Adaptation to climate change is embedded across our programme work

Climate change affects everyone, but its effects are felt most by the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities, who live in regions that are susceptible to changes in the climate and whose livelihoods are dependent on natural resources – for example drought-prone sub-Saharan Africa, or in marginal areas such as floodplains or unstable hillsides.

Because of this, we embed climate change as a cross-cutting theme across our four universal goals. Our work, in energy access, agriculture, disaster risk reduction and water and waste, is equipping vulnerable people to adapt to a changing climate and cope with severe weather events.

Examples of our work

Practical Action have developed simple, practical solutions that can help people to minimise the ways in which floods, droughts and extreme weather affect their lives. We know that small-scale technologies can make a difference, and around the world, we're working with people to help them adapt.

Adapting rice to saltier water

Using forgotten indigenous varieties of rice to grow in saltier water

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Coping with drought

Simple technologies, such as rainwater harvesting and water conservation, can reduce the devastating impact of droughts

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Flood resistant housing

Simple design changes improve houses enough to be unaffected by flooding and resulting dangers to livelihoods

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Preparing for floods

Appropriate training and technologies are introduced in order for families to dramatically lessen the impact of the inevitable flooding

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River erosion

Displacement from river erosion can be devastating, but building back better gives people a stronger chance against future adversity

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Surviving freak freezes

Simple yet effective ideas to improve the livelihoods of communities struggling to cope with extreme weather conditions

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Practice & learning

Poor people are the least prepared to protect themselves and adapt to a changing climate. Practical Action is working with these communities to:

  • manage the risk of disasters;
  • manage changing season patterns and adapt their farming practices;
  • get better access to information on technologies and skills through linking with governments and other service provides;
  • empowering themselves through strengthening community organisations to plan for their own future development.

Read more about our experience in climate change adaptation


At national and international levels Practical Action is lobbying for fair, ambitious and legally binding policies to reduce emissions, encourage sustainable development and fund adaptation.

Find out more about our campaigns and policy work on climate change

CBA9: the 9th conference on community-based adaptation to climate change Nairobi, Kenya from 24-30 April, 2015

Practical Action will be sending representatives from Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, the UK, Sudan and Zimbabwe to CBA9 to share what we know and take the opportunity to learn from other practitioners.

Find out more about our events at CBA9

Practical Answers

Our technical information service, Practical Answers, offers free downloads on a range of topics related to environment and adaptation to climae change.

We also have a technical enquiry service where anyone working in poverty reduction, or on small-scale technology projects, can ask a question and receive a response from our local experts free of charge.

News from our climate change blogs

Climate Smart Agriculture: making adaptation work for smallholder farmers

  The 9th Community Based Adaptation Conference  (CBA9) will take place in Kenya from the 24th to the 30th April. Practical Action is a co-sponsor of this event, and is sending speakers from Nepal, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, the UK and Sudan. On Tuesday 28...
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Why take a livelihood-centred approach to disaster risk reduction?

‘’If we can make people’s livelihoods stronger and more sustainable, disasters will affect them less” (Practical Action, 2011) Zimbabwe is prone to a number of natural hazards including droughts, storms and floods. Climate change is increasing the severity and unpredictability of thes...
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Using weather information to adapt to a changing climate

The challenge Weather extremes caused by climate change are a major threat to food production in Southern Africa. The ‘Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Zimbabwe’s Extension Systems’ project provided over 8,000 smallholder farmers with innovative climate information services that allo...
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Coffee farmers adapt to climate change

Los productores de café a adaptarse al cambio climático (English translation below) La novena Conferencia de Adaptación Basada en la Comunidad (CBA9) se llevará a cabo del 26 al 30 de abril de 2015. En Perú, Soluciones Prácticas ha estado trabajando con las comunidades productoras ...
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Practical Action Consulting (PAC) draws on more than 40 years experience of working with the world's poorest people, helping communities build on their skills and knowledge to assist them in developing more secure lives, reduce and manage the risks they face, and adapt their lives and livelihood practices to meet the challenges of current climate variability and climate change.

Practical Action Consulting's climate change expertise


We work with national and international bodies around the world to create and strengthen policies which reduce emissions and encourage funding and focus on adaptation to climate change, including the UNFCCC.

Recent and forthcoming events

CBA9: the 9th Community-Based Adaptation conference
Nairobi, Kenya, 24-30 April, 2015.


From policy reports and briefing documents to case studies and research papers, you will find all documents on climate change here.


Disaster risk reduction is increasingly important because climate change is expected to result in more frequent and severe hazards. It is also expected to increase people's vulnerability, resulting in even more disasters.

Rather than focus on relief measures, Practical Action is working with communities to enable them to prepare for, cope with and adapt to future hazards by building stronger livelihoods, disaster risk management and increasing food security.

Disaster risk reduction programme

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