ABSTRACT

This final chapter considers the effects of climate change on rural practice, and vice versa, and explores ways to manage and mitigate them.

Climate change accelerates erosion and declines in water reserves. It causes heat stress and disease threats to fish, livestock, and plants. It also adds volatility to harvest volumes and prices and increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Women are often hit harder than men, because they have fewer assets to cushion shocks and fewer options for adapting their livelihood strategies to evolving realities.

The effects of climate change add weight and urgency to many of the good practice principles discussed in this book’s earlier chapters – such as those in the fields of agricultural practice, microfinance, social assistance, natural resource management, and ICT opportunities. However, these principles won’t help reduce agriculture’s considerable contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. For emission reductions, individual actors need to be appropriately incentivised. So far, money appears to be the most persuasive incentive. There have been some successes with ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’, which gives people and community organisations money in return for the conservation, restoration, and improvement of soil, forests, and coastal systems.