Know Climate Change

Adaptation and Mitigation


Integrating Adaptation into Development Policies

Links between climate change adaptation and development policies are several and varied, and they generally interact in a circular manner. Human-induced climate change poses a severe threat to the achievement of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), related to national poverty alleviation and sustainable development (TERI).

Millennium Development Goals... Click to know

The MDGs are eight international development goals that 192 United Nations member states and atleast 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.

The broad goals are as follows.

  • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
  • Goal 5: Improve maternal health
  • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Each goal mentioned above has internal sub-goals. Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven. Some countries have achieved many of the goals, while others are not on track to realize any.

To know more about the MDGs, you can visit the website of the United Nations.

The rationale for integrating adaptation into development strategies and practices is underlined by the fact that interventions required to enhance resilience to climate variability and change generally furthers development objectives. Adaptation calls for natural resource management, buttressing food security, development of social and human capital, and strengthening of institutional systems. Such processes, besides building the resilience of communities, regions and countries to all shocks and stresses, including climate variability and change, are good development practices in themselves (TERI).

Thus, it is necessary to understand which specific climate change impacts and measures will affect development efforts and how. For example, an increase in fuel prices as a method of decreasing GHG emissions could impose an inequitable burden on the poor; while carbon sequestration measures could aid social policy by enhancing sustainability of livelihoods. Hence, integration between the two realms of adaptation and development is a prerequisite for a productive understanding of sustainable development, and may provide new opportunities for integrated policy development.

Integration of climate change aspects into sustainable development policies and into decision-making enables us to

  • Address the problem cost-effectively and at the scale required
  • Ensure that duplication of efforts and wastage of scarce resources is avoided