PAR - Dar es Salaam University
The participatory action research (PAR) group at University College of Education (DUCE), University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM) comprises senior and junior researchers, two postgraduate students, and members of the three community-based organizations working on climate change and environmental issues in the coastal villages of Songosongo and Somanga in Kilwa District, Tanzania.
These coastal villages along the Indian Ocean have experienced rising sea surface temperatures, rising sea level, severe coastal floods and damaging cyclones which have negatively impacted on their coastal and oceanic livelihood opportunities, the coastline and mangroves forests. Members of these coastal villages exhibit a good understanding of causes of climate change and possible remedial actions, and some of them have initiated community-led responses to climate change. Therefore, these coastal communities offer good opportunities for PAR members to engage in knowledge-based learning and action-based learning about climate change challenges experienced in these local coastal communities. We will jointly conceive, design and implement cultural-rooted interventions to facilitate members of coastal communities mitigate or adapt to climate change. We emphasize cultural-rooted interventions because we are mindful of the potential of human cultures to constrain or steer up transformations to sustainability. Clammer (2016), Gardner (2010), and Holthaus (2008) have very powerfully highlighted the role of cultures in providing their members with paradigms and approaches to structure their relationships with other kinds of systems and beings on planet Earth and the values to inspire sustainable or unsustainable actions. These authors maintain that various forms of sustainability crisis we experience today have their roots in people’s cultures and their redress requires cultural-sensitive solutions. Therefore, we will strive for climate change interventions which PAR members from the coastal communities consider appropriate and effective.