S211 Evaluating Perceptions of Climate Change Impacts in the Greater Horn of Africa Using the Community Capitals Framework

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Jacob Petr, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE; and D. Bathke

The purpose of this research is to use an emerging socio-economic framework, known as the Community Capitals Framework (CCF), to identify and measure climate change resilience in the Greater Horn of Africa. Climate change threatens to increase the vulnerability of multiple sectors in the region. Recent research has shown that communities located in rural areas of developing nations are much more susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change. More frequent extreme events such as intense rainfall have increased flood frequency and intensity, while devastating droughts have reduced crop yields, changed land-use, and have caused huge economic losses, especially to the poorest and most marginalized communities.

The CCF is built around the premise that no matter how poor, all communities have resources that can be depleted, saved, or invested. This framework identifies seven types of community resources, or capital, which include: natural (e.g., water), cultural (e.g., values), human (e.g., skills), social (e.g., social networks), political (e.g., ability to influence decisions), and built (e.g., infrastructure). Communities that use and build assets across these seven types of capital are generally more sustainable.

A survey was conducted to assess the perceptions of climate experts from the GHA to first identify and measure what impacts were being felt across the region. The results from this study will help develop further work on quantifying these impacts and to ultimately develop strategies to increase rural community resiliency to extreme climatic events through the use of the CCF.

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