Climate Change, Knowledge and Learning
For many years, researchers have explored local knowledge about environmental change and increasingly over the past decade, local knowledge in relation to climate change specifically.
We now know much more about the content of the different types of knowledge that are important for responding to climate change – from climate scientists modelling future rainfall changes in a particular country to local farmers' detailed understanding of how to get the most out of their environment in highly variable conditions.
However, we still do not know very much about how these different forms of knowledge are used in practice by national policy-makers, front-line staff (such as agricultural extension officers or health workers), and people in poor communities on the ground. We also have a poor grasp of how and when it is best to bring together people from very different starting points, to reconcile what they know. Bringing different perspectives together is important for both the quality and legitimacy of decisions about adaptation.
- What are the factors most likely to help people agree on what forms of knowledge are useful (sometimes referred to as 'knowledge co-production') for strengthening adaptive capacity?
- How do different types of knowledge about climate change become sufficiently credible to be considered worthy of transfer or exchange?
- How does knowledge actually get transmitted (for example across generations and between different contexts)?
- How can we best ensure that all types of knowledge about climate change are reaching the people they need to, in the forms that they can best understand and use?
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