Assisting disadvantaged nations

 

In 2000, there was a proposal made at the Sixth Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that called for the creation of an Adaptation Fund of $1 billion per year for developing countries, especially the least developed and small island states, to enable them to combat the consequences of climate change.
Many scientists, policy makers and the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report have agreed that disadvantaged nations, especially in the global south need more attention to the negative impacts of climate change. These regions are highly populated and people have generally lower adaptive capacity. A balance, however, between development and climate change mitigation and adaptation needs to be found.
In the global south, national governments are largely responsible for formulation and implementation of the adaptation plan, from local to the national level. In this context, a contradictory situation exists. National governments attach high priority to development polices and plans—not climate change. Development agendas are driven by pre-existing problems such as poverty, malnutrition, food insecurity (Chapter 2… 2010), availability of drinking water, indebtness, illiteracy, unemployment, local resource conflicts, lower technological development etc. Here, it is important to recognize that if climate change phenomenon is not properly understood and coping strategies such as mitigation and adaptation are not adopted on timely manner, climate change impacts will exacerbate these pre-existing problems.
Hence, there is a need of exploring strategies of integration between the climate change plans and development plans in the global south. This integration should include principles such as social justice and equity, inclusion of marginal population in decision making, women’s participation and promotion of social cohesion. Inclusion of these principles will not only promote mitigation and adaptation to climate change but will also make development more distributive.
Collaborative research from the Institute of Development Studies draws links between adaptation and poverty to help develop an agenda for pro-poor adaptation that can inform climate-resilient poverty reduction. Adaptation to climate change will be "ineffective and inequitable if it fails to learn and build upon an understanding of the multidimensional and differentiated nature of poverty and vulnerability" (Poverty… 2008). Poorer countries tend to be more seriously affected by climate change, yet have reduced assets and capacities with which to adapt. This has led to more activities to integrate adaptation within development and poverty reduction programmes. The rise of adaptation as a development issue has been influenced by concerns around minimising threats to progress on poverty reduction, notably the MDGs, and by the injustice of impacts that are felt hardest by those who have done least to contribute to the problem, framing adaptation as an equity and right issue (Poverty… 2008).
 
Chapter 2. Food security: concepts and measurement. Fao.org. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
Poverty in a Changing Climate IDS Bulletin 39(4):1,2, September 2008.