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  • 1.
    Ensor, Jonathan Edward
    et al.
    Stockholm Environment Institute, Department of Environment and Geography, University of York.
    Wennström, Patrick
    Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Anil, Bhatterai
    Department of Geography, University of Toronto.
    Nightingale, Andrea Joslyn
    Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Eriksen, Siri
    International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
    Sillmann, Jana
    CICERO Center for International Climate Research.
    Asking the right questions in adaptation research and practice: Seeing beyond climate impacts in rural Nepal2019In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 94, p. 227-236Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Adaptation research and practice too often overlooks the wider social context within which climate change is experienced. Mainstream approaches frame adaptation problems in terms of the consequences that flow from biophysical impacts and as a result, we argue, ask the wrong questions. A complementary approach gaining ground in the field, foregrounding the social, economic and political context, reveals differentiation in adaptation need, and how climate impacts interconnect with wider processes of change. In this paper, we illustrate how this kind of approach frames a different set of questions about adaptation using the case of Nepal. Drawing on fieldwork and a review of literature, we contrast the questions that emerge from adaptation research and practice that take climate risk as a starting point with the questions that emerge from examination of contemporary rural livelihoods. We find that while adaptation efforts are often centred around securing agricultural production and are predicated on climate risk management, rural livelihoods are caught in a wider process of transformation. The numbers of people involved in farming are declining, and households are experiencing the effects of rising education, abandonment of rural land, increasing wages, burgeoning mechanisation, and high levels of migration into the global labour market. We find the epistemological framing of adaptation too narrow to account for these changes, as it understands the experiences of rural communities through the lens of climate risk. We propose that rather than seeking to integrate local understandings into a fixed, impacts-orientated epistemology, it is necessary to premise adaptation on an epistemology capable of exploring how change occurs. Asking the right questions thus means opening up adaptation by asking: ‘what are the most significant changes taking place in people's lives?’, along with the more standard: ‘what are the impacts of climate change?’ Viewing adaptation as occurring between and within these two perspectives has the potential to reveal new vulnerabilities and opportunities for adaptation practice to act upon.

  • 2.
    Gebrehiwot, Solomon Gebreyohannis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
    Forests, water and food security in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia: Knowledge synthesis2015In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 48, p. 128-136Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper synthesizes the spatial and temporal relationship between forest cover and water, as well as its implications for food security in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Different studies addressing the topic of land cover and hydrology have been reviewed. Analyses of 20-40 year long time series showed little and inconsistent relationships between forest cover change and hydrology on meso-scale (100-1000 km(2)) watersheds. Spatial studies, however, showed stronger relationships between land cover and low flow features such as grasslands and woodlands. Interviews with local communities suggested land cover change impacts are more pronounced at smaller scale (<100 km(2)) watersheds; which is consistent with observational studies on small scale watersheds and farm level plots. The stronger relationships between forests and hydrology at smaller scales suggests land management policies should be oriented to farm level conditions, where water is vital for the food security of subsistence farmers who comprise 86% of the population in the highlands.

  • 3.
    Mehring, P.
    et al.
    Univ Reading, Dept Geog & Environm Sci, Reading, Berks, England;Natl Flood Forum, Bewdley, Worcs, England.
    Geoghegan, H.
    Univ Reading, Dept Geog & Environm Sci, Reading, Berks, England.
    Cloke, Hannah L.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL. Univ Reading, Dept Geog & Environm Sci, Reading, Berks, England;Univ Reading, Dept Meteorol, Reading, Berks, England;Ctr Nat Hazards & Disaster Sci, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Clark, J. M.
    Univ Reading, Dept Geog & Environm Sci, Reading, Berks, England.
    What is going wrong with community engagement?: How flood communities and flood authorities construct engagement and partnership working2018In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 89, p. 109-115Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we discuss the need for flood risk management in England that engages stakeholders with flooding and its management processes, including knowledge gathering, planning and decision-making. By comparing and contrasting how flood communities experience 'community engagement' and 'partnership working', through the medium of an online questionnaire, with the process's and ways of working that the Environment Agency use when 'working with others', we demonstrate that flood risk management is caught up in technocratic ways of working derived from long-standing historical practices of defending agricultural land from water. Despite the desire to move towards more democratised ways of working which enable an integrated approach to managing flood risk, the technocratic framing still pervades contemporary flood risk management. We establish that this can disconnect society from flooding and negatively impacts the implementation of more participatory approaches designed to engage flood communities in partnership working. Through the research in this paper it becomes clear that adopting a stepwise, one-size-fits-all approach to engagement fails to recognise that communities are heterogenous and that good engagement requires gaining an understanding of the social dimensions of a community. Successful engagement takes time, effort and the establishment of trust and utilises social learning and pooling of knowledge to create a better understanding of flooding, and that this can lead to increasing societal connectivity to flooding and its impacts.

  • 4. Ulen, Barbro M.
    et al.
    Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.
    Adapting regional eutrophication targets for surface waters - influence of the EU water framework directive national policy and climate change2007In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 10, no 7-8, p. 734-742Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Wamsler, Christine
    Centre of Natural Disaster Science (CNDS), Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Stakeholder involvement in strategic adaptation planning: Transdisciplinarity and co-production at stake?2017In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 75, p. 148-157Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To address increasing climatic variability and extremes, cities are gradually forced to develop climate change adaptation strategies that can ensure a continuous and transformative adaptation process. There is widespread consensus that the sustainable establishment of such strategies requires transdisciplinary approaches, that is, the involvement of internal and external stakeholders (state, civil society and market actors) to become part of the change and find innovative ways to unite their efforts and capacities. However, there is little research and hardly any empirical evidence on the process of stakeholder involvement and co-production in the development of municipal adaptation strategies. Against this background, this paper examines the factors that influence how and why different stakeholders are involved (or excluded) during the processes of developing adaptation strategies, and how this gets reflected in process outcomes. Based on applied participatory analysis of two pioneering municipalities in Germany and Sweden, the paper identifies and contrasts existing patterns to feed back into both theory and practice. Synergies, mismatches, barriers and driving forces for adaptation co-production are identified and contrasted with current adaptation discourses. The results highlight how the level of internal and external stakeholder involvement is conditional on (changes in) the broader governance context, and the associated power constellations in which stakeholders act (e.g., standing of departments, proximity to the decision making body, changes in [or constellations of) political parties, contractual arrangements for staff, individual champions, progress in mainstreaming). On this basis, conclusions are drawn regarding how to foster sustainable and transformative adaptation through increased stakeholder involvement. The results and conclusions are crucial to advance theory on adaptation co-production, providing a basis for further analyses, research and action. They inform how existing theory, policies and/or guidelines for strategic adaptation planning need to be revisited to support change across current risk governance.

1 - 5 of 5
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