Saturday, July 11, 2015

Africa: Indigenous knowledge key to climate change adaptation

Michel Nkurunziza in via the New Times: Scientists have called for the integration of indigenous knowledge to combat global warming and enhance adaptation to climate change. According to researchers from East Africa, on-farm experiences by smallholder farmers and pastoralists and indigenous knowledge can contribute effectively to coping with climate change.

The scientists made this proposal while presenting their findings at the UNESCO scientific conference currently taking place in Paris, France, under the theme, "Our Common Future under Climate Change." "We need to harness indigenous knowledge and revive traditional natural resource governance of landscapes.

There is less appreciation of pastoralists' ideas, for example. Being connected to environmental resources the pastoralists' society is sensitive to climate change and, therefore, responds to th
e change as they deal with pasture and water," Benoit Hazard, an anthropologist from Institut National des Sciences Humaines et Sociales in Kenya, who is currently conducting research on resilience in East Africa said.

"We have traditional societies with specific knowledge to link things with ecological conditions, who know where water sources are and how to adapt. They need to be supported to mix their knowledge with agriculture practices. In Kenya, some have become agronomists."...

Animal husbandry in the Congo, USAID photo by L. Rose

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