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Private adaptation in semi-arid lands: a tailored approach to ‘leave no one behind'

  • Journal Articles
  • semi-arid areas
  • Climate Adaptation

This paper draws on five years of research conducted through the Pathways for Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE) programme in the semi-arid lands of seven developing countries across West and East Africa, and South and Central Asia.  

With developing countries under pressure to finalise their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of the 2020 update deadline, national governments have an important window of time to rethink the ways in which they have approached development and adaptation in SALs to date, to clearly articulate their priorities, and to request the necessary international support.

It is argued that a radical shift is needed in semi-arid policy landscapes, that refocuses on leveraging existing adaptive capacities of private sector actors – women, farmers, businesses and cooperatives – to cope with and respond to prevailing environmental shocks and weather extremes. This requires providing enabling business environments that are tailored to the diverse and specific needs of the full range of private sector actors in semi-arid regions.

In this paper, opportunities are identified which support such reorientation of policy in semi-arid lands and to unlock broader resilience in semi-arid regions through the private sector. Action is required now if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda pledge to ‘leave no one behind’.

This paper can be read for free at this link: