People are already adapting to climate change, and the need for adaptation will grow as climate change intensifies. Climate change will increase some risks, particularly those associated with extremes such as floods, droughts, extreme high temperatures. It will lead to increased water stress in some locations, and heavier rainfall in others (in some places, it may do both, as rainfall occurs in fewer, more intense, events). Existing systems will need to be adapted and upgraded to cope with these changes through so-called ‘incremental adaptation’. In some contexts, climate change and related changes in environmental conditions will mean that existing systems and practices simply become unviable. Where this occurs, a key question will be whether, and with what, current systems and practices can be replaced. Replacing systems that are not sustainable under climate change with alternatives that are more appropriate under new climatic conditions is an example of what is referred to as ‘transformational adaptation.’
Since its establishment in 2012, Garama’s work has had a strong focus on adaptation, and on how it can be integrated or ‘mainstreamed’ into development at large. Our work has included:
- The screening of development initiatives, and the development of screening methodologies, to identify climate change risks, and opportunities to promote action on climate change through both adaptation and mitigation (the latter through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions).
- The development of frameworks and methodologies for tracking the effectiveness of adaptation.
- Training of development practitioners from government, NGOs, research organisations, multilateral agencies and the private sector in adaptation, mainstreaming, the identification and prioritisation of adaptation measures, and the development of M&E systems for adaptation interventions.
- The identification of lessons around adaptation and resilience from climate change programmes.
- Research with academic partners on adaptation to rapid and severe climate change based on case studies from the past.
- The preparation of research and discussion papers on resilience and adaptation, including the emerging topic of ‘transformational’ adaptation