, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 929-941
Date: 02 Sep 2012

A Study of Rural Senegalese Attitudes and Perceptions of Their Behavior to Changes in the Climate

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Semi-structured focus group discussions were employed to capture rural Senegalese attitudes and perceptions of their behavior to changes in the climate and their land use and livelihood strategies. Seven focus groups stratified by gender, ethnicity (Wolof and Peulh) and dominant production system (cultivators and pastoralists) in five villages in semi-arid northern Senegal revealed seven main themes. Rural livelihoods remain predominantly based on rainfall dependant practices, and although cultivators and pastoralists had a clear appreciation of changes in natural resources compared to a perceived more favorable past, few adaptive coping strategies beyond established ones were advocated. The seven themes are discussed in detail and their implications for rural livelihoods under future long term climate predictions discussed with the implications of this study for the development of scenarios of future land cover land use.