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Individual Local Farmers’ Perceptions of Environmental Change in Tanzania

1
Ecologic Institute Berlin, 10717 Berlin, Germany
2
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
3
Geographic Department of Humboldt, University of Berlin, 12489 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(4), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040525
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Water Conservation: Dynamics and Impact)
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Abstract

Climatic and environmental changes are expected to affect in particular those regions where the economy is primarily based on the agricultural sector and where the dependency on water availability is high. This study examines how smallholder farmers in rural Tanzania perceived climatic and environmental changes over the past 20 years and the resulting effects on water availability and food security. The study is based on a household survey of 899 farmers in a semi-arid and a sub-humid region in Tanzania. It was found that (a) significant differences in perceptions of the environment by farmers can be attributed to agro-climatic location, while the distance to a water source has less impact on individual perception; (b) differently perceived changes affect individual water availability and food security; and (c) the farm level adaptation methods applied are linked to vulnerability to changes and the household dependence on the immediate environment. The authors conclude that the specific environmental surroundings paired with socio-economic factors can severely compound the negative effects of water scarcity on rural farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental change; local perception; food security; adaptation environmental change; local perception; food security; adaptation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Röschel, L.; Graef, F.; Dietrich, O.; Schäfer, M.P.; Haase, D. Individual Local Farmers’ Perceptions of Environmental Change in Tanzania. Water 2018, 10, 525.

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