The Relationship Between Perceived and Actual Understanding of Climate Change in Africa

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Mavuka, Clever ; liang, Liao Zhen (2016)
  • Publisher: Journal Of Business Management & Social Sciences Research
  • Journal: Journal Of Business Management & Social Sciences Research (issn: 2319-5614)
  • Subject: Social Sciences; Environmental Sciences | Climate Change, Perceived understanding, Actual knowledge, Public understanding, Education.

Public understanding of basic concepts of climate change is fundamental to addressing climate change challenges in Africa, knowledge of the subject is the foundation of all efforts to fight climate change. In spite of this reasoning, there is hardly enough focus on the publics’ understanding of climate change. Studies about climate change in Africa have predominantly concentrated on adaptation, mitigation, and resilience which are undeniably critical issues, but their successes depend, to some extent, on knowledge of the underlying subject. In this study we therefore seek to address this gap with the use of a survey to assess perceived and actual knowledge about climate change in Africa, using Zimbabwe as a case study. We used data gathered randomly through the use of a structured questionnaire from 214 respondents’ in 3 cities of Zimbabwe. Results revealed that public understanding of climate change is multidimensional and is affected by several variables like formal education, income level and perceived understanding. Our findings suggest that perceived understanding of climate change is not proportionate to actual knowledge about the subject. Our findings have direct implications on future public education on climate change policies in Africa.
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