Tuesday 6
Reconnecting culture and agriculture : community forests, ecosystem services and resilience of smallholder agriculture
Shonil A Bhagwat
› 15:45 - 16:40 (55min)
› JOFFRE 1-3
Forest-based strategies for local communities' resilience to climate variations
Giacomo Fedele  1@  , Florie Chazarin  2@  , Hety Herawati  1@  , Bruno Locatelli  2@  
1 : Center for International Forestry Research  (CIFOR)  -  Website
2 : Center for International Forestry Research  (CIFOR)  -  Website

Forests support the subsistence of about 350 million people worldwide through the provision of ecosystem services, such as, forest products or water regulation. Of these people, an estimated 60 million are indigenous living in the rainforests of Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa. Additionally, climate variability affects the livelihoods of forest-dependent people through fluctuations of rainfall and temperature and extreme events such as floods, droughts, landslides and storms. For these reasons, there is a need to understand how the ecosystem services provided by forests help local communities deal with changes and thus strengthen their resilience against climate variability.

The aim of this study is to investigate the contribution of forest ecosystem services in reducing people's vulnerability to climate variability. We assessed how forests influence the three dimensions of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. People's ability to cope with, recover from, and adapt to climate variations was studied using the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) with different participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods and tools including focus group discussions, household surveys, community mapping, seasonal calendars and historical timelines. The research was conducted in three tropical countries: Indonesia, Peru and Burkina Faso, within forest-dependent communities with livelihoods relying on different ecosystems and exposed to different climatic variations. By analyzing adaptive capacities in these sites, we were able to compare the role of forests in reducing vulnerability to climate variations.

The research findings suggests that forests provide an essential support for the resilience of local communities to climate-related stress by enhancing their adaptive capacity and decreasing their exposure and sensitivity. The effectiveness of local people's response strategies was influenced by the availability of forests as well as their condition. The management and use of forests were often influenced by communities' adaptive strategies, mostly due to their importance for livelihoods. The linkages between forests and adaptation have important implications for the multiple benefits of REDD+ initiatives, which can pursue additional objectives beyond mitigation. The opportunities offered by forests to decrease the impacts of climate variability on the well-being of communities needs to be further recognized to allow sound forest management decisions.

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