Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change
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Adaptation Strategies for Reducing Vulnerability to Future Environmental Change. Ioan Fazey Gamarra, J., Fischer, J., Reed, M.S., Stringer, L.C., Christie, M. [email protected]

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Adaptation Strategies for Reducing Vulnerability to Future Environmental Change

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Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change

Adaptation Strategies for Reducing Vulnerability to Future Environmental Change

Ioan Fazey

Gamarra, J., Fischer, J., Reed, M.S., Stringer, L.C., Christie, [email protected]


Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change

Key message: Responses to environmental change often exacerbate problems or create new ones, so we need to be careful in the way we respond/adapt to change.


Outline

Outline

Fazey, I., Gamarra, J.G.P., Fischer, J., Reed, M.S., Stringer, L., Christie, M., In Press. Adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability to future environmental change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

3 key prerequisites to prevent increases in vulnerability to future change:

Responses need to:

  • Remove causes of impacts/change

  • Maintain and enhance response diversity

  • Nurture human capacities to take up response options


Prerequisite 1 responses need to remove causes of impacts

Prerequisite #1:Responses need to remove causes of impacts

  • E.g. Flooding

    • Bio-physical: Flood storage capacity

    • Human behaviour: Development on the floodplain

Without removal, impacts can increase or be reinforced by responses;

Bio-physical and human behavioural causes


Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change

Removal of ultimate causes

COMPLETE CHANGE

Mis-Alignment

Full Alignment

Partial Alignment

Change in Behaviour

Partial Techno-Fix

Buffering

Full Techno-Fix

NO CHANGE/ REMOVAL

Reduction in Bio-Physical Factor

FULL REMOVAL


Key points reducing causes of impacts

Key Points: Reducing causes of impacts

  • But adaptation strategies have different qualities;

  • To reduce impacts, buffering strategies usually least desirable, aligning strategies most desirable;

  • Multiple causes, not easy to identify.


Prerequisite 2 maintain and enhance response diversity

Prerequisite #2Maintain and enhance response diversity

  • Responses can result in loss of response diversity;

  • Why is response diversity important?

    • Resilience and thresholds;

    • Altering trajectories.


Key points maintaining response diversity

Key points: Maintaining response diversity

T. Hartel and C. Moga

  • Requires understanding of the relationships between social, economic, ecological and local contexts.

Response diversity becomes more important as rates of change increase;

Need to remove conditions that constrain, and design policies that directly enhance, response diversity;


Prerequisite 3 nurture human capacities to take up response options

Prerequisite #3Nurture human capacities to take up response options

Social capacities

  • Conflict resolution, shared learning, flexible institutions;

  • Such capacity can be eroded, for example, by adaptations that promote individualism and top down policies.


Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change

  • - Exposure to change

L. Cliggett

Individual capacities:

  • Adaptive expertise


Adaptation strategies for reducing vulnerability to future environmental change

  • Values

  • Need values conducive to environmental sustainability;

  • These can be eroded by, e.g. dissociation from environmental change

    • - e.g. buffering responses (air conditioning, flood defences)


Conclusions

Conclusions

Implementing effective adaptation is much more complex than is often perceived;

Most strategies do not result in changes in human behaviour;

Very little consideration of the ‘lock-in’ effects of responses;

Challenges in maintaining capacities for people to change;

Complexity and uncertainty around adaptation highlights importance of mitigation;

Complexity provides opportunities as well as difficulties.


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