Environmental services as binding pillars to synergize climate change mitigation and adaptation in rural landscapes
Environmental services as binding pillars to synergize climate change mitigation and adaptation in rural landscapeswca2014-1899 Lalisa A. Duguma 1,*Peter A. Minang 1Dieudonne Alemagi 2Zac Tchoundjeu 2Fredrick Nkeumoe 2 1Environmental Services and ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins, World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya, 2ICRAF WCA, World Agroforestry Centre, Yaounde, Cameroon
Recently there is an emerging concept that addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation in an integrated manner improves the ineffectiveness and inefficiency resulting from the dichotomized approaches of addressing the two measures. Such arguments base on the fact that addressing adaptation and mitigation as separate policy streams in different institutions increases the cost of climate policy. In tropical and subtropical landscapes, adaptation and mitigation share common resources such as land, natural resource management skills and institutions. Moreover, the two measures strongly complement one another for example failure to adapt among rural households may strongly affect the mitigation efforts in the forestry sector. Despite the envisaged positive benefits of synergizing adaptation and mitigation in the land use sector, there is limited knowledge as to what could be the appropriate basis for synergy to happen. This study explores the extent of the interdependence between climate change mitigation and adaptation in tropical and subtropical landscapes and how the interdependence can help designing a holistic approach of addressing both measures using environmental services as platforms. Four landscapes – Menagesha Suba area from central highlands of Ethiopia, Bamendjing and Bankim landscapes from Cameroon and Ngitili dominated landscape from Shynianga region of Tanzania – were used for the analysis. Two key lessons are learnt from the study: 1) at landscape level, there is a strong interdependence between adaptation and mitigation; 2) most of the networks of interdependences between adaptation and mitigation are through one or more environmental services. Hence, proper emphasis should be given to practices, functions and processes that promote the provision of environmental services which concurrently facilitate the move to address climate change effectively.