Journal of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences

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Knowledge Systems, Agricultural Practices/ Farming Systems and the Challenge of Climate Change

Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo


Differences in knowledge systems (especially the dichotomy between indigenous/traditional, on the one hand, and the scientific/modern, on the other) affect the ways in which farming systems (classified correspondingly in a binary fashion into traditional and modern) adapt to or cope with climate change. The reflections in this paper highlight the complexities that derive from this situation, namely differences in levels of sophistication (the one being less equipped than the other in meeting current challenges) alongside a complete overturn of established certitudes paradoxically and in different ways from both ends. The argument is for the development of a complex epistemic system in which the local knowledge systems and the actions of the local farmer will be taken into consideration in a new scientific paradigm that integrates fluctuations, is based on a short range view as opposed to the long range perspective as well as historicizes and correlates natural with human phenomena at the basis of climate change. In terms of actions, there will have to be a revision of the economic world view that refuses to be sustainable as it is oblivious of the damages that it brings to the environment, local people would have to be educated en masse on the issues at stake with which they are little aware of and initiatives in the agricultural sector integrated in all other initiatives geared at meeting the climate change challenge.

Keywords: Knowledge, practices, agriculture, climate change, natural phonomena, anthropogenic activities


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