GCAP Blog

Bringing innovation to practice in adapting to climate change.
Nov
01

Personal experience of extreme weather leads to wider understanding of climate change issues

Personal experience of extreme weather leads to wider understanding of climate change issues
In the OAA (Oxford Adaptation Academy) each year, we explore the nature of personal leadership and how it impacts on the behaviour of both small and large groups.  One of the perceived wisdoms that often surfaces is that when people are personally stressed they are more likely to think first of themselves than of others.  While this might be true of people who are experiencing a personal stress factor, such as a life-changing event or change in their personal circumstances, it isn't true of people in a community experiencing the same factor.  In the aftermath of a natural disaster, for example, many people put their own needs to one side and seek to help those around them regardless.  What isn't often appreciated is that their selflessness goes beyond the immediate situation.  They become more engaged with the wider nature of their problem and how it is impacting others from different communities.  This paper suggests that, if we wish to engage people in an understanding of global climate change-related themes, we would be well advised to look at ways of helping them 'experience' their own local ones first.A similar approach was adopted by the British Heart Foundation recently.  They stopped people on the streets and invited them to experience what it was like to have a heart attack.  They were led up some steps into a black room and the door was shut.  People who emerged were visibly shocked, and prepared to listen to the charity's key messages.Graham WilsonImage: © 2016 Dr Graham Wilson (This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.)Demski, C., Capstick, S., Pidgeon, N. et al. (2016) Experience of extreme weather affects climate change mitigation and adaptation responses. Climatic Change. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1837-4AbstractThe winter of 2013/2014 saw a series of severe storms hit the UK, leading to widespread flooding, a major emergency response and extensive media exposure. Previous research indicates that experiencing extreme weather events has the potential to heighten engagement with climate change, however the process by which this occurs remains largely unknown, and establishing a clear causal relationship from experience to perceptions is methodologically challenging. The UK winter flooding offered a natural experiment to examine this question in detail. We compare individuals personally affected by flooding (n = 162) to a nationally representative sample (n = 975). We show that direct experience of flooding leads to an overall increased salience of climate change, pronounced emotional responses and greater perceived personal vulnerability and risk perceptions. We also present the first evidence that direct flooding experience can give rise to behavioural intentions beyond individual sustainability actions, including support for mitigation policies, and personal climate adaptation in matters unrelated to the direct experience.About us Established in 2010, GCAP (http://climateadaptation.cc) ranks among the top 10 leading climate think tanks globally, providing knowledge services related to national adaptation investment and finance, climate economics, climate adaptation strategy and planning and climate risk screening.  A world class organisation, we support managers holding over $1 billion in funds.  Our flagship, Oxford Adaptation Academy (http://www.climateadaptation.cc/our-work/adaptation-academy), is a unique incubator for leadership and innovation within the field of climate adaptation. Dr Graham Wilson leads the personal development and leadership strand of the Adaptation Academy.  With a background in ethology and behavioural science, he is an Executive, Leadership and Political Confidant, Tutor in Psychology and Counselling with the University of Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Adaptation Academy.  His research interests include coaching and visual anthropology.  [LinkedIn = http://tinyurl.com/drgwli] 
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890 Hits
Oct
30

Engaging and educating the public is crucial to climate resilience planning

Engaging and educating the public is crucial to climate resilience planning
One of the key differences between the implementation of climate adaptation and climate resilience strategies is in the degree and nature of community engagement.  When building resilience, it is crucial to raise the level of climate education among the community that is going to have to develop its own responses over a long period of time.  In a fascinating study for her Masters' degree, Hannah Payne, explored the awareness, capacity, and capability of city government planners (in the US) to put these kinds of educational programmes into place.  She found only one City where effective education was taking place, in this case achieved through customised, relevant, role play activities.  However, they were being implemented by university researchers rather than the planners themselves.  Her work highlights a whole area of urban planning education that is capable of seriously hindering progress towards civic resilience. Graham Wilson Image source: By U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos Petty Officer 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Navy Public Affairs Support Elem (160430-N-GI544-075) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Payne, H (2016)  Engaging the public in climate adaptation planning : lessons from sixteen American cities.  Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2016. (http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/105058) Abstract With growing concern about the risks of climate change, cities are beginning to consider and implement strategies to adapt. Preparing for the impacts of climate change through adaptation planning requires cities to manage collective risks and weigh tradeoffs. Thus, recommendations for adaptation planning often call for public engagement and collaborative decision-making. This thesis reviews current public engagement practices in adaptation planning in sixteen cities across the United States that are pursuing adaptation planning and have made commitments to public engagement. I find that there are three primary ways cities engage the public in adaptation planning: 1) including the public in the planning and design process of broad adaptation strategies, 2) educating the public on climate risks, and 3) collaboratively problem-solving for a climate resilient future by addressing the long-term risks and tradeoffs of adaptation policies. I find that several cities are moving forward on either or both of the first two types of engagement, but cities are not making significant progress on the third. Furthermore, several cities are struggling to implement or have postponed implementing any type of engagement process on adaptation. Each city in the study has its own unique challenges to implementing engagement strategies, but through interviews with city staff, I identify common barriers to engagement in adaptation planning and offer recommendations for ways to overcome those barriers. I argue that cities should pursue public engagement that fosters public and political support for adaptation planning in order to build capacity for more inclusive and collaborative engagement practices that allow stakeholders to weigh both short-term and longterm trade-offs. About us Established in 2010, GCAP (http://climateadaptation.cc) ranks among the top 10 leading climate think tanks globally, providing knowledge services related to national adaptation investment and finance, climate economics, climate adaptation strategy and planning and climate risk screening.  A world class organisation, we support managers holding over $1 billion in funds.  Our flagship, Oxford Adaptation Academy (http://www.climateadaptation.cc/our-work/adaptation-academy), is a unique incubator for leadership and innovation within the field of climate adaptation. Dr Graham Wilson leads the personal development and leadership strand of the Adaptation Academy.  With a background in ethology and behavioural science, he is an Executive, Leadership and Political Confidant, Tutor in Psychology and Counselling with the University of Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Adaptation Academy.  His research interests include coaching and visual anthropology.  [LinkedIn = http://tinyurl.com/drgwli]   
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911 Hits
Oct
30

Climate Adaptation strategies in the Peruvian Andes

Climate Adaptation strategies in the Peruvian Andes
At this summer's Oxford Adaptation Academy, Dr Carmen Lacambra led participants through a detailed case study of the responses to climate change within Colombia.  An exciting publication has just appeared demonstrating similar issues and solutions in the regional partner, Peru. Graham Wilson NB Image source: "Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 4.0" Orlowsky B, et al (2016) Science in the Context of Climate Change Adaptation: Case Studies from the Peruvian Andes in "Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-downstream Perspective" (eds Salzmann N et al) pp 41-58.  Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40773-9_3 Abstract Within the context of the Climate Change Adaptation Program (PACC), a number of scientific investigations on water resources, natural disasters and perceptions by local people highlight adaptation needs in the regions of Cusco and Apurímac in Peru, considering past, present-day and future climate conditions. This chapter compiles their findings and attempts a systematic evaluation with respect to their contributions to climate change adaptation. The studies consistently find aggravating water scarcity during the dry season (April to September) due to projected precipitation decreases and reduced storage capacity of shrinking glaciers. Impacts include below-capacity hydropower generation and increased crop failure risks. For natural disasters, database inconsistencies prevent a detection of trends. While the natural science studies have produced a new and more comprehensive understanding of the target regions, their implications for society have hardly been investigated anthropologically. One of the few social science studies emphasizes that climate change is only one out of many determinants of rural livelihoods in the target regions, which have not been addressed scientifically yet. We thereby find an imbalance of available scientific knowledge regarding natural vs. social sciences. Overcoming such imbalance would allow for a more comprehensive integration of scientific findings into design and implementation of adaptation measures within the local context. About us Established in 2010, GCAP (http://climateadaptation.cc) ranks among the top 10 leading climate think tanks globally, providing knowledge services related to national adaptation investment and finance, climate economics, climate adaptation strategy and planning and climate risk screening.  A world class organisation, we support managers holding over $1 billion in funds.  Our flagship, Oxford Adaptation Academy (http://www.climateadaptation.cc/our-work/adaptation-academy), is a unique incubator for leadership and innovation within the field of climate adaptation. Dr Graham Wilson leads the personal development and leadership strand of the Adaptation Academy.  With a background in ethology and behavioural science, he is an Executive, Leadership and Political Confidant, Tutor in Psychology and Counselling with the University of Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Adaptation Academy.  His research interests include coaching and visual anthropology.  [LinkedIn = http://tinyurl.com/drgwli] 
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860 Hits
Oct
30

Climate Resilience and Fisheries - a large scale ban may be the only solution

Climate Resilience and Fisheries - a large scale ban may be the only solution
We're seeing a growing number of analyses of the relevance and importance of climate resilience in specific industries.  An interesting paper appeared in Fish and Fisheries in August 2016, outlining the authors' conclusions about the need for a large scale ban on high seas fisheries to move from stock management that aims for sustainability to one that aims to achieve resilience. Graham Wilson Image © 2016 Dr Graham Wilson (This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.)  Cheung, W. W. L., Jones, M. C., Lam, V. W. Y., D Miller, D., Ota, Y., Teh, L. and Sumaila, U. R. (2016), Transform high seas management to build climate resilience in marine seafood supply. Fish Fish. doi:10.1111/faf.12177 Abstract Climate change is projected to redistribute fisheries resources, resulting in tropical regions suffering decreases in seafood production. While sustainably managing marine ecosystems contributes to building climate resilience, these solutions require transformation of ocean governance. Recent studies and international initiatives suggest that conserving high seas biodiversity and fish stocks will have ecological and economic benefits; however, implications for seafood security under climate change have not been examined. Here, we apply global-scale mechanistic species distribution models to 30 major straddling fish stocks to show that transforming high seas fisheries governance could increase resilience to climate change impacts. By closing the high seas to fishing or cooperatively managing its fisheries, we project that catches in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) would likely increase by around 10% by 2050 relative to 2000 under climate change (representative concentration pathway 4.5 and 8.5), compensating for the expected losses (around −6%) from ‘business-as-usual’. Specifically, high seas closure increases the resilience of fish stocks, as indicated by a mean species abundance index, by 30% in EEZs. We suggest that improving high seas fisheries governance would increase the resilience of coastal countries to climate change. About us Established in 2010, GCAP (http://climateadaptation.cc) ranks among the top 10 leading climate think tanks globally, providing knowledge services related to national adaptation investment and finance, climate economics, climate adaptation strategy and planning and climate risk screening.  A world class organisation, we support managers holding over $1 billion in funds.  Our flagship, Oxford Adaptation Academy (http://www.climateadaptation.cc/our-work/adaptation-academy), is a unique incubator for leadership and innovation within the field of climate adaptation. Dr Graham Wilson leads the personal development and leadership strand of the Adaptation Academy.  With a background in ethology and behavioural science, he is an Executive, Leadership and Political Confidant, Tutor in Psychology and Counselling with the University of Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Adaptation Academy.  His research interests include coaching and visual anthropology.  [LinkedIn = http://tinyurl.com/drgwli]  
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727 Hits
Jul
30

The threefold intangible challenge of Climate Change

The threefold intangible challenge of Climate Change


Check out Luis Fernandez's article published on The Conversation below. Luis' (an adaptation knowledge leader) focuses on a pedagogic and philosphical approach to understand how the intangibility of climate change shapes our perception of climate change.

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4055 Hits

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