Climate change receives a great deal of attention in political and academic debates. In recent years, a myriad of interventions have been trialed and implemented in developing countries to adapt to and mitigate climate risks. However, policies often fail or interventions are not taken up. One reason for the failure to adapt may be that households are already faced with many uncertainties on a daily basis and are therefore not able to evaluate potential future risks. If this is the case, adaptation to climate change might only take place once current needs are satisfied. To shed more light into the potential obstacles for adaptation to climate change, this paper compares and contrasts household perceptions of climate change in rural Burkina Faso with the actual risks and shocks that households are exposed to. The report aims to provide a better understanding of the context in which these households live, and the constraints they are faced with.
Image: by Ollivier Girard for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)