Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Overcoming socio-ecological vulnerability through community-based social learning: the case of Lomba do Pinheiro in Porto Alegre, Brazil
    Souza, Daniele T. ; Jacobi, Pedro R. ; Wals, Arjen E.J. - \ 2020
    Local Environment 25 (2020)2. - ISSN 1354-9839 - p. 179 - 201.
    Community-based initiatives - grassroots initiatives - social learning - transformative learning - vulnerability

    Community-based initiatives and collective learning practices are key themes in sustainability transition processes. This paper presents the results of a participatory study that investigated a local initiative in the community of Lomba do Pinheiro in south Brazil to examine social learning processes in the context of socio-ecological vulnerability. In this community, a group composed of local residents and members representing the public sector and local educational institutions has promoted several learning-oriented actions aimed at restoring a degraded local watershed and improving residents’ livelihoods. This study used social learning as a lens through which the initiative enacted by this group may be understood, and analysed how local conditions, determined by a context of vulnerability, have influenced local processes. We applied a multi-dimensional analytical framework that included individual, collective, and territorial dimensions. The analysis focused on the leading group, the individuals who comprise it, and their actions in the territory, while considering local constraints. Our findings highlight the importance of (1) shared values, mutual trust, and affective bonds for group cohesion as well as concerted action, equalisation of diverse languages within the group, knowledge integration, and initiative persistence; (2) a practical-reflexive approach based on a sequence of actions that catalyses group learning and facilitates advancement within the wider community; and (3) the role of inter-sectoral articulations and the establishment of partnerships to support actions. This paper raises questions about the limits of an exclusively bottom-up approach to solve complex problems in the context of extremely precarious conditions.

    A dynamic vulnerability approach for tourism destinations
    Student, J.R. ; Lamers, M.A.J. ; Amelung, S.B. - \ 2020
    Journal of Sustainable Tourism 28 (2020)3. - ISSN 0966-9582 - p. 475 - 496.
    vulnerability - dynamic approach - systems thinking - comparion modelling - human-environmental dynamics - coastal tourism destination - sea level rise (SLR)
    Tourism destinations are vulnerable to increasing environmental change. The available scientific knowledge, however, is of little practical use as it is too aggregate, too conceptual, or too static. Various authors have called for dynamic vulnerability assessments, but the principles for dynamic vulnerability assessments have not been specified nor is it clear how to operationalise these principles. This paper formulates five principles: human agency, heterogeneity, feedbacks, uncertainty, and iteration. To address these principles, it proposes a dynamic approach that involves stakeholders. The approach’s proposed methodological tools enable system integration as well as the opportunity for both researchers and stakeholders to experience and experiment with dynamic vulnerabilities, which is key to moving beyond aggregate and static assessments. To demonstrate some of the approach’s added value for tourism destinations, a short illustration is provided of the critical challenge of sea level rise for coastal tourism in the Caribbean islands of Barbados and Curaçao. Future application of the approach can extend well beyond Caribbean coastal destinations to any other tourism destination vulnerable to environmental change.
    How to improve attribution of changes in drought and flood impacts
    Kreibich, Heidi ; Blauhut, Veit ; Aerts, Jeroen C.J.H. ; Bouwer, Laurens M. ; Lanen, Henny A.J. Van; Mejia, Alfonso ; Mens, Marjolein ; Loon, Anne F. Van - \ 2019
    Hydrological Sciences Journal 64 (2019)1. - ISSN 0262-6667 - p. 1 - 18.
    consecutive hydro-hazards - damage - dynamic risk - hydrological extremes - paired catchments - trend attribution - vulnerability

    For the development of sustainable, efficient risk management strategies for the hydrological extremes of droughts and floods, it is essential to understand the temporal changes of impacts, and their respective causes and interactions. In particular, little is known about changes in vulnerability and their influence on drought and flood impacts. We present a fictitious dialogue between two experts, one in droughts and the other in floods, showing that the main obstacles to scientific advancement in this area are both a lack of data and a lack of commonly accepted approaches. The drought and flood experts “discuss” available data and methods and we suggest a complementary approach. This approach consists of collecting a large number of single or multiple paired-event case studies from catchments around the world, undertaking detailed analyses of changes in impacts and drivers, and carrying out a comparative analysis. The advantages of this approach are that it allows detailed context- and location-specific assessments based on the paired-event analyses, and reveals general, transferable conclusions based on the comparative analysis of various case studies. Additionally, it is quite flexible in terms of data and can accommodate differences between floods and droughts.

    1.5°C Hotspots : Climate hazards, vulnerabilities, and impacts
    Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich ; Deryng, Delphine ; Haen, Sarah D'; Hare, William ; Lissner, Tabea ; Ly, Mouhamed ; Nauels, Alexander ; Noblet, Melinda ; Pfleiderer, Peter ; Pringle, Patrick ; Rokitzki, Martin ; Saeed, Fahad ; Schaeffer, Michiel ; Serdeczny, Olivia ; Thomas, Adelle - \ 2018
    Annual Review of Environment and Resources 43 (2018). - ISSN 1543-5938 - p. 135 - 163.
    1.5°C - extreme weather events - hotspots - sea level rise - small islands - vulnerability

    Differentiating the impacts of climate change between 1.5°C and 2°C requires a regional and sector-specific perspective. Whereas for some regions and sectors the difference in climate variables might be indistinguishable from natural variability, other areas especially in the tropics and subtropics will experience significant shifts. In addition to region-specific changes in climatic conditions, vulnerability and exposure also differ substantially across the world. Even small differences in climate hazards can translate into sizeable impact differences for particularly vulnerable regions or sectors. Here, we review scientific evidence of regional differences in climate hazards at 1.5°C and 2°C and provide an assessment of selected hotspots of climate change, including small islands as well as rural, urban, and coastal areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, that are particularly affected by the additional 0.5°C global mean temperature increase. We interlink these with a review of the vulnerability and exposure literature related to these hotspots to provide an integrated perspective on the differences in climate impacts between 1.5°C and 2°C.

    Do Savings and Credit Institutions Reduce Vulnerability? New Evidence From Mexico
    Lensink, Robert ; Servin Juarez, Roselia ; Berg, Marrit van den - \ 2017
    Review of Income and Wealth 63 (2017)2. - ISSN 0034-6586 - p. 335 - 352.
    banking - BANSEFI - Mexico - microfinance - savings societies - vulnerability - welfare

    This study examines whether membership in a savings and credit society (SACP) reduces vulnerability to poverty, using a representative survey from the National Savings and Financial Services Bank. The sample of households includes those that are and are not members of a SACP during 2004−2007. This evidence indicates that membership improves income; furthermore, membership decreases the variance in annual household per capita income. Both effects reduce the probability that somebody becomes poor. Finally, the results offer support for the proposition that households that join a SACP have better abilities to smooth consumption in the face of adverse shocks, and thus are less susceptible to shocks, than do households that are not members.

    Vulnerability Is Dynamic! Conceptualising a Dynamic Approach to Coastal Tourism Destinations’ Vulnerability
    Student, J.R. ; Amelung, B. ; Lamers, M.A.J. - \ 2016
    In: Innovation in Climate Change Adaptation / Leal Filho, W., Springer - ISBN 9783319258126 - p. 31 - 42.
    dynamic vulnerability approach - companion modelling - agent-based modelling - adaptive capacity - vulnerability - coastal tourism
    Coastal regions and islands are among the most popular tourist destinations.
    They are also highly vulnerable to climate change. Much of the literature on
    vulnerability, including IPCC reports, states that vulnerability is dynamic. However,
    vulnerability conceptualisations in the tourism realm have so far taken a static perspective. Static conceptualisation underestimates inherent uncertainties stemming from actor interactions (with one another and their environment) and processes. The interactions and processes are important for developing adaptive strategies in a dynamic world. Hence, frameworks for analysing tourism vulnerability as a dynamic phenomenon are urgently needed. This paper outlines the first steps taken towards a dynamic approach for analysing vulnerability of Caribbean coastal tourism. The approach consists of (1) a conceptual framework focusing on human-human and human-environment interactions at the actor level and (2) an evolutionary methodology. The methodology engages both Caribbean climate change experts and regional actors. Regional actors both respond to and help develop the framework through interactive, or companion, modelling. By focusing on interactions and processes, the approach is expected to yield key insights into the development of vulnerability through time, crucial information for adaptive management.
    Exploring climate change impacts and adaptation options for maize production in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia using different climate change scenarios and crop models
    Kassie, B.T. ; Asseng, S. ; Rotter, R.P. ; Hengsdijk, H. ; Ruane, A.C. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2015
    Climatic Change 129 (2015)1-2. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 145 - 158.
    africa - yield - agriculture - risks - opportunities - vulnerability - temperatures - uncertainty - variability - projections
    Exploring adaptation strategies for different climate change scenarios to support agricultural production and food security is a major concern to vulnerable regions, including Ethiopia. This study assesses the potential impacts of climate change on maize yield and explores specific adaptation options under climate change scenarios for the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia by mid-century. Impacts and adaptation options were evaluated using three General Circulation Models (GCMs) in combination with two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and two crop models. Results indicate that maize yield decreases on average by 20 % in 2050s relative to the baseline (1980–2009) due to climate change. A negative impact on yield is very likely, while the extent of impact is more uncertain. The share in uncertainties of impact projections was higher for the three GCMs than it was for the two RCPs and two crop models used in this study. Increasing nitrogen fertilization and use of irrigation were assessed as potentially effective adaptation options, which would offset negative impacts. However, the response of yields to increased fertilizer and irrigation will be less for climate change scenarios than under the baseline. Changes in planting dates also reduced negative impacts, while changing the maturity type of maize cultivars was not effective in most scenarios. The multi-model based analysis allowed estimating climate change impact and adaptation uncertainties, which can provide valuable insights and guidance for adaptation planning.
    Evaluation of ecosystem-based marine management strategies based on risk assessment
    Piet, G.J. ; Jongbloed, R.H. ; Knights, A.M. ; Tamis, J.E. ; Paijmans, A.J. ; Sluis, M.T. van der; Vries, P. de; Robinson, L.A. - \ 2015
    Biological Conservation 186 (2015). - ISSN 0006-3207 - p. 158 - 166.
    fisheries management - new-zealand - vulnerability - support - areas - south - pressure - context - threats - number
    This study presents a comprehensive and generic framework that provides a typology for the identification and selection of consistently defined ecosystem-based management measures and allows a coherent evaluation of these measures based on their performance to achieve policy objectives. The performance is expressed in terms of their reduction of risk of an adverse impact on the marine ecosystem. This typology consists of two interlinked aspects of a measure, i.e. the “Focus” and the “Type”. The “Focus” is determined by the part of the impact chain (Driver–Pressure–State) the measure is supposed to mitigate or counteract. The “Type” represents the physical measure itself in terms of how it affects the impact chain directly; we distinguish Spatio-temporal distribution controls, Input and Output controls, Remediation and Restoration measures. The performance of these measures in terms of their reduction in risk of adverse impacts was assessed based on an explicit consideration of three time horizons: past, present and future. Application of the framework in an integrated management strategy evaluation of a suite of measures, shows that depending on the time horizon, different measures perform best. “Past” points to measures targeting persistent pressures (e.g. marine litter) from past activities. “Present” favors measures targeting a driver (e.g. fisheries) that has a high likelihood of causing adverse impacts. “Future” involves impacts that both have a high likelihood of an adverse impact, as well as a long time to return to pre-impacted condition after the implementation of appropriate management, e.g. those caused by permanent infrastructure or persistent pressures such as marine litter or specific types of pollution.
    Implications of Climate Change for Rural Tourism in the Nordic Region
    Nicholls, S. ; Amelung, B. - \ 2015
    Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 15 (2015)1-2. - ISSN 1502-2250 - p. 48 - 72.
    vulnerability - weather - index - variability - perspective - businesses - resources
    In many rural regions, including those of the Nordic region, a former dependence on primary activities such as fishing, forestry, mining and/or agriculture has been superseded in recent decades by increasing involvement in the tourism sector. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential implications of climate change for non-winter rural tourism in the Nordic region. Using the Tourism Climatic Index as an analytical tool, the paper highlights the range of potential conditions for outdoor tourism activity for three future time periods (the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s) under two scenarios of climate change (B1A and A1F). Findings suggest the possibility of substantially longer periods of desirable climatic conditions in future decades, particularly in the southern and eastern portions of the region. Implications of the findings are discussed in the context of the adaptive capacity of various tourism actors (tourists, providers and government) and in light of the particular vulnerabilities and assets of rural communities. The need for an integrated and multilevel approach that recognises the importance of the efficient coordination and integration of resources, products and services across multiple actor boundaries and levels is stressed.
    Direct and indirect impacts of climate and socio-economic change in Europe: a sensitivity analysis for key land- and water-based sectors
    Kebede, A.S. ; Dunford, R. ; Mokrech, M. ; Rickebusch, S. - \ 2015
    Climatic Change 128 (2015)3-4. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 261 - 277.
    integrated assessment - adaptation - vulnerability - reduction - scenarios - scale - uk
    Integrated cross-sectoral impact assessments facilitate a comprehensive understanding of interdependencies and potential synergies, conflicts, and trade-offs between sectors under changing conditions. This paper presents a sensitivity analysis of a European integrated assessment model, the CLIMSAVE integrated assessment platform (IAP). The IAP incorporates important cross-sectoral linkages between six key European land- and water-based sectors: agriculture, biodiversity, flooding, forests, urban, and water. Using the IAP, we investigate the direct and indirect implications of a wide range of climatic and socioeconomic drivers to identify: (1) those sectors and regions most sensitive to future changes, (2) the mechanisms and directions of sensitivity (direct/indirect and positive/negative), (3) the form and magnitudes of sensitivity (linear/non-linear and strong/weak/insignificant), and (4) the relative importance of the key drivers across sectors and regions. The results are complex. Most sectors are either directly or indirectly sensitive to a large number of drivers (more than 18 out of 24 drivers considered). Over twelve of these drivers have indirect impacts on biodiversity, forests, land use diversity, and water, while only four drivers have indirect effects on flooding. In contrast, for the urban sector all the drivers are direct. Moreover, most of the driver–indicator relationships are non-linear, and hence there is the potential for ‘surprises’. This highlights the importance of considering cross-sectoral interactions in future impact assessments. Such systematic analysis provides improved information for decision-makers to formulate appropriate adaptation policies to maximise benefits and minimise unintended consequences.
    Institutional constraints for adaptive capacity to climate change in Flevoland’s agriculture
    Mandryk, M. ; Reidsma, P. ; Kartikasari, K. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Arts, B.J.M. - \ 2015
    Environmental Science & Policy 48 (2015). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 147 - 162.
    land-use - adaptation - vulnerability - netherlands - management - variability - framework - barriers - policy - level
    Institutional feasibility defined as the ability of institutions to support adaptive capacity, is an important aspect of climate adaptation, through its influence on the implementation of adaptation measures to climate change. The objective of this study is to create a framework for assessing institutional preconditions that enable or constrain climate change adaptation measures in agriculture and to apply the framework to a case study in agriculture. We adopted and modified the Procedure for Institutional Compatibility Assessment (PICA). Institutions in our framework are characterized by a set of crucial institutional preconditions (CIPs) and indicators linked to each CIP. CIPs refer to both institutional incentives and constraints for implementation of adaptation measures (here to climate change). We applied a combination of ranking and scoring techniques based on information from workshops, interviews and a literature review to assess institutional incentives and constraints for adaptation measures, together indicating the institutional feasibility of implementation of adaptation measures. We selected and assessed three adaptation measures relevant to agriculture in Flevoland, a province in the Netherlands: (1) improvement of water management and irrigation facilities; (2) relocation of farms; and (3) development of new crop varieties. The two main constraining CIPs for the implementation of the measures were found to be (1) heterogeneity of actors’ interests and (2) availability of resources. Based on the institutional feasibility analysis, the implementation of water management and improvement of irrigation facilities will potentially face fewer institutional constraints compared to the other two measures. We conclude that our approach proves applicable for institutional analyses of adaptation measures for current and future (climate) challenges at different levels of implementation, but that more applications are needed to test its validity and robustness.
    Unveiling soil degradation and desertification risk in the Mediterranean basin: a data mining analysis of the relationships between biophysical and socioeconomic factors in agro-forest landscapes
    Salvati, L. ; Kosmas, C. ; Kairis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Hessel, R. ; Ritsema, C.J. - \ 2015
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 58 (2015)10. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1789 - 1803.
    land-use change - abandonment - erosion - vulnerability - performance - indicators - region - europe - system - spain
    Soil degradation and desertification processes in the Mediterranean basin reflect the interplay between environmental and socioeconomic drivers. An approach to evaluate comparatively the multiple relationships between biophysical variables and socioeconomic factors is illustrated in the present study using the data collected from 586 field sites located in five Mediterranean areas (Spain, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco). A total of 47 variables were chosen to illustrate land-use, farm characteristics, population pressure, tourism development, rainfall regime, water availability, soil properties and vegetation cover, among others. A data mining approach incorporating non-parametric inference, principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering was developed to identify candidate syndromes of soil degradation and desertification risk. While field sites in the same study area showed a substantial similarity, the multivariate relationship among variables diverged among study areas. Data mining techniques proved to be a practical tool to identify spatial determinants of soil degradation and desertification risk. Our findings identify the contrasting spatial patterns for biophysical and socioeconomic variables, in turn associated with different responses to land degradation.
    Environmental drivers of human migration in drylands - A spatial picture
    Neumann, K. ; Sietz, D. ; Hilderink, H. ; Janssen, P. ; Kok, M. ; Dijk, H. van - \ 2015
    Applied Geography 56 (2015). - ISSN 0143-6228 - p. 116 - 126.
    burkina-faso - northeast brazil - climate-change - land-use - drought - vulnerability - adaptation - dynamics - africa - management
    It is widely accepted that environmental change can influence human migration. In particular, the environment plays a role in migration processes in drylands, in which environmental change—including increasing variability of rainfall, increasing frequency of droughts, chronic water shortage, and land degradation—can heavily influence migration. However, systematic large-scale studies of the relationship between environmental factors and human migration are rare, and a global, consistent picture of environmental drivers of migration is lacking. In this study, we sought to fill this gap by analysing spatial patterns of environmental drivers of migration in drylands by performing a cluster analysis on spatially explicit global data. In this analysis, we focused explicitly on precipitation, aridity, drought, land degradation, soil constraints, and availability of cropland and pastures as potential environmental drivers of migration in drylands. In addition, we linked the identified clusters to two observed hotspots of out-migration—Burkina Faso and Northeast Brazil—to gauge the cluster results. Our results show that environmental drivers can be grouped into eight distinct clusters, and we identified the most severe environmental constraints for each cluster. These results suggest that out-migration—both in absolute and relative terms—occurs most frequently in a cluster that is constrained primarily by land degradation rather than water availability.
    Integrating ecosystem services and climate change responses in coastal wetlands development plans for Bangladesh
    Sarwar, M.H. ; Hein, L.G. ; Rip, F.I. ; Dearing, J.A. - \ 2015
    Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 20 (2015)2. - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 241 - 261.
    adaptation - impacts - vulnerability - management - framework - mexico - system - basin
    This study explores the integration of ecosystem services and climate change adaptation in development plans for coastal wetlands in Bangladesh. A new response framework for adaptation is proposed, based on an empirical analysis and consultations with stakeholders, using a modified version of the DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) framework. The framework is tested in the Narail district of Bangladesh, where temperature has increased by about 1 °C in the summer in combination with an increase in rainfall of 0.70 mm day-1 yr-1 in the last decade. Calibrated model (MAGICC/SENGEN) projections forecast, on average, a temperature increase of up to 5 °C and an increase in rainfall of 25 % by the end of this century. Water diversion in the upstream regions of the Ganges River delta contributes to increase water scarcity in the dry season. Enhanced rainfall and the immense pressure of water discharges from upstream water sources are increasing the risk of floods and river erosion in the dry season. An increase in the water holding capacity of rivers, wetlands and canals by dredging is urgently required. The empirical model of this study is intended to support adaptation planning and monitoring in Bangladesh and can be used in other data-poor areas which will suffer from climate change.
    Evaluation and Selection of Indicators for Land Degradation and Desertification Monitoring: Types of Degradation, Causes, and Implications for Management
    Kairis, O. ; Kosmas, C. ; Karavitis, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Salvati, L. ; Acikalin, S. ; Alcala, M. ; Alfama, P. ; Atlhopheng, J. ; Barrera, J. ; Belgacem, A. ; Sole-Benet, A. ; Brito, J. ; Chaker, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Coelho, C. ; Darkoh, M. ; Diamantis, I. ; Ermolaeva, O. ; Fassouli, V. ; Fei, W. ; Feng, J. ; Fernandez, F. ; Ferreira, A. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gonzalez, D. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Juying, J. ; Khatteli, H. ; Khitrov, N. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Lollino, P. ; Lopes, M. ; Magole, L. ; Medina, L. ; Mendoza, M. ; Morais, P. ; Mulale, K. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ovalle, C. ; Perez, C. ; Perkins, J. ; Pliakas, F. ; Polemio, M. ; Pozo, A. ; Prat, C. ; Qinke, Y. ; Ramos, A. ; Ramos, J. ; Riquelme, J. ; Romanenkov, V. ; Rui, L. ; Santaloia, F. ; Sebego, R. ; Sghaier, M. ; Silva, N. ; Sizemskaya, M. ; Soares, J. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Torri, D. ; Ungaro, F. ; Valente, S. ; Vente, J. de; Zagal, E. ; Zeiliguer, A. ; Zhonging, W. ; Ziogas, A. - \ 2014
    Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 971 - 982.
    region ne spain - tillage erosion - soil displacement - translocation - vulnerability - sensitivity - performance - vegetation - systems - impact
    Indicator-based approaches are often used to monitor land degradation and desertification from the global to the very local scale. However, there is still little agreement on which indicators may best reflect both status and trends of these phenomena. In this study, various processes of land degradation and desertification have been analyzed in 17 study sites around the world using a wide set of biophysical and socioeconomic indicators. The database described earlier in this issue by Kosmas and others (Environ Manage, 2013) for defining desertification risk was further analyzed to define the most important indicators related to the following degradation processes: water erosion in various land uses, tillage erosion, soil salinization, water stress, forest fires, and overgrazing. A correlation analysis was applied to the selected indicators in order to identify the most important variables contributing to each land degradation process. The analysis indicates that the most important indicators are: (i) rain seasonality affecting water erosion, water stress, and forest fires, (ii) slope gradient affecting water erosion, tillage erosion and water stress, and (iii) water scarcity soil salinization, water stress, and forest fires. Implementation of existing regulations or policies concerned with resources development and environmental sustainability was identified as the most important indicator of land protection.
    Explaining and overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation
    Eisenack, K. ; Moser, S.C. ; Hoffmann, E. ; Klein, R.J.T. ; Oberlack, C. ; Pechan, A. ; Rotter, M. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. - \ 2014
    Nature Climate Change 4 (2014). - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 867 - 872.
    klimaatverandering - klimaatadaptatie - governance - milieubeleid - climatic change - climate adaptation - governance - environmental policy - adaptive capacity - local-government - water sector - flood risk - policy - framework - limits - organizations - vulnerability
    The concept of barriers is increasingly used to describe the obstacles that hinder the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation. The growing literature on barriers to adaptation reveals not only commonly reported barriers, but also conflicting evidence, and few explanations of why barriers exist and change. There is thus a need for research that focuses on the interdependencies between barriers and considers the dynamic ways in which barriers develop and persist. Such research, which would be actor-centred and comparative, would help to explain barriers to adaptation and provide insights into how to overcome them.
    Adaptive livelihood strategies employed by farmers to close the food gap in semi-arid south eastern Zimbabwe
    Murungweni, C. ; Wijk, M.T. van; Giller, K.E. ; Andersson, J.A. ; Smaling, E.M.A. - \ 2014
    Food Security 6 (2014)3. - ISSN 1876-4517 - p. 313 - 326.
    climate-change - developing-countries - drought - adaptation - resilience - vulnerability - africa - management - responses - capacity
    Rural households in semi-arid areas of southern Africa are confronted with numerous hazards that threaten the household food base. The new wildlife policy of establishing transfrontier conservation areas aims to increase conservation of wildlife resources while improving local livelihoods. This policy can be better appreciated by local people if it embraces knowledge of the adaptive strategies they employ to close the food gap. We assessed how different households responded to the major hazard, drought, in order to gain insight into how these households addressed critical questions of food availability. Informal interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to determine how households can be disaggregated according to their livelihood patterns and a questionnaire was applied to learn how each group responded to drought. Data were analysed within the three livelihood types that were identified and described at local level as cattle-based, crop-based and non-farm based. We found that factors that aggravated the effects of drought are specific to the different household types and their responses were also specific to that particular household type. Disaggregation of the livelihood types revealed within and between type relations and interactions that are important to people in order to cope. For example, even though cropping is an important activity across the three livelihood types, specifically in cattle and crop-based types, the non-farm type becomes important in restocking inputs after a serious drought through cross-border trading. Livestock and cross-border trading are important coping strategies for all three livelihood types, with the cattle-based trading cattle, the crop-based trading goats and poultry and the non-farm based linking with markets for trading livestock, drugs and restocked inputs for the cattle-based and crop-based groups. These linkages among livelihood types are important factors in reducing vulnerability to change that only become visible as a result of this disaggregation. We conclude that additional policies of enhancing the resilience of local food systems by stimulating across-border livestock trading and formal market set-up and enhancing systems of adaptation that are already in existence (e.g., crop production in the Banyeni) can add value to the success of transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa.
    From coping to adaptation to economic and institutional change – Trajectories of change in land-use management and social organization in a Biosphere Reserve community, Mexico
    Speelman, E.N. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; García-Barrios, L.E. ; Kok, K. ; Keulen, H. van; Tittonell, P.A. - \ 2014
    Land Use Policy 41 (2014). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 31 - 44.
    adaptive capacity - ecological systems - latin-america - power distribution - cover change - trade-offs - resilience - conservation - agriculture - vulnerability
    Smallholder farming communities are increasingly affected by local impacts of international market dynamics, and (inter)governmental economic and nature conservation policies to which they respond through coping or adaptation. Although the attributes that underpin the capacity to adapt are widely agreed upon in literature, empirical evidence on how rural communities can develop adaptations are still scarce. Here, we provide such evidence based on a comprehensive driver-response reconstruction of a community in the buffer-zone of a Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, Mexico. We found that coping (between 1990 and 2000) was gradually replaced by adaptations (1995–2010) based on: (i) diversification of land-use, (ii) improved social organization, (iii) improved communal decision-making, and (iv) more sustainable forms of land management. The diversification of local farming systems through inclusion of organic forest-based palm and coffee cultivation and the establishment of associated organizations, formed the basis of these changes. These adaptations were mainly supported by improved social, institutional and political capital. Communal forest resources, long-term support of an NGO and a highly motivated population, were essential circumstances that allowed these trajectories to develop. However, current unequal land and power distribution could undermine and debilitate adaptive capacity. Communities and supportive organizations need to be aware and capable to adjust continuously to prevent today's adaptation strategies from becoming tomorrow's coping responses.
    Climate change adaptation planning in agriculture: processes, experiences and lessons learned from early adapters
    Bizikova, L. ; Crawford, E. ; Nijnik, M. ; Swart, R.J. - \ 2014
    Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 19 (2014)4. - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 411 - 430.
    sustainable adaptation - policy responses - level - vulnerability - states
    This paper explores the lessons learned by leaders in agricultural adaptation planning in order to assist other jurisdictions to develop adaptation strategies. It seeks to identify effective institutional, participatory and collaborative processes involved in designing agricultural adaptation strategies at the national and sub-national levels in Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Its methodology is based on review of agricultural adaptation policy documents, research initiatives, stakeholder engagement processes, and cross-sectoral collaborations as well as interviews with key informants such as leaders and actors in adaptation planning. The gathered data show that early adapters have an improved regional and national understanding of climatic impacts, and of the risks to agriculture before the initiation of the planning process. The results indicate that the interplay between bottom-up and top-down initiatives has been crucial in the development of adaptation strategies. The former has provided rich and robust participation in designing, implementing and monitoring adaptations, while the latter was important for prioritizing and legitimizing the development of strategy. It also provided access to high-level decision makers and funding. The results of the study suggest that fostering cross-sectoral collaborations—especially by focusing on broader questions such as the role of agriculture in society—has become an important part of adaptation planning. Finally, our results also stress that adaptation planning in agriculture could be enhanced by skills development and mutual learning across stakeholder groups, research and policy-makers, and through the ongoing interactive development of institutional capabilities.
    Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change
    Schellnhuber, H.J. ; Heinke, J. ; Gerten, D. ; Haddeland, I. ; Arnell, N.W. ; Clark, D.B. ; Dankers, R. ; Eisner, S. ; Kabat, P. - \ 2014
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (2014)9. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 3245 - 3250.
    future food-production - model description - bias correction - river runoff - resources - availability - vulnerability - uncertainty - scenarios - trends
    Water scarcity severely impairs food security and economic prosperity in many countries today. Expected future population changes will, in many countries as well as globally, increase the pressure on available water resources. On the supply side, renewable water resources will be affected by projected changes in precipitation patterns, temperature, and other climate variables. Here we use a large ensemble of global hydrological models (GHMs) forced by five global climate models and the latest greenhouse-gas concentration scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways) to synthesize the current knowledge about climate change impacts on water resources. We show that climate change is likely to exacerbate regional and global water scarcity considerably. In particular, the ensemble average projects that a global warming of 2 °C above present (approximately 2.7 °C above preindustrial) will confront an additional approximate 15% of the global population with a severe decrease in water resources and will increase the number of people living under absolute water scarcity (
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