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Africa Environment Outlook


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Africa Environment Outlook Case Studies: Human Vulnerability to Environmental Change

The AEO report has focused, for the most part, on sub-regional levels of environmental activities in Africa. But in order to improve human security, it is necessary to understand the lives and livelihoods of people operating in local environments, for ultimately this is where the process of sustainable use must operate.

If we fail to understand environmental sustainability at this level, these communities will suffer the brunt of insecurity and poverty, and their problems will become the most difficult to remedy. It is the knowledge, skills and coping capabilities of resource users, and the pressures, impacts and responses at this level that should be scrutinized, and form the basis for any new strategies needed to improve vulnerability.

Africa Environment Outlook Case Studies: Human Vulnerability to Environmental Change

The case studies are divided into two sections. Part 1 of the volume comprises six case studies, which explain how various types of environmental change impact on the human population, rendering them vulnerable and insecure with respect to poverty, food security, health and other socioeconomic factors. Reponses at various decision-making levels made in order to mitigate, reduce, stop or reverse environmental change and increase coping capacities have been examined. The authors conclude with recommendations or observations on the relationship between environmental change and vulnerability that are derived from the evidence presented.

Part 2 consists of six case studies, which describe interventions that have been taken to reduce environmental degradation and human vulnerability. In each case the original problem is described, and proposed solutions to the problem examined, and conclusions or lessons that have been learned from the process are highlighted.

It is hoped that these case studies, as detailed examples of the process of environmental change, and the ways in which it affects people in specific situations, will help in ongoing debate and discussions surrounding human vulnerability and its relationship to environments and natural resources.


A follow up to the first African Environment Outlook (AEO) report, these case studies are designed to stimulate interest and action in similar situations at national, sub-regional and regional levels. Written by experts in their fields these case studies are an essential companion to the original AEO publication. [Order your copy now]

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