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Gender-specific responses to climate variability in a semi-arid ecosystem in northern Benin

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ABSTRACT

Highly erratic rainfall patterns in northern Benin complicate the ability of rural farmers to engage in subsistence agriculture. This research explores gender-specific responses to climate variability in the context of agrarian Benin through a household survey (n = 260) and an experimental gaming exercise among a subset of the survey respondents. Although men and women from the sample population are equally aware of climate variability and share similar coping strategies, their specific land-use strategies, preferences, and motivations are distinct. Over the long term, these differences would likely lead to dissimilar coping strategies and vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Examination of gender-specific land-use responses to climate change and anticipatory learning can enhance efforts to improve adaptability and resilience among rural subsistence farmers.

No MeSH data available.


Location of the Dassari watershed in the Benin Republic
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Fig1: Location of the Dassari watershed in the Benin Republic

Mentions: The study site is located in the Dassari watershed in northwestern Benin. The 589 km2 watershed covers most of the geopolitical district of Dassari located between 10°44′12″ and 10°55′48″ North latitude, and between 1°01′55″ and 1°14′54″ East longitude (Fig. 1). The maximum daily temperature varies between 34 and 40 °C, and the mean annual temperature is 27 °C. The population of Dassari was 24 891 in 2009 (Dah-gbeto 2014). The dominant ethnic group in the district is the Biali, and most livelihoods are agricultural. According to Sow et al. (2014), the Biali constitute over 90 % of the Dassari population and perceive themselves as the natives and rightful landowners in the area. Livestock is an important indicator of wealth (e.g., for bride price payments and funerals). Traditionally, the Biali are sedentary, but have been forced into migratory patterns in search of fertile land and seasonal economic activities as far as Nigeria (Sow et al. 2014). Most of the Biali believe in traditional ancestor worship, and adherence to cults and belief in mystical power is socially ubiquitous, which influences perceptions about the use of natural resources.Fig. 1


Gender-specific responses to climate variability in a semi-arid ecosystem in northern Benin
Location of the Dassari watershed in the Benin Republic
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120022&req=5

Fig1: Location of the Dassari watershed in the Benin Republic
Mentions: The study site is located in the Dassari watershed in northwestern Benin. The 589 km2 watershed covers most of the geopolitical district of Dassari located between 10°44′12″ and 10°55′48″ North latitude, and between 1°01′55″ and 1°14′54″ East longitude (Fig. 1). The maximum daily temperature varies between 34 and 40 °C, and the mean annual temperature is 27 °C. The population of Dassari was 24 891 in 2009 (Dah-gbeto 2014). The dominant ethnic group in the district is the Biali, and most livelihoods are agricultural. According to Sow et al. (2014), the Biali constitute over 90 % of the Dassari population and perceive themselves as the natives and rightful landowners in the area. Livestock is an important indicator of wealth (e.g., for bride price payments and funerals). Traditionally, the Biali are sedentary, but have been forced into migratory patterns in search of fertile land and seasonal economic activities as far as Nigeria (Sow et al. 2014). Most of the Biali believe in traditional ancestor worship, and adherence to cults and belief in mystical power is socially ubiquitous, which influences perceptions about the use of natural resources.Fig. 1

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Highly erratic rainfall patterns in northern Benin complicate the ability of rural farmers to engage in subsistence agriculture. This research explores gender-specific responses to climate variability in the context of agrarian Benin through a household survey (n = 260) and an experimental gaming exercise among a subset of the survey respondents. Although men and women from the sample population are equally aware of climate variability and share similar coping strategies, their specific land-use strategies, preferences, and motivations are distinct. Over the long term, these differences would likely lead to dissimilar coping strategies and vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Examination of gender-specific land-use responses to climate change and anticipatory learning can enhance efforts to improve adaptability and resilience among rural subsistence farmers.

No MeSH data available.