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The assessment of socio-economic impacts of climate change in rural areas: the case of Konya

Özgür, Busen
Climate change and its related events have made significant impacts on rural areas in socio-economic as well as environmental terms. Even though agriculture sector is a cause of climate change, agricultural production itself has also been adversely affected by the climate problem. Climate change also affects rural development and conservation policies in terms of the problem it causes such as natural disasters, migration, poverty, diseases, and food security. Moreover, the rural and agricultural impacts of climate change also affect urban areas through food security, food shortage and increased urban demand for food production. Thus, both experts and farmers develop various practices and solutions in order to adapt to the impacts of climate change. In general, farmers tend to focus on short term solutions, while experts emphasize long term actions and policies. If the short term solutions are integrated into long term problem solving actions, adaptation strategies can be directly related to the climate problem. For this reason, this study focuses on farmers’ and expert’ perceptions, experiences and estimations on climate change in a rural context. The case study analysis indicates that in terms of risk perception, both experts and farmers underline water depletion, water shortage and desertification. From a planning perspective, both farmers and experts state that agricultural production would increase if necessary mitigation actions are taken. In regards to future estimations, farmers generally stress the necessary of product pattern plans in short term; besides, experts are concerned about water crisis among sectors in the long term. There are also similarities and differences between farmers’ and experts’ perceptions and experiences depend on observed effects, risks, the outcomes of mitigation action, methods, and estimated consequences in the future in five zones. These focal points are targeted to contribute to adaptation and mitigation strategies for agricultural sector and rural areas in Turkey.