Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Special Issue on the Governance of Adaptation to Climate Change as a multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor challenge

A special issue of the Journal of Water and Climate Change on "the governance of adaptation to climate change as a multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor challenge" has just appeared. I acted as guest editor for this special issue, together with Sander Meijerink and Hens Runhaar.

The special issue can be found on the journal website:

In this special issue, three crosscutting issues in the governance of climate change adaptation are discussed. These are the multi-scale, multisector and multi-actor challenges in the governance of climate change adaptation. The multi-scale challenge refers of climate change adaptation plays out. This involves issues like framing the scale of the climate change adaptation problem,the institutionalization of responsibilities for climate change adaptation over different levels of governance, and dealing with the tension between the governance scale and the relevant climate change adaptation problem scales. The multi-sector challenge refers to the variety of policy sectors
involved in the governance of climate change adaptation. Given the cross-cutting character of climate
change adaptation, decisions on whether and how to mainstream climate change adaptation over different policy sectors are of key concern here. The multi-actor challenge refers to the roles and responsibilities of actors of public and private actors in the governance of climate change adaptation. This includes questions about modes of governance, the allocation of public and private responsibilities, public–private interactions, and about the specific roles of research institutes and non-governmental organizations.

The Editorial: The governance of adaptation to climate change as a multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor challenge: a European comparative perspective is open access, and can be found here:

This is the list of articles:
Handling adaptation policy choices in Sweden, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands
Eric Massey, Dave Huitema, Heiko Garrelts, Kevin Grecksch, Heleen Mees, Tim Rayner, Sofie Storbjörk, Catrien Termeer and Maik Winges.......... 9–24
The role of leadership in regional climate change adaptation: a comparison of adaptation practices initiated by governmental and non-governmental actors
Sander Meijerink, Sabina Stiller, E. Carina H. Keskitalo, Peter Scholten, Robert Smits and Frank van Lamoen.......... 25–37
The rationales of resilience in English and Dutch flood risk policies
Mark Wiering, Colin Green, Marleen van Rijswick, Sally Priest and Andrea Keessen.......... 38–54
Adapting flood management to climate change: comparing policy frames and governance practices in the Low Countries
Ann Crabbé, Mark Wiering and Duncan Liefferink.......... 55–70
Do state traditions matter? Comparing deliberative governance initiatives for climate change adaptation in Dutch corporatism and British pluralism
M. J. Vink, D. Benson, D. Boezeman, H. Cook, A. Dewulf and C. Termeer.......... 71–88
Reconciling collaborative action research with existing institutions: insights from Dutch and German climate knowledge programmes
Catrien Termeer, Arwin van Buuren, Joerg Knieling and Manuel Gottschick.......... 89–103

Friday, November 21, 2014

Indigenous peoples and climate change mitigation: addressing issues of scale, knowledge and power

A paper I have worked on together with Marcela Brugnach and Marc Craps has just appeared on-line in the journal Climatic Change.

Including indigenous peoples in climate change mitigation: addressing issues of scale, knowledge and power

The abstract read as follows:

Involving indigenous peoples in the development of mitigation measures for climate change presents procedural, conceptual and structural challenges. Here, we reflect on some of these challenges and ways of overcoming them, as suggested by collaborative approaches to policy and decision making. We specifically focus on issues of scale, knowledge and power, and how they interrelate to act as a barrier or opportunity for the involvement of indigenous groups. We argue that multi-scalar negotiations, blended knowledge and power-sharing structures are all necessary to include indigenous communities as valuable partners in climate change mitigation, and we suggest strategies and recommendations for actively accomplishing this inclusion. Examples from recent literature about the inclusion of indigenous communities in different sectors, are used to illustrate and provide evidence of the current problematic and the need for collaborative solutions. Overall, the ideas expressed here, serve as a conceptual framework to better understand and support the inclusion of indigenous communities in policy and decision making processes.

The paper can be downloaded here or at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1280-3

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Citizen science, water-related ecosystem services and decision-making

The Mountain-EVO project on Adaptive Governance of Mountain Ecosystem Services has yielded a first joint publication, in the form of cross-disciplinary exploration of the role of citizen science in water resources management. It is based on a project-wide effort reflected in the long author list of this articles in Frontiers of Earth Science.

Citizen science in hydrology and water resources: opportunities for knowledge generation, ecosystem service management, and sustainable development

Buytaert W, Zulkafli Z, Grainger S, Acosta L, Alemie TC, Bastiaensen J, De Bièvre B, Bhusal J, Clark J, Dewulf A, Foggin M, Hannah DM, Hergarten C, Isaeva A, Karpouzoglou T, Pandeya B, Paudel D, Sharma K, Steenhuis T, Tilahun S, Van Hecken G and Zhumanova M

This is the abstract:
The participation of the general public in the research design, data collection and interpretation process together with scientists is often referred to as citizen science. While citizen science itself has existed since the start of scientific practice, developments in sensing technology, data processing and visualization, and communication of ideas and results, are creating a wide range of new opportunities for public participation in scientific research. This paper reviews the state of citizen science in a hydrological context and explores the potential of citizen science to complement more traditional ways of scientific data collection and knowledge generation for hydrological sciences and water resources management. Although hydrological data collection often involves advanced technology, the advent of robust, cheap, and low-maintenance sensing equipment provides unprecedented opportunities for data collection in a citizen science context. These data have a significant potential to create new hydrological knowledge, especially in relation to the characterization of process heterogeneity, remote regions, and human impacts on the water cycle. However, the nature and quality of data collected in citizen science experiments is potentially very different from those of traditional monitoring networks. This poses challenges in terms of their processing, interpretation, and use, especially with regard to assimilation of traditional knowledge, the quantification of uncertainties, and their role in decision support. It also requires care in designing citizen science projects such that the generated data complement optimally other available knowledge. Lastly, using 4 case studies from remote mountain regions we reflect on the challenges and opportunities in the integration of hydrologically-oriented citizen science in water resources management, the role of scientific knowledge in the decision-making process, and the potential contestation to established community institutions posed by co-generation of new knowledge.
The paper can be downloaded here or on the website of the open access journal Frontiers in Earth Science: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/feart.2014.00026

Monday, September 29, 2014

The power to frame the scale?

The final empirical chapter in Maartje van Lieshout's PhD dissertation got published in the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning! Maartje successfully defended her PhD on the 8th of January this year, and her dissertation can be downloaded here.http://edepot.wur.nl/287139. The full title of the article is:

The Power to Frame the Scale? Analysing Scalar Politics over, in and of a Deliberative Governance Process

This is the abstract:
Scale framing is a powerful mechanism in shaping the meaning of policy issues, with far-reaching consequences for governance processes in terms of responsibilities and inclusion or exclusion of actors and ideas. However scale framing has not received much attention in public administration and policy sciences. In this paper, we study scale framing in governance processes. We question how some actors ensure that their scale frames prevail, whereas other scale frames disappear. We analyse the interplay between scale framing and power dynamics in a debate about the future of Dutch intensive agriculture. We distinguish between the power dynamics: in the interaction, of the interaction and over the interaction. Our study shows that at first sight, the ‘power-over’ in this process appeared very strong and dominated the ‘power-in’ and the ‘power-of’, but in the end, surprisingly, the power-of appeared even stronger. Furthermore, we show that scale frames are powerful discursive devices in the different episodes (power-in), but the analysis of the process shows that the variety in (scale) frames largely disappears. Thus, although there are many good arguments in favour of organizing policy processes deliberatively, the process design in this case strengthened central government's power-over, rather than the other actors’ power-of.
The paper can be downloaded here or at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2014.936581

The full reference: is Lieshout, M. van, Dewulf, A., Aarts, N., & Termeer, C. (2014). The Power to Frame the Scale? Analysing Scalar Politics over, in and of a Deliberative Governance Process. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, (September), 1–24. doi:10.1080/1523908X.2014.936581

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Informational governance projects at Wageningen University

As part of strategic research programme of Wageningen University on Informational Governance for Sustainability, several research projects are on-going. I'm involved in two of them and they have produced nice factsheets that give an overview of these projects. Click on the banners or links below for the factsheets.

Factsheet ECOMPRIS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By5AhRfmoR2fQ3lCTWJlM1pMVk0
Factsheet social media: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By5AhRfmoR2fcXg2c1FQYm84R1k/