Reducing Poverty, Protecting Livelihoods, and Building Assets in a Changing Climate
460 pages

Reducing Poverty, Protecting Livelihoods, and Building Assets in a Changing Climate


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460 pages
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Climate change is the defining development challenge of our time. More than a global environmental issue, climate change and variability threaten to reverse recent progress in poverty reduction and economic growth. Both now and over the long run, climate change and variability threatens human and social development by restricting the fulfillment of human potential and by disempowering people and communities in reducing their livelihoods options.
Communities across Latin America and the Caribbean are already experiencing adverse consequences from climate change and variability. Precipitation has increased in the southeastern part of South America, and now often comes in the form of sudden deluges, leading to flooding and soil erosion that endanger people's lives and livelihoods. Southwestern parts of South America and western Central America are seeing a decrease in precipitation and an increase in droughts. Increasing heat and drought in Northeast Brazil threaten the livelihoods of already-marginal smallholders, and may turn parts of the eastern Amazon rainforest into savannah. The Andean inter-tropical glaciers are shrinking and expected to disappear altogether within the next 20-40 years, with significant consequences for water availability. These environmental changes will impact local livelihoods in unprecedented ways.
Poverty, inequality, water access, health, and migration are and will be measurably affected by climate change. Using an innovative research methodology, this study finds quantitative evidence of large variations in impacts across regions. Many already poor regions are becoming poorer; traditional livelihoods are being challenged in unprecedented ways; water scarcity is increasing, particularly in poor arid areas; human health is deteriorating; and climate-induced migration is already taking place and may increase.
Successfully reducing social vulnerability to climate change and variability requires action and commitment at multiple levels. This volume offers key operational recommendations at the government, community, and household levels with particular emphasis placed on enhancing good governance and technical capacity in the public sector, building social capital in local communities, and protecting the asset base of poor households.


Publié par
Publié le 25 juin 2010
Nombre de lectures 31
EAN13 9780821383780
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo


Environment and Sustainable Development
Reducing P o v er t y , P r ot ec ting
Livelihoods, and Building
Assets in a Changing Climate
Social Implications of Climate Change for
Latin America and the Caribbean
Dorte Verner
Reducing Poverty, Protecting Livelihoods,
and Building Assets in a Changing ClimateAnalyzing the social impacts of climate change in Latin America and the
Caribbean, this book presents evidence that we must improve our efforts on
resilience and adaptation measures to counter the consequences of climate
change on the most vulnerable population groups. The model developed in the
book illustrates the necessity of addressing climate change in its proper develop-
mental context. This model may well be used on other continents; in particular, it
may be relevant in Africa.
—Søren Pind, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark
This book brings an important contribution for our understanding of how climate
change and variability impact society and livelihoods and in particular on how
the poor are affected. It should be read by everyone who has a responsibility in
development policies and in capacity building in LAC.
—Antonio Magalhães, Former Secretary of Planning, Brazil
This immensely important book provides one of the earliest evidence-based
assessments of climate threats to development. Its arguments and organization
will be a model for future efforts to understand and address climate impacts on
development outcomes.
—Arun Agrawal, Professor and Associated Dean University of Michigan, USA
Democratization and institutional reform and strengthening was, during the last
three decades, the Latin American way to respond to the challenges of coping
with severe macroeconomic imbalances, recovering growth, and reducing
poverty. This important book shows that this process has to be deepened to deal
with the social consequences of climate change.
—Andre Urani, President of Instituto Natura, Brazil
It is right to focus on the impact of climatic change on poor people. We all need to
be cognizant of the fact that those who have contributed the least to the deple-
tion of natural resources and to the changes in climate patterns are those who
will suffer the most from unsustainable human ecosystems.
—Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, Rektor at University of Aarhus, DenmarkReducing Poverty, Protecting
Livelihoods, and Building
Assets in a Changing Climate
Social Implications of Climate Change in
Latin America and the Caribbean
Dorte Verner, Editor© 2010 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433
Telephone: 202-473-1000
All rights reserved
1 2 3 4 13 12 11 10
This volume is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development / The World Bank. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions
expressed in this volume do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive
Directors of The World Bank or the governments they represent. The World Bank does
not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work.
The maps in this book were produced by the Map Design Unit of The World Bank.
The boundaries, colors, denominations, and any other information shown on these
maps do not imply, on the part of The World Bank Group, any judgement on the legal
status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.
Rights and Permissions
The material in this publication is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions
or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law. The
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank encourages
dissemination of its work and will normally grant permission to reproduce portions of
the work promptly.
For permission to photocopy or reprint any part of this work, please send a request
with complete information to the Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood
Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, USA; telephone: 978-750-8400; fax: 978-750-4470;
All other queries on rights and licenses, including subsidiary rights, should be addressed
to the Office of the Publisher, The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC
20433, USA; fax: 202-522-2422; e-mail:
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8238-7
eISBN: 978-0-8213-8378-0
DOI: 10.1596/978-0-8213-8238-7
Cover photos: Dorte Verner
Cover design: Naylor Design, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been requested.Contents
Foreword xv
Acknowledgments xvii
Abbreviations xix
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Dorte Verner
Assumptions and Analytical Framework Used
in the Book 8
Outline of the Book 15
Notes 16
References 18
Chapter 2 Water Scarcity, Climate Change, and the Poor 21
Tine Rossing
Current Water Scarcity 22
Climate Change and Freshwater Resources 35
Case Studies: Water Scarcity and Decentralized
Governance 41
vvi Contents
Policy and Research Perspectives 51
Notes 54
References 56
Chapter 3 Climate Change, Disaster Hot Spots, and
Asset Erosion 63
Tine Rossing and Olivier Rubin
Natural Hazards and Disasters in Latin America
and the Caribbean 64
Impact of Natural Disasters on Household Assets
of the Poor 74
Policy Perspectives 86
Notes 87
References 88
Chapter 4 Agrarian Livelihoods and Climate Change 93
Jørgen E. Olesen
Rural Poverty and Production Systems 94
Likely Impacts of Climate Change on Agrarian
Societies 101
Adaptation to Climate Change: Institutional and
Policy Perspectives 110
Research Perspectives 117
Notes 118
References 118
Chapter 5 Coastal Livelihoods and Climate Change 123
Sara Trab Nielsen
Vulnerability Context of Coastal Communities 124
Likely Impacts of Climate Change and Variability
on Coastal Societies: Three Examples 130
Adaptation to Climate Change: Institutional and
Policy Perspectives 148
Research P 156
Notes 157
References 160Contents vii
Chapter 6 Human Health and Climate Change 167
Lykke Andersen, John Geary, Claus Pörtner,
and Dorte Verner
Main Effects of Climate Change on
Human Health 169
Impacts of Poor Health on Livelihood Assets 182
Natural Disasters and Child Health 184
Simulations of the Effect of Climate Change
on Health 185
Building Adaptive Capacity: Policy Perspectives 187
Notes 189
References 191
Chapter 7 Migration and Climate Change 195
Lykke Andersen, Lotte Lund, and Dorte Verner
Migration Patterns 198
A Typology of Climate Change–Induced
Migration 201
Social Implications of Climate Change–Induced
Migration 203
Quantitative Analysis of Climate-Induced
Migration in Bolivia and Mexico 207
Notes 217
References 218
Chapter 8 Conflict and Climate Change 221
Olivier Rubin
Links between Climate Change and Conflict 223
Social Perspective on Climate Change in Conflict
Analysis 226
Vulnerability to Climate Change–Induced
Conflict 234
Policy Perspectives 241
Notes 242
References 244viii Contents
Chapter 9 Simulating the Effects of Climate Change
on Poverty and Inequality 249
Lykke Andersen and Dorte Verner
Contemporary Relationships between
Climate and Income in Selected Countries
in Latin America and the Caribbean 251
Simulating the Effects of Projected Future
Climate Change at the Municipal Level 255
Summing Up 262
Notes 264
References 264
Chapter 10 Building Short-Term Coping Capacity and
Longer-Term Resilience through Asset-Based
Adaptation 267
Tine Rossing, Olivier Rubin, and Inger Brisson
Social Capital and Livelihood Adaptation and
Resilience 269
A Social Approach to Disaster Analysis:
Case Studies 279
Policy Perspectives 292
Notes 297
References 299
Chapter 11 Conclusion 305
Sanne Tikjøb and Dorte Verner
The Social Implications of Climate Change 306
Adaptation: Good Governance, Social Capital,
and Local Assets 328
Perspectives on Future Research 336
Note 338
Appendix A Climate Change and Climatic Variability in
Latin America and the Caribbean 339
Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen
Images of Present Change 342
Images of the Future 345

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