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Addis Ababa University (2018)

Adaptive Capacity of Woodland Dependent Households to Climate Change in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

Mesfin, Demamu

Titre : Adaptive Capacity of Woodland Dependent Households to Climate Change in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

Auteur : Mesfin, Demamu

Université de soutenance : Addis Ababa University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies 2018

Résumé
Ethiopia stands among the most vulnerable and worst affected countries in the world to the impacts of climate change mainly because of its low adaptive capacity. The Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia is one of the most vulnerable areas in the country. However, studies to understand the perception and adaptive capacity of rural households to climate change in the semi-arid areas of the CRV are limited. This study examines the perception and adaptive capacity of rural households to climate change in the CRV. Mixed research methods approach was adopted to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Household survey, focus group discussion (FGD), key informant interview (KII), field observation, and remote sensing and GIS techniques were used to collect data. The study found out that a large majority of households perceived climate change and its impacts and adopted an array of adaptation practices. It was also found that the adaptive capacity (AC) of households in the CRV was generally low and varies among households living in different Kebeles. From five major components that contributed to adaptive capacity, institutions and entitlements, knowledge and information, and innovation were found to contribute better than decision making and governance, and asset-base. Moreover, the composite indices for sub-components indicated that woodlands contributed to AC better than grazing land, farmland, and water resources, respectively. However, it was also found that woodlands are declining. Forty years ago, the study area was virtually covered with woodlands and forests (95%) and agriculture was just starting (1%). Now, it is reversed that agriculture covered nearly half of the study area (45%), while woodlands covered 42% and forests virtually disappeared. The socioeconomic and environmental impacts of these changes have also been perceived by households. Furthermore, seven proximate and ten underlying causes of woodland decline have been identified and ranked by households. It is concluded that adaptive capacity has broader dimensions and assessments and interventions need to be made in a holistic and integrated manner. Moreover, interventions need to acknowledge local differences and be tailored accordingly to suit local contexts. Key words : Climate change, perception, adaptive capacity, woodland, impacts, proximate causes and driving forces3,68

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