Semi-arid areas are considered to be strongly susceptible to the adverse impacts of climate change. In this context, the Brazilian Government has started a series of actions to reduce the vulnerability of those groups least prepared to cope with future changes, particularly family farmers. Based on the analysis of the current climate change legislation and other published official documents we find five reasons for concern regarding the current approach that may impede a sustainable reduction in vulnerability in the semi-arid Northeast. Given that large shares of family farmers are already strongly impacted in the context of current climate variability we find that actions that reduce their vulnerability do not necessarily depend on the certainty of future impacts. Therefore, actions that aim to reduce existing socioeconomic and environmental vulnerabilities can be more useful to turn family farmers in the Northeast more resilient to change.
Adaptation; Climate change; Brazil