Davies, J., Spear, D., Chappel, A., Joshi, N., Togarepi, C., Kunamwene, I. (2019). Considering Religion and Tradition in Climate Smart Agriculture: Insights from Namibia. In: Rosenstock, T., Nowak, A., Girvetz, E. (eds) The Climate-Smart Agriculture Papers. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92798-5_16
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) has the potential to increase the resilience of farming communities in semi-arid north-central Namibia that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and variability. Although some farmers have adopted climate-smart practices, others have been slower to transition toward new methods. This chapter considers the role played by religion and tradition in CSA adoption in Namibia. It argues that religious and traditional value systems play a key role in decision-making for some farmers, and may prevent the: (i) use of climate forecasts in planning agricultural practices; (ii) sale of livestock when drought conditions are predicted; and (iii) uptake of novel or alternative agricultural practices. As such, adaptation practitioners should work with, rather than against, religious and traditional value systems in order to catalyse the uptake of CSA. We suggest: (i) positioning religious and traditional leaders as climate change champions; (ii) integrating scientific information with traditional knowledge; and (ii) framing CSA in such a way that it does not conflict with religious or traditional values.