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Coping with climate change in Africa: an analysis of local interpretations in Eastern Cape, SA

Amos Apraku, Philani Moyo and Wilson Akpan

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 3, 295-308

Abstract: The emissions of greenhouse gases together with other anthropogenic activities has caused a change in global climatic conditions with corresponding negative effects on agricultural productivity, biodiversity and other socio-economic indices. Studies reveal that the impacts of climate change are felt most severely by the vulnerable, who have fewer adaptive capacities. In Africa, for example, little is known about local narratives on the ‘causes’ of climate change, and how such narratives influence climate change coping and adaptation strategies in specific local settings. Where do the ‘local’ and the ‘global’ intersect in the search for effective coping measures – and do they? Using a qualitative approach, this paper reveals how local conceptions of climate change appear to be rooted in ‘politics’ and spiritual forces. The paper highlights not only the major points of divergence between local interpretations and ‘Western’ conceptions about climate change, but also important areas of convergence between the two ideational domains.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1482199

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