Climate change is unique in that, affecting the social and economic fields of the globe in a differentiated way, it has effects that are also realized in various aspects. Floods, droughts, locust invasions, landslides or forest fires are all manifestations of climate disruption, itself resulting from the increased pressure of our productivist societies on natural resources. In fact, the economic and social consequences can be disastrous in territories highly dependent on the land and its resources. The NGO ACTED thus offers THRIVE (Towards Holistic Resilience In Vulnerable Environments) as a tool to provide responses to the challenges of climate change, in a dual logic of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and awareness of resilience measures.
THRIVE has been most widely applied in East Africa. Of the 317 projects ACTED implemented in the region between 2010 and 2019, more than half included elements of THRIVE. To date, Uganda, Somalia, Niger, Nigeria and South Sudan benefit from this programme. Its objective of regenerating and preserving land is linked to questions of social cohesion, in regions where chronic poverty and the scarcity of resources constitute an explosive cocktail. While a growing number of pastoral, agricultural and livestock societies are experiencing social tensions linked to the exploitation of natural resources, these are being depleted under the effect of climate change, thus accentuating tensions around certain strategic resources. , like water and earth. THRIVE therefore offers an approach based on three pillars:
The “Revive” pillar focuses on soil rehabilitation (reduction of erosion and rehydration of depleted groundwater). It encourages communities to rethink their crop choices, promotes reforestation and ensures that animal grazing does not contribute to soil degradation. The second pillar, “Emerge”, streamlines the value chains that take an agricultural product from farm to market, promotes access to information and financial services, and includes local governance structures to ensure better monitoring of needs of producer communities. For farmers, it ensures access to the tools, knowledge and skills needed to optimize yields. Finally, the “Integrate” pillar puts the discussion between communities and sub-communities at the center. It identifies the different areas of possible collaboration (reforesting a hill, building a bridge, digging a well, etc.) in order to respond effectively to contexts marked by conflicts around common natural resources.
Somalia is an example of an area with high environmental vulnerability. On the brink of famine in 2017 after four consecutive seasons of drought, many rural communities were forced to abandon their land. More than 1.5 million people now face acute levels of food insecurity. THRIVE transforms this area into a resilient socio-ecological system, capable of self-managing, learning and adapting to shocks imposed by climate and other social factors. Communities are now coordinating to protect soils, manage erosion, replenish water tables, carry out reforestation and think about reducing the impact of livestock on the environment
In the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda, the question of how to help farming communities adapt to climate change is particularly acute given their dependence on one crop per year. . Droughts are a concern both for food needs and for peace and stability in the region: a poor or failed crop can force people to turn to armed cattle rustling. It is in the face of this challenge that ACTED began working with communities in Karamoja to build resilience to climate shocks. Today, 18 km of manual water harvesting trenches have been dug, and 120 beneficiaries have been trained in better agricultural practices.