Impact of African Traditional Worldviews on Climate Change Adaptation

Edmond Sanganyado, Charles Teta, Busani Masiri

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-193
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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