It won’t happen to me” is a widely found syndrome. It is a tendency we observe more particularly in cases of extreme misfortune, especially in the face of major disasters and accidents. While discussing possibility of such occurrences, the first thought in the minds of most of people, whereas very few think otherwise and accept, “Yes, it could happen to me.
Climate change is a global phenomenon and a challenging reality for thinkers, planners, policymakers and professionals alike. It is a phenomenon that is likely to impact almost every sector of Pakistan’s economy. Today it stands not only as a major environmental issue but also as a multi-dimensional developmental issue. It was in this backdrop that the Planning Commission of Pakistan set up a ‘Task Force on Climate Change’ (TFCC) in October 2008 to provide appropriate guidelines for ensuring security of vital resources of the country such as food, water and energy. The key task assigned to the TFCC was to contribute to the formulation of a climate change policy that would assist the government in pursuing the paramount goal of sustained economic growth by appropriately addressing the challenges posed by the climate change.
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Disaster risk is most detailed at a micro-social or territorial scale. As we aggregate and work at more macro scales, details are lost. However, decision-making and information needs at each level are quite different, as are the social actors and stakeholders. This means that appropriate evaluation tools are necessary to make it easy to understand the problem and guide the decision-making process. It is fundamentally important to understand how vulnerability is generated, how it increases and how it accumulates. Performance benchmarks are also needed to facilitate decision makers’ access to relevant information as well as the identification and proposal of effective policies and actions. The system of indicators proposed for the Americas permits a systematic and quantitative bench marking of each country during different periods between 1980 and 2000, as well as comparisons across countries. Four components or composite indicators have been designed to represent the main elements of vulnerability and show each country’s progress in managing risk.
Are there possibilities for the affected communities to be heard and will the international community be able to negotiate an agreement ? Will this agreement be strong enough and not too late to bring about a real solution to dangerous climate change?
Climate Change does not belong to one sector, one industry, one stakeholder group, one Ministry or even one Party grouping!
Developing countries need international assistance to support adaptation in the context of national planning for sustainable development, more capacity-building and transfer of technology and funds. Systematic planning and capacity-building are also needed to reduce the risk of disasters and raise the resilience of communities to increasing extreme events such as droughts, floods and tropical cyclones. Funding for adaptation in developing countries must be sufficient and sustained. Least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) in particular need special consideration due to their extreme vulnerability.
Climate change or global warming is an important research area now. Unless proper adaptation strategies are implemented, it will have far reaching environmental changes that could have severe impacts on societies throughout the world. Further, it will have multidimensional effect on humanity in terms of several socio-economic parameters like agriculture, human health, sea level rise, scarcity of labour, disease prevalence etc. Hence any scientific study on climate change should take into account vulnerabilities of the different regions and then it has to study its impacts on several sectors.
Although the generalization has many important caveats, across the world the most efficient and productive agriculture is situated in countries in which farms are family-owned,large-scale and mechanized. However, comparisons of farming productivity across countries cannot easily identify the essential barriers to augmenting farming productivity, as countries differ in their property rights regimes, financial systems, labor markets, agroclimatic conditionsand other institutional and environmental features. A vast literature has highlighted, usually one at a time, various market imperfections as constraining agricultural productivity in poor countries. These include, for example, credit market barriers, lack of insurance, problems of worker effort, and labor market transaction costs. However, many of these market problems are not confined to poor countries. Moral hazard and adverse selection afflict credit markets in all settings, and farmers do not have unlimited access to capital anywhere in the world. Nor dofamily farms in many developed countries use employment schemes that differ importantly from those used in those low -income settings where family farms also dominate. And most farmers inhigh-income countries do not participate in formal crop, income or weather insurance markets. It is thus unlikely that labor market problems or lack of insurance or even credit constraints, can alone account for the large differences in the productivity of farms across many developed and developing countries.
This paper uses farmers’ responses to exogenous weather shocks in South Africa’s Limpopo River Basin to gauge how farmers are apt to respond to future climate change-induced shocks, in particular drought. Droughts are expected to increase in both frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. This study examines the costs of drought today and who it affects the most, in an effort to guide policy adaptations in the future. A combination of descriptive statistics and econometric analysis is used to approximate the potential impact of droughts on rural South African households. This paper also estimates household vulnerability. After controlling for household heterogeneity using propensity score matching, it is noted that there is no statistically significant impact of droughts on income, thus suggesting households have already adapted to living in a drought-prone environment. The types of households that were more vulnerable to climate shocks are analyzed using two measures of vulnerability: the probability of falling below income of 7,800 South African Rand (R), and the probability of income falling below 16,000 R. Residents of the Limpopo province were the least vulnerable under both metrics. Setswana and SeSwati households were more vulnerable than other ethnic groups. Households that do not own livestock and households that rely on rainfed agriculture were also more vulnerable than other households.