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The role of local institutions in adaptive processes to climate variability

The cases of southern Ethiopia and southern Mali

Farmers and herders in arid regions of Africa face serious challenges in adapting to climate change and variability. They are highly exposed to climate stresses, especially drought, but adaptation to climate change is far from being a clear-cut biophysical or technical problem: it is also a social challenge. Although communities in semi-arid zones have organized their cultures and livelihoods around uncertainty and the risk of drought, climate predictions indicate that new extremes will be a real challenge to their capacity to adapt. This report looks at local social institutions in Ethiopia and Mali and their role in adaptation.

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