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Rural societies in the face of climatic and environmental changes in West Africa

 | 
Benjamin Sultan
, 
Richard Lalou
, 
Mouftaou Amadou Sanni
, 
et al.

Part IV. Adaptation of farming systems, innovations

Introduction

Richard Lalou

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In the first decade of the 21st century, adaptation of humans to climate change has suddenly become a question for public debate and has been regarded as a focus for scientific research, an issue in technical/political planning at local, national and international levels and a topic for promoting public awareness (IPCC, 2007; Smit et al., 2009). In its 4th Synthesis Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explained this interest by showing that the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would not stop all climate change impacts, some of which are already being felt (Parry et al., 2007). Past and current emissions will have inescapable consequences tomorrow due to their very long atmospheric lifetime. Adaptation measures are therefore urgent and necessary in addition to efforts for reducing GHG emissions.

Generally, adaptation aims at reducing vulnerabilities of natural and socio-economic systems to face climate changes at least cost. According to the IPCC’s ...

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