It is now apparent that dealing with climate change is unavoidable. Nepal


Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to climate change. They are affected by changes in sea-level and wave height, as well as changes in weather patterns. Some families with home gardens were better able to recover from the tsunami in Sri Lanka than others. Such resilience often depended on how well the home gardens were protected by trees.

Eastern Uttar Pradesh, in the foothills of the Nepal Himalayas, has been prone to floods for centuries. In the last 60 years, however, their frequency has increased dramatically. People living in the region have slowly developed ways to cope with the floods. These adaptive measures had not been documented until now.

New legislation in India allows communities to take charge of degraded forest areas. One village claimed to have legal rights over a particular forest area. But users from neighbouring villages protested. An external NGO helped the communities to accept each other as legitimate forest users. Jointly, the villages are rehabilitating the area.

In Malawi, the fifth poorest country in the world, the government introduced a voucher programme for small scale farmers, providing them access to subsidised fertilizer
and seed. The country suddenly saw bumper harvests in both 2006 and 2007. Are fertilizer subsidies the way out of poverty for small scale farmers in Africa?

In Nebbi district, Uganda, women and girls eat after men have filled their stomachs. A local NGO targets women to discuss nutritional values and cultural norms. Surprisingly, when approached with respect, both men and women are willing to review traditional practices and make sure all get enough food.

In Nepal, development projects often focus on policy issues such as rights-based approaches, with less emphasis on livelihoods. The impact on the poor of such an approach is often not immediately visible. This article describes how an NGO helps rural households to start home gardening, independent from local landlords or far-away markets.

In semi arid areas such as the Sahelian zone of Africa, many oils have become severely degraded. One extreme form is the bare and crusted soil, which is virtually productively "dead". In Burkina Faso, farmers have responded by applying mulch to attract termites that then help to rehabilitate the soil. A research project shows the importance of termites in breaking up hardened soil and increasing water infiltration. The land became productive enough to farm within months.

Night-soil (human waste) has been considered a valuable agricultural resource since ancient times. When handled safely, its use can contribute to reducing soil degradation and water scarcity in the areas like the Lahaul valley. Despite such known benefits its use is now decreasing with modernisation. Recognising this, the G.B. Pant Institute in India has been taking steps to promote the use of night-soil as one of the organic farming practices promoted in the region.