Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Climate change awareness in Africa and Asia 'varies greatly'

Vumiria Collins in For women living in rural areas of developing countries, levels of vulnerability to climate change and the capacity to adapt to its impacts varies greatly — with some even more resilient than men, three pilot studies in Africa and Asia has revealed.

Researchers found that women's abilities to cope with various climate change impacts depend on factors such as social status; access to resources; cultural norms; and access to social networks such as discussions in community groups and message passing, for instance through church gatherings

The team from the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) at the CGIAR Consortium revealed their findings in a working paper entitled Participatory Gender-sensitive Approaches for Addressing Key Climate Change-related Research Issues — Evidence from Bangladesh, Ghana and Uganda, published by the consortium on 23 August.

The three sites were chosen for their similar cultures and levels of development.

Researchers used participatory research tools to assess responses to and knowledge of climate change impacts among women in these regions. They assessed farmers' use of exchange visits as one adaptation strategy, seasonal weather forecasting platforms, and gender-sensitive, climate-smart agricultural practices.

Florence Birungi Kyazze, a researcher involved in the study, said the study had revealed that irrespective of gender, farmers relied on indigenous knowledge for weather forecasting. This has severely hindered their adaptability to environmental change, Kyazze explained. "The reason farmers, especially women, rely on indigenous knowledge is because [they] cannot afford radios, television sets or mobile telephones to access formal weather forecast information," said Kyazze....

Women and children and the major working force in the rural villages on farm work today. Here is a site we visited in Jukwa rural village in Ghana to understand the process for palm oil extraction. They are sorting the fiber and the palm nuts to ensure the maximum usage of the palm nuts. Shot by oneVillage Initiative, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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