Evidence-based report: The need for and potential benefits of transformative adaptation in African municipalities

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To date, most adaptation interventions have been incremental in nature, meaning they aim to reduce climate risks and impacts, while maintaining the status quo of the system in question. Transformative adaptation is increasingly being recognised as a necessary alternative, where responses to climate change must catalyse change at a deeper level, incorporating additional considerations such as poverty, inequality, healthcare, excessive consumption, and ecosystem loss. This report provides examples of transformative adaptation initiatives that have been implemented in sub-Saharan Africa – two in municipalities in South Africa, and one in the Sahel region. These case studies highlight some of the enabling factors that can facilitate the implementation of transformative adaptation, including: change driven from within municipalities; using the lived realities of the urban poor as entry points for intervention; and promotion and support of grassroots movements in the adaptation space.

Author Sarah Catto and Kate Strachan [ICLEI Africa]

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