A comparative analysis of the loss of life during two recent floods in France: the sea surge caused by the storm Xynthia and the flash flood in Var. protection of marine ecosystems from pollution, to allow them to maintain their natural resilience and adaptive capacities, and then ensuring their buffer function against waves, for example). Natural Hazards 61(3): 1179–1201. doi: 10.1002/wcc.409. Indicators of vulnerability and adaptive capacity: towards a clarification of the science-policy interface. However, their usefulness for studies dealing with coastal areas in the face of climate-related hazards is limited, because they focus mostly on infrastructure. 13These two frameworks are definitely helpful in moving from the concept of maladaptation to more practice-oriented guidelines. 2013) and the implementation of adaptation through different policy processes (Runhaar et al. Maldaptation Does the risk of maladaptation change with the ‘nature’ of adaptation? both local stakeholders and population often identify the treatment of wreckages or the installation of solar panels as adaptation options – see for example in Magnan, 2012). When this happens, adaptation strategies are called maladaptation , a concept … We complemented this with a review of the literature dealing with the implementation of adaptation (e.g. This view notably fits with that of Barnett and O’Neill. In fact, avoiding maladaptation is largely based on not repeating past and present mistakes (. Here, acquiring new knowledge and expertise is part of adaptation. Definition (1) thus puts to one side the uncertainty about future climate and environmental conditions, focussing instead on the potentially adverse effects of an initiative that may be taken now in the name of adaptation. Ensure economically and socially equitable initiatives. However, their usefulness for studies dealing with coastal areas in the face of climate-related hazards is limited, because they focus mostly on infrastructure5, ignoring other driving forces of vulnerability and adaptation in coastal areas, e.g. The options available to socio-ecological systems facing natural or anthropogenic disturbances will of course also depend on human characteristics, specifically those related to the environment (beliefs, risk perceptions, traditional uses of natural resources, This is the dimension that is most readily recognised by analytical works on adaptation initiatives (see for example Barr. Uncertainty thus cannot be an excuse to do nothing at the present, and this paper argues that a promising way to encounter uncertainty and start engaging robust adaptation on the ground is to focus the attention on avoiding maladaptation to climate change. To constitute an adaptation, an initiative must be consistent with the nature and dynamics of existing environmental components, and must take into account the potential threats of climate change on evolving environmental conditions (e.g. At first glance, such a message may not seem to bring anything new into the debate on sustainability and adaptation. Lempert, R.J. & M.T. We also consider a broad range of adaptation implementation forms (policies, plans, projects), using the generic term “adaptation initiatives”. Managing the risk of uncertain thresholds responses: comparison of robust, optimum, and precautionary approaches. Avoiding Maladaptation to climate change" (Italy, 6-9 November, 2012, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation). Ensure that the initiative does not increase emissions of greenhouse gases. Spennemann, D.H.R. The rapid pace of climate change may exceed the ability of many species to adapt in place or migrate to suitable habitats, and this fundamental mismatch raises the possibility of extinction or local extirpation. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, It could indeed encourage actors to not take into account long-term potential adverse effects of the action, inducing a potential increase in their own vulnerability or in neighbouring systems’ vulnerability. . Ultimately, the paper affirms that a challenge for future research consists in developing context‐specific guidelines that will allow funding bodies to make the best decisions to support adaptation (i.e., by better capturing the risk of maladaptation) and practitioners to design adaptation initiatives with a low risk of maladaptation. 1Many initiatives labelled as “climate change adaptation” are now emerging in both developing and developed countries. Two such, that we have called the. Climate and Development 1: 16–30. Stocker, W.D. Mach et al. Considering this, and for practical reasons, we artificially distinguish between environmental, sociocultural and economic maladaptations, in order to allow the identification of specific guidelines. And in his paper, Hallegatte insists on the importance of reducing the risk of increasing systems’ vulnerability by taking into account a wide range of climate change impacts. It is indeed far from sure that uncertainty will diminish with time, for three main reasons: 1—advances in climate science may lead to increased uncertainty, especially when new processes are identified. Finally, we propose eleven guidelines (Table 3), arguing that because they necessarily interact with each other, initiatives that address many or all of the guidelines will have a lower risk of maladaptation compared to initiatives that address few or none of them. While this wait-and-see stance is in some ways understandable, it is untenable. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties. He adopts an economic view, and in doing so does not address the potential costs and benefits of an action from social and environmental perspectives. Port-Louis, Mauritius: International Organisation for Migration Reports. The concept of flexibility is considered here as a mainstay of adaptive capacity (Adger et al., 2005; Cardona et al., 2012). We complemented this with a review of the literature dealing with the implementation of adaptation (, ) and with the identification of concrete adaptation options (, on “robust” and “no regret” options – Lempert & Schlesinger, 2000; Lempert & Collins, 2007; Hallegatte, 2009; Heltberg, , 2009). The need for quantitative and objective indicators was emphasized in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (volume II, chapter 14): “Five dimensions of maladaptation were identified by Barnett and O’Neill (2010) [that] are useful pointers to the potential for maladaptation but their application depends on subjective assessments.” (Noble et al., 2014: 29). Crossref. & R. Biesbroek (2013). Addressing the risk of maladaptation to climate change. “A major issue with large infrastructural development [the one considered in the authors’ case study] is the way they commit capital and institutions to trajectories that are difficult to change in the future” (p. 212). Hallegatte also insists on this point when he writes that a good way to by-pass the problem of climate uncertainty is to target “options that [are] the most insensitive to future climate conditions” (2009: 242). ], McCarthy, J.J., O.F. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. This is however not always possible on the ground, as it is often necessary to make trade-offs between development and environmental challenges10 (e.g. This is a first concrete step towards adaptation in the broader sense, and this paper puts forward some guidelines to this end. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Évaluer ex ante la pertinence de projets locaux d’adaptation au changement climatique. A general, analytic method for generating robust strategies and narrative scenarios. In an ideal scenario, an initiative must ensure that the present income that various groups derive from economic and/or subsistence activities does not decrease, and should provide a new source of income. . In: Palutikof, J.P. et al. When positives, these feedbacks effects could lead to the acceleration of key processes (e.g., sea ice melting) and related detrimental phenomena (see Alley. (2013). To constitute an adaptation, an initiative must be consistent with the nature and dynamics of existing environmental components, and must take into account the potential threats of climate change on evolving environmental conditions (. In: Field C. et al. Support the relative diversification of economic and/or subsistence activities. This Assessment framework is thus destined to inform the formulation of adaptation initiatives prior to their implementation (ex ante approach), rather than to enable an ex post evaluation of the benefits and shortcomings of initiatives undertaken in the name of adaptation. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 45(1): 371-377. This is especially reflected in principles 1, 3 and 5 of the Precautionary framework, as well as principle 3 of the Pathways framework. Together, these guidelines and this assumption constitute the “Assessment framework” for approaching maladaptation to climate change at a local level. Human adaptation to climate variability and change. Global climate projections. Additionally to the funding bodies mentioned above, the author warmly thanks Lisa E.F. Schipper (SEI, USA) for her help on the conceptual section (section 2.1); Raphaël Billé, Julien Rochette and Pierre Barthélémy (IDDRI, France) for their comments on an earlier version of this text; Melissa Cox for her comments and help in English editing; and Gillian Gladstone for her help in English editing. Consider and develop local skills and knowledge related to climate-related hazards and the environment. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gemenne, F. & A. Magnan (2010). In this case, the initiative may only be considered as “adaptation” if it takes its own in situ negative effects into account and if, in parallel, it puts in place compensation mechanisms (e.g. rehabilitating coastal sand dunes) and strengthening current societies’ adaptive capacities (e.g. This criterion is quite disputable as on the other hand, one can consider the reduction in decision-making timescales as a major source of maladaptation. In: Field C. et al. Smithers and Smit (1997) and Schipper (2009) also mention the term maladaptation in their work. (1996). Billé, R., R. Lapeyre & R. Pirard (2012). Without adequate consideration of the impacts of climate change, such investments … 7Essentially, definition (1) considers maladaptation as a pathway, limits it to the detrimental effects of an adaptation initiative on the system’s vulnerability to climate variability and change, links it to the necessity for flexibility in order to face current and future climate-related extreme events and gradual environmental changes, and emphasizes its multi-temporal nature. Such an ex ante approach, however, supposes to get a clearer understanding of what maladaptation is. But maladaptation also talk to other development actions that aren't climate driven at all but increase climate change risk and vulnerability. Reducing the risk of maladaptation in response to sea-level rise and urban water scarcity. November 6-9, 2012 at the Rockefeller Foundation centre in Bellagio, Italy. 2013), and consequently exacerbate vulnerability. (Eds.) Yet adaptation to climate change is no easy matter: decisions may fail to meet their objectives,and they mayeven increase vulnerability. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Reducing the lifetime of investments, therefore, is an option to reduce uncertainty and corresponding costs” (p.245). on “robust” and “no regret” options – Lempert & Schlesinger, 2000; Lempert & Collins, 2007; Hallegatte, 2009; Heltberg et al., 2009). Many initiatives labelled as “climate change adaptation” are now emerging in both developing and developed countries. This means avoiding upsetting the sociocultural equilibrium by developing skills at the community level and, at the same time, generating or maintaining collective responses. direct and indirect impacts on resources). Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 19: 89–99. Disproportionately burdening the most vulnerable, 2. Are we adapting to climate change? Abrupt climate change. Barnett and O’Neill (2010) talk about “five different pathways through which maladaptation arises” (p. 210) and about “pathways of maladaptation” (p. 212). This principle aims to avoid the confusion – still very common on the ground – between adaptation and mitigation (e.g. This guideline is consistent with principle 5 of the Pathways framework and principle 1 of the Precautionary framework (see Figure 1). (1). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. storms, floods) and gradual changes (e.g. This indicates a growing awareness over the last two decades of how important the adaptation component has become. Cost-benefit analyses (on economic, social, environmental… dimensions) should be conducted before choosing the right option to implement. This, is thus destined to inform the formulation of adaptation initiatives prior to their implementation (. Second, we capitalize on our own ten-year experience of research in low-lying coastal areas in Kiribati and Bangladesh (. ) The glossary of the AR5-WGII report proposed to define maladaptation as: “Actions that may lead to increased risk of adverse climate related outcomes, increased vulnerability to climate change, or diminished welfare, now or in the future” (Field et al., 2014). & A.E. Maladaptation Some degree of climate change is now inevitable, and so therefore is the need for responses to avoid its likely impacts. that must not be eroded. This paper however affirms the opposite, arguing that adaptation does not rely only on innovative initiatives, but also on “doing well what we currently do badly”, Although the issue of maladaptation is of growing concern, surprisingly few frameworks exist that help better understand and identify the risks and forms of maladaptation. 6 As the Pathways and the Precautionary approaches do with the terms “actions” and “strategies”, respectively. ; 2—the magnitude of future climate change will greatly depend on future greenhouse gas emissions, and consequently on decisions not yet taken; and 3—future impacts will affect future societies whose precise characteristics we cannot identify decades in advance. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. It also describes three examples of frameworks—the Pathways, the Precautionary, ... key step to the wider process of adapting to climate variability and change. within the atmosphere or between the atmophere and the ocean). The first column lists the characteristics of maladaptation identified by Barnett & O’Neill, and the second column reformulates this as principles for avoiding maladaptation. Attendees (in alphabeti, This suggests both that there is a scholarship of maladaptation, and that the concept is making its way into the mainstream, but it does not imply that there is clarity on what it means. “Strategies that reduce vulnerability at null or low costs (…). (Eds.) In this case, the initiative may only be considered as “adaptation” if it takes its own, negative effects into account and if, in parallel, it puts in place compensation mechanisms (. Addressing adaption and maladaptation in coastal climate change projects will also be the theme of a training workshop hosted by ILEG and the Imaarisha Vijana Initiative as an in-depth follow up of the dialogue event. 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