Adaptation to climate change in Southern Africa: factoring in AIDS. uri icon

abstract

  • This paper addresses the interactions between the AIDS epidemic and climate change in southern Africa, particularly as they impact on food security. An assessment was undertaken through a comprehensive literature review. Understanding the underlying causes of regional food insecurity inevitably means understanding the role of the AIDS epidemic and increasingly climate change amongst other stressors. AIDS cuts through household and community level capacity, as well as the capacity of key facilitators of the adaptation process including state extension services and civil society organisations. The main argument of the paper is that adaptation to climate change must explicitly factor in the existing and long-term effects of the epidemic. While calls for embracing adaptation abound, little is being done to assess and strengthen the organisational capacity of institutions, which should play leading roles in any attempt to help prepare for a changing climate. In particular the capacity of key agencies has been undermined by the AIDS epidemic. This reiterates the need for a multisectoral approach and building bridges between agriculture and health sectors to ensure longer term support to livelihoods where HIV and hunger coexist, often overlaid by climate change. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010