What does successful adaptation look like? This is a question we are frequently asked by planners, policy makers and other professionals charged with the task of developing and implementing adaptation strategies. While adaptation is increasingly recognized as an important climate risk management strategy, and on-the-ground adaptation planning activity is becoming more common-place, there is no clear guidance as to what success would look like, what to aim for and how to judge progress.
This edited volume makes significant progress toward unpacking the question of successful adaptation, offering both scientifically informed and practice-relevant answers from various sectors and regions of the world. It brings together 18 chapters from leading experts within the field to present careful analyses of different cases and situations, questioning throughout commonly avowed truisms and unspoken assumptions that have pervaded climate adaptation science and practice to date. This book offers not one answer but demonstrates how the question of success in important ways is normative and context specific. It identifies the various dimensions of success, such as economic, political, institutional, ecological, and social, explores the tensions between them, and compiles encouraging evidence that resolutions can be found. The book appraises how climatic and non-climatic stressors play a role, what role science does and can play in adaptation decision making, and how trade-offs and other concerns and priorities shape adaptation planning and implementation on the ground.
This is timely interdisciplinary text sheds light on key issues that arise in on-the-ground adaptation to climate change. It bridges the gap between science and practical application of successful adaptation strategies and will be of interest to both students, academics and practitioners.