Working with local farmers to build local solutions

By Jenna Banning

A recent report offers an alternative to the traditional response to climate change – instead of depending on external organizations to create new initiatives, climate change adaptation (CCA) efforts may be much more successful when local solutions are recognized and encouraged.

This farmer in West Timor, Indonesia, has created an innovative way to protect his crops from floods. (Photo Credit: Prolinnova)

Prolinnova is a community of country/regional organizations from across the world, focusing on local innovations by farmers to effectively and sustainably address agricultural and natural resource management issues. Their study explores perceptions of climate change in Ethiopia, Nepal, and Niger, and how indigenous people in those countries are adapting to it.

Farmers in Nepal, for example, have adapted to increased flooding, landslides, and changes in monsoon timing by changing what and where they plant. Smallholders in West Timor have a saying for the same problem – alam sudah berubah (nature has changed) – but farmers there have come up with a different solution. By building palm tree and sediment fences around flood-prone land before the rainy season, their crops are protected.

Do you know of any successful projects which partner the strengths of local innovations with large organizations? Let us know about them!

For more, please see the policy brief: Strengthening local resilience to climate change

Jenna Banning is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

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