Natural Resource Management and Climate Change

Submitted by Andrew Maclean | published 30th Mar 2011 | last updated 31st Mar 2011

Climate change makes the wise management of natural resources – water, soils, and trees – even more important as a way of supporting communities to adapt to climate change. This is first because climate change increases resource scarcity. For example, in areas that are becoming drier, and in coastal areas suffering from saline intrusion, there is a reduction in the availability of water for household and productive use. Second, the role that natural resources play in buffering communities against extremes of climate becomes more important as climates become more adverse. For example, increasing soil’s organic content improves water retention and drainage that can help crops as rain becomes more concentrated into heavy downpours (even when there is no change in the overall rainfall each year), and reforestation can reduce local temperatures, provide additional income, protect against soil erosion, landslides, and local flooding, and provide food and fodder in times of scarcity.

Source: Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation: A Learning Companion. Oxfam Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Resources