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  • Author: Dereje Tesema Regasa x
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Abstract

Climate change becomes a widely acknowledged and inevitable global challenge of 21st century. For developing countries like Ethiopia, it intensifies existing challenges of ensuring sustainable development. This study examined factors affecting climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies by taking in Protection Motivation Theory. The study draws on mixed research approach in order to assess the subjective understanding about climate change threats and identify the factors determining responses to climate change. While qualitative data were collected through focus group discussions and interviews, quantitative information was collected using semi structured survey from 296 randomly selected farmers from different agro-ecologies. Qualitative data was dominantly analyzed using content analysis while descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to analyze quantitative data. Almost all respondents (97%) perceived that climate change is occurring and threatening their wellbeing. Dwindling precipitation, increasing temperature and occurrence of human and animal disease were perceived to represent climate change. From nationally initiated strategies, farmers were found to largely practice soil and water conservation and agricultural intensification, which they perceived less costly and compatible to their level of expertise. The result of binary logistic regression revealed that perceived severity of climate change, perceived susceptibility to climate change threat, perceived own ability to respond, response efficacy and cost of practices predicted farmers motivation to practice climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Thus, building resilient system should go beyond sensitizing climate response mechanisms. Rural development and climate change adaptation policies should focus on human capital development and economic empowerment which would enable farmers pursue context specific adaptation and mitigation strategies thereby maintain sustainable livelihood.

Abstract

Climate change is an inevitable global challenge of the 21st century. For developing countries like Ethiopia, it intensifies existing challenges towards ensuring sustainable development. Adopting the protection motivation theory, this study examined factors affecting the practice of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies among farmers. The study employed a mixed research approach to assess the subjective understanding of farmers about climate change threats and identify factors determining their responses to climate change effects. Qualitative data were collected using focus group discussions and interviews. Quantitative information was gathered using semi-structured survey from 296 randomly selected farmers. Qualitative data was dominantly analyzed using content analysis, while descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to analyze quantitative data. Almost all respondents (97%) perceived that climate change was occurring and threatening their wellbeing. Dwindling precipitation, increasing temperature and occurrence of human and animal disease were perceived to represent climate change effects. From nationally initiated strategies, farmers were found to largely practice soil and water conservation, which they perceived as less costly and compatible to local knowledge. The result of binary logistic regression revealed that perceived severity of climate change, perceived susceptibility to climate change threat, perceived own ability to respond, response efficacy, and cost of practices predicted farmers’ motivation to practice climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Thus, building a resilient system should go beyond sensitizing climate response mechanisms. Policies should focus on human capital development and economic empowerment which would enable farmers to pursue context-specific adaptation and mitigation strategies, thereby maintaining a sustainable livelihood.