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Behavioural barriers in response to climate change in agricultural communities: an example from Kenya

Abstract

Farmers’ behavioural attitudes towards climate change are complex and poorly understood, making difficult the development of mitigation and adaptation policies that would be accepted and implemented. So far, the scientific literature has not clearly framed behavioural barriers related to the uptake of mitigation and adaptation strategies. Therefore behavioural barriers are frequently not considered in the modelling framework for climate change policy assessments. This paper presents a method that frames farmers’ behavioural barriers and analyses their main determinants in order to incorporate behavioural constraints in the modelling frameworks. Three focus group discussions and a household survey were carried out in order to assess farmers’ behavioural barriers taking into account the perspectives of both farmers and agricultural technical advisors. The analytical framework includes Principal Component Analysis to identify behavioural barriers and a binary Logit model to analyse the marginal effects of their main determinants. Farming experience, educational attainment and receiving climate information seem to be the key factors that determine the probability of displaying or not displaying most behavioural barriers. This work presents a method to model behavioural barriers in the context of the adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation practices. Since a better understanding of behavioural barriers can help to enhance the support of mitigation and adaptation policies to farmers, this study could provide a valuable contribution to the deliberation of climate change policies in Kenya.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the European Commission Animal Change project (contract no. KBBE-266018, www.animalchange.eu). We are grateful for the collaboration of farmers and agricultural technical advisors in Kenya for the valuable time and information.

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Correspondence to Silvestre García de Jalón.

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Editor: Anthony Patt.

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García de Jalón, S., Silvestri, S., Granados, A. et al. Behavioural barriers in response to climate change in agricultural communities: an example from Kenya. Reg Environ Change 15, 851–865 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-014-0676-y

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Keywords

  • Behavioural barriers
  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Farmers
  • Kenya