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University of the Western Cape (2020)

Climate variability : Human management response to environmental changes in Touws River valley and Makolokwe

Llale, Semakaleng

Titre : Climate variability : Human management response to environmental changes in Touws River valley and Makolokwe

Auteur : Llale, Semakaleng

Université de soutenance : University of the Western Cape

Grade : Magister Artium - MA (Geography, Environmental & Tourism Studies) 2020

Résumé partiel
Climate has been changing significantly around the globe ; hence climate variability is of great interest to researchers. The changes in climate have caused variances in rainfall and temperature, both elements of paramount importance in farming, whether commercial or communal farming. As these fluctuations in temperature and rainfall occur, they cause direct impacts on different livelihoods, fauna and flora. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the human management responses of farmers in two different contexts of communal farming (Makolokwe) and commercial farming (Touws River valley), with a focus investigation on the adaptation and coping strategies of the farmers, as well as spatial analysis of the vegetation and rainfall variability. Farmers were asked to discuss climate and adaptation based on the rainfall data available as well as far as they could remember the occurrence of changes. Rainfall data was available between 1988 and 2017 for Touws River, while the data utilised for Makolokwe was available between 1928 and 2016. The link between the local knowledge of the farmers and scientific knowledge is an important aspect of this research. The Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to analyse the vegetation changes on a temporal and spatial scale in the context of Makolokwe and Touws River valley respectively. The differing variations in climate variability and change experienced by the two farming communities are placed alongside an exploration of the adaptation and coping measures which are put in place by farmers as a response to the changes evident in climate, as it allows for better and thorough understanding of the occurring changes in the two communities. The study found that perceptions about climate variability vary in the two communities although there are some common factors. Farmers’ perceptions about climate variability are drawn from their own observations at a local level as well as knowledge from the media regarding terms such as El Niño and drought.

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