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Stories of Resilience: Lessons from Local Adaptation Practice

Research reports

Written by Mairi Dupar

Image credit:Mount Kenya region. Two Degrees Up project looking at the impact of climate change on agriculture. ©2010CIAT/NeilPalmer

The second edition of ‘Stories of Resilience: Lessons from Local Adaptation Practice’ finds that global and national systems are not changing fast enough in response to the needs of local communities, who are racing to adapt to climate change and secure their survival.

While local adaptation leaders are working hard to transform lives and livelihoods in the face of the changing climate, their gains are precarious. The lack of an enabling environment (legislative, financial, institutional, technical and capacity-related) means they are unable to securely lock in such transformations.

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) have collaborated with community leaders to showcase the brilliant work they do in building local adaptation (LLA) solutions across challenging contexts around the world.

The 2023 edition focuses on the many ways in which local communities innovate to use the materials closest to hand and their own hard work to adapt – from regenerating hillsides, coasts, degraded farmlands and urban green spaces, to recycling waste into wealth.

The findings of this report are based on over 200 stories – of progress and of gaps – submitted by champions of locally led adaptation, as well as deeper exploration of 19 locally led initiatives around the world. The stories show that local communities regard people’s rights, particularly those of marginalised groups, and locally led adaptation as two sides of the same coin – where fundamental rights are eroded, people’s adaptive capacities are also weakened. Recognition and enforcement of rights must be at the centre of climate change adaptation.