Local knowledge and adaptation to climate change in Ouémé valley, Benin
This paper highlights the local dimension of adaptation to climate change and the importance of local knowledge in adaptation planning. It points out that, like climate, climate change adaptation is a dynamic and evolving process in which the main determinant is the degree of vulnerability. The paper presents a case study on farmers’ strategies for adapting to climate vulnerability in the low valley of Ouémé, Benin, which showed that local people have developed a remarkable ability to adapt to climate threats, or in some cases, have turned threats into opportunities. The people of Ouémé managed to take advantage of their natural vulnerability through adaptation strategies mainly based on local knowledge. This paper argues that the trend of these local strategies confirms that the dynamic nature of adaptation to climate change is mainly determined by the extent of vulnerability caused by continued depletion of the environment.