Local agricultural practices to adapt with climate change. Is sustainability a priority?

Published Article on Current Research in Environmental Sustainability Policy Volume 3, 2021, 100065


Dewan Ahsan, Urs Steiner Brandt, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics and Co-head, Danish Center for Risk and Safety Management, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg 6700, Denmark


we take a sustainability approach to examine whether local adaptation practices to climate change are usually sustainable from an environmental and social point of view. Our hypothesis is that institutional trust is a key enabler of the transition towards sustainable development. To test these concepts, we analyse the local adaptive practices to climate change of agricultural farmers in the drought-prone Northwest areas of Bangladesh
through the lens of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

In our study, we detect that some of the local practices to cope with climate change are environmentally unsustainable. The fact being that securing livelihood is the prime concern for the smallholder farmers. Consequently, local adaptive knowledge often has other objectives than incorporating the implicitly long-run considerations necessary to be on a sustainable pathway, which often clashes with the immediate need to secure short-run livelihood. In addition to this, the lesson we draw from our study is that there is a complex interaction between institutional trust and transition to sustainable development, and a lack of trust in public and private organizations can jeopardize the initiatives of sustainable agricultural development.

We conclude that trust in public and private institutions is the key ingredient to reshape the farmers’ local adaptation strategies for the sake of sustainable development.

The authors gave permission for the full article here :

Contact : Dr. Dewan Ahsan – Southern Denmark University – Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark