Burkina Faso is a landlocked arid and semi-arid country with fragile natural resource bases, with 80% of the population relying on subsistence agriculture. Rural areas lack infrastructure, and access to markets and services, and are highly vulnerable to drought. The city of Ouagadougou is growing rapidly, creating new demands for food and water security and also offering new opportunities for employment and growth, while extractive industries – particularly gold mining – offer means of diversifying and growing the economy. Burkina Faso is operating under a number of constraints and meeting the aspirations of its people, while avoiding maladaptation, will be challenging.
Senegal is a predominantly arid and semi-arid country undergoing profound demographic and economic change, with migration from arid interiors to less dry and more densely populated coastal areas. In the past, droughts have had large impacts on the economy. But a more diverse economy is changing exposure and sensitivity to climate risk, and sectors such as construction, services, trade and – in recent years – tourism now contribute more to GDP than agriculture does. Yet questions remain as to how the poorest members of society can benefit from this economic and demographic transformation.
Around 90% of Kenya’s land area is arid or semi-arid. These are typically areas with high poverty, dispersed but rapidly growing populations and poor infrastructure. As in other Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs), mixes of pastoralism and agriculture dominate the rural areas. However, the natural resources of Kenya’s ASALs also support wildlife and ecotourism, large-scale commercial agriculture, and extractive industries – notably oil and gas exploration. As in other arid and semi-arid lands, rapid urbanisation, weak land rights, the impacts of drought, and changes resulting from commercial investments, are creating complex and dynamic new environments for individuals, communities and economies to adjust to.
Climate change is one of the most challenging crises that Pakistan faces today. The nation is a low-middle income country, where the majority of the population depends on climate-sensitive economic sectors, including agriculture and energy, for their livelihoods. The agriculture sector is by far the largest employer for this nation of 188 million people, and one-third of the country’s population is engaged in the services industry. Pakistan’s progress is undermined by multiple challenges within the political, socio-economic and environmental domains. Recent climate disasters in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 have demonstrated that, in the absence of policies that promote climate-resilient development, climate change has the potential to multiply existing vulnerabilities and magnify climate risks, and entrench the South Asian nation deeper into poverty.
Tajikistan is a small landlocked country, with mountains covering 93 per cent of the whole area. More than 8.2 million people live in the central Asian country, and although living standards have improved in recent years, poverty remains a widespread phenomenon. For Tajikistan, climate change is a part of daily reality, where poor and marginalised people are the most vulnerable to its impacts. Melting of mountain glaciers, intensified flash floods and mudflows, heavy rains and abnormal air temperatures put Tajikistan’s security at risk. Around two-thirds of its people – 64 per cent – depend on agriculture for a living, making the agricultural sector in Tajikistan a solid foundation for economic development. However, the risk of climate change and increased aridity already impact the sector and pose a serious challenge to a food security.
Kyrgyzstan is a small landlocked country in central Asia, facing significant challenges from climate change. More than 80% of its land area is covered by mountains, the glaciers of which are a significant water source for the country and its neighbours. However, more rapid warming in the spring is causing an increase in the frequency and magnitude of glacial floods, whilst hotter average summer temperatures are challenging arable agriculture and livestock herds. As one of the most exposed countries to the impacts of climate change, and with limited institutional capacity to adapt, Kyrgyzstan is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.