Climate Resilient Development Pathways

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The 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) introduced the idea of “climate-resilient development pathways” (CRDPs) as key responses to the threat of climate change (Roy et al. 2018). CRDPs are not merely scenarios to envision possible futures but are processes of deliberation and implementation that address societal values, local priorities and their inevitable trade-offs (Roy et al. 2018).
Essentially, these climate-resilient development pathways represent a range of possible futures and within the SADC Futures foresight framework–within the ‘Plan’ stage of foresight there are a number of key questions that emerge: Will these pathways hold up under future shocks and disturbance s? How do we know which pathways are climate-resilient? How do we know which pathways are desirable and which we should avoid?
This supporting document sets out some more detailed definitions of key terms, concepts and a framework for key steps in setting out a climate-resilient development pathway as well as giving examples of two pathways related to climate-resilient agricultural development within the context of sub-Saharan Africa. The document complements the training series and aims to provide a simple but comprehensive set of definitions around the key concepts that underly CRDPs and practical approaches.


Chesterman S, Neely CN, Thornton P, Pereira L. 2020. Climate-Resilient Development Pathways. SADC Futures: Developing Foresight Capacity for Climate Resilient Agricultural Development Knowledge Series. CCAFS Report. Wageningen, the Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).