Learning of climate change now comes to a new method. Thanks to Grace Villamor and her team for Grazing Game. This game design as a tool to study the behavior of farmers is meant to respond to climate variability adaptation. Grazing Game comes in Board Game and Online Game. Villamor conducted trials in Benin and Ghana. “We do this also in order to avoid bias from farmers. Often, when we interview them, they tend to give exactly the answer we want to hear,” said the ZEF researcher. Participatory games like Grazing Game seem to be a solution against such bias.
Ghana and Benin have been selected as trial countries because of their geographical location, at west Africa. And, as predicted, West Africa will have the most extreme climate change. Farmers, as actors, need to respond and take decisions on environmental conditions such us fluctuation of rainfall. Their response has reflected in the board game.
Men and Women Respond Differently
In the workshop on “Farmers` Climate Change Adaptation in West African Sudanian Savanah,” held on Monday, 19th of September, Villamor explained her findings. The gender-specific response has a certain weight in climate change adaptation. Both male and female farmers played a role of land managers during the change of rainfall. Both have the same perspective on climate change. However, they have different strategies when it comes to adaptation to extreme conditions. Women exhibit more active, dynamic and innovative ways.
In fact, if men show common strategies such us migration and permanent relocation, women prefer to stay, continue the farming and find solutions to the climate change consequences. This response came up again when they were asked about their livestock in extreme rainfall. Men try to keep livestock while women try the way around. Villamor explained, “Even though they have different initial strategies, eventually most likely men execute what women have already planned”. As it seems, gender specific approach makes a difference in decision-making on climate change adaptation.