Know Climate Change

Adaptation and Mitigation


Adaptation and Sustainable Development

The most significant challenge in implementing the various adaptation strategies mentioned earlier is not the identification of the most vulnerable systems or the potential adaptation actions, rather it is the enhancement of the capacity of a nation to undertake adaptation actions; in other words, we need to focus on the adaptive capacity.

The ability to adapt depends on the state on development. In this light, the issue of adaptation becomes closely correlated with sustainable development.

In the absence of economic development, it is difficult to envisage many developing countries managing the risks arising from climate change. Therefore, climate change is increasingly recognized as both a developmental issue as well as an environmental one.

Such a situation calls for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into development policies. Mainstreaming refers to an approach where adaptation to climate change is recognized as a critical part of sustainable development, and is taken into account in all policies, programmes, activities, funding decisions, and so on. The first step in mainstreaming is to understand how climate change is linked to the development challenge or the sector under consideration.

There are various means and ways of mainstreaming. One such measure is community-based approach to adaptation; building on the considerable body of knowledge already possessed by poor people is essential.

Let us now study about integrating adaptation into development policies, and the tools and methods used for such integration.

What is Sustainable

Sustainable development has been viewed as a panacea for traditional issues such as poverty, economic stagnation, and for newer challenges such as environmental degradation and globalization.

The genesis of the term ‘sustainable development’ goes back to the 1980s, in the Brundtland Commission documents - ‘Our Common Future’. It identifies three main dimensions of sustainable development, namely economic, social and environmental, and these should be advanced at the local, regional, national and global levels.

In the Yamuna River area of Rajasthan, India, a number of poor communities have revived traditional rainwater harvesting methods in the form of johads — small semicircular dams, and helped recharge groundwater and made their villages virtually drought-proof.