Pauw P.,Deutsches Institute For Entwicklungspolitik German Development Institute Die Gdi
International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management | Year: 2013
Purpose: Africa is a focus area for international climate change adaptation finance. Subsistence farmers are crucial for Africa's adaption. But it is unclear how those that qualify to receive adaptation finance actually perceive climate change, even though perceptions are reflected in adaptive behaviour. This paper aims to show how perceptions of climate-related hazards drive adaptation and provide recommendations for the climate change finance community to support subsistence farmer adaptation. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 227 households in rural Ghana and Botswana were surveyed and their answers statistically analysed. Findings: The respondents' perception of climate-related hazards is analogous to existing environmental degradation. In the complex environment in which farmers operate, high vulnerability and climate dependency do not necessarily result in autonomous adaptation. Experience, means and perceived successfulness are more important factors, but these hardly relate to individual adaptive measures. Practical implications: Recommendations for adaptation finance institutions: build on existing development plans and policies on climate-related environmental problems; adaptation is more than a collection of adaptive measures, so financing adaptation is more than financing adaptive measures; extremely vulnerable people do not necessarily adapt autonomously, indicating that ex post adaptation remains important too. Originality/value: This study shows that highly vulnerable subsistence farmers do not automatically adapt and that adaptation is more than implementing adaptive measures. The outcomes are linked to the adaptation finance institutions. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.