Climate Change Adaptation in Lesotho
The Programme was structured in three well-defined phases, with planned transitions from one phase to the next.
This phase involved the assessment and documentation of climate change related impacts and vulnerabilities on crop, livestock and forest-based livelihood systems in two livelihood zones. Furthermore, baseline studies on local climate-related vulnerabilities and coping and adaptation strategies were conducted, analysed, validated at national and local levels, and documented. This phase was completed in March 2010.
During this phase, an inventory of potential suitable adaptation practices (i.e. crops, livestock, crop-livestock interaction and agroforestry) relevant to southern lowland and mountain ecosystems was undertaken, drawing from various sources, with particular focus on the pilot subcatchments in view of their specific vulnerabilities. These adaptation practices were screened using key criteria, notably:
(i) comparison with the list of potential adaptation measures options suggested in the NAPA document;
(ii) enhancement of both productivity and ecosystem services, and
(iii) capacity to address drought risk management.
Finally, field demonstrations were conducted on key potential adaptation practices identified above, for farm level application and upscaling. During the baseline study validation workshops held in each subcatchment, the final activity of the first phase conducted by the external consultant, the national consultants (“experts”) who were engaged for phases two and three also participated. This ensured a seamless transition into phase two. Shortly after the validation workshops, the experts re-visited the pilot sites to discuss in detail the issues raised during the baseline study and during the validation workshops and any other issues considered relevant to the assignment. Subsequently, farmers (40 at each site with interests in crops, livestock or agroforestry) were selected who would participate in the pilot studies, and individual interviews were held with each farmer to provide further detailed baseline data.
This phase included demonstration/pilot areas for conservation (no-till) agriculture, fruit tree seedling planting around homesteads, establishment of windbreaks, and planting of tree seedlings for donga (gully) rehabilitation. During this phase, targeted training programmes were also conducted to strengthen technical capacity to address climate-related vulnerabilities and risks at national, district and community levels. This aligned with the suitable adaptation strategies and practices identified above. Beneficiaries of the training included national technical staff members, national policy-makers, district technical staff and administrators and farming community participants.