Building resilience to climate and geophysical hazards is a vital step in the fight against poverty. Screening for risks from these hazards improves the likelihood and longevity of a project’s success.
To assess whether climate and disaster risks can have an impact on agricultural projects
Local and regional climates are changing. Examples of the impact this can have on agriculture include the following:
- Increases in average temperature can affect crop yields and introduce new invasive species.
- Changes in seasonal precipitation can force shifts in planting seasons.
- Sea level rise can inundate agricultural lands.
- More frequent or severe extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, and heat waves, can harm agricultural and livestock systems.
- Natural hazards unrelated to climate, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides, can also be of concern. This tool screens for risk from both climate hazards and these geophysical hazards.
To assess how these risks could affect development
The impacts of climate and natural disasters complicate the development challenge. Many of the world’s poorest may have to face additional hurdles, due to climate variability, such as reduced crop yields, increased malnutrition, or increased food insecurity.
Extreme weather events can also disrupt farmers’ access to markets, preventing them from obtaining inputs and selling outputs, and impeding agriculture-driven rural development.
To assess how the development context could modulate risks
In addition, the development context can influence the level of impacts caused by climate-related and other natural disasters. Social, political, and economic factors-such as access to off-farm income or loans-are important to consider in evaluating the relationship between development plans and risks.
To design climate- and disaster-resilient projects
Impacts from climate change and disasters can undermine the benefits of development. Addressing these risks during project design can therefore help protect project investments.
- Training and education activities can incorporate best practices on managing climate variability and change.
- Resilient crop strains, such as those tolerant of drought or floods, can be developed and disseminated.
- Engineers can design hard infrastructure, such as hydraulic systems for irrigation, storage facilities, or rural transport, to accommodate more frequent or severe extreme weather events.
- Access to microfinance programs can make it easier for smallholder farmers to plant climate-resilient crop varieties.