Along with responding to emergencies and funding and managing projects that provide assistance to millions around the world, Islamic Relief also conducts pioneering research to discover ground-breaking issues, methods on how to effectively tackle these issues and how Islamic Relief can effectively deliver successful projects and programmes.
The Islamic Relief climate change team led by Dr Shahid Zia (Global Advisor for Sustainable Livelihoods) and staff from IR Pakistan conducted pioneering climate change adaptation research in selected flood affected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in Pakistan. As part of the research, the IR Policy team met with Pakistan’s Climate Change Adviser, Dr Qamar uz Zaman who elaborated on the extensive challenges Pakistan has to face in meeting climate change trends, including floods, droughts and most worrying of all, the potential of Pakistan’s glacial reservoirs melting within a generation.
IR is working with communities in four districts (Mardan, Nowshehra, Sawabi and Charsada) to help revive their economies, which have been severely damaged since the floods. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering information were used. A comprehensive questionnaire was designed and used together with Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) and Focussed Group Discussions (FGD) to collect household and community level data on vulnerability, risks and the adaptation capacity of individuals and the community.
Overall, the study carried out in-depth research into farmers’ perceptions of climate change and coping strategies. It also looked at farming communities’ vulnerabilities, potential challenges and the roles of different stakeholders in climate change adaptation techniques. Farming communities previously used lifelong experience to make farming decisions taking into consideration household requirements and the risks involved. However, farmers feel that their experiences are no longer relevant. They have to continually adjust to the climate but without access to the information required to manage with the current ever changing conditions.