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Global Environmental Change Group

International Development

Among the most vulnerable people in the world are those in developing countries, many of whom are highly dependent on natural resources and exposed to environmental hazards. Furthermore, communities in these environments are often limited in their ability to cope or adapt to conditions that threaten their livelihoods and lives. In working with some of these vulnerable communities, we have contributed to the recognition that adaptations to climate variability, extremes and change are rarely undertaken alone, but to a host of forces and conditions.

We have helped to advance the position that adaptation initiatives need be considered and planned in the context of new and existing development programs. Working with development agencies and NGOs, we draw on field work experience to promote the integration or “mainstreaming” of climate change adaptation into programs and initiatives to assist communities in achieving sustainable livelihoods and development.

We have participated in development activities in different regions of the world. In Africa, we have collaborated on projects addressing agro-ecosystem health in Kenya and Ethiopia (IDRC, ILRI), vulnerability to sleeping sickness in Uganda (IDRC, ILRI), adaptation to climate change in coastal communities in Nigeria, and vulnerability and adaptive capacity in the Afram Plains of Ghana. In the South Pacific, we have worked on the development of climate adaptation programs and local applications in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Cook islands (CIDA, SPREP). In Asia, we have contributed to practical vulnerability and adaptation work in poor communities of southern Bangladesh (CIDA, CARE). We have also contributed to coastal adaptation projects in Vietnam (CIDA, CECI), and deforestation/reforestation issues in central Philippines (University of the Philippines, Los Baños)

Other contributions to development and disaster management initiatives related to climate change were made to activities undertaken by UNDP, UNEP, RCRC, IDRC, and the UNFCCC.

Please visit our Study Sites section to read about international development research undertaken by our core team. These study sites include Mimkyemfre (Ghana), Subarnabad (Bangladesh), and Saoluafata (Samoa).

Some of the accomplishments of our international development research are summarized in Berrang-Ford et al. (2005), Sutherland et al. (2005), Pouliotte et al. (2006). Visit our Publications section to find the full references for these, and other, publications.