Weathering it out: climate change and farming in Asia

As extreme and unpredictable weather patterns have become the norm many farmers in Asia have used their initiative to diversify their crops and engage in experimentation. But, as Janice Ian Manlutac, Regional Change Lead on Resilience, explains, if local adaptation efforts are to be successful the international community must deliver a strong and binding climate agreement. As I write this …

Solar irrigation and refrigeration – improving incomes in Zimbabwe

Solar energy is transforming livelihoods in Zimbabwe from labour saving irrigation for crops to refrigeration for fresh produce. In the third in a series of blog posts about the impact of solar energy, John Magrath, Programme Researcher, explains how farming communities have been able to dramatically increase their yields and incomes. Water is life, and access to water is fundamental …

Bringing ‘the environment’ back down to earth

Today is UN World Environment Day, but unlike other more straightforward occasions, it is not always clear just how to celebrate this one. Here, Daniel Morchain suggests some possible ways that those involved in the debate around development and our world can bring the concept of the environment back down to earth. While almost everyone recognises the importance of ‘the …

Land policy makers need to focus on how change happens

As delegates start filing in for the World Bank’s annual Land and Poverty Conference, Ross Clarke explains why a critical point of discussion should be the divergence between land policy ‘the idea’ and land rights ‘the reality’. ‘The value of an idea lies in the using of it.’ Thomas Edison. As the global land rush intensifies, commitments towards improved land …

Seasonal climate forecasts for all: a success story from Uganda

In 2012, the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) embarked on a partnership with the Uganda National Meteorology Authority (UNMA) with the aim of giving men and women farmers universal access to high quality weather and climate information. Here, Deus Bamanya, Director of Applied Meteorology, Data, and Climate Services at UNMA, takes stock of three years of collaboration with ACCRA.  …

Averting disaster through automated weather stations

Automated weather stations provide highly accurate forecasts. Vincent Malasador, DRR Programme Officer for Oxfam in the Philippines, explains how they are being used to enhance the capacity of local government units and communities in facing the impact of extreme weather and slow onset climate change. The value of automated weather stations (AWS) in adaptation and risk reduction (ARR) programming was …

Weather alerts by text message: a climate change adaptation success?

Accurate weather forecasts can help farmers to improve their harvests and protect their livestock, but poor rural communities often lack access to this information. In the first of a series of blogs on climate change resilience, Zimbabwe programme communications coordinator, Innocent Katsande, describes how a system of automated SMS weather alerts, organised by Oxfam with the Zimbabwean government, is improving …

The incredible women farmers of Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, the Female Food Heroes initiative is giving women smallholder farmers a platform to showcase their successes. Here, Seble Teweldebirhan, media and digital campaigner at Oxfam America, describes how the initiative is supporting women in agriculture and helping them to inspire their communities.      The Female Food Heroes (FFH) initiative started in Ethiopia in 2013 with the aim of encouraging and …

Partnering with big business: 4 key lessons

In 2010, Oxfam and Unilever started Project Sunrise, a partnership to learn how to do business with women and men smallholders in a way that improves their livelihoods. Five years on Private sector adviser, Juni Sul, looks at some key lessons which can be applied to future corporate-NGO partnerships Through Project Sunrise we set out to reduce poverty and improve …

Floods: opportunities or threats to resilience? Ask a farmer

The idea of resilience, the capacity to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity, has become increasingly important within international development. Resilience thinking is often presented as inherently a good thing. However, as  Alex Arnall explains, this approach avoids key questions such as: What do we want to keep the same? What do we want to change? And who decides? Communities …