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Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4308-4325; doi:10.3390/su6074308

The Sustainability of Community-Based Adaptation Projects in the Blue Nile Highlands of Ethiopia

1
College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, PoBox 1176, Ethiopia
2
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 1 June 2014 / Accepted: 30 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
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Abstract

Climate resilience in subsistence agricultural communities depends strongly on the robustness and effective management of the agricultural natural resource base. For this reason, adaptation planning efforts frequently focus on natural resource conservation as the primary motivation for and primary outcome of adaptation activities. Here, we present an analysis of the sustainability of community based adaptation (CBA) activities in 20 community based organizations (CBO) that were established in the Blue Nile Highlands of Ethiopia in order to promote resilience to climate change. CBA sustainability was assessed through multi-criteria analysis using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Sustainability was considered for social, institutional, technical, financial, and environmental dimensions, with second-order indicators or factors defined for each dimension. According to this analysis, CBA efforts of two thirds of the COBs studied were found to be unsustainable in all dimensions and CBA efforts of the remaining CBOs were found to be at risk of unsustainability. A number of barriers to CBA sustainability were identified, including inadequacies in community participation, training of local community members, local government commitment, farmer capacity, and bureaucratic efficiency. Participatory evaluation of CBA, however, revealed that many of these barriers can be attributed to the decision to use conservation of natural resources as the primary framework for CBA activities. Based on this evaluation, new efforts have been developed that use markets as the entry and exit points for sustainability activities. Lessons learned in this project are relevant for CBA efforts in other agricultural regions of the developing world. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation; analytic hierarchy process; community based adaptation; community based organizations; multi-criteria analysis; sustainability adaptation; analytic hierarchy process; community based adaptation; community based organizations; multi-criteria analysis; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Simane, B.; Zaitchik, B.F. The Sustainability of Community-Based Adaptation Projects in the Blue Nile Highlands of Ethiopia. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4308-4325.

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