Exploring farmers’ vulnerability and agrobiodiversity in perspective of adaptation in Southern Cameroon

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Climate change is a global phenomenon that indiscriminately affects all sectors of the economy and social life-support systems. New trends in climate change will leave high impacts on rural populations, whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and natural resources, leaving them increasingly vulnerable. Agrobiodiversity management is a promising method of facilitating adaptation to climatic changes. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the vulnerability of farmers and assess agrobiodiversity in Southern Cameroon in the context of adaptation. Focus groups and surveys were conducted in 31 villages in Ayos and Bokito in Southern Cameroon. The vulnerability index was computed for selected indicators of different components of vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity). Data analysis revealed that in the two communities, the majority of villages were moderately vulnerable to climate change. However, Bokito community appeared to be more vulnerable than Ayos community. Farmers adopted several climate adaptation strategies such as crop replacement, replanting, planting of trees, cultivation of crops in swampy areas, and the expansion of cocoa cultivation in savannahs. Rich agrobiodiversity was identified in both sites; however, Ayos was richer than Bokito for wild plants, wildlife, and fisheries resources. The Bokito community also had a higher dependence on agriculture. Sustainably managing the rich agrobiodiversity of the landscape can provide a critical method to build the resilience of farmers.

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