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Climate Change, Local Knowledge And Climate Change Adaptation In Ghana

E. Derbile, F. Jarawura, Mohammed Y. Dombo
Published 2016 · Business

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Although the potential role of local knowledge in community development is receiving increasing recognition as a strategic resource, little attention is paid to a critical evaluation of both its potential and limitations in climate change adaptation (CCA) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this chapter is to critically evaluate the potential role and limitations of local knowledge for CCA in small holder agriculture from an endogenous development (ED) perspective in Ghana. The chapter draws on a review and content analysis of selected empirical studies on local knowledge in CCA in northern Ghana. The findings reveal a potential contradiction. On the one hand, evidence abounds on the potential role of local knowledge for enabling environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation in smallholder agriculture in accordance with the basic tenets of ED. On the other hand, there is caution that local knowledge is not without limits and risks; thus, sustainability and adaptation goals can be undermined if choices of local strategies do not take into account the local context and the need to maintain a balance in development. We therefore, argue that although local knowledge is the primary knowledge for CCA in smallholder agriculture, this potential is being overstretched and limited by increasing extreme climatic variability, low adaptive capacities and global change processes. We put forward an ED approach as a sustainable method for promoting the role of local knowledge in smallholder agriculture and Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) for CCA under local governance in Ghana.
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