Inicio  /  Environments  /  Vol: 5 Núm: 3 Par: March (2018)  /  Artículo

Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Farmers and Peri-Urban Fringe Residents in South Australia

Guy M. Robinson    
Douglas K. Bardsley    
Christopher M. Raymond    
Tegan Underwood    
Emily Moskwa    
Delene Weber    
Nicolette Waschl and Annette M. Bardsley    


This paper reports on results from two major research projects conducted in South Australia. The first investigates adaptation to climate change in two of the state?s major grain and sheep farming regions, using semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The second uses a postal questionnaire and an internet-based survey of residents in the peri-urban fringes of Adelaide, the state capital, to examine knowledge of and attitudes to climate change and resulting adaptations, especially in the context of increasing risk of wildfires. The research on adaptation to climate change in agriculture focused on formal institutions (e.g., government agencies) and communities of practice (e.g., farm systems groups). Both groups noted that farmers autonomously adapt to various risks, including those induced by climate variability. The types and levels of adaptation varied among individuals partly because of barriers to adaptation, which included limited communication and engagement processes established between formal institutions and communities of practice. The paper discusses possibilities for more effective transfers of knowledge and information on climate change among formal institutions, communities of practice, trusted individual advisors and farmers. Research in the peri-urban fringe revealed that actions taken by individuals to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change were linked to the nature of environmental values held (or ecological worldview) and place attachment. Individuals with a strong place attachment to the study area (the Adelaide Hills) who possessed knowledge of and/or beliefs in climate change were most likely to take mitigating actions. This was also linked to previous experience of major risk from wildfires. The paper concludes by discussing prospects for developing co-management for reducing the impact of climate change across multiple groups in rural and peri-urban areas.

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