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    Coping with and adapting to climate and non-climate stressors within the small-scale farming, fishing and seaweed growing sectors, Zanzibar

    Makame, Makame Omar, Shackleton, Sheona E and Leal Filho, Walter (2023) Coping with and adapting to climate and non-climate stressors within the small-scale farming, fishing and seaweed growing sectors, Zanzibar. Natural Hazards, 116 (3). pp. 3377-3399. ISSN 0921-030X

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    Abstract

    The Eastern African region is witnessing changes in climate conditions and rising sea levels due to the influences of global warming interacting with weather phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina. These trends, as well as more intense extreme weather events, highlight the urgent need for appropriate adaptation responses at both the national and local level. This is especially the case for the numerous small islands of the region that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. This paper reports on a study that examined coping and adaptation responses to climate and non-climate stressors among coastal communities on two Zanzibar islands (Pemba and Unguja) in Tanzania. The study focused on three of the primary livelihood activities on the islands, namely, seaweed growing, fishing, and crop and livestock farming. Using mainly survey data, we explored the responses of farmers, fishermen, and seaweed growers to multiple shocks and stressors. We further investigated responses that were discontinued for various reasons, as well as any barriers to adaptation encountered by these communities. We found that coastal communities in both Kiuyu Mbuyuni, Pemba and Matemwe, Unguja face a range of interrelated shocks and stressors linked to their livelihood activities, some of which they were able to respond to primarily through coping strategies. However, their attempts to adapt in the longer term as well as to venture outside their traditional activities were constrained by several barriers. Some of these barriers operate beyond the individual and community capability to overcome, while others—like social and cultural barriers—can be addressed at the local level but need a concerted effort and political will. We draw the findings together into a conceptual framework to help unpack the implications these hold for coastal communities on the two islands. We then suggest ways to build resilience in local livelihoods and overcome barriers to climate change adaptation in the future.

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