Climate Change Adaptation Actions

Climate change adaptation involves measures taken to manage the inevitable impacts of climate change that mitigation cannot reduce. Effective adaptation actions can bring benefits both today and in the future. Adaptation aims to manage climate risk to an acceptable level, taking advantage of any positive opportunities that may arise. Potential adaptation options can be explored based on specific climate impact and / or adaptation sector of interest.
The IGAD region can gain much from adaptation actions such as disaster risk reduction and social protection that reduce impacts of warming already being felt and from building resilience around critical sectors such as water, energy and agriculture.

Adaptation is basically about managing climate risks that are not avoidable. The region needs to take both the short and long term approach to identifying and managing climate risks. Therefore, the IGAD member states need to do much more to anticipate and reduce risk, rather than reacting after impacts have occurred. Support for effective disaster relief and recovery needs to continue, along with proactive efforts to reduce risk, such as integrating comprehensive risk assessments and risk reduction measures into a regional climate change strategy. The international community should support the region in its efforts to adapt and build resilience against the unavoidable catastrophic effects of climate change and the resulting social crises, including forced migration.
The understanding of adaptation to climate change can be increased by investigating adaptation to present climate as well as future climate.Although such adaptations are not the same, if allowances are made for the differences, a great deal can be learned about adaptation options and the process of their adoption.
Adaptation can be considered in response to different ways of formulating the threat of climate change. Broadly, present and future climate has been anticipated to be characterized in terms of variability, changes and extreme events. These have been evidenced from science based on observed records but also from climate model projection of rainfall and temperature.
Knowledge of present and future climate patterns and characteristics is not by itself sufficient basis for the development of an adaptive response. Further information is needed on the likely or possible impacts of these changes. This in turn requires an understanding of the relationship between climate, ecosystem and socioeconomic activities.
Adaptation occurs in both natural and socioeconomic systems. All species of plant and animal life adapt to climate, and may be expected to respond adaptively to future climate change to the extent that time allows. The more mobile species may be able to migrate fast enough, whereas the less mobile may be in danger of severe impact, up to and including extinction. In some instances migration may be impossible, as in the case of island ecosystems submerged under rising sea level, or in high mountain ecosystems where the limits of migration are set by the height of the mountains themselves. The adaptation of natural unmanaged ecosystems does not have to be left entirely to chance. It is possible to adopt policies and practices that assist species to adapt, for example by designating and protecting migration corridors.