The boxes of resilience in the Central African Republic: A community-based approach for consolidating resilience in a participatory and integrated manner
The concept of ‘Boxes of Resilience’ centres on agro-pastoral communities and aims to integrate financial, social and productive activities to enhance local resilience to climate change (FAO, 2016b). The main objective of the programme implemented between 2014 and 2016 in the Central African Republic was to enable rural communities (more specifically farmers and women´s associations) to make full use of their existing capacities and to have different options at hand to adapt to and better respond to risks associated with climate change. Agricultural resilience is especially vital in the Central African Republic, as more than 75 % of its population is dependent on this sector for food and income.
In this context, the approach seeks to empower communities to become resilient to climate change through a number of activities, including: Training farmers in a participatory manner on improving their agro-pastoral practices; forming community groups to create micro-finance systems to accumulate and save capital in a sustainable manner; setting up awareness-trainings and meetings to discuss important community issues (such as health and gender equality) and foster social cohesion in that regard (FAO, 2016a).
This case study constitutes a good practice for multiple reasons. The Boxes of Resilience approach has addressed adaptation from multiple angles, reaching from improved agricultural practices to enhancing communal financial systems to ensure resilience to climate change-induced income shocks. Bringing together various stakeholders in this endeavour has fostered social cohesion, sustainable development benefits and inter-sectoral collaboration. In addition, the approach was innovative in nature, as it enhanced the community understanding of adaptation as a multi-layered issue and opportunity.