Supporting Climate Change Adaption

PCI is helping vulnerable communities address climate change adaptation by increasing long-term resilience to climate-related shocks.

Overview

Devastating storms. Conflicts over reduced resources. Failing crops. Little to no water. Climate change is a global issue that affects us all. From pole to pole, large cities and rural areas alike need innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and solutions in order to become more climate-resilient.

As weather patterns continue to change, poor communities, especially in developing nations, are the most impacted. For many of these communities—both urban and rural—even small changes in weather can have a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods.

For example, changes in average temperatures, rainfall, climate extremes, atmospheric carbon dioxide, ground-level ozone concentrations and sea-level rise negatively affect crop production and livestock health. A heavy weather event, such as flooding, in urban areas can have catastrophic impacts on communities that lack secure housing infrastructure.

Climate change is already significantly impacting communities around the world and is expected to become increasingly disruptive in the coming decades, adversely impacting human health, agriculture and food security, water supply, transportation, energy, ecosystems, and more.

  • Pastoralists working
  • woman and child in poverty
  • Kenya men
  • Working herd

Our Approach to Climate Change Adaption

PCI partners with the public and private sectors in vulnerable communities to support climate change adaptation and reinforce resilience. These efforts include helping communities to: understand their unique vulnerabilities and opportunities; diversify livelihoods and agriculture; rehabilitate watersheds that protect communities from extreme weather, establish early warning systems to avoid weather-related disasters; and help urban areas upgrade their infrastructure and systems to be better prepared.

Climate Smart Communities

In the dry western highlands of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, families prepare food over traditional open fires, consuming far more wood than they would with a stove. Cooking this way not only results in greater deforestation, it also results in greater carbon emissions and causes families smoke-related health problems.

With the support of Climate Smart Commitment from Rick Steves’ Europe, PCI is working to provide families with clean, efficient cookstoves, which will lower carbon emissions by 50 percent or more and dramatically reduce firewood-related deforestation and smoke-related health problems. PCI will also support community leaders as they start the reforesting process by providing tree seedlings, and increase food security by building drought-resistant, water-conserving gardens.

Learn more about the Climate Smart Commitment.

AfriScout: Indigenous Practices Meet Mobile Technology

In Africa, pastoralism remains a way of life where 250 million people move with their animal herds in search of fresh pasture and water. Due to the impacts of climate change and ongoing droughts, finding pasture and water is becoming increasingly difficult. On average, pastoralists are losing over a third of their herd every year, which represents roughly $3,000 in local market value.

Recognizing that data could enhance indigenous knowledge and practices, PCI created AfriScout, an app that provides pastoralists with current information on water and vegetation conditions using localized community grazing maps. This data helps them make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions, improve pasture management, and reduce the risk of herd loss.

AfriScout helps pastoralists determine where and when to migrate or if they should delay, hasten, or forgo migrating altogether to preserve the caloric expenditure of their animals. App users can now avoid degraded pastures, leaving them fallow until they have rejuvenated enough to return, helping conserve grasses. They can also monitor past forage conditions, giving them the ability to analyze climatic changes in their local areas over time.

Njira’s Integrated Water Resources Management Program

In Malawi’s Shire River basin and Lake Chilwa, activities such as deforestation have degraded the environment, increased soil erosion, and reduced water availability and land productivity for local farmers. Through the community-based Njira Integrated Watershed Management program, PCI has helped build an understanding of the negative impact of deforestation and rehabilitated 20 watersheds in Balaka and Machinga Districts.

Supporting Urban Disaster Resilience and Risk Reduction in Guatemala

Since 2012, PCI’s Barrio Mio, Spanish for “my neighborhood,” project in Guatemala has been improving urban resilience in seven municipalities that are prone to climate change-induced disasters like landslides, flooding, earthquakes along with other challenges such as violence, poverty, and food insecurity.

The Barrio Mio program connects a broad range of stakeholders to improve urban programming. Community members, banks, municipalities, ministries, the private sector, universities, and local organizations work together to identify urban risks and develop collaborative strategies to increase resilience and respond to crises.

Through this program, vulnerable urban neighborhoods can increase income, expand agricultural productivity, improve health and clean water and sanitation conditions, and help communities identify and address shocks and stresses.

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