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Kyrgyzstan ranks 3rd most vulnerable to climate change impacts in Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan | society | 13:07, 25 April 2018 | 654

AKIPRESS.COM - Recent climate resilience research has shown that Kyrgyzstan is the third most vulnerable to climate change impacts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, primarily due to the sensitivity of its agricultural systems to climatic change. Impacts such as climate temperature change could cause altered precipitation patterns and more frequent heat extremes, leading to increased incidence of aridity and drought, particularly in the mountain pastures. Since Kyrgyzstan’s land area is 90% mountainous, it is increasingly important to build resilience to these climate changes and to enable communities to continue thriving.

The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) conducted household surveys to measure climate resilience trends. They developed case studies of villages in Naryn, Bazar-Korgon and Batken regions, which are categorised by the World Food Programme as having high recurrences of poverty and high or medium risk of natural climate change shocks, relative to the rest of the country.

MSRI’s used a new tool for household surveys, which uses generalised and shock-specific subjective resilience measures to evaluate households, and take into account different contexts and demographics. “This new measuring tool has been designed using a subjective approach to question design, which emphasises the power of local people to understand, and communicate their own resilience capacities without the need for long and complex surveys,” said Lira Sagynbekova, MSRI Research Fellow.

This tool is an alternative to the traditional approach of choosing and evaluating household characteristics to measure its resilience. “It was tested during a household survey and the regression results show that it is a strong predictor of household food security,” said Abbie Clare, Researcher with the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The tool is context-transferable and can identify which households can maintain their food security in the face of shocks and stressors.

The PRISE project is a five-year project funded by the International Development Research Centre in Canada and the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom, and spanning seven countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Burkino Faso, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It aims to spur climate-resilient development in these countries by working with local communities, Universities and policy makers to produce research and policy outputs that explore themes such as value chain management, private sector development, local community resilience and the impacts of migration.

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