Session 2 - Climate Change in the World’s Most Vulnerable Places - Innovations in Adaptation

Fall 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015 to Friday, November 13, 2015

Featuring cases from a variety of regions, this session will examine the realities of environmental degradation and climate change for the world’s most vulnerable. How are countries, organizations like CRS, and the international donor community working to integrate climate change adaptation into comprehensive development strategies? And what can we do as Americans to support this work? 

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Course materials

Module Materials

Learn about the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on vulnerable populations

Study examples of what adaptation to climate change looks like in the context of a comprehensive approach to development

Reflect on our responsiblities toward those who are especially vulnerable to global climate change 

Primary Resources

Background on climate change and CRS's Integrated approach

Case studies - The reality of climate change for vulnerable populations and how adaptation can build stronger communities

Adaptation to Climate Change in Farming Communities in Haiti

An 18 minute lecture for the FLC audience by Ludger Jean Simon, CRS Haiti Program Coordinator for the Agriculture Sector and faculty member at the American University in the Caribbean and Notre Dame University in Les Cayes, Haiti. Mr. Jean Simon introduces the impact of climate change on farming in Haiti, especially in the coffee industry. Questions for discussion: What is the impact of climate change on small farmers? How does climate change exacerbate risks that already exist? What is an organization like CRS doing to help farmers be proactive with adaptations?


Haiti: Coffee and Mango Production in a Changing Climate

Policy Brief by CIAT (The International Center for Tropical Agriculture), 8 pages. This brief summarizes a recent study conducted by CIAT and CRS which revealed that future changes in temperature and rainfall patterns will have significant effects on the suitability of coffee and mango for production in Haiti.


Ethiopia: From Parched Land to Plentiful Harvest

By CRS, 2 pages.


Ethiopia: Improving the Land to End Hunger

Video, 4:14, on how managing the watershed reversed deforestation and erosion in one community. Through improved techniques, the community was able to restore the grass coverage, an important resource that has led to healthier animals, improved homes and bigger incomes. Most important, thousands are now able to eat three times a day.


Overview of Ethiopia's Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy

By the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Environmental Protection Authority, powerpoint presentation, 17 pages.


Ethiopia: Can it adapt to climate chage and build a green economy?

Blog post by Nanki Kaur, International Institute for Environment and Development.


Watershed Development: Experience from the WALA program

An excellent complement to the Ethiopia case, see also this report by CRS on the innovative watershed work in Malawi. The Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement (WALA) program is a five-year $81 million food security program funded by USAID’s Food for Peace office. WALA is led by CRS and implemented by a consortium of private voluntary organizations. WALA has implemented watershed management activities in 32 areas across eight districts and has become a model program for CRS and its partners. 


Relief Before Disaster: Prepared for the Worst

By Jen Hardy of CRS, 2 pages.


Extending Impact: Factors Influencing Households to Adopt Hazard Resistant Construction Practices in Post-Disaster Settings

By Marilise Turnbull, Charlotte Sterrett, Seki Hirano, and Amy Hilleboe of CRS, 2015, 59 pages. Recommended: Executive Summary, Introduction, and infographic on Bangladesh (p. 6). Storms are increasing in magnitude and frequency, while funding for humanitarian response is decreasing. This study examines the factors that increase the likelihood that a family will "build back safer" after a storm.


Secondary Resources