Recent studies show cultural worldviews are a key determinant of environmental risk perceptions; thus, they could influence climate change adaptation strategies. African traditional worldviews encourage harmony between humans and the environment through a complex metaphysical belief system transmitted through folklore, taboos, and traditional knowledge. However, African traditional worldviews hold a belief in traditional gods that was shown to have a low connectedness to nature and a low willingness to change. In Makueni District, Kenya, 45% of agropastoralists surveyed believed drought was god's plan and could not be changed. In contrast, traditional knowledge, which is shaped by African traditional worldviews, is often used to frame adaptive strategies such as migration, changing modes of production, and planting different crop varieties. Furthermore, traditional knowledge has been used as a complement to science in areas where meteorological data was unavailable. However, the role of African traditional worldviews on climate change adaption remains understudied. Hence, there is a need to systematically establish the influence of African traditional worldviews on climate change risk perception, development of adaptive strategies, and policy formulation and implementation. In this commentary, we discuss the potential impacts of African traditional worldviews on climate change adaptation.
|Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
|Early online date
|15 Feb 2018
|Published - 1 Mar 2018