Understanding climate change adaptation dynamics in central Somaliland.


The results of our research outline a system that is in significant flux recurrent droughts are only partially responsible for this. The interaction between climatic, technical, economic and political dynamics evidence that adaption is a profoundly social process with multiple drivers and a complex array of outcome pathways. Technical practices around intensification of herd management and land resources - such as enforcement of reserve pastures, fodder cultivation, water management and conversion to agriculture - can be adaptive for the households and localities that practice them, but they also have important repercussions for regional socio-ecological fabric, which has historically been fundamentally rooted in the principles of pastoral mobility and open access resources. Consequently, climate change adaptation interventions will benefit from close attention to both technical practices and the social implications thereof. Our research approach was designed to explore and outline the regional system dynamics in broad terms, raising at least as many questions as it answers. As such, it suggests a variety of in-depth research areas which could easily accompany development interventions around a wide range of topics. Some of these topics could be technical potential and feasibility of various herd, land and water management practices, social dynamics and implications of emerging local land and water governance practices, intra-household gender dynamics around livelihood activities and decision making, and the household and regional economics of emerging livelihood diversification strategies. Combining climate resilient development interventions with basic research on related topics will allow for progress in livelihood improvements while simultaneously deepening our understanding of the socio-ecological dynamics of adaptation.

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