Our changing climate
Climate change poses a serious threat to families who depend on agriculture for food and livelihood.
Higher temperatures, extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, and erratic rainfall patterns can all drastically affect the crops that stand between families and hunger. Climate change is not an academic debate for these families, but a matter of life and death.
While we can’t predict the exact changes that will occur throughout the world due to rising temperatures, we can help the world’s rural households, who rely on agriculture, to develop strategies for handling the unexpected.
Adapting to the things we can’t change
For 34 years we have been working with farmers whose lives are interconnected with the environment and climate. This has provided us with real, first-hand knowledge of the challenges rural farmers face. iDE builds farmers’ capacity to anticipate, adapt to, and absorb the impact of climate-related shocks and stresses through four main methods:
- Improve the efficiency of water use through irrigation products such as drip irrigation, and protect watersheds through systems such as multiple-use water systems (MUS)
- Enhance the sustainability of food production through practices such as integrated pest management
- Build resilient agricultural market systems that stabilize small farm businesses
- Assist local institutions in developing plans for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
Mitigating the things we can change
iDE addresses climate mitigation, the active effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a focus on moving away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy technologies. iDE works with small-scale farmers to introduce clean-powered technologies to mechanize production with zero carbon emissions. For example, iDE has developed, in partnership, a solar-powered water pump to replace the costly diesel pumps that farmers rely on to irrigate their crops.
Solutions for the planet and the people
We continue to refine our solutions in the areas of climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction around the globe. Taking a holistic approach, we analyze the unique contexts of people’s work, local markets, geography-specific climatic and environmental risks, unique vulnerabilities to climate, and current as well as projected climate shifts. This approach puts people at the center of our work, and reminds us that we need to work in conjunction with communities to prioritize their specific needs.