Sustainability of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies: Experiences from Eastern Ghana

Frank Kwaku Agyei

Abstract


Climate change risks are wide spread, and they are transforming the socio-environmental infrastructure of economic development. Whether they are included or not in the development of national adaptation strategies, rural populations continue to employ diverse climate adaptation strategies to withstand climate induced vulnerabilities inimical to their livelihoods. Using the case of farming communities in Eastern Ghana and through semi-structured interviews, this article addresses the questions: which climate risks confront farmers, what are farmers’ adaptation choices, and which adaptation strategies are sustainable and why? The paper argues that farmers use range of adaptation strategies to minimize climate risks. Nevertheless, some strategies do not sustain the anticipated positive outcomes. Local choices of adaptation strategies were skewed towards advancing general income, and poorly promoted healthy ecological systems. Farmers’ choices of climate strategies were based on, among others, personal intuition or historical experience, knowledge of strategies, and availability of resources to implement a particular strategy: sustainability measures weakly influenced selections. Short rotation and mixed species cropping, farming at several locations, and drought tolerant crop varieties were sustainable initiatives to farmers. The main qualities of successful initiatives were low cost strategy, economic equity, and flexibility to precipitation and temperature. Climate adaptation strategy can be sustainable if it is less costly to establish, and flexible to places and seasons. 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v5i2.9845

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