Greener Journal of Educational Research

Excellence and Timeliness


Choose Language

Manyanhaire and Chitura

Greener Journal of  Educational Research Vol. 5(2), pp. 027-036March 2015

 ISSN: 2276-7789 

Review Paper

Manuscript Number: 012715022



Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into Climate Change Interpretation: Perspectives Relevant To Zimbabwe


Manyanhaire Itai Offat1 and Chitura Miriam2*


1Lecturer; Geography and Environmental Studies; the Zimbabwe Open university. Email: offatmanya @yahoo. com.

2Dean; Faculty of Science and Technology; the Zimbabwe Open University.


*Corresponding Author’s Email: miriamchitura @yahoo. com. Telephone: 04-795990/1

Address: Box Mp 1119 Mount Pleasant Corner Kwame Nkrumah and Sam Nujoma.


The theoretical paper argues for the Integration of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) with modern climate change science as a basis for sustainable comprehensive community based response to the impacts of climate change. Climate change is a long-term change in weather patterns resulting from natural and human activity. Human beings have a rich history of oral interpretation of climate change and variability through observing changes in behaviour of living organisms within their localities. Such knowledge could be used in determining timing of important agricultural activities, predicting disasters and in the interpretation of climate change. Climate change erodes global environmental sustainability and the repository of IKS. This paper recognizes the power of IKS and proposes a strategy to incorporate it into climate interpretation. Whilst the indicators of climate change like changes in precipitation, temperature, runoff, biodiversity and ecosystems, water resources, oceanic circulations and others are generally understood in modern climate change science literature there is limited research and integration with IKS. In the short to medium term comprehensive documentation of IKS is required as a basis for a national framework policy on climate change and its impacts.


Key words:  climate change, Indigenous knowledge system, integrating, environmental sustainability.


Ajibade, L.T., 2003: A methodology for the collection and evaluation of farmers’ indigenous environmental knowledge in developing countries. Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems, 2, 99-113.


Ajibade, L.T. and Shokemi, O. 2003: Indigenous approaches to weather forecasting.


Dea, D. and I. Scoones, 2003: Networks of knowledge: how farmers and scientists understand soils and their fertility: a case study from Ethiopia. Oxford Development Studies, 31, 461-478.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 2006. Will rained Ants break the Drought? ABC Riverina.   Western Australia.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2001. Weather Forecasting – Animals. ABC Riverina. Western Australia.


Barry, R. and J. Chorley, 1998. Atmosphere Weather and Climate. Seventh Edition. Routeledge. London.


British Broadcasting Corporation Weather Center, 2004. Weather Wise - Fact Files - Traditional Methods.


British Broadcasting Corporation Weather Center, 2006. Weather Basics – Fog.


Calvert, G. M. 1993. Fire and the Forest. International Forest and Fire News No. 9 - 1993, p.23-27.


Easton, P. and M. Roland, 2000: Seeds of life: women and agricultural biodiversity in Africa. IK Notes 23. World Bank, Washington, District of Columbia, 4 pp.


Eriksen, S., 2005: The role of indigenous plants in household adaptation to climate change: the Kenyan experience. Climate Change and Africa, P.S Low, Ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 248-259.


First Science, 2004. The Solar Weather Technique. Http://


King, K. 2005. A Case for the Moon.


Leautier, F., 2004: Indigenous capacity enhancement: developing community knowledge. Indigenous Knowledge: Local Pathways to Global Development. The World Bank, Washington, District of Columbia, 4-8.


Monteith, J.L. and M. H Unsuworth, 1990. Principles of Environmental Physics. Second Edition. Edward and Arnold. London.


Mount, L. E. 1979. Adaptation to Thermal Environment, Man and His Animals. Edward Arnold. Ltd. Bedford Square. London.


Ngara, T. and A. Rukobo, 1991. Environmental Impact of the 1991-1992 Drought in Zimbabwe. An Extreme Event. Radix Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Harare.


Patt, A. and Gwata, C.2002: Effective seasonal climate forecast applications: examining constraints for subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe. Global Environ. Chang. 12, 185-195.


Planet Ark, 2004. Where Are All The Dead Animals? Sri Lanka Asks. Reuters Limited.


Ramphele, M., 2004: Women’s indigenous knowledge: building bridges between the traditional and the modern. Indigenous Knowledge: Local Pathways to Development, The World Bank, Washington, District of Columbia, 13-17.


Robinson, J.B. and D. Herbert, 2001: Integrating climate change and sustainable development. Int. J. Global Environ. 1, 130-149.


Roncoli, C., K. Ingram and P. Kirshen, 2001: The costs and risks of coping with drought: livelihood impacts and farmers’ responses in Burkina Faso. Climate Res., 19, 119-132.


Salick, B. and Byg, A., eds. 2007. Indigenous peoples and climate change. Oxford, UK, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.


Seo, S.N. and R. Mendelsohn, 2006a: Climate change impacts on animal husbandry in Africa: a Ricardian analysis. Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) Discussion Paper No. 9, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 42 pp.


Seo, S.N. and R. Mendelsohn, 2006b: Climate change adaptation in Africa: a microeconomic analysis of livestock choice. Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) Discussion Paper No.19, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 37 pp. Wikipedia. 2006. Bird Migration. Wikimedia Foundation.


Svotwa, E., Manyanhaire, I.O. and Makanyire, J. (2007) integrating traditional knowledge systems with agriculture and disaster management: a case for Chitora Communal lands. Journal of sustainable development in Africa Volume 9 number 3. JULY. 2007. KnowSys.pdf.

Call for Papers/Books

Call for Scholarly Articles

Authors from around the world are invited to send scholary articles that suits the scope of this journal. The journal is currently open to submissions and will process and publish articles in a timely fashion.

The journal is centered on quality and goes about its processes in a very timely fashion. Seasoned editors/reviewers will be consulted to review each article(s), profer quality evaluations and polish the articles with expertise before publication.

Simply send your article(s) as an e-mail attachment to or

Call for Books

You are also invited to submit your books for online or print publication. We publish books related to all academic subject areas. Submit as an e-mail attachment to


Login Form

Other Journals