This paper is concerned with integrating adaptation to climate change with local development in the context of a climate change mitigation project for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It is argued that integration will enhance locally appropriate and sustainable outcomes necessary for effective forest conservation in the context of rural Vanuatu. Concurrently, a community- based approach to assessing vulnerability is proposed whereby locally pertinent manifestations of climate- related exposure and adaptive capacity form the baseline of adaptive decision-making for integrated forest conservation and development. The approach is illustrated by a discussion of vulnerability and local development needs in the Tangoa Island community, South Santo, Vanuatu - a community particularly affected by tropical cyclones. Although effective adaptive strategies have evolved over time in Tangoa, these are unlikely to withstand the likely changes in magnitude and (perhaps) frequency of cyclones into the future with climate change. This is due to evolving non-climate stresses that largely intersect with locally defined development needs. Opportunities exist to reduce vulnerability to climate change by development pathways that address particular non-climate stresses. This provides a practical and tangible way of engendering community-based adaptation that would otherwise be unlikely in rural Vanuatu. The approach has application in other rural developing communities, both in Vanuatu and other developing countries.

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timestamp Mon, 07/05/2021 - 06:02
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