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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Social representations of climate change and climate adaptation plans in southern Brazil: Challenges of genuine participation

Bonatti, Michelle; Lana, Marcos A.; D'Agostini, Luiz Renato; de Vasconcelos, Ana Carolina F.; Sieber, Stefan; Eufemia, Luca; da Silva-Rosa, Teresa; Schlindwein, Sandro Luis


Despite some honorable advances, a huge quantity of public, private, and civil climate adaptation initiatives have failed to work in the Santa Catarina State (SC), Southern Brazil. Consequently, the state continues to face climate impacts; sometimes resulting in human fatalities. The main objective of this paper is to present a case study (Tapera da Base) within the context of the project, "Climate Change and Vulnerable Populations in Brazil", which discusses the problems associated with climate adaptation and relates these to risk-reducing activities. The methodology adopted involved: identifying local development organizations, focus group, interviews, and survey among families in the most vulnerable areas. The main findings show that Tapera residents do not associate the possible increase in their vulnerability to climate dynamics. They point to areas such as education, sanitation, and social assistance, as their most important local problems; thus not including climate change. To generate genuine participation it is crucial to creating initiatives that promote a social learning space for residents to evaluate their self-state of vulnerability and possibilities of development. Therefore climate change can make sense and the responses at the community level will be created in the context that shape how climate risk is perceived, prioritized and managed.


Climatic change; Perceptions; social learning; Land-use management; Tapera da Base; Southern Brazilian adaptation

Published in

Urban Climate
2019, Volume: 29, article number: 100496

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
    Human Geography

    Publication identifier


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