Current climate change simulation models offer predictions and outline scenarios that are suitable for regional to global scale planning and assessment. That level of detail is, however, insufficient for understanding local impacts of climate change. LKCCAP researchers will, therefore, integrate diverse kinds of information and employ multiple methods of data collection to create a holistic and multiscale understanding of livelihood adaptive strategies in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania.
The research examines contributions and limitations of dynamic and socially differentiated local knowledge systems for adaptive capacity, and analyzes how local institutions enhance, hinder, and transform local knowledge. The LKCCAP field methodology was conceived with an explicit commitment to a participatory framework that simultaneously integrates ideas from researchers and community members at every stage of the project.
LKCCAP has a strong mapping focus and employs conventional PRA methods and, where appropriate, geospatial technologies and GIScience theoretical principles for understanding the geographic dimensions of socio-geographic adaptive capacity. The project methodology includes the development of a PGIS to integrate and analyze information from field research, statistics and spatial data, and climate modeling results. Participatory video, photography, and audio recordings will be used to document the research process and the outcomes. This multimedia PGIS approach is reflected in the design and implementation of all of the primary field activities:
The PGIS will also support participatory learning activities conducted through the duration of the project. It will be refined for use as a web-based simulation tool for the research team’s interactions with policy makers and civil society and as an educational tool for use in U.S. and Tanzanian universities.
LKCCAP researchers will utilize all of the above information resources for multi-scale adaptive capacity mapping and analysis. The project will develop a multimedia GIS that will integrate conventional vector and raster spatial data with geocoded textual and multimedia data. The system will be used to develop new insights about integration of qualitative and quantitative GIScience analytical frameworks to support climate change adaptation research.
The multimedia GIS will also be the platform for developing modules for sharing geospatial data and designing map based products to communicate important research findings. A subset of the multimedia GIS functionalities will be embedded into the project website using online mapping technologies for facilitating project outreach, and to support other researchers interested in building on our project findings.