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Communicating climate change to rural Nigeria: challenges and prospects

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thesis
posted on 2023-01-11, 14:00 authored by nnaEmeka Chidiebere Meribe
Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the School of Humanities and Social Science, College of Arts, Social Science and Commerce, La Trobe University, Bundoora.

This thesis explores climate change communication in a rural Nigerian setting. Using a qualitative, multi-method case study approach, the study examines rural people’s understanding of climate change and the potential of formal and informal communication channels in better engaging rural communities in adapting to changing weather patterns. The research design integrates a case study of a rural community in eastern Nigeria and a supplementary study of media coverage of climate change at present. Rural people observe changes in the climatic conditions but lack the sophisticated knowledge required to understand the changes they are experiencing, instead drawing on existing local knowledge frameworks in seeking to understand changing circumstances. In exploring the possibilities for improving communication of climate change at the village level, this study found access to mainstream media very limited, with the rural people interviewed preferring face-to-face, informal or traditional communication via local networks. Drawing on the notion of the two-step/multi-step flow, the supplementary media study nevertheless invokes the relevance of media coverage of climate change at the village level, via the capacity for key influential community leaders, and other individuals who are also active media consumers, to remediate climate change messages. The thesis conclusion discusses how these various communication channels, including Indigenous African Communications systems (IACS) and the new media, might be better managed to achieve a more holistic and effective communication system that will better serve the needs of rural people in adapting to climate change in the future.

History

Center or Department

College of Arts, Social Science and Commerce. School of Humanities and Social Science.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded

2015

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This thesis contains third party copyright material which has been reproduced here with permission. Any further use requires permission of the copyright owner. The thesis author retains all proprietary rights (such as copyright and patent rights) over all other content of this thesis, and has granted La Trobe University permission to reproduce and communicate this version of the thesis. The author has declared that any third party copyright material contained within the thesis made available here is reproduced and communicated with permission. If you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact us with the details.

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