Climatic Change

, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 511–523

Local perceptions in climate change debates: insights from case studies in the Alps and the Andes

  • Christine Jurt
  • Maria Dulce Burga
  • Luis Vicuña
  • Christian Huggel
  • Ben Orlove
Article

Abstract

The importance of integrating local perspectives into international debates about climate change has received increasing attention. Local perspectives on the impacts of climate change often focus on issues of loss and harm and support the widely recognized need for global responses to climate change as suggested by scientists and international institutions. Here we argue that local perspectives need to be addressed not only from outside communities but also from inside in order to understand people’s responses to climate change: their concerns, their understanding of themselves as members of particular groups and their position in the world, their view on responsibilities for causing climate change, and their perceptions of possible responses. The ethnographic work at two study sites, one in Carhuaz, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, and one in Stilfs, South Tyrolean Alps, Italy, identifies dominant perceptions on climate change at each site with a particular focus on glacier retreat. The case studies show that the view on the need for global action as response to climate change is not necessarily shared throughout the world, and thus presents a challenge to global collaboration.

References

  1. ASTAT (2011) Südtirol in Zahlen – Alto Adige in cifre. Südtirol Landesinstitut für Statistik, BozenGoogle Scholar
  2. Barth F (1969) Ethnic groups and boundaries. Waveland Press, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  3. Boillat S, Berkes F (2013) Perception and interpretation of climate change among Quechua farmers of Bolivia: indigenous knowledge as a resource for adaptive capacity. Ecol Soc 18(4):21Google Scholar
  4. Carey M (2010) In the shadow of melting glaciers. Climate change and Andean society. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carturan L, Baroni C, Becker M, et al. (2013a) Decay of a long-term monitored glacier: careser glacier (Ortles-Cevedale, European Alps). Cryosphere 7:1819–1838. doi:10.5194/tc-7-1819-2013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carturan L, Filippi R, Seppi R, Gabrielli P, Notarnicola C, Bertoldi L, Paul F, Rastner P, Cazorzi F, Dinale R, Dalla Fontana G (2013b) Area and volume loss of the glaciers in the Ortles-Cevedale Group (Eastern Italian Alps): controls and imbalance of the remaining glaciers. Cryosphere 7:1339–1359. doi:10.5194/tc-7-1339-2013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castree N, Adams MW, Barry J, Brockington D, Büscher B, Corbera E, Demeritt D, Duffy R, Felt U, Neves K, Newell P, Pellizzoni L, Rigby K, Robbin L, Rose DB, Ross A, Schlosberg D, Sörlin S, West P, Whitehead P, Wynne B (2014) Changing the intellectual climate. Nat Clim Chang 4:763–768. doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2339 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christomannos T (1999) Sulden-Trafoi. Schilderungen aus dem Ortlergebiete. Tourismusverein im Ortlergebiete, BozenGoogle Scholar
  9. Cruikshank J (2005) Do glacier listen? Local knowledge, colonial encounters, and social transformation. University of British Columbia Press, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  10. Dunbar K, Medina K (2012) Singing for shaved ice: glacial loss and Raspadilla in the Peruvian Andes. In: Sinclair J, Pertierra A (eds) Consumer culture in Latin America, 1st edn. Palgrave Mamillan, New York, pp. 195–206Google Scholar
  11. Hurton J (2004) Sulden. Geschichte, Land, Leute und Berge. Eigenverlag, BozenGoogle Scholar
  12. IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1132Google Scholar
  13. Jurt C (2009) Perceptions of natural hazards in the context of social, cultural, economic and political risks – a case study in South Tyrol. Dissertation, University of BerneGoogle Scholar
  14. Jurt C, Brugger J, Dunbar K, Milch K, Orlove B (2015) Cultural values of glaciers. In: Huggel C, Carey M, Clague JJ, Kääb A (eds) The high-mountain cryosphere: changes and risks. Cambridge University Press (in press), CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Kuntner A, Haringer M, Knoll C, Mayenberger L, Pinggera S, Platzer-Vögeli E, Reinstadler E, Reinstadler P, Reinstadler W, Thöni M (2004) Die Bergführer von Sulden and Trafoi Legende und Geschichte. Raiffeisenkasse, SchlandersGoogle Scholar
  16. Lamont M, Mólnar V (2002) The studies of boundaries in social sciences. Annu Rev Sociol 28:167–195. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.28.110601.141107 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Markowitz EM, Shariff AF (2012) Climate change and moral judgement. Nat. Climate Change 2:243–247. doi:10.1038/nclimate1378 Google Scholar
  18. Milinski M (2014) Modeling a polycentric approach to the problem of climate change. Comment on “Climate change governance, cooperation and self-organization” by Pacheco, Vasconcelos & Santos. Phys Life Rev. doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2014.07.013 Google Scholar
  19. Nazarea VD (2006) Local knowledge and memory in biodiversity conservation. Annu Rev Anthropol 35(1):317–335. doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.35.081705.123252 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Orlove B, Roncoli, C Kabugo, M., & Majugu, A (2010) Indigenous climate knowledge in southern Uganda : the multiple components of a dynamic regional system. Clim Chang, 100, 243–265. doi: 10.1007/s10584-009-9586-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ostrom E (2014) A polycentric approach for coping with climate change. Ann Econ Finance 15(1):71–108. doi:10.1596/1813-9450-5095 Google Scholar
  22. Pachucki MA, Pendergrass S, Lamont M (2007) Boundary processes: recent theoretical developments and new contributions. Poetics 35:331–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paerregaard K (2013a) Bare rocks and fallen angels: environmental change. Clim Perceptions Ritual Pract Peruvian Andes Relig. doi:10.3390/rel4020290 Google Scholar
  24. Paerregaard K (2013b) Governing water in the Andean community of cabanaconde, Peru. Mt Res Dev 33(3):207–214. doi:10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-12-00107-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Passarin M, Viazzi L (1998) Panorami della Grande Guerra. Sul fronte dallo Stelvio al Garda. Dalle Raccolte della Sezione fotográfica del Comando Supremo del R. Esercito Italiano. Publigrafica Editrice, Tavernelle, Vicenza, 71 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Russell Bernard H (2011) Research methods in anthropology: qualitative and quantitative approaches. Rowman, AltamiraGoogle Scholar
  27. Schneider D, Huggel C, et al (2014) Mapping hazards from glacier lake outburst floods based on modelling of process cascades at lake 513, Carhuaz, Peru. Adv Geosci 35:145–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Warner K, Zakieldeen SA (2012) Loss and damage due to climate change: an overview of the UNFCC negotiations. European Capacity Building Initative (ECBI), OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Pontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLimaPeru
  3. 3.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations