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As an Indigenous community of Algeria and the broader Sahel, the Tuareg hold unique ecological knowledge, which might contribute to broader models of place-based climate change impacts. Between January and April 2019, we carried out semi-structured interviews (N = 23) and focus group discussions (N = 3) in five villages of the province of Illizi, Algeria, to document the local Tuareg community's timeline and ecological calendar, both of which are instruments used to understand place-based reports of climate change impacts. The livelihoods of the Tuareg of Illizi are finely tuned to climate variability as reflected in changes reported in the cadence of events in their ecological calendar (marked by cyclical climatic and religious events). Participants reported rain and temperature irregularities and severe drought events, which have impacted their pastoral and semi-pastoral livelihoods. These reports are aligned with scientifically measured climate observations and predictions. Paradoxically, although participants recall with detail the climatic disasters that happened in the region over the last century, the Tuareg do not explicitly report decadal trends in the frequency of extreme events. The differential perception of climate change impacts across scales can have important implications for undertaking climate change adaptation measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GH000620
Number of pages13
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • celestial calendar
  • desert
  • drylands
  • ecological calendar
  • indigenous peoples and local communities


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