PRESENCES: Natural resource management and governance, climate-resilient livelihoods and improved climate information services
Supporting over 400,000 vulnerable women, children and men in Niger to adapt to climate extremes
PRESENCES (Projet de la Résilience face aux Chocs Environnementaux et Sociaux au Niger)
As the basis upon which livelihoods depend, the governance and sustainable management of the natural resource base in the Sahel is critical for building climate resilience. PRESENCES proposes an innovative model combining improvement of climate information services; support for climate-resilient livelihood options; and promotion of sustainable and climate-resilient governance and management of natural resources. Equity is an underlying principle, with particular emphasis on gender. The premise for success is greater understanding of risk, vulnerability, and capacity in the face of climate change; more effective use of climate information for decision making; and strengthened local and national governance and institutions.
The livelihoods and wellbeing of women and men in the Sahel are vulnerable to climate variability and extremes such as drought and high temperatures, and their ability to adapt these challenges is low both individually and institutionally. Operating in 12 communes in the Tillabéry region of Niger, PRESENCES brings together experts and local people, to share different skills, knowledge and experiences across areas of climate information services, community based adaptation approaches, advocacy and policy change, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Through this integrated process, PRESENCES partners seek to address the underlying causes of vulnerability in Tillabéry in order to build resilience of these communes over time.
The project consortium, led by CARE International, has local, national, regional and international partners, namely TREE AID, AREN, Mooriben, Idées Dubara, Agrhymet and INRAN. Partners envision that the three-pillar approach of PRESENCES will bring about necessary change through participatory processes, informed by a unique combination of partner expertise and experience from the region and elsewhere. Designed to work at multiple levels of society in order to build the capability of stakeholders, starting with the community, the project will act as a catalyst for change in individuals, systems, institutions and policies. Given the challenging Sahel environment, linkages to and the strengthening of crisis monitoring and existing community and government early warning systems are core to the project. Therefore, PRESENCES aims to ensure that disaster risks during the project life are anticipated and managed so that the gains made through the project are not lost and eventually, people can move from surviving crisis to thriving in the face of it.
Increased resilience and capacity to adapt to climate crises in people, systems, institutions and policies
PRESENCES integrated three pillar approach:
Pillar 1 improves the relevance and access to information services on climate, planning and risk management relating to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction;
Pillar 2 supports local people to develop sustainable and climate resilient livelihoods; and
Pillar 3 develops systems and governance structures at local, national and regional levels that support fair, sustainable and climate resilient natural resource management.
Priorities across all levels are informed by CARE’s tried and tested tools and processes for community based adaptation: Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA), Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP), Community Adaptation Action Planning (CAAP). As well as providing vital insights for the project team on community strengths and needs in relation to climatic risks, these processes ensure that PRESENCES is locally relevant, participatory and based on understanding dynamic community needs. They also act as the core entry points for the other project activities.
Through both quick wins addressing immediate needs and longer term interventions that empower communities (particularly women and marginalised groups), and engaging them directly with commune level officials, technical and private sector actors, and formal and informal institutions, the PRESENCES approach will:
- Build resilience within households and communities through equitable community based interventions, knowledge for decision-making, and increased buffers against shocks, for example through providing accessible localised weather forecasting and climate information, and establishing women-led village savings and loan schemes for economic gains;
- Increase capacity of informal and formal institutions to support communities through forward-looking decision-making, and equitable and inclusive solutions, for example through strengthening local early warning systems and improving scenario planning for crisis;
- Reinforce policy environments and multi-level political will to enable climate change adaptation for women and men and build resilience at all levels, for example through facilitating natural resources management agreements to prevent conflict and ensure shared resources are used equitably and sustainably across communities.
What results do we expect?
As a result, PRESENCES expects to see a decrease in the extent of losses as well as in the frequency with which people’s lives and livelihoods are disrupted by climate shocks and stressors. Over time, we envision that the resilience of our target communities will increase as a result of these combined efforts. Ultimately, these changes have the potential to become transformational in the region, and more widely, through the further scale-up of our resilience-building strategies.
What is our M&E system?
PRESENCES has a robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, which combined with additional research and learning, will measure change, test assumptions and further our understanding of ‘what works’ in terms of resilience building. We plan to actively contribute to the wider BRACED portfolio, including through a learning and research agenda that is linked to the overarching BRACED Knowledge Manager themes. We will leverage on our extensive network of peers and projects to raise the profile of BRACED-PRESENCES at national, regional and international levels through evidence based advocacy coming directly from our work on the ground.