Managing uncertainty: innovation systems for coping with climate variability and change

For agricultural communities and agricultural stakeholders in ECA to adjust to climate change and the predicted increases in temperature and in rainfall variability, their ability to cope better with the constraints and opportunities of current climate must first be enhanced. Information, tools and approaches are now available that allow for a far better understanding, characterization and mapping of the agricultural and pastoral implications of long-term climate variability and change and the development of climate risk management strategies specifically tailored to stakeholders needs.

ILRI is responsible for to avail knowledge and disseminate to researchers and planners to guide managers in making optimal choices with respect to direct and indirect impacts of climate variability and climate change for the agricultural sector in ECA. Through a literature review knowledge will be made available of the current state of knowledge of both the exogenous and endogenous agricultural and pastoral implications of current climate variability and future climate change within ECA. This study will consider evidence of such implications at a range of scales ranging from impacts at the household and community level to those at district, national and regional levels, and will include an evaluation of the current tools and approaches available to assist in the development of ‘climate risk assessment and management frameworks’ designed to assist the decision making by key stakeholders at all scales. Project Objectives/Goals: The project purpose is to develop strategies and an institutional innovation system for coping with risks and opportunities associated with climate variability and change in ECA. It addresses the hypothesis that “An integrated set of activities comprised of knowledge review and synthesis, development of strategic learning alliances and ‘proof of concept’ case studies will provide the foundation for and help build an innovation system for addressing long-term climate variability and change in ECA.” Location: East and Central Africa