This booklet showcases adaptation solutions proven to be successful in response to specific issues caused or accelerated by, climate change that negatively affect mountain communities’ livelihoods and ecosystems.
"Diversifying the activities supporting every-day life through creating new income opportunities is not only improving the economic situation of local communities but also reducing risks associated with overdependence on natural resources. Often, this has several co-benefits such as reducing the pressure on the environment, mitigating the risk of natural disasters and improving gender equality. There are many elements that support sustainable livelihood choices such as appropriate policies, knowledge and education, alternative economic options, and access to markets. Providing guidance for and concrete examples of sustainable practices and financial support to the local populations help to increase their resilience for the future in a changing climate.
In the South Caucasus, mountain communities mostly rely on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods. Agriculture is predominantly carried out by individual households and is often a mix of crop and fruit production and small-scale animal husbandry (Buchner et al. 2020). Along with socio-political factors and significant effects of climate change, poor pasture management and overgrazing has led to progressive land degradation, making the region and its residents less resilient (Shatberashvili et al. 2015; Neudert et al. 2019). Supporting ecosystem services such as bee pollination is a Nature-based Solution (NbS) that supports biodiversity in natural vegetation and agricultural produce. Honey is a by-product and provides an additional income source. Engagement of marginalized groups, such as women, is important for ensuring equal access to livelihood opportunities (Jashi 2017).
Educating the local communities, especially women and girls, about environmental change and biodiversity ensures greater ownership by the mountain inhabitants and supports building long-term resilience. The following solutions exemplify how seizing local opportunities and targeted training can create new livelihood opportunities that have multiple benefits for both communities and their environment"