UCL Anthropology Working Papers Series
University College London
14 Taviton Street, London
WC1H 0BW, U.K.
Editorial Board: Lucio Vinicius, Luke Freeman
Working Paper No. 13/2014
Published online 27 January 2014
© Copyright rests with the authors
LOCAL-LEVEL KNOWLEDGE FLOWS IN CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION:
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EXTERNAL KNOWLEDGE FOR AGRICULTURAL
ACTION IN COASTAL BANGLADESH
Dissertation submitted in 2012 for the MSc in Anthropology, Environment and
Knowledge flows between multiple scales are problematic due to inherent contradictions in discourse, perspectives and worldviews. In the case of climate change adaptation, global conceptions and responses take a long-term perspective. Conversely, local-level and natural resource dependent communities under pressure to adapt have differing priorities and more immediate needs. Employing a multi-sited approach in Bangladesh, exploratory research at the national-level illuminates challenges in relation to the format and content of communication. Local-level research forms the central focus of the study, uncovering explanations for observed changes in climate. With a particular focus on the knowledge sources employed to inform agricultural responses to flooding and salinity, this research highlights issues of trust, priorities and power relevant to informing and enabling adaptation options. Whilst internal sources of knowledge are more widely accessed and highly regarded, external sources of knowledge are also employed. However, experimentation with new agricultural methods to prove effectiveness must precede long-term adoption of new knowledge. In discovering differences in the resources and knowledge accessed at the micro-scale, the research reveals that adaptation efforts are ultimately motivated by individual personalities, drives and interests.