Dr Michael Mikulewicz

Project Title: Investigating local resistance to climate change adaptation: Climate injustice in São Tomé and Príncipe

Climate change is considered one of the greatest challenges for development in the Global South. However, despite not having contributed to it in any meaningful way, most developing countries have limited resources to prepare for its impacts – constituting an issue of climate injustice. In light of this, the international community has been allocating increasing amounts of funding to support developing nations in ‘adapting’ to climate change. However, local communities have at times refused to participate in these efforts. They often do not accept the proposed solutions, and occasionally outright resist them. However, little empirical research has been done to understand this contentious aspect of adaptation. Therefore, this project critically investigates why such resistance to adaptation efforts arises, how it unfolds, what its effects are, and what can be done to avert it and make adaptation more responsive, legitimate and thus more climate-just in the future. As its case study, this research will investigate the antagonistic relationship between a coastal village in São Tomé and Príncipe and a government-led adaptation project. The findings will contribute to climate justice theory with a focus on the local scale, and seek to offer operational recommendations for the international development sector.

Awarded: Research Incentive Grant

Field: Human Geography

University: Glasgow Caledonian University

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