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Small-scale farmers are highly threatened by climate change. Experts often base their interventions to support farmers to adapt to climate change on their own perception of farmers’ livelihood risks. However, if differences in risk perception between farmers and experts exist, these interventions might fail. Thus, for effective design and implementation of adaptation strategies for farmers, it is necessary to understand farmers’ perception and how it influences their decision-making. We analyze farmers’ and experts’ systemic view on climate change threats in relation to other agricultural livelihood risks and assess the differences between their perceptions. For Cauca, Colombia, we found that experts and farmers perceived climate-related and other livelihood risks differently. While farmers’ perceived risks were a failure in crop production and lack of access to health and educational services, experts, in contrast, perceived insecurity and the unreliable weather to be the highest risks for farmers. On barriers that prevent farmers from taking action against risks, experts perceived both external factors such as the national policy and internal factors such as the adaptive capacity of farmers to be the main barriers. Farmers ranked the lack of information, especially about weather and climate, as their main barrier to adapt. Effective policies aiming at climate change adaptation need to relate climate change risks to other production risks as farmers often perceive climate change in the context of other risks. Policymakers in climate change need to consider differences in risk perception.
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Risk perception and decision-making: do farmers
consider risks from climate change?
Anton Eitzinger
&Claudia R. Binder
&Markus A. Meyer
Received: 21 July 2017 /Accepted: 30 October 2018 /Published online: 8 November 2018
#The Author(s) 2018
Small-scale farmers are highly threatened by climate change. Experts often base their interven-
tions to support farmers to adapt to climate change on their own perception of farmerslivelihood
risks. However, if differences in risk perception between farmers and experts exist, these
interventions might fail. Thus, for effective design and implementation of adaptation strategies
for farmers, it is necessary to understand farmersperception and how it influences their
decision-making. We analyze farmersand expertssystemic view on climate change threats in
relation to other agricultural livelihood risks and assess the differences between their perceptions.
For Cauca, Colombia, we found that experts and farmers perceived climate-related and other
livelihood risks differently. While farmersperceived risks were a failure in crop production and
lack of access to health and educational services, experts, in contrast, perceived insecurity and the
unreliable weather to be the highest risks for farmers. On barriers that prevent farmers from
taking action against risks, experts perceived both external factors such as the national policy and
internal factors such as the adaptive capacity of farmers to be the main barriers. Farmers ranked
the lack of information, especially about weather and climate, as their main barrier to adapt.
Effective policies aiming at climate change adaptation need to relate climate change risks to other
production risks as farmers often perceive climate change in the context of other risks.
Policymakers in climate change need to consider differences in risk perception.
1 Introduction
Climate change poses major challenges to our society, especially in the agricultural sector in
developing countries (Vermeulen et al. 2011). Experts have argued that adaptation and
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2320-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
*Anton Eitzinger
Claudia R. Binder
Markus A. Meyer
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mitigation actions are urgently needed to pave climate-resilient pathways for the future (IPCC
2014a). One major challenge with the design and implementation of adequate actions is the
complexity of the systems characterized by interactions between environmental and human
dynamics at different scales (Turner et al. 2003). Delayed and unexpected feedback loops,
nonlinearities, and abrupt rather than gradual changes render the climate system exceedingly
hard to predict and the reactions of the exposed human system even less foreseeable (Alley
et al. 2003). These entailed uncertainties make decision- and policymaking a difficult task.
The difficulties in climate-relevant decision- and policymaking in agriculture are further
aggravated by differing perceptions of climate change by experts and farmers. Despite the
scientific consensus about existence, risks, and possible solutions to climate change, nonspe-
cialists largely seem to underestimate and misinterpret these causes and risks (Ding et al.
2011). This is partly due to two key facts: first, most people do not differentiate between
weather and climate (Weber 2010) and are thereby unable to distinguish climate variability
from climate change (Finnis et al. 2015). Second, most people still perceive the likelihood that
climate change might affect them directly as low (Weber 2010; Barnes and Toma 2011;Lee
et al. 2015). When taking decisions towards adaptation, people tend to relate possible actions
to probable consequences in a linear manner without considering feedback loops, delays, and
nonlinearities (Weber 2006). The success of agricultural climate policies relies to a large extent
on farmersawareness of climate change including their knowledge and beliefs regarding
climate change and how it will affect them (Patt and Schröter 2008; Carlton et al. 2016).
Scholars have found that small-scale farmers in Latin America are highly vulnerable to
climate change (Baca et al. 2014; Eitzinger et al. 2014). While farmers have adapted contin-
uously to social and environmental change in the past, the magnitude of climate change strikes
the already stressed rural population. In Latin America, inequality and economic vulnerability
call for an approach that tackles the underlying causes of vulnerability before implementing
adaptation strategies (Eakin and Lemos 2010). Without visualizing climate change as one of
the multiple exposures, small-scale farmers rarely adapt their farming practices even if
suggested by climate policies (Niles et al. 2015). This reluctance is greatly influenced by the
farmersbeliefs and perception concerning causes and local impacts of climate change (Haden
et al. 2012).
Furthermore, adaptive actions are driven by individuals and groups ideally supported by
institutions and governmental organizations. In many countries in Latin America, the influence
of governments has become weaker due to economic liberalization. Thus, governance mech-
anisms have lost their capacity to manage risks and to address issues of social vulnerability,
especially in rural areas (Eakin and Lemos 2006).
By 2050, climate change in Colombia will likely impact 3.5 million people(Ramirez-
Villegas et al. 2012, p. 1), and scenarios of impacts from long-term climate change will likely
threaten socioeconomics of Colombian agriculture. In Colombias southwestern department
Cauca, the average increase in annual temperature to the 2050s is estimated to be 2.1 °C with a
minor increase in precipitation (Ramirez-Villegas et al. 2012). In this region, coffee farmers
face several challenges through climate change, like shifting suitable areas into higher
altitudes, implying reduced yields and increasing pest and disease pressure (Ovalle-Rivera
et al. 2015). Ovalle-Rivera et al. (2015) estimate a national average of 16% decrease of climate
suitability for coffee in Colombia by 2050, mostly for areas below 1800 m a.s.l.
During the twentieth century, Colombias agrarian reform was the best example of failed
top-down approaches to promote self-reliant grassroots organizations in agriculture (Gutiérrez
2014), which might be more likely to adapt to climate change. Vulnerabilities in Colombia are
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structural and need to be addressed through transformative adaptation (Feola 2013). First, rural
populations in Colombia, and especially resource-limited farmers, depend on natural resources
and are particularly sensitive to environmental stress. Second, the level of human security is
low and tied to deeply rooted socioeconomic and political inequality. Third, the institutional
setting is a mix of formal and informal institutions that facilitate or impede building adaptive
capacity of farmers (Eakin and Lemos 2010;Feola2013).
For the successful adaptation of Colombian agriculture to agricultural risks from
climate, the government should set up enabling policies and release funds for research
and development to subsectors (Ramirez-Villegas and Khoury 2013). Adaptation options
should be developed based on underlying vulnerability analysis and participatory processes
with farmers and experts (Feola 2013). The interaction between grassroots organizations
(bottom-up) and institutions (top-down) is crucial for transformative adaptation (Bizikova
et al. 2012).
The development of adaptation options is hampered by the fact that experts often
have an incomplete view of farmersperceptions which might have vast implications
for effective risk communication, e.g., regarding climate change, and during the
participatory design process of adaptation strategies (Thomas et al. 2015). These
findings imply that an improved, in-depth understanding of the differences in risk
perception between farmers and experts is necessary for the design of more effective
and successful policies to promote adaptation initiatives.
To gauge the prevailing perception of various groups, mental models (MMs) have
been successfully employed in the past, for example, to elicit farmersperceptions and
underlying views on livelihood risks (Schoell and Binder 2009; Binder and Schöll
2010; Jones et al. 2011). MMs provide insight into perceptions and priority setting of
individuals (Morgan et al. 2002) and can help to understand risk perceptions and to
inform the design of effective risk communication strategies. In risk analysis, MMs
have been used to identify how individuals construct representations of risk (Atman
et al. 1994; Schöll and Binder 2010; Binder and Schöll 2010).Basedonthemental
model approach (MMA) (Morgan et al. 2002), Binder and Schöll (2010) developed
the structured mental model approach (SMMA). The SMMA combines the so-called
sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) (Scoones 1998)a framework that shows
how sustainable livelihoods are achieved through access to resources of livelihood
capitals with the MMA (Morgan et al. 2002). The SMMA can help to understand how
farmers perceive and balance livelihood risks for their agricultural practices (Schoell
and Binder 2009; Binder and Schöll 2010).
This study aims (i) to understand how climate risks are integrated in the context of
other risks in the farmersperception and decision-making process for taking action,
(ii) to identify differences between farmersand expertsmental models regarding
farmersagricultural risk perception, and (iii) to elaborate on possible consequences
for policies addressing farmerslivelihood risks and their agricultural adaptation
strategies in the face of climate change.
The paper is structured as follows: first,we present material and methods on how we
analyze climate risks in the context of farmerslivelihood risks and analyze differences in
perception between farmersand expertsMMs. Second, we present results from applying our
approach to the Cauca Department in Colombia (South America) as an exemplary study for a
region for small-scale farmers in a developing country. Finally, we discuss our findings
concerning other literature and draw our conclusions.
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2 Material and methods
2.1 Study area
The Cauca Department is located in the southwestern part of Colombia with a size of
approximately 30,000 km2. Cauca is composed of a lowland coastal region, two Cordilleras
of the Andes, and an inner Andean valley. Agricultural land is concentrated in the inner
Andean valley. According to the latest agricultural census (DANE 2014), 83% of the farmers
in Cauca have a low educational achievement (elementary school only), 22% are illiterate, and
52% live in poverty according to Colombias Multidimensional Poverty Index (Salazar et al.
2011). The main stressors for agriculture and farmers alongside climate change are trade
liberalization and violent conflicts (Feola et al. 2015). Colombia has one of the longest
ongoing civil conflicts and one of the highest rates of internal displacement, estimated to be
7% of the countrys population and 29% of the rural population (Ibáñez and Vélez 2008).
Cauca is one of the regions in Colombia with a high rate of violence from armed conflicts
(Holmes et al. 2006). Especially for small farm households, weak institutional support and
absence of the state in rural areas have led to unequal land distribution and lacking technical
assistance as well as financial services for agricultural transformation (Pérez Correa and Pérez
Martínez 2002).
Due to Caucas proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the region is subject to inter-annual climate
variability mainly driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (Poveda et al. 2001), a
feature that has great influence on agricultural productivity and, in consequence, farmers
livelihood. A study by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and
Food Security (CCAFS) shows that farmers in the study area are mostly affected by more
frequent droughts, storm and hail events, more erratic rains, and landslides as a consequence of
heavy rains (Garlick 2016). Even if uncertainty in future scenarios of extreme events is still
high, changes in inter-annual climate variability are of high relevance for farmers; there is
agreement that more intense and frequent extreme events are likely to be observed in the future
(IPCC 2014b).
The Cauca region is particularly relevant for these types of analyses as (i) the region has a
high potential of being affected by climate change, (ii) interventions for rural development by
the government have been weak in the past, and (iii) because of the national and international
efforts to implement the peace process, Cauca has caught attention for implementing devel-
opment interventions. Many of these interventions could benefit from an in-depth understand-
ing of farmersperceptions regarding the climate and nonclimate risks affecting their
Exemplary for Cauca, we selected a geographical domain of 10 km2with altitudes between
1600 and 1800 m a.s.l. within the boundaries of the municipality Popayan. We conducted the
interviews with experts and farmers in five rural villages and selected randomly 11 to 12
farmers each village (see details on sampling design in Chapter 2.4). The farm size of
interviewees was between 1 and 4 ha, half of them (45%) possessed legal land titles, and
41% of farmers have started the legalization process recently. The average age of interviewees
was 47 years old, 48% of them were women farmer, and the average household size was five
people. Overall, 74% of farmers depend on coffee (Coffea arabica) as their main agricultural
livelihood besides other crops and some livestock to complement income and for self-
consumption. Other crops and livestock that are managed in the farming systems are cassava
(Manihot esculenta), dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), maize (Zea mays), banana (Musa
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acuminata), cattle, and poultry. As the second most important crop, 19% of interviewed
households depend on sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and the derived product panela,
which is unrefined sugar in compact loaves of a rectangular shape. Most of farmersincome is
coming from on-farm agricultural activities and also from off-farm day labor activities in the
agricultural sector (harvest coffee in other farms). Generally, there are few job opportunities in
the study area.
2.2 Assessment of climate risks
Before we started analyzing risk perceptions, we conducted an assessment of climate risks and
impacts on main crops grown in the region and reviewed existing literature on the vulnerability
of farmers in the study area. First, we compared anomalies of precipitation, maximum
temperature, and minimum temperature in the study area with records about ENSO events.
We used data of a local weather station from the Instituto de Hidrologia, Meteorologia y
Estudios Ambientales de Colombia (IDEAM) and data of the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (NOAA 2014). Second, we
used a simple climate envelope model to analyze the current and future climate suitability of
six crops in the study area. Finally, we reviewed the existing literature on climate change
impact assessment for Colombia. Detailed results of climate risk assessment in the study area
are presented in Online Resource 1.
2.3 Analyzing mental models to understand perceptions
Figure 1presents the conceptual approach of the study. Farmersperceptions regarding climate
risks are shaped by their knowledge about the causes of climate change, their beliefs, social
norms, and values as well as through their experience with climate-related information and
past climate-related events. However, farmersdecision-making is not only shaped by climate
risks, but other agricultural production risks are also equal or even more important for farmers.
Farmers consider the complete mental model of risks when envisioning goals concerning their
livelihood strategy and make appropriate decisions about investments and adaptations of the
agricultural production system. In applying our approach, we captured expertsexternal views
of farmersperception and compared it to the farmersinternal views.
To assess the importance of climate risks in the context of another risk in farmers
agricultural production system, we identified differences between the perception of farmers
and that of experts regarding climate risks as placed in the context of other risks within the
farmerslivelihood system by analyzing and comparing each groups MMs. The experts
perspective on farmersperceptions represented the external view, whereas the perspective of
the farmers themselves represented the internal one. We captured the external and internal
views on climate risks with two sets of structured interviews with experts and farmers, and we
used ranking techniques to show differences in perception.
2.4 Interviews with experts and farmers
A qualitative semi-structured interview study was conducted between June and September
2014 to examine perceptions of experts and farmers about farmerslivelihood risks and
farmersbarriers for adaptation to cope with risks they face in agricultural production. In a
first step, we conducted open interviews with 13 experts. In order to obtain a holistic view of
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expertsperceptions, we included regional, national, and international experts from different
fields of the analyzed agro-environmental system, namely four agronomists, three economists,
one environmental lawyer, one public government administrator, one nutritionist, one climate
change scientist, one ecologist, and one veterinarian. All experts have been regularly working
with farmers in the study region during the last 5 to 10 yrs and have still been working with
them at the time of the study. Following the expert interviews, we conducted 58 semi-
structured interviews with farmers from five different villages in the municipality of Popayan,
performing between 10 and 12 farmer interviews from different households and for each
village. The total population of farmers of the five villages was 499 at the time of the
interviews. We included farmers aged 20 to 60, and we designed the sample to ensure an
equal representation of women and men. Morgan et al. (2002) judge a small sample for
interviews within a population group that has relatively similar beliefs as reasonable. Schoell
and Binder (2009) found for the case of small farmers in Boyacá, Colombia, that after 510
interviews, no more new concepts emerged (Binder et al. 2015). To avoid interruption from
notes taken by the interviewer and to keep the natural flow of conversation, we recorded all
interviews with the consent of the participants. Subsequently, we transcribed the records of the
interviews for the analysis. The used guidebook for expert interviews can be found in
Online Resource 2and the guidebook for farmer interviews in Online Resource 3.
First, we assessed the expertsviews on the farmersconcerns,risks,barriersfortaking
action, and enablers to take action by asking the following questions:
&What are the farmersmain livelihood concerns?
&Which risks do farmers face in agricultural production?
&Which are farmersbarriers to cope with these risks?
&What motivates (enablers) farmers to cope and adapt?
In the expert interviews, we received answers and explanations to the four guiding questions
about farmersconcerns, risks, barriers for taking action, and enablers to take action when
Fig. 1 Approach used for understanding climate risks in the context of farmerslivelihood risks
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facing risks in agricultural production. We noted all answers of experts for each question on
small cards. Answers from all experts were pooled after finishing all the interviews; we got 16
concerns, 10 risks, 13 barriers for taking action, and eight enablers to take action. Based on the
pooled elements, we used an online survey tool to ask the same group of experts to rank all
compiled elements according to the importance of the elements for farmers. The highest
ranked elements by experts were then selected to start the farmer interviews.
Second, we carried out the farmersinterviews. After explaining the overall purpose of the
study briefly as part of informed consent with farmers, we visualized the elements of the
experts through drawings we created for each question and then asked farmers to rank them
according to their priorities. After piloting the interviews with farmers, we decided to use only
the six highest ranked elements by experts to keep the ranking exercise for farmers simple. In
addition, we asked farmers at the end of each ranking if they would consider other elements to
be more important for them that the ones we used for the ranking (see Online Resource 3). We
did not mention climate change during the interviews for a specific purpose. Farmers should
rank the card elements without being biased by knowing the purpose of the interview, namely
to understand how they perceive climate risks in relation to other livelihood risks.
After finishing both interview series, we analyzed the differences in perception between
experts and farmers. To aggregate the individual rankings, we calculated a weighted average
based on the ranking of each element for the four questions. The overall ranking of experts and
farmers was calculated separately as follows:
franking ¼n
where wis the weight, xthe response count of an answer choice of each question, and nthe
total number of answer elements. In our case of six elements per question, we calculated the
average ranking using weights starting at 6 for the highest ranked element and decreasing
towards 1 for the lowest ranked element.
We compared the average expertsrankings to farmersrankings stratified by gender and
age group and then applied the hierarchical clustering approach (Ward 1963) to the farmers
rankings to obtain groups of farmers with similar choices. The hierarchical clustering approach
by Ward (1963) is a widely used data analysis approach for similarity grouping to determine
distinct subgroups with similar characteristics (Vigneau and Qannari 2003). After obtaining
groups of farmers from clusters, we described them based on high ranks using first and second
ranked answers each question and demographic variables collected during the surveys.
3.1 Climate change risks in the study area
Figure 2shows that inter-annual rainfall variability is high. High variability in rainfall can be
observed between October and February for long-term weather records since 1980. Inter-
annual climate variations in the study area are mainly driven by the ENSO. The consequences
of ENSO for farmers and agricultural production are prolonged droughts (El Niño) or intense
rainfall over more extended periods (La Niña). The assessment of the six most relevant crops
in the study area revealed that variation in crop exposure to climate variability in Cauca is high
(see Online Resource 1). Farm households in the study area grow coffee, sugarcane, maize, dry
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beans, banana, and cassava. While banana, sugarcane, and cassava can better cope with
long-term climate change scenarios, dry beans and coffee are more likely affected by
increasing mean annual temperatures. Production of coffee and dry beans represents
an important livelihood for farmers in the study region but will likely face impacts
through climate change in the future. See Online Resource 1for more details on
climate change risks in the study area.
3.2 Farmersrankings and differences to expertsrankings
We found that experts and farmers perceived farmerslivelihood concerns and enablers for
adaptation to agricultural production risks similarly, but risks and barriers for adaptation
differently (see Fig. 3). Also, farmers agreed on the selected answers as the most relevant
for them for each question; only a few farmers mentioned other elements. Beyond, the most
mentioned elements by farmers were concerns about health (five times) and access to tap water
(three times).
Older farmers are more worried about climate change than younger farmers but rank
production failure low as risk (see Fig. 4). Interestingly, older farmers saw insecure transport
as a major risk and production failure as a lower risk, whereas this was the opposite for
younger farmers.
ONI Normal
Fig. 2 aInter-annual precipitationvariability calculated from weather records from a station (Apto G LValencia,
elevation of 1749 m a.s.l.) in the study area, and bONI and precipitation anomalies show the frequent influence
of ENSO episodes
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Regarding farmersconcerns (Fig. 3a), we found two issues experts and farmers
agreed upon: poverty is a chief concern in this region (ranked first by experts and
second by farmers) and neither climate change nor security problems are perceived to
be relevant in the study area. The key differences in perceived concerns were related to
government policies, access to credit, and market opportunities. Farmers were highly
worried regarding government policies (rank 1). They argued: The government in the
capital, Bogota, is too far away and does not take into account the context of our region
when making new laws(farmers interview, translated from Spanish, Colombia, Octo-
ber 2014). Experts ranked government policies lower with respect to concerns (rank 3),
but they agreed in their explanations with farmers that: The government is focusing on
international trade agreements and is supporting medium-sized and large farmers, they
are not investing in small-scale farmersproduction(experts interview, translated from
Spanish, Colombia, August 2014). Both male and female farmers were highly worried
regarding their access to credit to be able to pay for labor and to purchase inputs for crop
production (rank 3). Experts, on the other hand, did not perceive that farmers need to be
worried about having access to credit (rank 6). In contrast, experts believed that farmers
were worried about market opportunitiesa perception shared more often by women
than by men (see Fig. 3a).
Fig. 3 Differences in experts(solid thick line) and farmers(dashed thick line) rankings of farmersaworries, b
risks, cbarriers to adaptation, and denablers for adaptation. Rankings of male farmers (dashed narrow line) and
female farmers (dashed-dotted narrow line)
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The main differences in the rankings between experts and farmers were related to risks
(Fig. 3b). For farmers, the highest perceived risks were a failure in crop production and social
vulnerability (lack of access to health and educational services). Experts, in contrast, perceived
insecurity (theft of products from plots or during transportation) and the unreliable weather to
be the highest risks for farmers. From a gender perspective, results showed that women and
men disagreed in rankings with experts for few themes. Whereas women agreed with experts
that insufficient planning is a major risk (even ranking it higher than experts), men agreed with
experts that insecurity is a high risk (for women, this was among the lowest risks). The risk
rankings showed clearly that farmers see the symptoms of social inequality (first rank of social
vulnerability), agricultural production, and market risks such as unstable prices or production
failure. Farmers ranked insufficient planning lower and unreliable weather very low compared
to experts. These results showed that experts rather ranked risks from climate higher than
farmers did. Experts would rather expect a higher planning activity of the farmers for
adaptation to climate risks. Contrastingly, farmers believed that they were doing already as
much as they could.
Experts and farmers also ranked barriers to adaptation differently (Fig. 3c). Experts
perceived both external factors such as the national policy and internal factors such as the
adaptive capacity of farmers to be the main barriers for deciding to take action and to adapt to
change. Farmers, in contrast, ranked the lack of information about weather and climate,
Fig. 4 Differences in experts(solid thick line) and farmers(dashed thick line) rankings of farmersaworries, b
risks, cbarriers to adaptation, and denablers for adaptation. Rankings of farmers with age below 50 (dotted
narrow line) and farmers with age above 50 (dashed-doubled-dotted narrow line)
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especially seasonal weather forecasts, as their main barrier to act by adapting to change.
Farmers with age above 50 ranked not acting collectively the highest among the barriers for
adaptation. The ranking of barriers showed that especially younger farmers felt financially
unable (they ranked adaptation is too expensive high) to adapt to production risks from climate
change (Fig. 4c). The fact that they ranked adaptive capacity low as barrier showed that they
felt prepared to adapt to change but missed access to reliable weather information for planning
(ranked high as a barrier). The experts rather saw the necessity for more activity in adaptation
(high ranking of adaptive capacity as a barrier) and the rigid national policies impeding
farmersadaptation. Experts did not share farmersperception about the relevance of improved
weather information.
The agreement between experts and farmers was mostly on farmersmotivations (enablers
to adaptation), which were family interests, increased quality of life, and traditional attachment
to land (Fig. 3d). Regarding the motivations, one expert mentioned during the interview that:
Farmers in Cauca do have a strong connection to their roots. Territories and family unity are
very important(experts interview, translated from Spanish, Colombia, August 2014). Within
these motivations, however, men and women placed different emphases. While women ranked
food security and traditional attachment to land higher than men, men ranked economic
interests and improved quality of life higher than women.
3.3 Farmer typologies of risk perception
The cluster analysis of farmersfirst ranked answer to each question yielded four typologies of
farmers based on the farmersperception of concerns, risks, barriers to adaptation, and enablers
for adaptation:
i) Cluster 1Higher-educated womendominated farmers that are attributing risks to exter-
nal factors: farmers belonging to this group are worried about ending up in poverty and
fear that they will not besupported by the government. They consider insufficient planning
of their farming activities as well as a lack of access to social services (social vulnerability)
as key risks for their future. In the view of this group, farmers are dependent on weather
forecasts which they consider necessary to adapt to risks in agricultural production; they
perceive that not cooperating as a community is a barrier for taking action. Their adaptive
capacity could potentially be triggered ifthey perceived that the quality oflife for them and
their families would increase from implementing adaptation measures. The group of
farmers in cluster 1 consists of 62.5% women and 37.5% men with an average age of
44 years; 50% of the farmers reached the primary education level only, and 38% have
obtained a legal land title (50% have started a legal process). The average farm size is 4 ha.
ii) Cluster 2Lower-educated productionfocused farmers with the land title: farmers
belonging to this group are worried about a lack of access to credit or money to adapt
agricultural production to change, and they are concerned about the government policies
for rural development. These farmers perceive production failure due to uncontrollable
factors (pest and diseases, climate events) and volatile selling prices for their products as
the highest risks. The main barrier to adapt to change is a combination of low adaptive
capacity and missing support from institutions. Similar to the first group, production-
focused farmers are motivated to adapt to changes if their own and their familiesquality
of life would increase. The group offarmers in cluster 2 consists of 43% women and 57%
men with an average age of 44 years; 64% of farmers reached the primary education level
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only, and 57% have obtained a legal land title (29% have started a legal process). The
average farm size is 2 ha.
iii) Cluster 3Vulnerable, less-educated farmers with lower access to land: farmers belong-
ing to this group are worried about unstable markets for selling their products and the
associated poverty risk. Compared to the others, their perceived risk is based not only on
production but also on insecurity issues on their farms and during the transport of their
products to the market. The main barriers for this group of farmers are high costs for
implementing adaptation measures to cope with risks and the missing support from
institutions. Members of this group share motivation for adapting to change due to being
traditionally attached to their land and region. They want to improve the quality of life for
themselves and their families. The group of farmers in cluster 3 consists of 47% women
and 53% men with an average age of 46 years; 67% of farmers reached the primary
education level only, and 27% have obtained a legal land title (47% have started a legal
process). The average farm size is 2 ha.
iv) Cluster 4Risk-aware maledominated elderly farmers with the land title: farmers of
this group are worried about the government, risks from climate change, and the overall
security in their region. The risks perceived as the highest by these farmers are social
vulnerability such as the lacking access to social services and the risks associated with
regional insecurity. The main barriers to adaptation lack weather forecasts and a low
adaptive capacity on their farms. Like cluster 3 farmers, they feel traditionally attached to
their land and also believe that their land is highly suitable for agricultural activities. The
group of farmers in cluster 4 consists of 38% women and 62% men with an average age
of 57 years; 69% of farmers reached the primary education level only, and 62% have
obtained a legal land title (38% have started a legal process). The average farm size is
Detailed results of all comparisons, gender differences, and the hierarchical clustering of
farmersrankings are presented in Online Resource 4.
This paper presented an integrative approach to understanding how climate risks are integrated
into the context of other risks in the farmersdecision-making process. We compared the
expertswith the farmersview and differentiated between concerns, risks, and barriers for
adaptation, and enablers to adaptation. Two explanations in the literature stress why this type
of integrated analysis of farmersrisk is more suitable than an isolated analysis of climate
change risks: (i) farming systems of smallholders in the developing world are complex systems
of location-specific characteristics integrating agricultural and nonagricultural livelihood strat-
egies, which are vulnerable to a range of climate-related and other stressors (Morton 2007;
Feola et al. 2015), and (ii) farmerslong-term memory of climate events tends to decrease
significantly after a few years; therefore, the importance of climate risks in farmerspercep-
tions may equally decline very quickly after disturbing climate events (Brondizio and Moran
In the case of Cauca, the interviews were conducted in 2014, a year with ENSO neutral
conditions, the same as the two previous years. Farmers ranked climate risks low among their
perceived risks in agricultural production, a perception that might change if the interviews
518 Climatic Change (2018) 151:507524
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
would have taken place in a year affected by ENSO conditions (e.g., with a prolonged drought
and high temperatures).
4.1 Reasons for potential maladaptation
Our findings showed that in Cauca, differences in expertsand farmersperception and related
farmersconcerns, risks, and barriers and enablers for adaptation existed and could lead to
miscommunication and, consequently, to a maladaptation to climate change. This was partly
explained by the finding that experts agreed with farmers about main concerns for farmers but
disagreed about risks and barriers for adaptation, thus suggesting that the same view on a
problem might not necessarily lead to similar action propositions. Our study contributes to a
growing literature on how perception influences farmersdecision-making for adaptation and
adaptation behavior. We especially analyze how climate risks relate to and interact with other
risks and concerns in the farmersdecision-making process. This is important because
smallholder farmers in countries like Colombia are subject to multiple interdependent stressors
and deeply rooted social vulnerability. This interdependency requires a systemic perspective in
farmersrisks. Some other studies simply compare meteorological data with peoplesmemo-
ries of historical climate events (Boissiere et al. 2013); they attempt to link farmerspercep-
tions about climate change and related risks to adaptive behavior (Jacobi et al. 2013;Quiroga
et al. 2014; Barrucand et al. 2016). Our integrated view on farmersperceptions and decision-
making might better capture the multitude of stressors for farmers and showed a lower
perceived relevance of climate risks than other studies focusing on farmersperception of
climate risks. Especially for countries like Colombia, where multiple stressors and rooted
causes of social vulnerability act simultaneously on farmersdecision-making, the adaptive
capacity to climate risks is constraint (Reid and Vogel 2006; Feola et al. 2015). Our findings
show that farmers see the symptoms of social inequality but not their low adaptive capacity to
cope with risks from climate change. The farmerslow ranking of insufficient planning and
unpredictable weather as risk equally underlined their lack of perception of climate risks,
which was not perceived in the same way by experts. Contrastingly, the experts rather looked
first at climate risks and insecurity for transport, but instead did not perceive production failure,
unstable prices, or roots of social vulnerability as high risks.
4.2 What can we learn about climate risk communication?
While experts focus on communicating climate change risks, in cases such as we found in
Cauca, farmers do not see such information as practical since their highest perceived risk is the
poverty trap (social vulnerability) and the sum of risks related to the agricultural production of
which climate risks are merely a part. In their article, Reidand Vogel (2006) pointed to this fact
by stating that farmers associate crop losses sometimes with climate events which are,
however, not always seen as extraordinary and farmers are accustomed to coping with them.
This is also supported by our findings. Farmers in Cauca do not rank climate risks high among
their perceived risks, but they rank the lack of weather forecast and weak institutional services
as the most important barriers for adaptation to agricultural production risks. Differences
between expertsand farmersviews related to the weather forecast, seasonal forecast, and
climate change projections of long-term changes and inter-annual climate variability are
relevant issues in climate risk communication (Weber 2010). In the case of Cauca, experts
do not perceive that there is a lack of climate information for farmers. Thus, we recommend
Climatic Change (2018) 151:507524 519
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
that experts should provide context-basedclimate-related information in such a way that it
becomes tangible and usable for farmers in their everyday and long-term decision-making, for
example daily and seasonal weather information associated with agro-advisory services on
varieties, planting dates, and water management.
4.3 A need for a more holistic perspective on adaptation
Our findings show that farmers in Colombia do not perceive climate risks separately; they are
embedded in their mental models of agricultural livelihood risks. Other scholars have shown
that in Colombia, climate change, trade liberalization, and violent conflicts act simultaneously
on farmerslivelihoods, but policies address them separately (Feola et al. 2015). If the
implementation of policy actions is not coordinated, they might hinder each other or lead to
failure. Understanding differences between expertsand farmersmental models about risks is
the first step to better design adequate policy actions for adaptation. Additionally, our results
show that farmers in Cauca hardly trust national policies as mentioned by some experts as well
as by farmers during the interviews. Farmers in Cauca are overall concerned about national
policies. Llorente (2015) asserts that this is a result of the violent conflict which, in rural areas
like Cauca, has led to profound mistrust in the state. Feola et al. (2015) argue that the
institutional integration between different levels of government has been historically difficult
in Colombia. Agricultural policies are often not based on the realities of smallholders.
However, before designing adaptation strategies for farmers, the deeply rooted social vulner-
ability and inequality must be addressed and brought to the focus of experts. Ideally, this
should be done together with farmers as a social learning process.
Adaptation is a dynamic social process(Adger 2003, p. 387), including many different actors.
We agree with Vogel and Henstra (2015) to involve local actors in the development process of
adaptation plans instead of operationalizing top-down adaptation measures. We suggest starting
this process by developing a Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) in Cauca, aiming at initiating
a bottom-up process of adaptation planning, which takes into account the community and
individual levels (Jones and Boyd 2011; Regmi et al. 2014). The uptake of adaptation strategies
depends on barriers and the adaptive capacity of both the community and the individual farmer.
Effective adaptation at the community level would require a mix of top-down structural
measures, often provided by institutions, including national adaptation plans, financial ser-
vices, economic incentives, and nonstructural measures developed by the community itself as
a collective action (Girard et al. 2015).
Finally, transformative adaptation instead of targeting climate change by individual tech-
nological solutions would be a better approach for Colombian smallholders because it focuses
on the root of vulnerability rather than on the adaptation of production systems only (Feola
2013). Such an approach would bring a more central role to farmers in developing adaptation
options together with experts and would stimulate a social learning process in which science
engages with lay knowledge and contributes with its transformative role to society (Feola
2013;Mauseretal.2013). Climate change in the context of Latin America is characterized by
complex lay and expert knowledge systems, social coping mechanisms, and ancient resilience
mechanisms to adapt to perturbations (Sietz and Feola 2016). Several scholars support the
need for an integrated approach to address critical dynamics of vulnerabilities and constraints
for adaptation around climate change more integrated into cultural and socioeconomic realities
(De los Ríos Cardona and Almeida 2011;Ulloa2011). Other authors call for identification of
causes of vulnerability and transformative solutions to cope with risks from climate change
520 Climatic Change (2018) 151:507524
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
(Ribot 2014). Anyway, the state and its institutions are also important to provide a policy
framework for adaptation, to intervene when resources are required, and to enable needed
policies (Ramirez-Villegas and Khoury 2013). Finally, cooperatives could play a crucial role
and become vehicles for rural development, opposite to previous top-down approaches that
have failed in Colombia (Gutiérrez 2014).
For further research, we recommend to study the dynamics in the farmerscomplex
livelihood system, to analyze the actors network of farmers, and to identify adaptation
pathways for farmers to cope with climate change in Cauca, Colombia.
Since the 2015 Paris Agreement (COP 21), the political commitment to take action on climate
change increased. Even in developing countries, policymakers have started working more
specifically towards policies for achieving climate resilience, especially in the agricultural
sector. Agriculture, both contributing to climate change and being affected by climate change,
needs a transformation to become more sustainable and climate resilient by improving farmers
livelihood system and farm productivity while reducing emissions from agriculture. Especially,
transforming smallholdersagriculture in developing countries such as Colombia requires
greater attention to human livelihoods and related concerns, risks, barriers to decision-making,
and the adoption of adaptation strategies.
This study applied a mental model approach to understand better climate risks in the context
of farmersdecision-making process. It showed that climate risks need to be seen in the overall
context of farmerslivelihood risks. Climate change adaptation strategies and policies can be
more successful if they (i) address specific climate risks, (ii) simultaneously address other risks
of major importance for farmers, and (iii) target more climate risksensitive groups of farmers.
Our research demonstrates thatunderstanding differences in expertsand farmersperception of
farmerslivelihood risks could avoid maladaptation and improve climate risk communication
from experts to farmers. Therefore, we recommend to study the dynamics in the farmers
complex livelihood system, to analyze the actors network of farmers, and to identify adaptation
pathways for farmers to cope with climate change in Cauca, Colombia.
Acknowledgements This work was implemented as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change,
Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which is carried out with support from the CGIAR Fund Donors and
through bilateral funding agreements. For details, please visit The views expressed
in this document cannot be taken to reflect the official opinions of these organizations. We thank the International
Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Fundacion Ecohabitats for supporting the fieldwork.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and repro-
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link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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... These accrued ramifications from climate change still aren't conveyed to these vulnerable communities, even with existing scholarly research information and knowledge. Unlike climate change, which has been going on for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly to all groups, even the most vulnerable ones (Eitzinger et al., 2018;Botzen et al., 2021). ...
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The world has been hit by consequential pandemics in the past two millennia. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken center stage, paralyzing vulnerable communities in the global south impacted by unprecedented climate vagaries. The focus of this study is COVID-19 and climate resilience communication rhetoric. In this context, we embed this study in response to the resilience of rural livelihoods to the COVID-19 crisis and climate resilience education communication rhetoric. We posit our review based on the following questions: Has COVID-19 worsened the climate resilience pathway for rural communities in coastal Kenya? Is the COVID-19 pandemic a proxy for climate resilience in rural livelihoods? How does COVID-19 communication rhetoric undermine climate resilience for vulnerable coastal communities in Kenya? Through a resilient theoretical paradigm, we enclose our view based on the existing literature along with climate resilience and COVID-19 proliferation. In light of the current state of COVID-19, the focus has shifted to the pandemic that will cover climate resilience. From the review, climate resilience pathway has been impacted by corona virus with noted funding response variations, in addition, even with the corona virus pandemic, climate resilience communication should be on-going rather than sporadic. Increasing the discursive process about climate change challenges is critical among Kenyan coastal communities. We recommend inclusion of climate resilience communication in existing policy frameworks as a salient solution to notable information discourse bottlenecks.
... Imagining (and, thus, enacting) alternative diversification strategies is constrained by the daily challenges and sociopolitical context within which farmers in the Magic Valley operate. Generally, farmers have to make daily decisions with great uncertainty and imperfect information as they balance financial, familial, political, gendered, racialized, and other dynamics (to name a few) with the physical demands of their job (Jarosz 2011;McGuire et al. 2013;Valliant et al. 2017;Eitzinger et al. 2018;Emerton and Snyder 2018;Findlater et al. 2019;Leslie et al. 2019;Isbell et al. 2021). Beyond these daily challenges, structural factors, such as financial assistance programs, machinery development, or genetic crop breeding, can "lock" farmers in to their current perspectives and practices, pushing alternative ways of farming and thinking farther out of their current reality Magrini et al. 2018). ...
The simplification of agricultural landscapes, particularly in the United States (US), has contributed to alarming rates of environmental degradation. As such, increasing agrobiodiversity throughout the US agri-food system is a crucial goal toward mitigating these harmful impacts, and crop diversification is one short-term mechanism to begin this process. However, despite mounting evidence of its benefits, crop diversification strategies have yet to be widely adopted in the US. Thus, we explore barriers and bridges to crop diversification for current farmers, focused on the Magic Valley of southern Idaho-a region with higher crop diversity relative to the US norm. We address two main research questions: (1) how and why do farmers in this region enact temporal and/or spatial strategies to manage crop diversity (the present) and (2) what are the barriers and bridges to alternative diversification strategies (the imaginary)? Through a political agroecology and spatial imaginaries lens, we conducted and analyzed 15 farmer and 14 key informant interviews between 2019 and 2021 to gauge what farmers are doing to manage crop diversity (the present) and how they imagine alternative landscapes (the imaginary). We show that farmers in this region have established a regionally diversified landscape by relying primarily on temporal diversification strategies-crop rotations and cover cropping-but do not necessarily pair these with other spatial diversification strategies that align with an agroecological approach. Furthermore, experimenting with and imagining new landscapes is possible (and we found evidence of such), but daily challenges and structural constraints make these processes not only difficult but unlikely and even "dangerous" to dream of. Therein, we demonstrate the importance of centering who is farming and why they make certain decisions as much as how they farm to support agroecological transformation and reckoning with past and present land use paradigms to re-imagine what is possible. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13593-022-00833-0.
... Actually, it reported that the daily minimum temperatures will increase more quickly than daily maximum temperatures and the increase in the daily mean weather temperatures will be effect undesirable effects on crop yield (Meehl et al., 2007). More specifically, the rising of 2.5°C in the annual mean temperature by 2050 will doubtly decrease common bean productivity (Eitzinger et al., 2018). Hence, understanding the INTEGRATED ALTERNATIVE FARMING MODELS | 240 potential impacts of temperature on crop growth and development will provide to develop adaptation strategies to balance these impacts in the future. ...
... On the one hand, several studies assessed households' perception, autonomous adaptation, preference of planned adaptation measures and the factors affecting their choice without empirically quantifying their willingness to pay for adaptation (e.g. Abid et al., 2015;Huong et al., 2017;Jellason et al., 2019;Baba and Tanaka, 2019;Uddin et al., 2014;Wang et al., 2014;Samah et al., 2019;Shaffril et al., 2017;Bawakyillenuo et al., 2016;Carlton et al., 2016;Castañeda et al., 2020;Eitzinger et al., 2018;Frondel et al., 2017;Koerth et al., 2017;Lawrence et al., 2014;Lazrus, 2015;Luís et al., 2018;Mersha and van Laerhoven, 2018;Pandey et al., 2018;Pecl et al., 2019;Rodríguez-Cruz and Niles, 2021;Shukla et al., 2019). ...
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Climate change is causing sea-level rise, intense and frequent storm surge flooding, and significant shoreline erosion in Malaysian coastal areas. Consequently, coastal properties, infrastructure, and livelihoods are threatened. It has become apparent that adaptation at the household and community level is necessary to offset the adverse impacts of coastal hazards. The community needs to be made aware of the risks, acquire knowledge about adaptation options, and be empowered to take their own actions. Public perception and preference are therefore crucial for design and implementation of effective planning for climate change. Thus, this study assesses households' perception, adaptation measures and empirically estimates willingness to pay and preference for planned adaptation measures to guide policy instruments through public engagement. In Malaysia, ten highly vulnerable coastal areas in the Selangor coast were surveyed at the household level (n = 1016) through face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Regarding households’ perception and adaptation methods, most of the households in the highly exposed areas perceived less risk of inundation and sea-level rise threat and adopted less proactive adaptation and limited risk reduction behaviours during the extreme event. The study found that 66.9% of households were willing to pay for planned adaptation measures despite the limited income capabilities and in favour of moderate adaptation (23.9%). The binomial and ordinal regression results indicated that the probability of willingness to pay for planned adaptation measures significantly increases with age, prior exposure to coastal hazards, awareness, risk perception, community participation, being affected by property damage and loss of income due to extreme events. With increased monthly household income and access to telecommunication services, households will probably pay higher for better adaptation measures. A significant amount of perceived yearly adaptation benefits in the coastal districts revealed the economic value of extensive (22,969.50 MYR/5462.43 USD), moderate (21,853.20 MYR/5196.96 USD) and minimal adaptation measures (8022.90 MYR/1907.94 USD) that can be utilised to incentivise coastal adaptation plans. The findings suggest policies to incorporate social values to reduce vulnerability, enhance community resilience, and contribute to the knowledge gap of adaptation research in the coastal areas.
... Risk perceptions of climate change vary internationally (Lee et al., 2015) and change over time (Milfont et al., 2017). Farmers' climate changerelated risk perceptions in differing geo-political and climate conditions have been a rising area of interest for research during recent years (Niles, Lubell and Haden, 2013;Eitzinger et al., 2018). ...
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Global agriculture faces severe challenges due to climate change. For boreal agriculture, climate change might also bring opportunities as the growing season lengthens, if the risks of climate change are managed properly. Agricultural production is a source of greenhouse gases, while agricultural land has also a great possibility to mitigate climate change as a carbon sink. Farmers are the central group for implementing these actions. Their views and beliefs contribute to their corresponding pro-environmental agricultural behavior. This research is based on the theory of value-belief-norm (VBN) as a predictive model of pro-environmental agricultural behavior. We extend the theory by studying how opportunities caused by climate change affect pro-environmental behavior in agriculture and present differences between farmer groups and experiment with the longitudinal possibilities of the theoretical model. Based on the structured survey responses from 4,401 farmers in Finland in 2018 and 2000 responses in 2020, we found that all the elements of VBN theory did help to predict intention for climate change mitigation, among which felt possibility to perform mitigation practices was the strongest predictor while risk perception was rather an unimportant one. Furthermore, opportunities caused directly or indirectly by climate change have an effect on Finnish farmer's implementation of mitigation practices. Therefore, future efforts in agricultural research and policy in Finland should concentrate to bring forth concrete farm-level mitigation practices with proven environmental benefits and the direct and indirect opportunities should be given more attention.
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Más 6.000 pequeños apicultores argentinos, dominicanos y costarricenses, con el apoyo de INTAArgentina y otras instituciones de América Latina y el Caribe (ALC), protagonizaron cambios tecnológicos, organizativos y normativos que les permitieron ofrecer alimentos con garantías de calidad, trazabilidad y alto valor biológico, beneficiando al conjunto de la sociedad. El caso se inició hace 20 años en Tucumán, norte de la Argentina. A pesar de ser el segundo país exportador mundial de miel, la cadena apícola prestaba escasa atención a la calidad del producto, reconocido por sus aportes a la nutrición y la salud humana por los saberes milenarios. Esta dinámica generó una actividad dependiente del uso de químicos, lo que llevó a la detección de residuos de antibióticos en la Unión Europea, desencadenado una profunda crisis en el sector. Ante esta problemática, en el INTA Famaillá, Tucumán, consolidó un equipo integrado por investigadores del Programa Nacional Apicultura del INTA (PROAPI), la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán y el Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas que trabajó, codo a codo, con los apicultores que se fueron organizando en modelos asociativos. Uno de los primeros avances fue la puesta en marcha del protocolo de gestión de la calidad y aseguramiento de la inocuidad de la miel, que tuvo un significativo grado de adopción en todo el país, llegando al 100% en el clúster norteño, con un impacto decisivo para la competitividad de la apicultura argentina. Simultáneamente, se apuntó al agregado de valor y la diversificación de productos. Los investigadores identificaron mieles y propóleos según su origen botánico y determinaron sus características nutricionales y funcionales, lo que permitió desarrollar planes de diferenciación e iniciar campañas de promoción del consumo interno, aún en niveles muy bajos, comparado con los países desarrollados. La tarea incluyó una activa participación en la creación de un marco normativo que respaldara las innovaciones. Se dieron pasos trascendentes como la incorporación de propóleos y miel de abejas nativas sin aguijón al Código Alimentario Argentino, y el desarrollo de la Indicación Geográfica “Miel de azahar de limón de Tucumán” a fin de comercializar estos productos detallando los parámetros de calidad establecidos, para facilitar su valoración por los consumidores. Con esta trayectoria, desde el INTA Famaillá se asistió a instituciones de República Dominicana y Costa Rica en el marco de REDLAC, una plataforma para el desarrollo de la apicultura en América Latina y el Caribe, de extensos territorios con montes naturales e implantados. En síntesis, el caso “Alimentos con atributos funcionales del monte latinoamericano” muestra a decisores públicos y privados la oportunidad que ofrece la innovación en la apicultura regional para mejorar la nutrición de sus habitantes, además de contribuir a posicionar los productos en un mercado global que demanda cada vez más alimentos naturales, con trazabilidad y gestión de calidad desde el origen.
The agricultural sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors to the impacts of climate change. Between 2015 and 2018, the Western Cape Province of South Africa experienced a multi-year severe drought. Projections show that the Western Cape is likely to experience hotter and drier conditions, with more frequent droughts. Without appropriate adaptation actions, climate change is likely to increasingly constrain agricultural activities in the province. Commercial farmers represent a considerable population of decision-makers, which are fundamental to climate change adaptation. Understanding farmers' perceptions is important to develop effective policy, support structures, and communications. This study aimed to understand wheat farmers' and apple producers' perceptions of climate change and adaptation in the Western Cape, South Africa, and establish whether the recent drought offered lessons for adaptation. Study methods included the use of an online questionnaire as well as several in-depth interviews with farmers and producers. Results showed that most farmers and producers agree that climate change is real and is caused by human activities. Most farmers and producers in the region are already actively (or intend to start) preparing for climate change (69%). In response to climate change, apple producers view on-farm water management (such as irrigation management and water recycling) as the most important strategy. Wheat farmers strategies are focused on crop management (including cultivar selection and conservation agriculture). Many farmers and producers further agreed that they had learnt from the past 2015–2018 drought. Notably, results showed that farmers and producers who rely a great deal on weather forecasts were more likely to feel that their farm's response was effective. Furthermore, it was found that farmers and producers who felt they learned from the drought were also more likely to be actively preparing for climate risks. It is recommended that investments into climate change adaptation focus on research and development, particularly with regard to cultivar development, irrigation management, tailored weather forecasting, and localised risk assessments. Policy should prioritise the more vulnerable farmers and producers while focusing on integrated risk reduction measures which account for multiple stressors.
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The Andes present an ideal learning space to draw lessons on existing and emerging resilience challenges and opportunities. Andean people and societies have co-evolved with the unique high-mountain contexts in which they live, sometimes in altitudes of more than 3800 m. Although historical achievements including irrigation systems, domestication of cameloids (llama and alpaca) and crop preservation techniques facilitated the development of ancient civilisations in the Andes, modern Andean people face serious challenges in achieving food security and wellbeing. This Special Issue aims to improve our understanding of the key dynamics of socio-ecological systems that constrain or foster resilience in the rural Andes. It comprises six papers that investigate three core features of resilience in a variety of socio-ecological systems: diversity, connectivity and development models. The novel insights into resilience dynamics include specific features related to the high-mountain contexts and socio-political tensions in the Andes. Future research can build on this knowledge to further not only resilience theory but also methodological approaches which reflect both case-specific and generic complexity. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Papers included in this Special Issue: • Sietz, D. and Feola, G. (2016) Resilience in the rural Andes: Critical dynamics, constraints and emerging opportunities. (Open Access) • Vallejo-Rojas, V., Ravera, F. and Rivera-Ferre, MG. (2016) Developing an integrated framework to assess agri-food systems and its application in the Ecuadorian Andes. • Doughty, CA. (2016) Building climate change resilience through local cooperation: a Peruvian Andes case study. • Zimmerer, K. and Rojas Vaca, H. (2016) Fine-grain spatial patterning and dynamics of land use and agrobiodiversity amid global changes in the Bolivian Andes. • Montaña, E., Diaz, H. and Hurlbert, M. (2016) Development, local livelihoods, and vulnerabilities to global environmental change in the South American Dry Andes. • Chelleri, L., Minucci, G. and Skrimizea, E. (2016) Does community resilience decrease social-ecological vulnerability? Adaptation pathways trade-off in the Bolivian Altiplano. • Easdale, MH., Aguiar, MR. and Paz, R. (2016) A social–ecological network analysis of Argentinean Andes transhumant pastoralism.
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El presente libro aporta diversos enfoques culturales sobre el clima y su impacto en comunidades humanas ancestrales de diversos países, así como las estrategias desplegadas por pueblos indígenas, afrodescendientes y campesinos de África y América para afrontar el cambio climático. Sus 18 capítulos se agrupan alrededor de cuatro grandes ejes: en clima y teoría, se discuten aproximaciones teóricas desde las ciencias sociales que abordan las construcciones culturales del clima y analizan las implicaciones de los conocimientos científicos en la producción de discursos climáticos contemporáneos. En clima e historia, se ex ploran las ideas asociadas al clima en el siglo xix y sus efectos en la configuración de la historia colombiana, así como nociones de clima relativas a habitantes de territorios par ticulares. En clima y cultura se registran conocimientos locales y estrategias culturales para el manejo y la predicción del clima, así como para evaluar el riesgo y la vulnerabilidad. Finalmente, en clima y política, se discuten los discursos y políticas globales en torno al cambio climático y se analiza la geopolítica de producción de conocimientos y su inserción en escenarios nacionales y locales. Este libro es un insumo para promover discusiones sobre políticas y programas en torno al cambio cli mático, teniendo en cuenta que sus causas y efectos, mecanismos de mitigación y maneras de prepararse para dichos cambios, están estrechamente relacionados con la cultura. Por lo tanto, representa un llamado a la inclusión de derechos, conocimientos y perspectivas culturales en la generación de políticas y programas acerca del clima, en el contexto nacional e internacional.
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Foreword for the Special Collection Citizen Security Dialogues in Colombia: Controlling the territory and building security and justice in post-conflict contexts From war to peace: security and the stabilization of Colombia, gathers research form leading scholars and practitioners to discuss key topics regarding recent developments around the peace process, between national government and the FARC rebels, in Colombia. After taking into account the impact of security policies implemented during the first decade of the twenty-first century (demobilization of paramilitary groups, strengthening of national armed forces and the containment and weakening of guerrilla groups), this issue further explores challenges, as well as policy options, faced by the state during a post conflict scenario, given a positive outcome of the ongoing peace process. Specifically, and using a broad data analysis, issues such as the ability of organized crime to sabotage post-conflict policy implementation, the absence of state and the rule of law in isolated areas of the country or the importance of local justice as an institutional strengthening strategy for stabilization, are addressed in order to draw important conclusions regarding the problems associated to the persistence of ungoverned and unstable territories in post-conflict contexts all over the world.
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The role of extreme weather events in shaping people’s climate change beliefs and adaptation attitudes has been extensively studied and discussed in academic literature, the popular press, and policy circles. In this manuscript, we contribute to the debate by using data from pre- and post-extreme event surveys to examine the effects of the 2012 Midwestern US drought on agricultural advisors’ climate change beliefs, adaptation attitudes, and risk perceptions. We found that neither climate change beliefs nor attitudes toward adaptation changed significantly as a result of the drought. Risk perceptions did change, however, with advisors becoming more concerned about risks from drought and pests and less concerned about risks related to flooding and ponding. Though increased risk perceptions were significantly associated with more favorable adaptation attitudes, the effects were not large enough to cause an overall shift to more favorable attitudes toward adaptation. The results suggest that extreme climate events might not cause significant shifts in climate beliefs, at least not immediately. Additionally, the results caution that policy designs that rely on increasing risk perceptions to motivate action on climate change may be overestimating the effects of extreme events on feeling at risk, at least in the context of buffered systems such as large commercial agriculture in the US.
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A growing body of work aims to understand the impacts of climate change on agriculture as well as farmer’s perceptions of climate change and their likeliness to adopt adapting and mitigating behaviors. Despite this, little work has considered how intention to adopt differs from actual adoption of climate change practices in agriculture. Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior we aim to assess whether different factors affect intended versus actual adoption of climate behaviors among farmers in New Zealand. Data were collected through mixed methods (37 interviews and a telephone survey of 490 farmers) in two regions of New Zealand 2010–2012. Through multiple regression models we test hypotheses related to the Theory of Planned Behavior around the role of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived capacity in affecting intended and actual adoption. Results suggest that there are different drivers of intended and actual adoption of climate change practices. Climate change attitudes and belief is only associated with intended not actual adoption. We find no evidence that subjective norms (climate change policy support) significantly influence either intention or actual adoption. Only perceived capacity and self-efficacy were important predictors of both intended and actual adoption. These results suggest a disconnect between intended and actual behavior change and that using data about intention as a guiding factor for program and policy design may not be prudent. Furthermore, fostering perceived capacity and self-efficacy for individuals may be crucial for encouraging both intended and actual adoption of climate adapting and mitigating behaviors.
n la actualidad se presentan diferentes tipos de fenómenos a escalas nacionales y locales que, en conjunto, son potenciales fuentes de riesgo para la sociedad contemporánea y en especial para los grupos sociales más vulnerables, los cuales con frecuencia perciben más rápidamente y con mayor severidad sus efectos negativos. Entre esos fenómenos pueden destacarse la modernidad, la globalización, el cambio climático, los organismos genéticamente modificados y la reciente crisis económica mundial. Todos ellos tienen implicaciones globales y, frecuentemente, solo son tratados por las altas clases políticas, económicas y académicas, dejando de lado la
Tropical social-ecological systems are highly vulnerable to climate change, given the limited natural climate variability in the tropics. Tropical rural populations, with livelihoods dependent on agriculture, are particularly vulnerable to climate variability and changes. To develop climate change social communication, plan and implement adaptation, it is necessary to understand regional/local climate process, risks and opportunities. It is also important to understand how local populations perceive such changes and adapt their livelihoods. Limited information is available on climate change perceptions in tropical Latin American rural populations. Hence, a climate study and climate change perception survey were carried out in the Manizales Municipality, in the Andean region of Colombia and one of its major coffee-growing areas. The study spanned three “thermal” levels in the tropical Andes, 1000 m a.s.l. and above, each with distinct environments and livelihoods. Climate analysis yielded significant warming trends in recent decades, particularly in temperature minima for all levels, but no significant local precipitation trends. The perception survey, carried out in a sparsely populated region, mostly with limited accessibility, included 37 households, with structured and semi-structured interviews, adapted to local culture. Interviewees had little or no previous knowledge on climate change. However, almost all had perceived significant changes in both temperature and precipitation, which impacted their livelihoods and environment. Some perceptions could result from a La Niña event prior to the survey, and other environmental destruction processes. Their responses to change were spontaneous adaptation, based on traditional practices and agricultural technical advice from state agencies and coffee grower associations.
A key challenge in climate change adaptation in developing countries as a whole, and to handling global change in particular, is to link local adaptation needs on the one hand, with national adaptation initiatives on the other, so that vulnerable households and communities can directly benefit. This study assesses the impact of the Nepal government’s efforts to promote its Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) and its applicability to other least developed countries (LDCs). Based on data gathered from two field studies in Nepal, the research shows that the Nepal’s LAPA has succeeded in mobilizing local institutions and community groups in adaptation planning and recognizing their role in adaptation. However, the LAPA approach and implementation have been constrained by sociostructural and governance barriers that have failed to successfully integrate local adaptation needs in local planning and increase the adaptive capacity of vulnerable households. This paper describes the mechanisms of suitable governance strategies for climate change adaptation specific to Nepal and other LDCs. It also argues the need to adopt an adaptive comanagement approach, where the government and all stakeholders identify common local- and national-level mainstreaming strategy for knowledge management, resource mobilization, and institutional development, ultimately using adaptation as a tool to handle global change.
Future changes in climate pose significant challenges for society, not the least of which is how best to adapt to observed and potential future impacts of these changes to which the world is already committed. Adaptation is a dynamic social process: the ability of societies to adapt is determined, in part, by the ability to act collectively. This article reviews emerging perspectives on collective action and social capital and argues that insights from these areas inform the nature of adaptive capacity and normative prescriptions of policies of adaptation. Specifically, social capital is increasingly understood within economics to have public and private elements, both of which are based on trust, reputation, and reciprocal action. The public-good aspects of particular forms of social capital are pertinent elements of adaptive capacity in interacting with natural capital and in relation to the performance of institutions that cope with the risks of changes in climate. Case studies are presented of present-day collective action for coping with extremes in weather in coastal areas in Southeast Asia and of community-based coastal management in the Caribbean. These cases demonstrate the importance of social capital framing both the public and private institutions of resource management that build resilience in the face of the risks of changes in climate. These cases illustrate, by analogy, the nature of adaptation processes and collective action in adapting to future changes in climate.