21.05.2015 | University of Bonn: ARTS lecture on Ethiopia

Protection and Recovery of Pastoral Drylands: Ecological Reasoning & Societal Implications. A regional example from Ethiopia

The present and future relevance of climate change in its various articulations showing up on the African continent and impacting its peoples is generally recognized. Climate change is a serious threat to human health and well being, particularly to vulnerable populations (e.g. IPCC reports 2007 and 2014). ‘Models’ for climate change adaptation have been developed and are propagated.

Using village-level ethnographic data from a pastoralist livelihood scenery the talk supports the following thesis: The formula of ‘transformative adaptation’, as propagated by e.g. the 5th IPCC- assessment report 2014 and most recently suggested by ‘The Bonn Conference for Global Transformation’, does not necessarily mean altogether a change towards a more resilient and sustainable development, i.e. towards the positive. Climate change adaptation in many observed cases translates into innovative measures and techniques in e.g. the fields of agriculture, land use systems, and energy generating schemes. In consequence the underlying reasoning in favor of these innovations is ecologically motivated to be then paired with the ideal of ‘governance’ as deducted from the ‘northern’ concept of democracy. Propagated measures in improved land use techniques in the broader sense go hand in hand with a management ideal of equitized representation.

In favor of a better and more substantial understanding of processes initially kicked off by changes in terms of ‘transformation’, the talk turns against a too euphoric interpretation of these. Climate change, its causes, consequences and possible response options remain contested by different groups in society and are associated with different perspectives in power and dominance. Against notions, which continue to primarily discuss social effects of climate change in terms of tolerable risks for societies as a whole (Adger et. al 2009), the more substantive aspects of social justice need attention:

  • What distributional effects will societal transformations have within societies?
  • How are questions of societal justice, participation, and the distributive effects of climate change addressed in societal debates?
  • What changes in modes of governance could be essential for transformative processes (see Driessen et.al 2013:3f)?

Date: 21.05.2015 Uhrzeit: 17:00 – 18:30 ( Donnerstag )

Where: Institut für Geodäsie und Geoinformation, Nussallee 1, HS I

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Sabine Troeger from the Geography Department of the University of Bonn

Organiser: ARTS (Agricultural Sciences and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics)