GCAP Blog

Bringing innovation to practice in adapting to climate change.
Nov
21

The mundane side of adaptation

The mundane side of adaptation

Our street has trees all down one side (they hide the tiny railway track). They glow green in the Spring and are brilliant yellows and oranges in the Autumn, and they’re fantastic. But they do drop leaves. Lots and lots of leaves. When the council had a lot of money that wasn’t an issue, because street-cleaners would appear, and the leaves would magically disappear.

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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 Resilience requires far more than technical innovation

Climate Resilience requires far more than technical innovation
Bringing together sources of technical, social and political innovation, with local communities and sources of finance, is a hot topic in the climate adaptation and resilience field.  So, it's exciting seeing this being recognised and applied within communities in South Africa as described in this recent paper. Graham Wilson NB Image source: CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  Baudoin, M. & Ziervogel, G. (2016) What role for local organisations in climate change adaptation? Insights from South Africa.  Reg Environ Change. doi:10.1007/s10113-016-1061-9http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-016-1061-9 Abstract With increasing funding directed towards climate change adaptation (CCA) in developing countries, there is a growing need to understand how this support is landing on the ground and impacting on the targeted vulnerable communities. Due to failure of top-down approaches, international organisations such as the adaptation fund are now demanding direct involvement of local actors when funding adaptation actions. Direct access mechanisms have been developed to facilitate channelling fund from the international to local levels. At this level, civil society, public and private organisations have a key role to play to assist adaptation among vulnerable groups. But are local organisations ready to play that role in developing countries? In this paper, we develop and apply a framework to measure adaptive capacity among local organisations. Through extensive fieldwork in South Africa, we assessed the capacity of local organisations to develop and implement CCA projects, and thus access international funds for adaptation. Results highlight key determinants of adaptive capacity and identify areas to prioritise for capacity-building interventions. Key findings include strengthening local organisations’ effectiveness (e.g. resources, project management capacity) and flexibility; raising awareness about adaptation and its links with socio-economic development; and promoting partnerships and knowledge networks as pathways to build adaptive capacity among local organisations in South Africa. 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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828 Hits
Jun
23

Is climate adaptation boring?

Is climate adaptation boring?

The comedian, John Oliver, cleverly and satirically captures America’s growing problem of aging infrastructure in an episode of ‘Last Week Tonight’. Infrastructure, such as transport, energy, water supplies and communications, are essential to every country. However it is rarely seen as a ‘sexy’ issue, and rarely even remotely interesting.

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