Assessing climate change vulnerability and local adaptation strategies in adjacent communities of the Kribi-Campo coastal ecosystems, South Cameroon

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This study assesses vulnerability to climate change and local adaption strategies in the Kribi-Campo coastal area. Variables of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity are described and assessed based on the community's perception and biophysical evidence. Historical changes in rainfall and temperature variables, mangrove cover and occurrence of extreme climatic events are taken as indicators of exposure. Losses of property and income structure are used as indicators of sensitivity. Human, natural, social, financial and physical assets are used as elements of adaptive capacity. Focus group discussions were held with key informants in 12 settlements, and a survey was conducted with 150 household representatives (14 Bagyeli pygmies and 136 Bantou) to gather perceptions on climate change and adaptation strategies. Results show evidence of increased -vulnerability due to decreasing rainfall and irregular rainfall patterns, increasing occurrences of extreme climatic events and increased levels of coastal erosion. These have resulted in several effects, most significantly in the decline of agricultural production, reported by 57% of respondents, and damages to housing reported by 30% of respondents. Adaptive capacities are low. > 60% of respondents do not use any adaptation strategy. All sectors considered, the identified responses to climate related phenomena include early harvesting of crop, farm abandonment, change of productive activity, change of farm location, house reinforcement. The study concludes that households living here are susceptible to the possible impacts of climate change. Income diversification, mangrove afforestation and climate education should be considered as priorities for adaptation in this area.

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