Climatic Change

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 307–320

Links between media communication and local perceptions of climate change in an indigenous society

  • Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares
  • María Elena Méndez-López
  • Isabel Díaz-Reviriego
  • Marissa F. McBride
  • Aili Pyhälä
  • Antoni Rosell-Melé
  • Victoria Reyes-García
Article

Abstract

Indigenous societies hold a great deal of ethnoclimatological knowledge that could potentially be of key importance for both climate change science and local adaptation; yet, we lack studies examining how such knowledge might be shaped by media communication. This study systematically investigates the interplay between local observations of climate change and the reception of media information amongst the Tsimane’, an indigenous society of Bolivian Amazonia where the scientific discourse of anthropogenic climate change has barely reached. Specifically, we conducted a Randomized Evaluation with a sample of 424 household heads in 12 villages to test to what degree local accounts of climate change are influenced by externally influenced awareness. We randomly assigned villages to a treatment and control group, conducted workshops on climate change with villages in the treatment group, and evaluated the effects of information dissemination on individual climate change perceptions. Results of this work suggest that providing climate change information through participatory workshops does not noticeably influence individual perceptions of climate change. Such findings stress the challenges involved in translating between local and scientific framings of climate change, and gives cause for concern about how to integrate indigenous peoples and local knowledge with global climate change policy debates.

Supplementary material

10584_2015_1381_MOESM1_ESM.docx (53 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 53 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares
    • 1
    • 2
  • María Elena Méndez-López
    • 1
  • Isabel Díaz-Reviriego
    • 1
  • Marissa F. McBride
    • 2
  • Aili Pyhälä
    • 1
    • 2
  • Antoni Rosell-Melé
    • 1
    • 3
  • Victoria Reyes-García
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, ICTA, Edifici Z, Carrer de les ColumnesUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Metapopulation Research Centre, MRC, Department of BiosciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, ICREABarcelonaSpain

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