From knowledge to action on climate change impact and poverty reduction

June 09, 2010.  

From knowledge to action: Development researchers and practitioners integrate knowledge and action on climate change impact and poverty reduction

On May 28, 2010 around 80 international development experts met in Bonn to discuss the outcome and implications of the study “Waiting for the water to come? Poverty reduction in times of global climate change”. This study was conducted by ZEF in association with CARE Germany-Luxemburg in 2009. Its main messages were that climate change and poverty reduction are inseparable, and that poor people in developing countries are particularly affected by climate change and vulnerable to its impacts.

“Climate change is not the only cause of poverty”, said Professor Solvay Gerke, Director at ZEF, during her key note speech to the workshop audience. “However, it aggravates the vicious circle that keeps people captured in the poverty trap. As a practical implication for relief organizations this means that climate change increases the number of poor people and makes efforts to combat poverty more difficult”.

The ZEF/CARE study does not only provide an overview of the anticipated consequences of climate change and their effects, but includes case studies on particular countries too. One of the case studies covers Indonesia and was carried out by Dr. Anna Hornidge, Senior Researcher at ZEF. The author pointed out that: “Our case study focuses on how local communities are affected by global climate change and how they develop their own survival strategies. The study clearly shows that knowledge is the most important factor for ensuring that people are capable of taking action and able to adapt effectively. However, their ability to react to the consequences of climate change is largely determined on their standard of living. Thus, climate change widens the poverty gap and leads to new inequalities”.

Read also our article in the ZEF news no 22.


Alma van der Veen