Evaluating Differences in Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation Between the Poor and Nonpoor in Coastal Tanzania

  • Frederick Ato ArmahEmail author
  • Isaac Luginaah
  • Herbert Hambati
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
  • Gwyn Campbell
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Understanding context-specific barriers to effective climate change adaptation encountered by individuals is necessary to elicit a nuanced understanding of adaptation processes in order to support decision-making. Recent scholarship highlights poverty as a critical element in barriers to climate change adaptation in developing countries. However, even within developing countries marked heterogeneities in poverty and barriers to climate change adaptation exist. As part of a larger study in countries along the Indian Ocean coastline, this paper examines the gap in barriers to climate change adaptation gap between the poor and nonpoor.

A nationally-representative cross sectional survey of 1253 individuals (606 males and 647 females) was carried out in Coastal Tanzania and four counterfactual decomposition techniques were used to analyse the primary data. Differentials in climate change adaptation barriers are predominantly due to group differences in the magnitudes of the determinants (differences in group characteristics) rather than differences in the effects of the determinants (estimated coefficients). Self-rated ability to handle personal pressure and unexpected difficulties accounted for the largest share of contribution to the overall explained gap in the barrier to climate change adaptation between the poor and non-poor, suggesting that climate change adaptation differentials between the poor and non-poor in coastal Tanzania are likely due to psychosocial factors.


Barriers Climate change Poverty Adaptation Differentials, coast Tanzania 



Many thanks to Karen Van Kerkoerle, of the Cartographic Unit, Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, Canada for drawing the map of the study areas. We acknowledge research funding from ‘the Indian Ocean World: The Making of the First Global Economy in the Context of Human Environment Interaction” project within the framework of Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Ato Armah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isaac Luginaah
    • 2
  • Herbert Hambati
    • 3
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
    • 4
  • Gwyn Campbell
    • 5
  1. 1.Environmental Health and Hazards Laboratory, Department of GeographyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania
  4. 4.Department of GeographyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  5. 5.Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC)MontréalCanada

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