Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Perceptions of Climate Change on the Environment and Livelihood of Local Communities in Kgalagadi District of Botswana

  •  Summer Mabula    
  •  Keoikantse Sianga    
  •  Ayana Angassa    


Extreme climate change causes an immeasurable threat to the livelihood security and prosperity of rural communities, including the natural environment and resources managed by the local people in the Kgalagadi District of Botswana. The study aims to understand the indigenous ecological knowledge of local communities about climate change, its impacts on the environment, and their livelihoods across five villages in the Kgalagadi District of Botswana. The present study used a semi-structured questionnaire survey at the household level who were randomly selected using the village register book. The results indicated that all the respondents in Kang village and some from Lehututu and Tshane villages perceived that the causes of climate change were unknown. However, some respondents across the other four villages believed that climate change is caused by various factors including wildfires, pollution from industries, impacts from livestock, and vehicles, as well as a curse from God. Indigenous knowledge must be well incorporated with scientific methods and up-to-date climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies to envisage more concrete results. This helps to integrate the insight of local people into policies and strategies to make an effort for solutions that are crucial for sustainable development. We suggest that all stakeholders should harmonise the use of indigenous knowledge with climate change strategies, to make the best use of its contribution to the successful execution of climate change policies.

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