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Mobilising adaptive capacity to multiple stressors: Insights from small-scale coastal fisheries in the Western Region of Ghana
Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, ML28,Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia.
Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, ML28,Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, SWEDESD - The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development. Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, ML28,Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia;Brock Univ, Environm Sustainabil Res Ctr, St Catharines, ON, Canada.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3991-5211
2018 (English)In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 91, p. 61-72Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The processes by which adaptive capacity is mobilised in response to multiple stressors are yet to be fully understood. This study addresses this pressing research gap by drawing on the capitals framework and empirical data from small-scale coastal fisheries in the Western Region of Ghana. It employs an ethnographic approach, based on multiple sources of evidence including documents, interviews and participant observation to examine mechanisms of mobilising adaptive capacity in response to climate and non-climate stressors. Our findings suggest that responding to stressors involves mobilising sets of main-available capitals, such as local innovation, ability to improvise, new technologies, corrupt practices and belief systems (cultural capital); collective action, networks and social ties (social capital); and complaints to the government (political capital). These capitals were the main constituents of adaptive capacity, particularly considering non-responsive government and formal organisations. Further, other forms of capitals, i.e., local leadership, local knowledge, learning capacity, and training (human capital); networks, collective actions, associations and bonding ties (social capital); sand (natural capital); funds from fishing (financial capital), combine in complex ways to mobilise such available capitals. This understanding is critical if synergies among main-available and supporting-available capitals are to support building and mobilizing adaptive capacity. Further, it may help guide important decisions, proactive plans and strategic investment for developing key capitals to enhance adaptive capacity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2018. Vol. 91, p. 61-72
Keywords [en]
Adaptive capacity, Capitals, Climate change, Fisheries, Ghana, Stressors
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357757DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.02.026ISI: 000434000800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357757DiVA, id: diva2:1241209
Available from: 2018-08-23 Created: 2018-08-23 Last updated: 2018-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Smith, Timothy F.

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