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Climate 2018, 6(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020044

Farmer Perceptions and Climate Change Adaptation in the West Africa Sudan Savannah: Reality Check in Dassari, Benin, and Dano, Burkina Faso

Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Genscheralle 3, D-53113 Bonn, Germany
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 19 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract

Climate change is a great threat to the already climate-unstable West Africa. Current and potential impacts are especially hard on farming in the Sudan savannah, thus adaptation is widely advised and encouraged, and already occurring. In the study sites Dassari, Benin, and Dano, Burkina Faso, farmers’ climate change perceptions and practiced coping measures were qualitatively and quantitatively recorded. Analyses included statistical testing to detach anecdotal responses from factual decisions. Results reveal that responses regarding climate change perception and adaptation are frequently subjective, conjectural and inconsistent. Farmers’ acknowledge that adaptations to climate change impacts are diverse, but site specific. Measures do not causally respond to the type of hazard, nor to its impacts, but instead tend to address wide-ranging demands, such as household food security, income generation and capitalization. Hence, causally linking hazards, impacts and responses can be misleading, and measures can thus be ineffective. After our findings, key qualities of effective coping measures are short-term economic returns, compatibility with local ecological, social and institutional settings and agreeing with the customary farming traditions. With respect to operability, the national agricultural extension services are still the most relevant instances. Considering these aspects can support local farming adaptation and also increase the general resilience of the households. View Full-Text
Keywords: West Africa; Sudan savannah; farming coping measures; subjective valuation; climate variability West Africa; Sudan savannah; farming coping measures; subjective valuation; climate variability
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Callo-Concha, D. Farmer Perceptions and Climate Change Adaptation in the West Africa Sudan Savannah: Reality Check in Dassari, Benin, and Dano, Burkina Faso. Climate 2018, 6, 44.

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