Building climate change adaptation on community experiences: lessons from community-based natural resource management in southern Africa
Nyasha E. Chishakwe, Laurel Murray, Muyeye Chambwera
IIED and WWF Southern Africa, May 2012

This publication looks at how community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) can inform and contribute to community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change. It provides a framework for analysing the two approaches at conceptual and practical levels. Using case studies from southern Africa, the publication demonstrates the synergies between CBA and CBNRM, most important of which are the adaptation co-benefits between the two. The overall conclusion of this paper is that CBNRM and CBA can build on their respective synergies, with the experiences from CBNRM providing a strong basis for building a strong CBA foundation, underpinned by principles that enhance community adaptive capacity such as sustainable livelihoods, community incentives, devolution of responsibility to the local levels and community proprietorship. Among the lessons learnt, it is noted that CBA is highly dependent on community-led knowledge and systems in devising appropriate adaptation actions. Such knowledge is, in turn, dependent on the willingness of the community to exchange and share experiences of traditional knowledge and practices. It is therefore imperative for traditional institutional structures to be included in any CBA project institution in order to facilitate such knowledge sharing. Download the report [pdf] …