Skip to main content

Presenting Triple-Wins? Assessing Projects That Deliver Adaptation, Mitigation and Development Co-benefits in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract

The concept of climate compatible development (CCD) is increasingly employed by donors and policy makers seeking ‘triple-wins’ for development, adaptation and mitigation. While CCD rhetoric is becoming more widespread, analyses drawing on empirical cases that present triple-wins are sorely lacking. We address this knowledge gap. Drawing on examples in rural sub-Saharan Africa, we provide the first glimpse into how projects that demonstrate triple-win potential are framed and presented within the scientific literature. We identify that development projects are still commonly evaluated in terms of adaptation or mitigation benefits. Few are framed according to their benefits across all three dimensions. Consequently, where triple-wins are occurring, they are likely to be under-reported. This has important implications, which underestimates the co-benefits that projects can deliver. A more robust academic evidence base for the delivery of triple-wins is necessary to encourage continued donor investment in activities offering the potential to deliver CCD.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Adger, W.N., S. Agrawala, M.M.Q. Mirza, C. Conde, K. O’Brien, J. Pulhin, R. Pulwarty, B. Smit, et al. 2007. Chapter 17. Assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. In Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, eds. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, C.E. Hanson, and P.J. van der Linden, 719–743. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Adkins, E., S. Eapen, F. Kaluwile, G. Nair, and V. Modi. 2010. Off-grid energy services for the poor: Introducing LED lighting in the Millennium Villages Project in Malawi. Energy Policy 38: 1087–1097.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anderson, K., and A. Bowes. 2008. Reframing the climate change challenge in light of post-2000 emission trends. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 366: 3863–3882.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ayers, J.M., and S. Huq. 2009. The value of linking mitigation and adaptation: A case study of Bangladesh. Environmental Management 43: 753–764.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bailis, R., M. Ezzati, and D.M. Kammen. 2005. Mortality and greenhouse gas impacts of biomass and petroleum energy futures in Africa. Science 308: 98–103.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bates, B., Z.W. Kundzewicz, S. Wu, and J. Palutikof. 2008. Climate change and water. Technical Paper of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Secretariat, Geneva.

  • Belcher, B., M. Ruíz-Pérez, and R. Achdiawan. 2005. Global patterns and trends in the use and management of commercial NTFPs: Implications for livelihoods and conservation. World Development 33: 1435–1452.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bizikova, L., J. Robinson, and S. Cohen. 2007. Linking climate change and sustainable development at the local level. Climate Policy 7: 271–277.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boko, M., I. Niang, A. Nyong, C. Vogel, A. Githeko, M. Medany, B. Osman-Elasha, R. Tabo, et al. 2007. Africa. In Climate change: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC, eds. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden, and C.E. Hanson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Burney, J.A., and R.L. Naylor. 2012. Smallholder irrigation as a poverty alleviation tool in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Development 40: 110–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burney, J., L. Woltering, M. Burke, R. Naylor, and D. Pasternak. 2010. Solar-powered drip irrigation enhances food security in the Sudano-Sahel. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences United States of America 107: 1848–1853.

    Google Scholar 

  • Calvo, C.M. 1994. Case study on the role of women in rural transport: Access of women to domestic facilities, SSATP Working Paper No 11, Washington DC: World Bank Publications.

  • Chomitz, K.M., and P. Buys. 2007. At loggerheads? Agricultural expansion, poverty reduction, and environment in the tropical forests. Washington DC: World Bank Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cochrane, M.A. 2003. Fire science for rainforests. Nature 421: 913–919.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Conway, G. 2009. The science of climate change in Africa: Impacts and adaptation. In Grantham Institute for Climate Change. Discussion Paper.

  • de Boer, J., J.A. Wardekker, and J.P. van der Sluijs. 2010. Frame-based guide to situated decision-making on climate change. Global Environmental Change 20: 502–510.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • FAO. 2007. FAO Statistical databases. Retrieved 20 July, 2013, from http://faostat.fao.org/.

  • FAO. 2009. Harvesting agriculture’s multiple benefits: Mitigation, adaptation, development and food security. Retrieved 20 July, 2013, from ftp://fao.org/docrep/FAO/012/ak914e/ak914e00.pdf.

  • FAO. 2013. Advancing Agroforestry on the Policy Agenda: A guide for decision-makers. Retrieved 20 July, 2013, from http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i3182e/i3182e00.pdf.

  • Fisher, M., M. Chaudhury, and B. McCusker. 2010. Do forests help rural households adapt to climate variability? Evidence from Southern Malawi. World Development 38: 1241–1250.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grieg-Gran, M. 2010. Beyond forestry: Why agriculture is key to the success of REDD+. In International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Briefing Papers. Retrieved 18 February, 2014, from http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17086IIED.pdf.

  • Halsnæs, K., and J. Verhagen. 2007. Development based climate change adaptation and mitigation—Conceptual issues and lessons learned in studies in developing countries. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 12: 665–684.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hobbs, P.R., K. Sayre, and R. Gupta. 2008. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363: 543–555.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Houghton, R. 2012. Carbon emissions and the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4: 597–603.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • International Energy Agency (IEA). 2002. World Energy Outlook: Retrieved 29 June, 2013, from http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/media/weowebsite/2008-1994/weo2002_part1.pdf.

  • IPCC. 2001. Climate change 2001: Synthesis report. A contribution of working groups I, II and III to the third assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Kalame, F.B., R. Aidoo, J. Nkem, O.C. Ajayie, M. Kanninen, O. Luukkanen, and M. Idinoba. 2011. Modified taungya system in Ghana: A win–win practice for forestry and adaptation to climate change? Environmental Science & Policy 14: 519–530.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kammen, D.M., and C. Kirubi. 2008. Poverty, energy, and resource use in developing countries. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1136: 348–357.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kirubi, C., A. Jacobson, D.M. Kammen, and A. Mills. 2009. Community-based electric micro-grids can contribute to rural development: Evidence from Kenya. World Development 37: 1208–1221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Klein, R.J.T., E.L.F. Schipper, and S. Dessai. 2005. Integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate and development policy: Three research questions. Environmental Science & Policy 8: 579–588.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Klein, R.J., S. Huq, F. Denton, T.E. Downing, R.G. Richels, J.B. Robinson, and F.L. Toth. 2007. Inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation In Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change eds. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutik, P. Linden, and C. E. Hanson, 745–777. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Knox, J., T. Hess, A. Daccache, and T. Wheeler. 2012. Climate change impacts on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia. Environmental Research Letters 7: 034032.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kundzewicz, Z., L. Mata, N.W. Arnell, P. Döll, B. Jimenez, K. Miller, T. Oki, Z. Şen, et al. 2008. The implications of projected climate change for freshwater resources and their management. Hydrological Sciences Journal 53: 3–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lal, R. 1997. Residue management, conservation tillage and soil restoration for mitigating greenhouse effect by CO2 enrichment. Soil and Tillage Research 43: 81–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lal, R. 2004. Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304: 1623–1627.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lemos, M.C., E. Boyd, E.L. Tompkins, H. Osbahr, and D. Liverman. 2007. Developing adaptation and adapting development. Ecology and Society 12: 26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipper, L., W. Mann, A. Meybeck, and R. Sessa. 2010. ‘Climate-smart’ agriculture: Policies, practices and financing for food security, adaptation and mitigation. Rome: FAO.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lobell, D.B., U.L.C. Baldos, and T.W. Hertel. 2013. Climate adaptation as mitigation: The case of agricultural investments. Environmental Research Letters 8: 015012.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mata, L.J., and J. Budhooram. 2007. Complementarity between mitigation and adaptation: The water sector. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 12: 799–807.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Metz, B. 2007. Climate change 2007-mitigation of climate change: Working group III contribution to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, T., and S. Maxwell. 2010. Defining climate compatible development. Retrieved 19 June, 2013, from http://www.cdkn.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011/02/CDKN-CCD-DIGI-MASTER-19NOV.pdf.

  • Modi, V., S. McDade, D. Lallement, and J. Saghir. 2005. Energy Services for the Millennium Development Goals. Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme: United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/MP_Energy_Low_Res.pdf.

  • Murray, B.C., B.A. McCarl, and H.-C. Lee. 2004. Estimating leakage from forest carbon sequestration programs. Land Economics 80: 109–124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • OECD. 2013. Development aid at a glance: Statistics by region—Africa: Retrieved 1 June, 2013, from http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/aidataglancebydonorrecipientandregion.htm.

  • Owenya, M.Z., W.L. Mariki, J. Kienzle, T. Friedrich, and A. Kassam. 2011. Conservation agriculture (CA) in Tanzania: The case of the Mwangaza B CA farmer field school (FFS), Rhotia Village, Karatu District, Arusha. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 9: 145–152.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Palm, C.A., S.M. Smukler, C.C. Sullivan, P.K. Mutuo, G.I. Nyadzi, and M.G. Walsh. 2010. Identifying potential synergies and trade-offs for meeting food security and climate change objectives in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 19661.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ravindranath, N. 2007. Mitigation and adaptation synergy in forest sector. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 12: 843–853.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reid, H., and S. Huq. 2007. Community-based adaptation: A vital approach to the threat climate change poses to the poor. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Briefing Paper. IIED: London.

  • Rothausen, S.G., and D. Conway. 2011. Greenhouse-gas emissions from energy use in the water sector. Nature Climate Change 1: 210–219.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Somorin, O.A., H. Brown, I.J. Visseren-Hamakers, D.J. Sonwa, B. Arts, and J. Nkem. 2012. The Congo Basin forests in a changing climate: Policy discourses on adaptation and mitigation (REDD+). Global Environmental Change 22: 288–298.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stern, N. 2007. The economics of climate change: The Stern review. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Stillwell, A.S., C.W. King, M.E. Webber, and I.J. Duncan. 2011. The energy–water nexus in Texas. Ecology and Society Retrieved 10 June, 2013, from http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol16/iss1/art2/.

  • Stringer, L.C., and A.J. Dougill. 2012. Channelling science into policy: Enabling best practices from research on land degradation and sustainable land management in dryland Africa. Journal of Environmental Management 114: 328–335.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suckall, N., E. Tompkins, and L. Stringer. 2014. Identifying trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation and development in community responses to climate and socio-economic stresses: Evidence from Zanzibar, Tanzania. Applied Geography 46: 111–121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Szabó, S., K. Bódis, T. Huld, and M. Moner-Girona. 2011. Energy solutions in rural Africa: Mapping electrification costs of distributed solar and diesel generation versus grid extension. Environmental Research Letters 6: 034002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tompkins, E.L., A. Mensah, L. King, T.K. Long, E. Lawson, C. Hutton, V. Hoang, C. Gordon, et al. 2013. An investigation of the evidence of benefits from climate compatible development. Leeds: Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tubiello, F., and M. van der Velde. 2010. Land and water use options for climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture, SOLAW Background Thematic Report—TR04A. New York: GET-Carbon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Watkiss, P., T. Downing, and J. Dyszynski. 2010. AdaptCost project: Analysis of the economic costs of climate change adaptation in Africa. Nairobi: UNEP.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors thank J Dyer for her assistance and discussions on an earlier version of the manuscript of this article.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Natalie Suckall.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Suckall, N., Stringer, L.C. & Tompkins, E.L. Presenting Triple-Wins? Assessing Projects That Deliver Adaptation, Mitigation and Development Co-benefits in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa. AMBIO 44, 34–41 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-014-0520-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-014-0520-0

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Triple-wins, adaptation
  • Mitigation
  • Development