The Alpine Space is severely affected by climate change. Adaptation to climatic change is needed to deal with climate related risks and to manage climate change impacts. National adaptation strategies are in place in some Alpine countries, but implementation is inhibited by multiple obstacles: Regional adaptation strategies and action plans are just emerging, adaptation has hardly entered local agendas, and policy mainstreaming is limited on all levels. Governance has a key role in the transition from adaptation strategies to implementation in practice, but capacities for multilevel, cross-sector governance of aaptation processes are lacking in all countries. Adequate governance designs and models are mostly still missing or not operational.
Governance of Adaptation to Climate Change
Governance of adaptation to climate change is defined as the structures, processes and interdependencies that determine how actors (from public administration, politics, science, business and civil society) make decisions, share power, exercise responsibility, and ensure accountability regarding adaptation to climate change. Governance is about the horizontal interplay of sectors and the vertical interplay of policy levels. It requires mandatory (formal) and voluntary (informal) cooperation between actors, across sectors and across policy levels and is regionally specific and context-sensitive.
Mapping governance of adaptation to climate change means identifying and visualizing the most relevant climate change adaptation activities. Methodologically, the mapping is based on expert assessments on the most relevant adaptation policies, measures, actors, knowledge resources, and interactions. We distinguish different types of interactions to represent the most important functions of governance: information, decision-making, implementation, funding, monitoring and evaluation.
Mapping governance of adaptation to climate change in the Alpine Space and visualizing those governance patterns and dynamics is essential in order to learn from the diversity of governance approaches taken in different countries and regions, to share strengths and weaknesses and to highlight options and innovations for enhancing vertical coordination and mainstreaming.
The WSL led the project «GoApply: Multidimensional governance of climate change adaptation in policy making and practice» from November 2016 to April 2019 on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). It took place as part of the «Interreg Alpine Space Programme/Call 2». The FOEN also conducted a governance case study for Switzerland in 2017.
2017 - 2019