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Submitted by Christine Zarzicki on
In response to the focus of the DM applicants, I agree that adaptation and development are issues that are intertwined. In order for a developing nation to truly reach its developmental potential, it must first eliminate the risks associated with climate change. Before a nation begins implementing developmental strategies, it must first determine the most vulnerable aspects of their society and correct them. For instance, if a nation decides to direct aid and international funding toward their agricultural sector, but it suffers from annual drought or flooding, it is crucial for this nation to adapt to the climate change issues before focusing on commodities production and/or its exports sector. Hard adaptation actions such as building irrigation systems or erecting flood barriers or levees should take priority over strategies to strengthen their economies. Soft action such as increasing awareness is also very important, but I think this knowledge should be incorporated with hard infrastructure. While awareness is necessary, it cannot prevent disasters from happening, so hard action is needed. I believe the reason developing nations suffer the greatest consequences from the effects of global climate change is on their deficiency of capabilities. Whether they are structurally inept, lack the personnel or are insufficient in terms of broadening awareness, these nations do not have the means to thwart disaster. Climate change is affecting societies around the world; these issues do not only exist in the global South. Many developed nations, however, have the capacity to prevent or react, avoiding complete devastation. In order for developing nations to continue on their pursuit toward development, they must confront those vulnerabilities that inhibit their success.