This journal article, published in World Development, is based on research carried out by PRISE in a working paper. It investigates to what extent and how micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries are adapting to climate risks. Using data from 325 SMEs in the semi-arid regions of Kenya and Senegal, the article analyses this information to estimate the quality of current adaptation measures, distinguishing between sustainable and unsustainable adaptation.
The study examines the links between these current adaptation practices and adaptation planning for future climate change, and finds that financial barriers are a key reason why firms resort to unsustainable adaptation, while general business support, access to information technology and adaptation assistance encourage sustainable adaptation responses.
The results show that engaging in adaptation today also increases the likelihood that a firm is preparing for future climate change, and highlight that there is a clear role for public policy in facilitating good adaptation. The findings lend support to the strategy of many development agencies, which use adaptation to current climate variability as a way of building resilience to future climate change.
Image: by Jean-Paul Gaillard