Planning Adaptation to Climate Change: Practices and Perspectives of Farmers and Development Agencies in Northern Nigeria

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Climate adaptation is key to safeguarding the livelihoods of local communities dependent on agriculture. The blend of knowledge of local populations and programs by development agencies is an essential pathway to developing long-term adaption plans for local communities. Top-down approaches to climate adaptation have frequently excluded local knowledge derived from direct experiences and interactions between local farmers and their environment, creating a gap in ensuring the inclusivity and effectiveness of adaptation programs tailored to local conditions. Therefore, this project explores how local knowledge systems possessed by rural farmers offer practical solutions for adaptation in Northern Nigeria, a region highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The project employs Participatory Action Research (PAR) to ensure continuous and meaningful involvement of farmers and development agencies, incorporating local knowledge, priorities, and concerns into adaptation programs. Data collection methods include field observations, interviews, and surveys to recommend co-designed adaptation measures using local practices. The project finds that local farmers are not unaware of climate change but possess a unique perspective shaped by firsthand impacts and cultural contexts. Findings reinforce a few classic lessons learned in past development studies, including the need to recognize the gradual, non-linear nature of the development process and to insist on participatory approaches built on trust. In addition, they highlight the vast reservoir of traditional adaptation practices that can be leveraged in this region’s effort to promote climate-resilient agriculture. The project recommends adopting a bottom-up approach to foster trust, empowerment, and resilience in local communities, encouraging development agencies to conduct needs assessments and engage in dialogues with local farmers to ensure cultural relevance and adoption of adaptation measures.

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Parfait, Eloundou-Enyegue

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


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