Understanding Adaptation to Climate Change: The Role of Drivers, Facilitators and Barriers in Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

On June 27th Anna Schlingmann held an oral presentation in the annual conference of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources.

Climate change and hazards such as droughts, pests and floods affect the livelihood and food security of Indigenous Peoples and local communities globally. Small-scale farmers, fishers, pastoralists and hunting/gathering communities use their Indigenous and local knowledge to respond to arising challenges. However, adapting to climate change impacts is not a straightforward process; it is additionally steered by non-climatic influences such as economic and sociocultural factors.

For our analysis on adaptation determinants, we distinguish between adaptation drivers, adaptive capacity (strong barriers and facilitators) and willingness (soft barriers and facilitators). For our global quantitative analysis, we analyze 1) secondary data from a systematic literature review (n=209 peer-reviewed articles), and 2) primary data from 27 field sites, comprising more than 2700 individual and household surveys.

Based on the sustainable livelihoods approach, we assess the importance of social, human, financial, physical, and natural assets for the adaptive behavior of households. Additionally, we analyze the self-perception of community members on adaptation determinants. An improved understanding of local adaptation determinants is crucial for the successful implementation of bottom-up strategies.