A coffee producer in Nepal.
Photo: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation


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Changes in climate conditions can lead to shifts within a market system – with both negative and positive effects for the individual stakeholders und sub-sectors. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation has developed a Guideline designed to systematically establish corresponding climate risks. Our author presents initial hands-on experiences from Nepal and Madagascar.

Already today, climate change, in the form of extreme events, seasonal variability with too much rain or lack of rainfall combined with high temperature, is a harsh reality for millions of farmers who have to cope with degraded and weakened natural resource systems. They often lack knowledge about potential options for adapting their production systems and have limited assets and risk-taking capacity to access and use technologies and financial services. However, opportunities are also emerging where farmers can suddenly grow crops that they could not grow in the past. It is therefore important to apply a climate risk and vulnerability approach in natural resource-based market systems and hence take proactive and planned rather than reactive action, including identifying emerging opportunities.

For this reason, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation started to systematically address climate risks in its market system projects and has recently developed the Guideline “Assessing Climate Risks and Vulnerabilities in Market Systems” (see Box below).

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