- Bolivia has gained a name in international negotiations on climate change. But the world should also know the challenges we face locally and how civil society is working to prevent the impacts of climate change on Bolivian people's livelihoods.
In order to reduce the vulnerability of livelihoods to the impacts of climate change you have to combine individual, institutional and collective action so that especially the most vulnerable communities improve their capacity to respond and take decisions.
In 2012, the Environmental Defense League (Liga de Defensa del Medio Ambiente/LIDEMA), started the Program Reduction of Livelihoods Vulnerability towards Climate Change. It encourages a participatory design, implementation of comprehensive models of intervention and capacity building of local actors, municipal governments and governorates so they assume their roles in their territorial jurisdictions.
Poor communities have less ability to respond
During 2010-2011 LIDEMA conducted an assessment of vulnerability in different regions. In communities where individuals depend on scarce natural resources, climate change and extreme weather exacerbate their vulnerability by reducing the availability of resources. It decreases the secure access to livelihoods and limits the ability to respond to e.g. floods and droughts. Their capacity to meet basic needs is reduced.
LIDEMA has proposed comprehensive intervention models for adaptation to climate change. They are strategic actions contributing to national and local development by defending vulnerable livelihoods.
Model of intervention
The Reduction of Livelihoods Vulnerability Program is process of implementation: 15 experiences in the country covering 24 local communities. Through this experience, indicators will be obtained to support the methodology which includes the following elements:
- To be comprehensive, non-sectorial, and applicable in any geographical area or social group and replicable.
- To facilitate the identification of multiple impacts on people and their livelihoods.
- To recognize the importance of the involvement of multiple actors and the relationships between them.
- To facilitate the identification of various strategies for livelihoods that people adopt to ensure their sustainability.
- To promote food security approach and mainly water use according to State´s priorities.
The methodology is applied in conjunction with local communities (research, participatory action), by identifying strategic actions and perceptions to detect the socio-environmental surroundings, where actions are prioritized through participatory processes with beneficiaries. In this way communities are benefiting by identifying their own needs and priorities for action.
The intervention models mentioned above require specific actions promoting their future actions in strategic planning. This means that the results of the program are intended to be replicated in several communities in the same municipality and scaled on to territorial entities such as governorates to form part of the construction of public policies. We work on actions for the following areas:
- Institutional: to promote the strengthening and capacity building for self governance, improving coordination systems and good management of environmental resources.
- Technical scientific: to facilitate the use of information from scientific research, global, local and ancestral knowledge for decision-making.
- Governmental: to promote the mainstreaming of climate change issues for the development of regional strategies aimed at reducing the vulnerability of livelihoods.
- Public policy on climate change: to reduce vulnerability of livelihoods, which instrumentalisation of strategies, plans, programs and legislation, developed in a participatory manner.
- Social: To promote process of education, awareness and knowledge and appreciation of local cultures.