Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector: an analysis of governance challenges in two Pakistani provinces

Oliveira, José Antônio Puppim de
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Climate adaptation policies are a key to protect farmers from future climate vulnerability. However, what are the implementation challenges of those policies at the subnational level? This study develops a framework to understand response of subnational governments to climate adaptation policies in the agricultural sector using the case of Pakistan, looking at the province of Punjab and the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The analytical components of our proposed framework are: locally driven initiatives, local capable institutions, legally implementable measures, and effectively establishing intergovernmental relations. To develop the framework, critical reading of various literatures on subnational governance and challenges for implementation of climate policies at subnational level are explored. A case study approach is employed to investigate the climate adaptation governance in two Pakistani provinces: Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and its agriculture sector is highly exposed to the adverse impacts of climate change. The responsibility of implementation of climate change policies and action plans rests with respective provinces. The most important initiative of Punjab government, inter alai, is launching awareness campaign about climate change adaptation by publishing related literature in local languages, establishing a radio station, arranging farmer day, and writing articles in newspapers. One notable initiative by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is the development of provincial climate change policy. Provincial approaches vary in terms of subnational climate policy, research undertaken, and institutional capacity. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has developed provincial climate change policy whereas the Punjab government is in the process of formulating its policy. Punjab, however, is leading in terms of carrying out research work and developing institutional capacity. These differences at planned level adaptation are primarily driven by coordination among the respective departments, engagement with academics, and availability of financial resources. On the other hand autonomous initiatives of two provinces are essentially similar and are majorly driven by the previous experiences of farmers, sustainability in agriculture production, and the knowledge sharing. Moreover, both provincial governments are giving training to farmers for agriculture adaptation. Additionally, the government of Punjab is practically enhancing capacity building by arranging training programs. The study finds that local farmers are actively involved in autonomous adaptation in the both provinces and the subnational governments also encourage engagement of farmers in climate adaptation policies. Our study identifies the factors that influence the implementation of these autonomous initiatives. These factors include past experiences and knowledge sharing of farmers.

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