Conservation organizations need to consider adaptive capacity: why local input matters

Mcleod, Elizabeth, Szuster, Brian, Hinkel, Jochen, Tompkins, Emma L., Marshall, Nadine, Downing, Thomas, Wongbusarakum, Supin, Patwardhan, Anand, Hamza, Mo, Anderson, Cheryl, Bharwani, Sukaina, Hansen, Lara, and Rubinoff, Pamela (2016) Conservation organizations need to consider adaptive capacity: why local input matters. Conservation Letters, 9 (5). pp. 351-360.

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Abstract

Conservation organizations are increasingly applying adaptive capacity assessments in response to escalating climate change impacts. These assessments are essential to identify climate risks to ecosystems, prioritize management interventions, maximize the effectiveness of conservation actions, and ensure conservation resources are allocated appropriately. Despite an extensive literature on the topic, there is little agreement on the most relevant factors needed to support local scale initiatives, and additional guidance is needed to clarify how adaptive capacity should be assessed. This article discusses why adaptive capacity assessment represents a critical tool supporting conservation planning and management. It also evaluates key factors guiding conservation NGOs conducting these assessments in tropical island communities, and explores alternative priorities based on input from academic experts and key local stakeholders. Our results demonstrate that important differences exist between local stakeholders and nonlocal academic experts on key factors affecting adaptation and coping mechanisms. The exclusion of local community input affects the validity of adaptive capacity assessment findings, and has significant implications for the prioritization and effectiveness of conservation strategies and funding allocation.

Item ID: 46506
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptive capacity, climate vulnerability assessment, natural resource management
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ISSN: 1755-263X
Funders: Nature Conservancy (NC), German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2016 07:34
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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