Climate Change Impact and Traditional Coping Mechanisms of Borana Pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia: Building Adaptive Capacity and Resilience from an Indigenous People’s Perspective.
This thesis focuses on Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia and their experiences with environmental challenges caused by climate change. Recent debates about climate change and its impacts on global bio-diversities are shifting focus to the role of indigenous people in climate mitigation and adaptation. This thesis builds on those debates and focuses on the traditional adaptation and resilience strategies of Borana pastoralists, who draw from their traditional ecological knowledge systems. The thesis is based on two months of ethnographic fieldwork among Borana pastoral communities, where empirical data was gathered using unstructured qualitative interviews, field observations, and focus group discussions. Concepts such as ‘the tragedy of the commons’, ‘social-ecological resilience’, and ‘sustainable livelihood framework’ guides the analysis and discussion of the empirical data. The thesis argues that while the traditional pastoral livelihood of Borana pastoralists is threatened by persistent droughts, they are relying on their traditional natural resource management strategies to adapt to the drought problem. The traditional arrangement for pasture and water resource use is maintained by their customary Gadaa institutions, which have eroded over the years due to the government’s interference in their traditional pastoral system. While this development affects the adaptive capacity and resilience of Borana pastoralists to climatic extremes, there are aspects of the traditional knowledge systems that can be harnessed for long term adaptation and resilience.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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