GEP  Vol.5 No.11 , November 2017
Consolidating Contestation and Conflict through Community-Based Adaptation (CBA)
Abstract: This article, based on fieldwork in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Kenya, provides an overview of different types of climate change adaptation interventions that are currently being implemented to enhance local community’s adaptive capacity and resilience. We show that CBA interventions, whilst measurably successful from the interventionist perspective, are often structured to cause new scarcities, competing claims and ultimately, various forms and intensities of conflict. We conclude that, instead of targeting “communities” or other groups of “beneficiaries”, the inter-connectedness of multiple (and at times competing) social groups (men and women, the elderly and youth, hunters, loggers, pastoralists and sedentary crop farmers etc.) in relation to the use and distribution of natural resources should be the point of departure for strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity.
Cite this paper: Soeters, S. and Zoomers, A. (2017) Consolidating Contestation and Conflict through Community-Based Adaptation (CBA). Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 5, 174-193. doi: 10.4236/gep.2017.511013.

[1]   Adger, W. (2009) Social Capital, Collective Action, and Adaptation to Climate Change. Economic Geography, 79, 387-404.

[2]   FRIDE (2015) Climate Change and State Fragility in the Sahel.

[3]   Unger, N. (2015) Living on the Edge in a World of Changing Climate.

[4]   Landscapes for People, Food and Nature (LPFN) (2015) Landscape Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Achieving the SDGs through Integrated Landscape Management a White Paper to Discuss the Benefits of Using ILM as a Key Means of Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals Produced by the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative. Rep. Landscapes for People, Food and Nature, 15 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

[5] (2016) Climate Finance Overview.

[6] (2016) Climate Finance World Resources Institute.

[7]   Cannon, T. (2015) Why Do We Pretend There Is Community? Problems of Community Based-Adaptation (CBA) and Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) [Blog] IDS Povertics.

[8]   Reid, H., Alam, M., Berger, R., Cannon, T., Huq, S. and Milligan, A. (2009) Community-Based Adaptation: An Overview. In: Reid, H., Ed., Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change, International Institute for Environment and Development, London, 11-38.

[9]   Coleman, J. (1988) Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94, S95-S120.

[10]   Pelling, M. and High, C. (2005) Understanding Adaptation: What Can Social Capital Offer Assessments of Adaptive Capacity? Global Environmental Change, 15, 308-319.

[11]   Woolcock, M. and Narayan, D. (2000) Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research and Policy. World Bank Research Observer, 15, 225-249.

[12]   Cannon, T. and Muller-Mahn, D. (2010) Vulnerability, Resilience and Development Discourses in Context of Climate Change. Natural Hazards, 55, 621-635.

[13]   Portes, A. (1998) Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1-24.

[14]   Rubio, M. (1997) Perverse Social Capital—Some Evidence from Colombia. Journal of Economic Issues, 31, 805-816.

[15]   Adger, W., Huq, S., Brown, K., Conway, D. and Hulme, M. (2003) Adaptation to Climate Change in the Developing World. Progress in Development Studies, 3, 179-195.

[16]   Narayan, D. (2002) Bond and Bridges: Social Capital and Poverty. In: Isham, J., Kelly, T. and Ramaswamy, S., Eds., Social Capital and Economic Development: Well-Being in Developing Countries, Edgar Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, 58-82.

[17]   Soeters, S.R. (2016) Building Bonds and Breaking Bridges: Community Based Adaptation (CBA) as a Source of Conflict in a Northern Ghanaian Landscape. In: Yaro, J.A. and Hesselberg, J., Eds., Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability in Rural West Africa, Springer, 102-120.

[18]   Brooks, N., Grist, N. and Brown, K. (2009) Development Futures in the Context of Climate Change: Challenging the Present and Learning from the Past. Development Policy Review, 27, 741-765.

[19]   Bebbington, A. (1999) Capitals and Capabilities: A Framework for Analyzing Peasant Viability, Rural Livelihoods and Poverty. World Development, 27, 2021-2044.

[20]   Bryceson, D. (2002) Multiplex Livelihoods in Rural Africa: Recasting the Terms and Conditions of Gainful Employment. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 40.

[21]   Haan, L. and Zoomers, A. (2005) Exploring the Frontier of Livelihoods Research. Development and Change, 36, 27-47.

[22]   Grootaert, Narayan, J. and Woolcock (2004) Measuring Social Capital: An Integrated Questionnaire. World Bank Paper No. 18.

[23]   Hippolyt, P. (2015) Exclusion, Association and Violence: Trends and Triggers in Northern Ghana’s Konkomba-Dagomba Wars. The African Anthroplogist, 10, 39-82.

[24]   Reid, H., Haque, M., Kirkby, P., Roberts, E., Stubbings, A., Urquhart, P., Williams, C., Williams, M. and Zundel, T. (2015) “Community Based Adaptation: Measuring and Enhancing Effective Adaptation 9th International Conference 24-30 April 2015 Nairobi, Kenya”. Community Based Adaptation: Measuring and Enhancing Effective Adaptation. Nairobi: IIED, 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

[25]   Conti, V. (2016) Community-Based Microfinance for Adaptation: Panacea for Inclusion at the Household Level, or Source of Gender Conflict? Master’s Thesis, Universiteit Utrecht.

[26]   Local Farmers (2014) Interviews with Farmers.

[27]   Focus on Land in Africa (2011) Rise and Fall of Group Ranches in Kenya. Country Brief: Kenya. Focus on Land in Africa, Washington, 4.

[28]   Gartner, K. (2016) Liquid Assets, Institutions, Climate Change and Conflict: The Political Ecology of Water in Maji Moto Group Ranch, Narok South, Kenya A Case Study of Water-Related Conflict in a Maasai Community. MA, Universiteit Utrecht.

[29]   Adano, W.R., Dietz, T., Witsenburg, K. and Zaal, F. (2012) Climate Change, Violent Conflict and Local Institutions in Kenya’s Drylands. Journal of Peace Research, 49, 65-80.

[30]   Hughes, L. (2013) Land Alienation and Contestation in Kenyan Maasailand. Conference Paper.

[31]   Weesie, R. (2016) More Water, More Conflict? A Case Study on (Agro)-Pastoral Conflict and Cooperation over a Shared Water Resource Resulting from an Adaptation Intervention in Semi-Arid Kenya. MA, Universiteit Utrecht.

[32]   Cosijnse, D. (2016) “Be Watchful When Roaming through the Forest, You Never Know What Danger or Resource You May Stumble Upon”: An Analysis of the Use and Management of Tiogo Forest through a Social Capital Lens. MA, Universiteit Utrecht.

[33]   Wardell, A. and Reenberg, A. (2006) Framing Field Expansion Strategies in the Savanna Biome-Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics in and around Tiogo Forest Reserve, Burkina Faso. In: Mistry, J. and Berardi, A., Eds., Savannas and Dry Forests: Linking People with Nature, Ashgate Publishers Ltd., Aldershot, 19-52.

[34]   Ouedraogo, B. (2014) To Limit Forest Loss, Burkina Faso Brings Communities into Decision Making. Thomson Reuters Foundation, 17 June 2014.