Climate governance through indigenous knowledge systems for sustainable development in Mutoko District of Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe.
Climate governance has over the years become a topical issue among scholars and policymakers. The concept has come into prominence as a result of the severe effects that climate change has on the livelihoods of communities around the world. In Zimbabwe, rural communities have been grappling with various climate-related challenges occurring in the country since the early 1990s. Nevertheless, the current climate change theories have not effectively established a comprehensive system of climate governance that is within the context of Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Therefore, the main aim of this sociological inquiry was to explore climate governance using Indigenous Knowledge Systems in pursuit of sustainable development in a Zimbabwean rural community. The study takes a swipe at adopting either a purely positivist or constructivist paradigm despite the fact that the constructivist paradigm is considered important for understanding Indigenous Knowledge and practices that are employed by local communities to adapt to climate change risks. As such, the study employs an approach that acknowledges the social interpretation and construction of IKS climate governance necessitated by grounded theory. The study adopted a qualitative method and data was collected through in-depth interviews and a focus group discussion. Grounded theory and Thematic Content Analysis were adopted as methods of data analysis. This qualitative enquiry linked climate change with rural livelihoods opportunities in an effort to determine how the impacts of climate change affect rural communities vis-à-vis sustainable development. The inquiry was executed through the theoretical specs of a triangulation of Grounded theory, Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and Afrocentricity. The study found that knowledge of climate change plays a pivotal role in paving way for IKS climate governance. The study also revealed that indigenous climate change adaptation dominates the communities’ adaptation options and it stands as a key informant for Scientific Methods employed and IKS climate governance. Lastly, the major contribution of the study was the development of an IKS climate governance conceptual model that was informed by the findings of the study.
Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.