Perceptions, Attitudes and Behaviour around Climate Change Risks on Livelihood Activities: A Case Study of a Community in Takeo Province, Cambodia
This thesis investigates the Takeo community’s perception of climate change risks and their response strategies. It examines risks occurring in the regions and their impacts on the community. The thesis also explores how the perception of risks frames the community’s adaptation and mitigation strategies as well as how those perceptions influence climate change policies. This research draws on a range of risk perception theories. Employing a qualitative approach, this study uses semi-structured interviews, document analysis and participant observation as its research methods. Interviews were conducted individually with agricultural practitioners, mothers, community leaders, a local government officer and a government official from the Ministry of Environment. The thesis found that the Takeo’s community has a good perception of the issue and its impacts on their community. Droughts are the major concern for the majority of respondents, because these have become more severe and have the most direct impact on farmers’ lives, livelihoods and food security. The study reflects the view maintained by past and current theory, that individual perceptions of risks vary, and the perception of risk is influenced by media and peers. This study adds that farmers’ direct experience of climate change affects their consideration of such risks as an issue of great personal concern. Perception of climate change influences the community’s responses. Farmers employ a wide range of adaptation strategies such as increasing water storage and improving agricultural techniques. However, adaptation approaches are not enough to provide a long-term solution to the fast changing climate, because the community has limited knowledge of adaptation strategies, resources, and limited support from the government. The community, thus, needs to improve its water management by building more dams and sufficient irrigation that can store enough water for consumption and agriculture in the prolonged dry season. The government should provide more support and services to poor rural communities that rely on agriculture.