Mainstreaming climate information into sector development

This report demonstrates the use of climate information in assessing adaptation needs and implementing adaptation interventions. It provides an outline of the change in thinking that is happening as adaptation moves from theory to practice, how this translates into a different approach for assessing adaptation needs and the implications of this shift from climate information and services provision. It provides information on the adaptation and decision policy cycle, outlining the sequence of actions associated with practical programming, and the use of climate information within this.

These actions would include immediate actions that address the impacts of current climate variability and extremes such as by early capacity building and the introduction of low- and no-regret actions which are actions, adaptation policies, plans or options that “generate net social and/or economic benefits irrespective of whether or not anthropogenic climate change occurs”. In addition this would  integrate adaptation into immediate decisions or activities with long life times, such as infrastructure or planning as well as early planning for the future impacts of climate change, noting uncertainty. This would include a focus on adaptive management, the value of information and future options/ learning, especially when decision life-times are long or future risks are very large or irreversible.

Finally, it demonstrates this sequence using a real case study application on mainstreaming climate adaptation into the sector agricultural development plan in Rwanda by finding relevant entry points, identifying opportunities in national, sector or local planning processes where adaptation can best be integrated. Critically, these entry points vary with the specific adaptation problem. It also requires analysis of existing policies and objectives, to include adaptation in decision-making, especially as climate will be one of many challenges, and not necessarily the dominant one. Complementing the identification of entry points is the identification and engagement of stakeholders.