Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in the Nigerian Savannah

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Elias, P.O
Fasona, M.J
Adedayo, V.T
Olorunfemi, F.B
Oloukoi, G
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University of Lagos
This paper is based on the premise that the adaptive capacity of people and places are closely related to their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics which in turn determines their resilience. It examined the demographic and socioeconomic dimensions of selected agricultural communities in the Nigerian Savanna with the view to assessing their adaptive capacity to climate change. The Nigerian savannah has been largely altered by human related activities which have reduced its capacity to support the teaming rural farming communities and the livelihood systems in the region. Livelihood systems in the region are closely associated with terrestrial ecosystems and changes in global climate could exacerbates the conditions of the rural farmers. The methodology for the study was based on multistage random sampling technique and Rural Rapid Appraisal (RPP) of 11 communities across 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in two states of the southwest and north central Nigeria. Household survey, Key Informant Interview of traditional rulers and Government officials were carried out while an intensive Focused Group Discussion among all the actors was done. Both ex-ante and ex-post factors of gender, local knowledge and experience, education, income from farm and off-farm sources, ability to diversify, willingness to adapt, proportion of savings, and local adaptation mechanisms were identified and used to understand adaptive capacity of the local communities to climate change in the region. These factors provide an understanding of existing local actions which could point to future coping and adaption strategies given emerging challenges of climate change. By upscaling the local adaptive capacity it is possible to evolve regional and national policies for improving the resilience of rural agricultural communities.
Research and outreach activities for this project were supported as part of the 2011 START Grants for Global Environmental Change Research. The grant award was managed by the International START Secretariat with funds supplied by the Climate Knowledge Development Network (CDKN). Additional support for the 2011 Africa GEC Grants was supported by funds supplied by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, administered through the U.S. National Science Foundation, Grant GEO-1030200, and CCAFS (Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security).
Peter Elias, Mayowa Fasona, Vide Adedayo, Felix Olorunfemi & Grace Adeniji (2015): Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in the Nigerian Savannah. UNILAG Journal of Humanities, 2(1), 2014 p164-185. University of Lagos, NIGERIA