By: Jonathan Ensor
108 pages, b/w illustrations, tables
Community-based adaptation is a new concept whose meaning is still to be fully understood. Most agree that communities should be supported to respond to the challenges they face, and some see this as the goal of community-based adaptation. By contrast, "Uncertain Futures" proposes that community-based adaptation must also address inevitable future uncertainty by supporting the ongoing ability to change. In this view attention is focused on adaptive capacity through which communities are able to make changes to their lives and livelihoods in response to emerging environmental change. As such, the concept of adaptive capacity challenges development actors to think in terms of how material and knowledge assets are distributed, accessed, and controlled. It means that the quality of relationships, determined by characteristics such as power, culture and gender, are drawn into the foreground, and that interventions must look across scales rather than at communities in isolation.
"Uncertain Futures" argues that as greenhouse gas emmissions continue to accumulate, a "business as usual" approach to development practice is increasingly inadequate and the importance of securing adaptive capacity becomes more urgent. "Uncertain Futures" examines this challenge and invites readers to rethink development policy and practice in terms of how adaptive capacity can be best supported. This book should be read by the staff of donor agencies, policy makers, NGO practitioners, academics and students of development studies and the environment.
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