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An integrated framework for assessing vulnerability to climate change and developing adaptation strategies for coffee growing families in Mesoamerica

An integrated framework for assessing vulnerability to climate change and developing adaptation strategies for coffee growing families in Mesoamerica

Baca, María, Läderach, Peter, Haggar, Jeremy, Schroth, Götz and Ovalle, Oreana (2014) An integrated framework for assessing vulnerability to climate change and developing adaptation strategies for coffee growing families in Mesoamerica. PLOS ONE, 9 (2). e88463. ISSN 1932-6203 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088463)

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Abstract

The Mesoamerican region is considered to be one of the areas in the world most vulnerable to climate change. We developed a framework for quantifying the vulnerability of the livelihoods of coffee growers in Mesoamerica at regional and local levels and identify adaptation strategies. Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concepts,vulnerability was defined as the combination of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. To quantify exposure, changes in the climatic suitability for coffee and other crops were predicted through niche modelling based on historical climate data and locations of coffee growing areas from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Future climate projections were generated from 19 Global Circulation Models. Focus groups were used to identify nine indicators of sensitivity and eleven indicators of adaptive capacity, which were evaluated through semi-structured interviews with 558 coffee producers. Exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity were then condensed into an index of vulnerability, and adaptation strategies were identified in participatory workshops. Models predict that all target countries will experience a decrease in climatic suitability for growing Arabica coffee, with highest suitability loss for El Salvador and lowest loss for Mexico. High vulnerability resulted from loss in climatic suitability for coffee production and high sensitivity through variability of yields and out-migration of the work force. This was combined with low adaptation capacity as evidenced by poor post-harvest infrastructure and in some cases poor access to credit and low levels of social organization. Nevertheless, the specific contributors to vulnerability varied strongly among countries, municipalities and families making general trends difficult to identify. Flexible strategies for adaption are therefore needed. Families need the support of government and institutions specialized in impacts of climate change and strengthening of farmer organizations to enable the adjustment of adaptation strategies to local needs and conditions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Citation: Baca M, Läderach P, Haggar J, Schroth G, Ovalle O (2014) An Integrated Framework for Assessing Vulnerability to Climate Change and Developing Adaptation Strategies for Coffee Growing Families in Mesoamerica. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88463. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088463 [2] Copyright: © 2014 Baca et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/]
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate exposure, climate sensitivity, adaptive capacity, sustainable livelihoods
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2017 20:44
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11339

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