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A girl walks throught the fooded streets of her neighbourhood in Hait’s northern city of Cap Haitan. Photo: © UN Photos.

“We’re doing a diferent kind of development project now – the He says that “radical adaptaton” should use existng large-scale
priority for many communites in risk zones is for early-warning tools, like social protecton programmes currently used Pakistan,
systems”, she said. Kenya and Ethiopia, to pre-emptvely identfy and reduce the impact
of future climate pressures that could push people into poverty.
But she adds that communites ofen also ask for support with
projects that she says would be benefcial even in the absence of This approach combines a short-term focus on development to
climate change: “Women in partcular want help with alternatve reduce poverty with a long-term emphasis on adaptng to the threats
businesses like handicrafs”. posed by climate change.
Anderson and Price Rios agree that, in the long term, climate change Informaton
will need to be central to development. Anderson acknowledges that there can be tension between these
short- and long-term approaches.
“We need climate-resilient development now, but in the future,
we will need specifc adaptaton projects that contribute to He returns to the example of the projects in Ethiopia, where he says
development”, said Anderson. economic development increased the local demand for water, which
was also coming under growing pressure from climate change.
Radical adaptaton
According to Anderson, the priority for both development and In cases like these, he says studies are needed to understand where
adaptaton projects should be to avoid what he calls “climate- short-term development may confict with long-term climate
induced poverty tpping points”, where climate change undoes the pressures.
gains that have been made in lifing people out of poverty.
However, he says that when these conficts are identfed, they can
“The most vulnerable people now are an analogue for where more be addressed with technologies like those that improve rainwater
people will be later along” as a result of climate change, he says. harvestng.
Anderson argues that these long-term risks require a diferent Price Rios agrees that a lack of long-term climate informaton ofen
approach, which he terms “radical adaptaton – climate adaptaton makes it more difcult to make decisions about addressing climate
that is far-reaching and far-sighted”. risks.
The purpose of this approach, Anderson says, should be to “get She notes that such informaton is becoming increasingly, although
everybody ahead of the climate efects curve”, so they are beter adds “we are all stll learning about it”.
able to survive future climate-related events when they strike. 71
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