. The programme interventions focus on agricultural (mixed farming) and agro-pastoral communities extraordinarily impacted by climate change and accordingly vulnerable. These especially vulnerable communities are found among those livelihood and production systems, which are highly dependent on livestock production, like agro-pastoralist livelihoods in the lowlands and, for example, sheep-keeper livelihoods in the highlands above 3,000m asl.
CCA/M works with partner organizations to implement projects of adaptation to climate change in the South Omo zone, the Central Rift Valley, Gambella and in the highlands of the Amhara Region (Degadamot woreda), where agro-pastoralists’ and farmers’ livelihoods are under threat by repeated cycles of drought, lack and irregularity of rainfall, increased temperature but as well, as in the case of the highland sites, more frequent and more destructive hailstorms.
In order to enhance the adaptive capacity of these highly CC-impacted societies, HoA-REC-CCA/M supports and facilitates technical innovations, which have been chosen by the communities in participatory discourses, e.g. enclosed rangeland management in Nyangatom territory. Those innovations, as is very obvious, demand adequate societal institutions – a field of activities, which HoA-REC is likewise concentrating on.
Thus, the programmatic set-up of the CCA/M-programme rests dominantly on these two pillars: technological (in a broader sense) innovations in response to the challenge of climate change adaptation and, in support of these, institution building in order to realize sustainability in adaptation. As institution building in local contexts cannot stand in isolation, the next step is to link these institutions with the zonal up to national institutional structure defined by the government and its partners.
The objectives of the CC A/M-programme are:
- To assess the feasibility of CCA-technical solutions (in beforehand identified most CC-vulnerable communities);
- To promote the build-up/modification of societal institutions to realise/implement adaptation measures;
- To provide capacity building for relevant local agents (NGOs, CBOs, GOs at the local level) on issues of CC-adaptation/mitigation (trainings in participatory community work, consultative meetings and workshops);
- To facilitate and support research on relevant issues in line with climate change adaptation challenges;
- To develop and implement expertise in financing schemes in CC-adaptation/mitigation (price negotiations, procedures of handling);
- To increase the adaptive capacity of pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers towards climate change; and
- To create a platform to climate change mitigation by developing pilot dry land carbon sequestration projects.
By way of Participatory Action Research (PAR), measures and means of adaptation to the given fundamental environmental challenges have been identified together with the communities. Existing knowledge and experience in climate change adaptation on the ground has been captured and integrated into discourses on future perspectives of the communities. Technical innovations for CC-adaptation – e.g. participatory rangeland management, watershed rehabilitation and sustainable land management schemes – have been identified in cases, where communities explicitly could not rely on formerly well established coping mechanisms of past times. In order to safeguard sustainability, feasibility-studies on projected innovations have been initialized: at the highland site a cooperation-agreement with the national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the feasibility of selected adaptation measures is in progress.
From a mid-term perspective the outcomes of activities at the pilot sites are to be up-scaled and transferred to sites with comparable characteristics and introduced to the national institutional set-up of climate change adaptation at the various levels (zonal up to federal) of agency. In this context climate change adaptation will be institutionally linked with mitigation (e.g. carbon sequestration potential of rangelands and watershed rehabilitation). In reflection of global mechanisms of climate change financing schemes, the HoA-REC-CCA/M Programme will seek cooperation with further agents in this field with high priority and realize chances to promote carbon financing on the ground in order to interlink adaptation and mitigation in local contexts. With emphasis on these extended and quasi globalised endeavours for adaptation to climate change, attention will be given to a concern of further global impact: climate change adaptation/mitigation financing will be directed explicitly towards governance of, and advocacy for, livelihood security and protection of marginalized groups and peoples in Ethiopia:
- Scale up of successful climate change adaptation practices towards other agro-pastoral and mixed agriculture livelihood areas;
- Scale up the institutional capacity building in adaptation to climate change in to other climate impacted areas of CRV, Omo-Gambella landscape; and
- Initiate and promote the carbon financing schemes into livelihood improving and sustainable rangeland management.