Valuing variability for climate-resilient dryland development
IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development) has published a book on climate change and resilience in the drylands of Kenya, India and China. The 90-page publication Valuing variability: new perspectives on climate resilient drylands development (2015) was the result of a partnership with the Rainfed Livestock Network and Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture Network in India, Peking University in China and the Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative (DLCI) in Kenya. The book brings together the words and experiences of family farmers, herders and researchers who see the inherent variability of the drylands as a resource to be valued, rather than a problem to be avoided. The book argues that agricultural productivity can be improved in dryland environments by working with climatic variability rather than seeking to control it – a view that runs counter to conventional development practices in most arid and semi-arid areas. By exploring these vibrant agricultural (including livestock) economies that take advantage of variability, this book inverts longstanding negative views about food security in the drylands.