Assignment Three Discussion
Online Learning: OL 344 Adapting to Climate Change: Sustainable Implementation.
Center for Sustainable Development

Assignment Three. Skill Sets—Capacity Building
Last assignment we met with the committee to arrange the first workshops and to begin the process of co-management. We also began the process of assessing the committee’s level of skill in running a committee—and in overseeing their project responsibilities.

This assignment will begin the process of developing a series of workshops and follow-up strategies for building the skill sets that community members will need to improve their capacity for adapting to climate change. These adaptation skill sets are the specific things that they will need to learn how to do, learn how to incorporate them into daily/monthly routines, and learn how to ensure their continuation.

For example, let’s say that one of your programs is to help farmers increase access to markets in order to adapt to a changing cropping system because of climate variability. One of the program activities is to build a road from the highway up into the community. Cutting down trees in preparation to bulldozing the road is not the kind of skills we are looking to improve for the workshop. Routine maintenance of the flood channels and drainage system along the side of the road to prevent it from washing out during more frequent extreme weather events is the skill that we’re looking to develop in a workshop and instill in their routine. We’re trying to encourage them to adopt sound practices and maintain them for a long time.

Another example could be that farmers’ soils had become depleted and your project includes a soil restoration program. Rainfall patterns have become unpredictable and have reduced crop production. One activity in your program is to begin increasing the organic material content in the soil to both improve soil quality for boosting crop production, but also to use the organic material to retain moisture in the soil—somewhat like a sponge. The skill set that we’re trying to support here is for farmers to understand the value of adding organic material to their soil—and the value of maintaining and continuing to add organic material over time. We’re trying to encourage them to adopt sound practices and maintain them for a long time.

This is very exciting because with the workshop in two weeks that you are planning today you will be officially launching the implementation phase of your project!

I look forward to seeing your work this week — please move on to Assignment 3.


Tim Magee