This case study discusses insights from experiences with climate field schools that targeted smallholders, who grow coffee and cocoa beans. The farmers have observed indicators of climate change, which is affecting their crops and their livelihoods. The climate field schools brought together the region’s farmers and representatives of agricultural extension services and the government meteorological agency.
The authors conclude that climate field schools offer vehicles for co-designing climate services that incorporate both traditional ecological knowledge and scientific sources of information.
The case study suggests that helping indigenous communities adapt to climate change will require more effort to better understand the links between contemporary science and traditional knowledge. The authors find that Indigenous Peoples are more likely to consider knowledge from climate and agricultural science service providers to be legitimate and applicable to their situations if the information aligns with their worldviews, rituals, and practices. The authors also argue that for climate change adaptation co-production processes to succeed, local knowledge must be treated as an equally legitimate perspective.
The case study is one of a series examining and applying SEI’s Tandem framework, which was created to guide interaction for effective, customized decision-making processes for climate change adaptation and other policy contexts. The central premise of the Tandem framework is that the best decisions emerge from incorporating the perspectives of a wide variety of people and disciplines.