Accepted paper:

Power and Process: Shaping Knowledge Landscapes for Adaptation in Tanzania


Lisa Dilling (University of Colorado Boulder)
Meaghan Daly (University of Colorado Boulder)
Mara Goldman (University of Colorado-Boulder)
Eric Lovell (University of Colorado)

Paper short abstract:

We outline an approach in the context of climate adaptation in Tanzania to bring together an understanding of how multiple knowledges are produced, articulated, and represented with the study of relations of power across scales.

Paper long abstract:

Least-developed countries have begun to compile national adaptation plans and integrate climate change within development activities. Until now, adaption planning has primarily relied on top-down scientific approaches. There are increasing efforts to disseminate scientific climate data to support adaptation at local scales, but little consideration has been given to how this scientific knowledge interacts with indigenous climate knowledge and customary coping mechanisms. We argue that barriers to linking knowledge with adaptive actions stem from insufficient attention to understanding the varying criteria that constitute valid knowledge among actors across epistemologies and institutional scales that may enable use of various forms of knowledge. For example, it has been suggested that knowledge must be 'credible, salient and legitimate' in order to support decision making and that knowledge processes must strive for 'co-production' by the actors involved. However, there has been little work to understand how relations of power within and across scales challenge 'co-production' processes and measurements of credibility, salience, and legitimacy for adaptation in theory and in practice. In this paper, we outline an approach for understanding how multiple knowledges are produced, articulated, and represented, with particular attention to power relations in the context of knowledge production for climate adaptation across scales in Tanzania. We suggest a combined post-Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and critical Political Ecology perspective to make visible the relations of power involved at the interfaces of 'scientific' and 'indigenous' knowledges and how this influences the 'integration' and use of such knowledge within adaptation decision-making and attempts at co-production.

panel T030
STS and Climate Change: Perspectives on/from the Global South