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Home > Basin > Limpopo > Food and water security under global change (PN53)

Full Project Title: Food and water security under global change: Developing adaptive capacity with a focus on rural Africa (PN53)


Global change and climate-related risk will impact food and water security in significant and highly uncertain ways, particularly for developing countries with high poverty levels and weak adaptive capacity.

It is important to understand the impacts of global change (in terms of climate, demography, technology, etc.) on agriculture and natural resources in developing countries and to develop adaptive capacity to respond to these impacts. Moreover, there is a need to develop informed and effective adaptation measures and investment options that can be taken now to alleviate adverse impacts of global change in the future.

The project in the Limpopo Basin aimed at the development of capacity to adapt to global change and climate-related risk and provide policymakers and stakeholders, particularly farmers in vulnerable areas who face the largest impacts, with tools to better understand, analyze, and form policy decisions.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • The results of the study showed that vulnerability to climate change is dependent on a number of factors including the degree to which farmers are exposed to climate change, their sensitivity to climate changes, and their adaptive capacity. Given that the nature of vulnerability will vary depending on these factors and given large spatial differences across regions, policymakers should tailor strategies to reduce vulnerability to local conditions.
  • In the case of Ethiopia, vulnerability to climate change is highly related to poverty. Integrated rural development schemes aimed at alleviating poverty can play the double role of reducing poverty and increasing adaptive capacity to climate change. To counteract the adverse impact of climate change, special emphasis will need to be placed on the relatively less-developed regions of the country.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • To ensure that policymakers and researchers use research results, policy briefs were developed for all major research papers and reports. It is assumed that information provided to policymakers at the national level will influence decision-making in the formation of adaptation strategies, which will then influence changes at the farm level.
  • Some changes that already occurred include in Ethiopian agencies and their increased capacity to do climate change related research have helped them to obtain additional funding for climate change research. However, it will be important to monitor the impact of policy decisions on the ground at the farm and community levels.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN53 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Admassie, A., and B. Adenew, Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies in Ethiopia, EEA Research Report (Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Economic Association, 2008) Available at:
  2. Akpalu, W., R.M. Hassan, and C. Ringler. 2009. Climate change and maize yield in South Africa: Results from GME and MELE methods, IFPRI Discussion Paper, 843.
  3. Block, P.J. 2008. An Assessment of Investments in Agricultural and Transportation Infrastructure, Energy, and Hydroclimatic Forecasting to Mitigate the Effects of Hydrologic Variability in Ethiopia. CPWF Working Paper, No. 1.
  4. Bryan, E., W. Akpalu, M. Yesuf, and C. Ringler. 2008. Global Carbon Markets: Are there opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa? IFPRI Discussion Paper, 832.
  5. Bryan, E., T. Deressa, G. Gbetibouo, and C. Ringler. 2009. Adaptation to climate change in Ethiopia and South Africa: Options and Constraints. Environmental Science and Policy, 12. Available at:

Policy briefings

  1. Brief 1: The Impact of Climate Variability and Climate Change on Water and Food Outcomes: A Framework for Analysis by Claudia Ringer
  2. Brief 2: Vulnerability and the Impact of Climate Change in South Africa’s Limpopo River Basin by Sharon Shewmake
  3. Brief 3: Mapping the South African Farming Sector’s Vulnerability to Climate Change and Variability: A Subnational Assessment by Glwadys Aymone Gbetibouo and Claudia Ringler
  4. Brief 4: Assessing Household Vulnerability to Climate Change: The Case of Farmers in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia by Temesgen T. Deressa, Rashid M. Hassan, and Claudia Ringler (English and Amharic)
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.