Environmental Change: Key Issues and Alternative Perspectives
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In Municipality 6, the participants indicated that climate change depends on the biochemical and physical processes created by the exposure of these elements to the environment , which concurs with the comments of Municipality 5, in which climate change is related to changes in the atmosphere because of emissions from human activities. In contrast, in Municipality 2, a participant indicated that climate change is not happening; it is only a natural manifestation or a cycle.
The main causes of climate change, according to the participants, are deforestation, air pollution caused by industrial processes and poor management of solid waste. For example, in Municipality 3, it was said that climate change has occurred before, but its consequences are now being caused by damage that we ourselves have caused through actions such as the clearing of trees. These causes are associated with environmental degradation, not associated with climate or associated less with climate change and climate variability, indicating that climate change is related to environmental problems.
The participants believed that the consequences of climate change began 10 years ago. However, in Municipality 9, some argued that climate change occurred as a result of the Industrial Revolution in the West. In all regions, the main effects of climate change have been observed in health, food and water availability, damage to flora and fauna and the decrease in soil quality. These findings indicate different perceptions of climate change between regions with a strong link between rainfall and diseases.
Wu et al. In Colombia, it is important to reduce vulnerability through adaptation and mitigation measures by combining technical, social and perceptual knowledge, which are among the most effective approaches to improving the quality of life of human society in the context of climate change.
To understand the information habits related to climate change in the Colombian population, the objectives are twofold: to understand the images, conceptions and representations of climate change through the media; and. The participants of the focus groups believed that they were relatively well informed on climate change, and the main media used were television and the internet. Magazines, news and radio were rarely used for information on climate change. In Municipality 7, the participants indicated that universities make a strong effort to investigate climate change; however, the information is not accessible to the public, the information is not in Spanish and the information presented is complex.
In Municipality 6, the participants indicated that institutions develop projects on climate change, and they have first-hand information. Focus groups from Municipality 2, Municipality 8 and Municipality 5 stated that public outreach campaigns conducted by local governmental institutions do not have an effect on society because the problems associated with climate change are related to the lack of awareness and culture to promote care for the environment.
These results indicate that the participants have at least heard of climate change from different media sources, which concurs with the studies of Leiserowitz in the American context. In the communication process of climate change, it is important to take into account the following aspects: purpose and scope, audience framing, messages, messengers, modes and channels of communication and assessing the results and effectiveness of the process, which are related to several contextual factors that may affect the goal and effectiveness of the intended message Moser, This dimension seeks to analyse the perception of participants of climate policies, public institutions that investigate climate change, public resources used to control climate change and the use and application of mechanisms to ensure citizen participation.
The majority of participants believed that the research on climate change is insufficient in Colombia. The public expenditure is limited to less than 1 per cent of the gross national product, with 3, interventions in 1, municipalities Adaptation Fund, , despite its potential consequences and impacts. Consequently, it is important to promote actions to adapt to these facts. In Municipality 6, the participants commented that universities, NGOs and companies invest in studies or actions for climate change with limited resources, although the public sector should be responsible for generating more investment in this issue.
In general, the participants believed that government offices are engaged in few activities, programmes or projects related to climate change. In Municipality 2, a participant indicated that typically, the community is not involved in programmes that are developed by the local government, and based on the lack of knowledge of the population, the residents assume that nothing is done. The participants confirmed this in Municipality 3, where it was indicated that there is a lack of knowledge on the scope of the projects.
In Municipality 9, the participants indicated that public entities that are responsible for carrying out educational campaigns on climate change are limited in terms of the control and monitoring activities of companies that generate environmental impacts. In contrast, in Municipality 8, the participants stated that local authorities carry out many campaigns to protect the environment, but people are not aware of this topic. The more commonly used mechanisms for citizen participation are the following: Community Action Councils, municipal committees for the environment, participation committees for affairs related to health territorial, municipal, departmental and public hearings and public consultation.
These findings demonstrate that climate change governance is perceived differently, which concurs with Moyano et al. Therefore, the formulation of adequate and effective climate change governance must recognise the multitude of perceptions that converge in the process of governance that promotes greater participation of non-state stakeholders and other stakeholders Pohlmann, This dimension allows for both the identification and evaluation process and actions carried out in everyday life regarding climate change by the participants to understand the integration of scientific knowledge on climate change and the activities and processes performed by the population to control or mitigate climate change.
It is important to define the forms and strategies as people become involved, negotiate and participate in this issue.
The participants have applied different mitigation practices, such as changes in the modes of dress and diet, the use of fans or air conditioners and the application of sunscreen. With respect to other practices related to climate change, the participants have decreased energy and water consumption and have made improvements to waste management, recycling and other practices, although these are intended to improve environmental quality.
In Municipality 5, a participant indicated that more adaptation actions are linked to consumption practices, but this is not a reflection of climate change and how one must adapt to this fact. In general, participants are sceptical in terms of campaigns or other educational activities designed for adoption by the population in their daily lives.
The majority of the participants have not made complaints, grievances or requests regarding climate change and believe that regions are not ready to address the consequences of climate change. In Municipality 3, a participant commented that through regulation, companies must integrate environmental plans or socio-environmental compensation in their processes, but these actions are not evident, and governmental entities do not monitor or evaluate the environmental impacts.
The focus groups show differences in opinions and perceptions of climate change according to region, taking into account the conditions and environment. Table IV describes the main results according to the four perception dimensions and the location of the focus group. These results concur with the research of Wardekker et al. The results of this study on perception indicate that policy makers should take into account the following: different political instruments based on geographical features, impacts and vulnerability of climate change, and stakeholders;.
Moreover, adequate governance of climate change must promote equity, participation, pluralism, transparency, accountability and the rule of law United Nations, These elements were noted by different participants of focus groups according to the particular environment and are a fundamental input to strengthening climate change policies in Colombia. The design of policies and decision-making related to climate change requires progress in the appropriation of science by society.
It is important to strengthen communication among scientists, decision makers and stakeholders and to translate knowledge into impacts and guidelines for action. The exploration of innovative institutional forms has become mandatory to achieve better adaptation to and mitigation of climate change Hidalgo and Natenzon, The findings of this study indicate that participants believe that climate change is occurring and that it is necessary to develop new plans that guarantee adequate adaptation to this situation. The Colombian population faces varying challenges in different regions, and it is important to continue with the design and implementation of effective climate governance that includes: exogenous drivers, such as the national political context, lessons from other countries, political support for climate action, the opinion of the population, market dynamics and previous experiences with disasters Dodman and Mitlin, ; Finnis et al.
In general, this study shows that the participants of the focus groups believe that climate change is occurring and is associated with changes in temperature, heavy rainfall, contamination and climate variability, among other issues.
Perceptions of climate change show some differences between the regions, taking into account environmental conditions and cultural patterns. However, in these regions, the dominant social perception is rainfall and disease. The participants expressed that they had information on mitigation or adaptation practices from the media and campaigns or other educational strategies that include care for the environment, recycling and reforestation. However, the participants had doubts about the effectiveness of these campaigns because of the lack of incorporation of adequate measures in everyday life because the public is not aware of or is uninterested in climate change.
The main media types used to inform the public about climate change are television and the internet, including national-level news programmes and websites of governmental offices, and at the international level, specialised programmes such as the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. To strengthen communication on climate change, it is important to create an effective link between different stakeholders researchers, disseminators, communication media and population by taking into account the message to be transmitted, the purpose and scope, audience framing, the modes and channels that guarantee the effectiveness of the message and the appropriation of knowledge that creates a higher-level awareness in the population regarding climate change.
Local governments should increase analysis and evaluation of the effects of climate change on the productive sectors, and regions and should empower competence, training, planning and preparedness for enhanced climate change adaptation and mitigation processes to develop adequate policy instruments according to requirements of regions.
It is necessary to develop research to create adequate public policy instruments that allow for awareness and effectiveness in the adaptation to climate change. Likewise: climate policy must promote actions that involve all stakeholders to achieve effective climate governance that integrates scientific and social advances in several aspects related to this issue;. The findings of this study demonstrate that perception studies are a key input to develop adequate climate change policy and to ensure inclusive participation and understanding of the requirements of the population with regard to climate change.
Future research on the relationships among risk, vulnerability and perception could generate better strategies to improve political strategies and climate governance in the country by applying different instruments according to the features of each Colombian region because of cultural diversity and different effects based on geographical conditions.
Trends in studies of public perception in the past few decades. Description of the focus groups developed to understand the opinions and perceptions of climate change. Description of the types of vulnerability defined for Colombia based on temperature and precipitation. Acevedo , E. Azevedo , I. Bonnett , M. Brechin , R. Capstick , S. Carvalho , A. Castan , V. Cidell , J. Cuevas , S. Dodman , D.
Finnis , J. Frazier , T. Glaas , E. Greiving , S. Harley , C. Hidalgo , C. Eds , The Physical Science Basis. Jacobs , B. Jones , S. Kempton , W. Kreibich , H. Lavrillier , A. Leiserowitz , A. Lorenzoni , I. Metternicht , G. Morgado , F. Moser , S. Moyano , E.
Palomba , C. Paerregaard , K. Pardo , C. Pasquini , L. Pauw , P. Peterson , T. Pidgeon , N. Pietsch , J. Pinilla , H. Pohlmann , A. Rao , P. Ratter , B. Read , D. Sanchez , R. Soares , M. Stewart , D. Taylor , A. Wardekker , A. Wolf , S. Zaval , L. The authors gratefully acknowledge the research team that helped carry out this work as well as comments by anonymous reviewers to improve the manuscript. She has experience in research on energy economics, energy efficiency, climate change, empirical analysis, social responsibility and industrial productivity in developed and developing countries.
William H. The professional performance experience has been oriented towards the management and research in land use, environment, public space and heritage as well as in the coordination and development of urban and environmental studies, which includes the implementation of investment projects. These activities have been developed mainly linked to public entities, as an officer and consultant. Participation in the planning, management and development, institutional programmes, allows for additional strengths in the implementation and operation of the project results and investigations conducted.
The research and teaching activities in urban planning, environmental aspects, theory and history of architecture and art, have focused on issues related to the processes of development and urban planning, sustainable development, history of the Colombian city, city theory, urban culture, semiotics, research techniques, history of mentalities, architectural and artistic styles, among others. Please share your general feedback. You can start or join in a discussion here. Visit emeraldpublishing. Abstract Purpose This research analyses and evaluates the trends and perspectives of climate change in Colombia.
Findings The participants of the focus groups believe that climate change began 10 years ago and that human activities have caused climate change. Assessing harm for projected future evolutions : Cuevas designed a model to establish adaptive actions that can be successfully applied in a system affected by climate change after determining that vulnerability represents a vital link between climate change and risk.
Presentation 20 min : The facilitator and the reporter presented the objectives and allowed a brief introduction of each participant. Figure 1. Share feedback. Join us on our journey Platform update page Visit emeraldpublishing. Industrial processing and product use. Agriculture, silviculture and other land uses. Representatives of the Community Action Council, researchers and population of the municipality.
Residents of the municipality and community tradespersons. Public employees, students from the general population. Public employees of the environmental office. Employees of the Red Cross, civil defence, government offices and the general population. Employees of government offices, the indigenous community and environmental officials Corpoamazonia.
Employees of government offices, the indigenous community, professors and community leaders. Attitudes about and values affected by climate change. Climate change is occurring and it is associated with heavy rains, changes in temperature and prolonged droughts. This query was further refined according to inclusion and exclusion criteria applied initially to abstracts, and then full texts.
The inclusion and exclusion criteria were based on the definitions of each concept as set out in the analytical framework, or constitutive elements of each concept. Similarly, articles were included if they dealt with social aspects of EbA, or their social or multiple benefits, or described implementation processes. Technically focused and natural science articles were excluded. The initial list was checked by reading manuscripts and full texts to ensure their relevance. Full texts were analyzed qualitatively. Articles were included until saturation was reached no further insights were added by subsequent papers.
Nonpeer reviewed material published by leading authorities driving conceptual developments in the field were also considered, e. This supplementary material was identified through the information provided in the academic literature. Overall, the review resulted in more than 90 articles from both databases included in the final review, after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Each article was read and evaluated by the first author of this paper, guided by the framework. Related outcomes were then reviewed and, where appropriate, revised by all authors.
This section presents the findings of the review, beginning with how EbA is constructed in relation to empowerment. Table 1 provides an overview of these three aspects and associated claims in relation to our analytical framework. Our review of the literature confirmed that EbA scholars have constructed the concept around, inter alia, explicit social and cobenefits that are relevant when addressing the vulnerabilities of people experiencing marginalization, social-exclusion, or poverty. This is in addition to related claims that could be classed as socioeconomic, such as the provision of food and water security, livelihoods, economic development, or poverty alleviation Uy et al.
In one case, Munang et al. Munang et al. Based on data from Africa, the authors present 16 social benefits, grouped into four categories, relating to i local actor empowerment, ii livelihoods, iii food security, and iv sustainable development. Overall, the reviewed literature cites both theoretical and empirical examples of how EbA interventions can lead to progressive social change the process through which social relations are maintained or enhanced with progressive outcomes for marginalized groups. In total, we identified four papers that made explicit reference to empowerment Roberts et al.
Typically, references related to supporting livelihoods, diversification, and poverty alleviation Tompkins and Adger , Uy et al. Gender equality was mentioned less frequently Munang et al. References were also made to sustainable development Munang et al. However, it became apparent that the evaluation criteria used to judge social benefits were either mixed with socioeconomic indicators, or simply nonexistent. Much of the evidence for social benefits is anecdotal e.
In cases where social benefits are explicitly mentioned e. In fact, we observe a dearth of theoretical and empirical data, notably as evidence of the social processes that may underlie social-benefits, i. Although we found direct and indirect references to empowerment, we found little or no empirical documentation of how these social changes emerged in the contexts in which EbA was deployed.
Our review found that both research and practice share a common emphasis on the pro-poor, inclusive character of EbA. It is deemed appropriate in addressing the needs of the very poorest and most socially marginalized groups, including in responding to climate change and building adaptive capacity Munang et al. This may count as a pro-poor social benefit because marginalized groups tend to be more vulnerable to the negative effects of adaptation actions maladaptation , because they are less involved in decision making and least able to resist detrimental actions Brink et al.
Our review also showed that EbA has been framed mostly through the lens of ecosystem services, focusing on their protective and facilitative function in relation to climate-affected livelihoods, such as agriculture, fisheries, and forestry Uy et al. In this context, EbA is formulated around the principle of considering ecological functions and processes as part of strategies that are designed to proactively address climate change impacts. In this context, a major perceived advantage in relation to empowerment is that EbA recognizes, and builds upon, the scientific understanding that humans are part of the environment and, as such, that security and justice concerns are implicitly interlinked to the status of the biosphere across multiple spatial and temporal scales, in myriad ways Jones et al.
The review highlighted that EbA scholars often construct a mandate for ecosystem-based solutions based on the dependence of the rural poor on ecosystem services for their livelihoods, and the threat to these services posed by climate change Jones et al. In fact, EbA initially emerged from an understanding within the global south, with proponents arguing that EbA could be a way to support poor communities who are often directly dependent on the environment Vignola et al.
In addition, because natural-resource dependent livelihoods are most vulnerable to changes in climate Renaud et al. Because we found little evidence of how the aforementioned social changes emerge, we are left to infer the mechanisms, and we did so by applying our analytical framework to the papers. This approach to the literature review of EbA theory provides evidence that it may enable new kinds of discursive politics and institutional engagements.
For instance, guidance on EbA implementation emphasizes knowledge integration and participation as potentially empowering mechanisms. These discursive and institutional orientations may support marginalized peoples, and provide the entry point for understanding the social processes that bring about social change.
Consequently, scholars have often positioned EbA as potentially inclusive and participatory, given that ecosystems can be managed jointly and in traditional ways Tompkins and Adger , Uy et al. EbA appears to consider expertise around adaptation measures as equally dependent on local and extra-local knowledge, rather than biased toward the latter Mercer et al.
In the previous section we introduced some dimensions of EbA that appear to be linked to its claims of social benefits for marginalized groups. These include, principally, its anchoring in social-ecological relations especially livelihood dependencies and the apparent comparative advantages of EbA actions in terms of the engagements it affords marginalized groups, i. The previous section also identified several gaps in the literature. According to our conceptual framework, these are expressions of the biophysical, institutional, and discursive dimensions of power. Next, we turn to our review of the empowerment scholarship as a way to systematically and explicitly account for how power relations, operating across social-ecological relations, might be affected by an adaptation action EbA or otherwise.
Our review reveals that the biophysical-ecological basis of vulnerability and adaptation that is central to the conceptualization of EbA is only a partial view. It is partial because it does not take into account the ways in which social and ecological relations interplay within vulnerability and adaptation processes.
Nor does it take into account the roles of power within such social-ecological relations. Empowerment theory informs such notions. In the empowerment scholarship, power is viewed as a dynamic and evolving social force, conditioning the distribution of entitlements, access, and resources and, in turn, being shaped by its performance Giddens , Leach et al. In the context of EbA, access to ecosystem services and their conversion into adaptation strategies is mediated through such power relations.
Many intervening social factors can interrupt the achievement of aspirations Giddens , Leach et al. One example is the way in which gendered social structures condition the ways that men and women have access to different types of resource, as well as the pathways through which these can be converted into achievements, including adaptive strategies Roy and Venema , Polishchuk and Rauschmeyer Such structures condition how different groups manifest their agency, including ethnicity, gender, and age Onta and Resurreccion , Codjoe et al. The review also reveals how agency is enacted performed in daily practices, livelihood strategies, collective actions, including practices for managing ecosystems Agarwal , Tanner et al.
In the context of EbA, it is expressed in social-ecological relations, including for others, and in the future. Although EbA scholarship has a focus on ecological resources, empowerment scholarship demonstrates that both ecological and nonecological, and tangible or intangible resources, operating as capital, can be important for social action Chambers and Conway , Gabriellson and Ramasar Our review revealed that EbA fails to pay sufficient attention to the process of adaptation action itself, including the role of the implementation of EbA interventions.
The role of institutions is highly relevant to the practice of EbA and empowerment. Empowerment theory provides some insights into the institutional dimensions of power that are invoked in such processes; in particular, it highlights the way that EbA processes represent engagements. Empirical case studies show that adaptation actions may disrupt such relations, with progressive consequences for the vulnerability of already marginalized groups Gaillard et al.
However, our review shows that such actions are more likely to repeat patterns of exclusion and marginalization than challenge them Amundsen et al. It shows why adaptation actions are more likely to reaffirm these dominant social structures than support such claims and struggles. Unless these are brought into play as part of or despite adaptation actions, such structures are likely to remain in place, and condition the risks and opportunities that arise from adaptation action. The power relations of a given place are likely to be dynamic: a set of semipermanent social structures institutions, discourses and other processes, which people marginalized by structures struggle to negotiate, contest, or overturn Kabeer , Gabriellson and Ramasar Nancy Fraser, for instance, understands that facilitating empowerment is about achieving representation in decision making, alongside equal distribution of resources, and recognition of claims to rights and the priorities of various groups in a process Fraser , see also Schlosberg , Paavola and Adger Acknowledging the link between engagements and contextual power relations, a wide body of scholarship focuses on the implications of such forms of engagement for justice Arnstein , Newsham and Thomas , Sova et al.
These may relate to how diverse forms of knowledge are equated, or not Eriksen et al. Just processes of decision making, which accommodate the perspective and priorities of various groups, are key to balancing power within an adaptation action Petheram et al. Various examples show how formal engagements, such as livelihood support, participatory processes, or knowledge integration can lead to broader social changes Ahmed , Agarwal Such articulations can happen simultaneously across different types of power structures, and at different scales.
A longstanding body of literature clearly demonstrates the links between reducing vulnerability and obtaining rights Watts and Bohle , Cannon , Ribot EbA itself can act as a catalyst for change, either by facilitating processes that lead to broader structural change, or acting as an object against which struggles for recognition and resistance play out.
The struggle against such social structures is unlikely to be supported unless the politics of broader social structures, i. Importantly, however, the scale of an intervention may differ from the scale of institutions in which power is perpetuated and contested, limiting, inter alia, the potential for an adaptation intervention to lead to social change Forsyth , Wamsler and Brink Framing is highly relevant to the practice of EbA and empowerment, overlapping with issues of values, meanings, and subjectivities.
Empowerment theory provides an insight into how the framing of social-ecological relations is a political and symbolic process. Marginalized people are enabled or constrained by certain frames or discourses. In the context of vulnerability and adaptation, we find that empowerment has often been framed as an apolitical process of capacity development, or even delivery.
Such processes can be characterized by struggles about meaning Tilly , Manuel-Navarrete , Schwarz et al. Such issues can be expressed across a variety of platforms, including institutions that govern natural resource use. Our review demonstrates that altered biophysical conditions, as well as new kinds of discursive politics and institutional engagements may be made possible through EbA. Empowerment scholarship provides an insight into how such changes may be more clearly theorized. In this section, we discuss the changes that such nuancing requires on the part of EbA researchers and practitioners.
One blind spot of EbA, when seen from the vantage point of empowerment, is that this ecological dimension is only one component of power, and little attention is paid to either discourse or institutions. However, both EbA and empowerment present a partial view, and neither provide conceptual clarification regarding how the social and ecological coalesce in dynamic relations, especially within EbA actions, and how this affects the vulnerability of marginalized groups.
Our review confirms that EbA may enable social benefits. The literature on empowerment shows how this may occur. We observe that the key issue is how the affordances and potentialities of EbA are embedded within broader power dynamics. These same power dynamics condition entitlement and access for different groups, with implications for the exacerbation or remediation of the marginalization and vulnerability encountered by these groups. We note that EbA pays little attention to the relational character of power, which is surprising given its apparent pro-poor focus.
Despite the implicit recognition of the role of power within social-ecological relations , it appears that EbA struggles to recognize how its own methods translate into possibilities and constraints for empowering processes. Our study confirms that claims regarding the social benefits of EbA could emerge from the propensity for participation, knowledge integration, and the recognition of local strategies and risk priorities. Such issues become relevant given that EbA is often an intervention and, as such, shares various discursive and institutional issues with other development and adaptation approaches.
Although EbA may enable certain affordances, it does not escape from the issues that affect adaptation found in other approaches. The potential for social benefits is enabled or constrained by such discursive and institutional conditions. To honor this potential, actors that are embedded within particular adaptation and development discourses, paradigms, and practices may have to change.
An empowerment lens provides the framework to undertake such discursive and institutional work, starting with the questions presented in Table 2. We suggest a repositioning of EbA relative to narratives of agency and dependency. Both of the latter link to discursive dimensions of EbA, which, in turn, link to broader power dynamics of recognition and representation. Empowerment cannot be delivered because it is understood as emerging from within. Such issues link to emerging scholarship on civic ecologies, practices of commoning, and ongoing colonization Todd , Wamsler and Raggers Importantly, expressions of agency in relation to climate change, as stipulated by empowerment theory, run counter to narratives of dependency observed in EbA scholarship.
EbA appears to position marginalized people as inevitably dependent on ecological resources. Without denying the material realities of ecosystem-service dependency when carefully differentiated according to different groups of people and the specific access entitlements they enjoy , empowerment scholarship nuances such narratives.
Converting such ecological knowledge into social benefits is not straightforward. The literature highlights how framing ecology as something separate, ideally untouched by humans, may be disempowering because it may conceal historical, cultural, and political ways marginalized people relate to ecologies Ernstson In terms of institutional advantages, EbA may help to lay the groundwork for progressive social change by contributing to just decision making, ensuring representation of marginal voices, renegotiating access to desired resources, and enabling people to make choices according to their own aspirations and priorities.
Such negotiation, contestation, and claim making can be related to relevant dimensions of natural resource governance, livelihood security, and broader social-ecological relations that overlap with EbA action. Such progress is unlikely to be the automatic benefit of a green approach. Instead it must be carefully cultivated, recognized, and negotiated.
We would like to reaffirm that inclusive, formal EbA engagements are important. However, without recognition of the dynamics of social change, and how these are embedded into adaptation processes, our findings suggest that adaptation projects are likely to be marginal to empowerment. The potential of EbA to facilitate empowerment, especially recognition of diverse priorities and knowledge, may be limited by scale mismatches, both spatial a mismatch between the scale of the social structure that maintains unequal access, representation and recognition, and EbA engagements and temporal legacy effects of historical power relations and the time horizons of EbA interventions.
We recognize that such findings are challenging. One challenge identified in this paper lies in recognizing the differential nature of vulnerability, and its basis within power relations. The latter operate, in part, within social-ecological relations, and our study highlights how different groups may subjectively view these relations, and attempt to alter landscapes accordingly.
This, in turn, may consciously or unwittingly constrain the agency of other groups Leach et al. Empowerment of particular, perhaps disproportionately, marginalized or dependent groups may lead to new or renewed tensions, arguments, and conflicts over ecosystem services. Furthermore, not all empowerment processes overlap with the interests of EbA advocates.
Paying attention to bottom-up processes by facilitating processes of self-determination or process ownership is likely to have most potential to contribute to empowerment, but may conflict with the interests of EbA practitioners, potentially introducing dilemmas. Another challenge relates to potential subjective, unwanted forms of empowerment, such as resistance to external interventions. This raises questions about trade-offs and how conflicting priorities are negotiated between EbA practitioners and their nominal beneficiaries, particularly when power relations are asymmetrical Dawson et al.
As green may not necessarily be fair, fair, in turn, may not necessarily be green. Further research could focus on how tensions and trade-offs between ecological and social conditions will be addressed if EbA is reframed to more explicitly acknowledge social processes and strategies. The objective of our work is to enhance EbA by taking more account of social dynamics and power.
Two points of interest stand out in positioning EbA in relation to such efforts. First, transformative approaches to adaptation may be more relevant to the most vulnerable people, by focusing on discursive and institutional relations that may be impeding more urgent and socially just adaptation trajectories Pelling Second, transformative adaptation, a form of more radical social change, may entail recognizing the relative, complementary, and bounded contributions of ecology to mediating exposure and capability, i.
Some definitions of EbA already recognize the need to embed a focus on ecology within wider efforts. Such an awareness of complementarity can assist empowerment efforts. In this paper, we presented a review of the predominant meanings and interlinkages between the concepts of EbA and empowerment. With this foundation, we discussed how the lens of empowerment could be better integrated into the conceptualization of EbA, and suggested some key dimensions through which this could be supported. We find that the biophysical dimension of EbA, i. In addition, our results show that this empowerment lens offers a nuanced way to unpack the EbA construct, by addressing the social processes and strategies that are fundamental to the conceptualization of both EbA and empowerment.
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In this context, empowerment theory can help us to think more carefully about social relations. In doing so, we can explore how a marginalized individual or social group bears the brunt of disadvantageous social relations that have concrete implications for climate change impacts and potential responses, including those that occur through social-ecological relations. In particular, we show how EbA actions may contribute to broader processes of empowerment. Our proposed conceptualization is relevant for ecosystem services practitioners and scholars who are looking to unpack the key facets of social change, and how they may be achieved through EbA.
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