UNDERSTANDING REGIONAL EFFECTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROARCH FOR COPING STRATEGIES - CASE STUDY AT RURAL VILLAGE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA -
Keywords: climate change, shock, vulnerability, coping strategies, resilience, diversity
Abstract. This paper describes on understanding the regional effects on global climate change and subsistence farmers’ coping strategies through our field investigation and multidimensional data analysis from the resilience point of view. The major research question of this study is to understand what actions villagers took as the coping strategy against the heavy rainfall shock caused by climate change. Our research interest is how geospatial information technique can contribute to this research question. The study area is located in Sinazongwe district, Southern province of Zambia. As for the field investigation, we set the study sites A, B and C where are located in the lower terrace, middle escarpment and upper terrace, respectively. In the rainy season of 2007/2008, our study site had a heavy rainfall and many crop fields were damaged. In this crop year, the annual rainfalls in site A and C were 1442 mm/year and 1332 mm/year respectively. This is about two times different with the long term average of rainfall 694.9 mm/year in Sinazongwe district. It is confirmed that approximately 20 % of crop fields were damaged by heavy rainfall through our field investigation. It was so severe negative consequences for all of villages because about 80 % of whole damaged crop fields were maize fields. Maize is staple food in this region. Here, we have analysed and discussed how villagers cope from the serious damage of crops. The maize harvest varies every year depending on rainfall and topographic position. If a farmer possesses maize fields at various topographic positions, they can avoid severe negative consequences of climate variability such as drought or heavy rainfall. However, not all farmers have access to fields at various topographic positions. It is important to know where each household’s characteristics when we consider their strategy of livelihood for climate variabilities. Through this study, we confirmed the way to strengthen resilience of subsistence farmers as follows: it is necessary to prepare variable crops and emergency food stock with not only diverse but also composite social institution. The resilient society seems to be the society with insurance such as adaptation ability against environmental shock caused by climate change. From the agricultural production point of view, both diversity and yield ability are also important.