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Eswatini Outreach Programme: Strengthening adaptation and traditional knowledge systems to enhance resilience
This briefing note presents case studies, key findings, and recommendations based on the climate change outreach programme. Eswatini communities are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which is further exacerbated by the socio-economic status of many households. Approximately 59% of Eswatini’s population lives below the poverty line, and the country is facing increased socio-economic divisions driven by rising inequality, despite economic growth and rising living standards. The COVID-19 pandemic also negatively impacted the most vulnerable populations of Eswatini, including those engaged in informal economic sectors.
The paper recommends the following:
- Community involvement is needed in the planning and implementation stages of adaptation projects, and community members should be engaged to promote community ownership and sustainability. Funders of adaptation projects need to be flexible, understanding that there are continuous changes in the dynamics that affect communities. Sustainable climate change adaptation programmes need to include livelihood programmes to be effective at the community level.
- A nationwide climate change awareness and outreach programme is required. This outreach should target decision-makers, local government officials, and community members, to raise awareness on the importance of adaptation and how to mainstream adaptation into existing government processes and projects.
- Archiving of Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge to form a comprehensive library that can be used now and by future generations is important. Further research is needed to better understand how Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge on adaptation can inform the science of climate change and how community-level observations can reinforce and inform scientific observations.
- A MEL system is important for tracking and understanding the impacts of adaptation actions. Such systems can help ascertain the number of beneficiaries of adaptation actions and the flows and use of climate finance. MEL systems can help to ensure accountability and transparency in the implementation of adaptation programmes.
- Climate change and adaptation considerations need to be integrated into agricultural initiatives, land-use planning and development, health planning and response, and multi-hazard early warning systems.