Adaptation to climate change of Italian agricultural systems: the analysis of explorative scenarios.

Thi Phuoc Lai Nguyen, Giovanna Seddaiu, Camillo Tidore, Pier Paolo Roggero


Adaptation of agricultural systems to climate uncertainties requires the construction of scenarios that should take into account the complexities of socio-ecological systems of a specific local context. Adaptation scenarios of agricultural systems are not making forecasts or predictions, but prospective futures or future paths. They can facilitate our understanding of how systems work and evolve. Adaptation processes of agricultural systems involve a variety of changes in local practices and social organization. The development of adaptation scenarios at farm level entails a clear understanding of farmers' frames that are mediated by their interests, experiences and internal and external forces. Farmers’ frames is the way in which farmers frame climate issues emphasizing vulnerabilities, uncertainties and opportunities (i.e: impacts on their farming systems) and open the window for searching adaptation strategies.

This study reports on the methodologies for the development of explorative scenarios (i.e., scenarios that explore the future from a variety of perspectives) for the climate change adaptation of four agricultural systems (intensive dairy cattle, extensive dairy sheep, rice farming and horticulture) in the Oristano regional pilot study in Italy. Explorative scenarios were used to explore trends into the future from the past and present. Three research steps were followed: (i) in the first step farmers’ perceptions and prospective through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were analysed; (ii) in the second step the evolution of the agricultural systems (i.e. temporal and spatial) was evaluated; (iii) the third step examined multiple stakeholders’ outlooks about farm-level possible adaptive strategies through interactive workshops.

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