This paper interrogates indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) based climate governance in water and land resource management in under-resourced areas of Zimbabwe. Water and land resources are fundamental for smallholder farmers and their productivity. The concept of IKS plays a significant role in climate change adaptation in Zimbabwe's rural communities. Climate change has a considerable influence on the success of agricultural production in the rural communities of Zimbabwe. Hence, it becomes fundamental to assess the community-based methods of climate governance. Qualitative multiple case study exploratory designs were employed with data collected through individual interviews with smallholder farmers, and thematic content analysis was used to analyse data. This study found that enhancing and embracing IKS is of paramount importance for inclusion in local-level strategies in the development process with special reference to climate governance in water and land resource management, particularly in under-resourced communities. It also established that the use of IKS enhances communities' adaptive capacity and it should not be conducted at the expense of scientific methods but rather it should be employed in order to complement the existing scientific global knowledge systems.


  • This paper interrogates the role of IKS in land and water resources sector.

  • This study makes a striking contribution by revealing the strengths and weaknesses of IKS in climate change adaptation.

  • This paper recommends the incorporation of IKS into national climate change policy.

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