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ADAM Learning Examples

by Darryn McEvoy

Adaptation to climate change is a relatively new focus for both research and policy communities. To address this emerging agenda, and enhance our understanding of what adaptation means in practice, actor-based research has been carried out across a range of different case studies - for the purposes of the ADAM project termed 'learning examples'. These were chosen to ensure representation of a range of different characteristics and circumstances; including differences in geographical location and vulnerability, levels of awareness and perception of risk, institutional presence, decision-making cultures, and the roles and motivations of public bodies and private interests (as well as relationships between them).


For each of the different learning examples, the research team has engaged directly with key experts and stakeholders through a series of workshops and interviews to build up a picture of differing perceptions and attitudes to risk by different actors, to identify adaptation good practice, as well as evaluating the underlying institutional conditions and processes that either enable or hinder the implementation of adaptation measures in practice i.e. adaptation as a process. This bottom-up perspective is considered essential as although adaptation to climate change can take place at various scales, climate risks are commonly context specific (a function of hazard type, vulnerability of elements at risk, and their exposure) and hence the actual implementation of adaptation measures will often be at the local level.


Due to the complex nature of the climate change there is no definitive answer to what is 'good' adaptation. However, it is intended that by drawing on the expertise of different stakeholders the learning examples begin to shed some light on what adaptation means in practice, and the institutional mechanisms that will be needed for best practice to occur. The contributions from different experts and stakeholders is fully acknowledged, though the discussion and arguments presented in the learning examples are those of the named authors.

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