Using participatory role-playing tools to model the climate vulnerabilities of local farmers and develop climate-resilient agriculture solutions.

GERES is currently providing technical support on climate-resilient agriculture to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) in order to increase resilience to climate change for farmers in rural Cambodia. During this 3 year project, funded by the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA), GERES team will work with farmers from 35 villages in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, and Kandal province. The farmers, all relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, are supported from the design of climate resilient strategies to the implementation of specific interventions in each commune.

The farmers have been engaged using a role-playing tool designed and developed by GERES that aims at modeling the village’s landscape and farmers’ livelihoods to develop climate change strategies against increasing climate risks. The farmers are confronted to changing probabilities of climate events like drought and flood affecting their livelihoods exposed to climate change. The occurrence of those climate events, represented with a dice, encourages the farmers to identify no-regrets resilient solutions to reduce their vulnerability, increase the productivity of their lands and their living conditions in the future.

Green garlic plantation in Kampong Por village, Krang Yov commune. Farmers are using mulching techniques which allow to maintain the nutrients of the soil and its moisture.

This research method allows researchers to increase farmers’ ability to project themselves into different possible futures and design climate resilient strategies. It allows participation of any rural farmers, particularly those who cannot read or write to express their issues and needs, and discuss about potential adaptive strategies. The strategies collected during the sessions are then analyzed with the project partners, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food   Security (CCAFS) and the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, to design comprehensive action plans for each province. In 2017, the project will provide specific technical assistance and funds in order to implement some solutions identified to increase resilience to climate change.