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Institutional perceptions, adaptive capacity and climate change response in a post-conflict country
A case study from Central African Republic
The Central African Republic (CAR) faces increased vulnerability to climate change because it is a low-income country with low adaptive capacity; a situation that is exacerbated by recent civil conflict. This research analysed the perceptions of decision-makers within, and the response of diverse national, regional and international institutions to the complex challenges of climate change. Results indicate that while awareness of climate change is high, a concrete response is only in the beginning stages. There was a widespread recognition that the poor who depend on subsistence agriculture, and who constitute the majority of the population, would be most affected. Although CAR has low adaptive capacity, networking and connectivity among different institutions increased through the development of its National Adaptation Programme of Action and the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) documents. In order to mitigate climate change and adapt agriculture and natural resource management to long-term trends in climate variability, such linkages need to be strengthened to build capacity within government institutions, within local communities and within non-governmental organizations that work with those communities. Building adaptive capacity to climate change can also contribute to the process of reconstruction, reconciliation and peace building in the country.