In common, nature : an ethnography of climate adaptation in the Lesotho highland
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In Lesotho, climate change adaptation funding is being managed and distributed by the same mechanisms which have traditionally operationalized humanitarian aid and international development assistance in the country. Lessons from the HIV/AIDS disaster, along with insights into the value of participatory approaches foregrounding the expertise of indigenous communities, must be heeded in order to ensure that those most affected by climate change have a say in how adaptation is carried out. This paper proposes that indigenous people have developed and actively maintained resilience strategies, encoded in social practices and farming techniques, designed out of long experience with climatic variability. Through case studies, indigenous resilience strategies are explored, with emphasis on the anarchistic, improvisational nature of traditional ecological knowledge. Future directions for policy makers and practitioners dealing with climate change adaptation are suggested, namely the need to foreground indigenous knowledge and the experiences of frontlines experts in key policy arenas.
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