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Promoting Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries: breaking misconceptions and addressing information needs
Walter Leal (BSc, PhD, DSc, DPhil, DEd, DLitt, FSB, FRGS, FLS)
Department of Natural Sciences
Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester, M1 5GD
The impacts of climate change to natural ecosystems, infra-structure and livelihood, means that the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies in developing countries has become a pressing issue. Among other factors, the undertaking of adaptation strategies is made difficult by the general lack of awareness and spread misconceptions about the real impacts of climate change which may slow down the execution of the adaptation initiatives needed, and which may ameliorate them.
This paper presents an analysis about the misconceptions related to the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies, and describes the most widespread ones, as well as their implications. A special emphasis is given to the problems and barriers caused by misinformation, which – in turn- prevent the promotion of adaptation initiatives at local level. Finally, some concrete steps which may be taken in order to break the misconceptions and foster a more systematic view of adaptation strategies, are outlined. Experiences gathered in this paper will be useful to people and organisations interested in the different levels of responses given to climate changes threats, and on some of the tools which may be used to encourage specific action to adapt to changing climate conditions.