Capturing adaptations globally and nationally
Asmita Bhardwaj, PhD
While COP 26 was postponed to 2021 a series of Climate Dialogues were convened in 2020 virtually , issues such as the relationship between land and adaptation, adaptation credits under Article 6, adaptation plans and funds were discussed, adaptation became key to the climate change debate.
The story so far
The Adaptation discourse has changed from developing a social vulnerability framework for adaptation and architecture of entitlement, maladapation, adaptive management of natural resources, vulnerability and resilience framework, models of adaptation, loss and damage perspectives to adaptation, costs of adaptation and efficacy of adaptation, vulnerability and risk, to scaling up adaptation, indigenous and local knowledge and mainstreaming climate adaptation in water planning and climate-resilient water management and adaptive management and governance.
Moving towards managing and governing adaptation
Despite these realisations a lot of the current work on options for adaptation in semiarid and low-lying coastal areas has tended to devote high level of attention to technological and infrastructure alternatives for reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing adaptive capacity while neglecting the social or institutional alternatives. To effectively adapt to climate change, better water management will have to include a combination of hard (infrastructural) and soft (institutional) measures. Adaptive governance has emerged as a key theoretical framework of governance for addressing the uncertain, systemic, complex, and contested problem of climate change.
The role of local institutions is important in shaping adaptation if it has to help the most vulnerable social groups. Several such community adaptive governance measures and best management practices are being adopted by municipalities in Saskatewan, Canada, to tackle the droughts and floods that will increase with climate variability.
These include measures such as drainage ditches for crop flooding, source water protection plans, abandoned wells etc and are created through collaborative partnerships between governments, communities and watershed groups.