Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
8 Adaptation and Natural Resource Management ADAPTING TO CLIMATE: LEARNING FROM THE CAROLINAS WATER RESOURCES SECTOR Kirstin Dow1 University of South Carolina Kirstin Dow began by noting that the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessment (CISA) Program is one of the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dow started by stating CISAâs mission, which is to improve the range, quality, relevance, and accessibility of climate informa- tion for decision making and management of water resources in North and South Carolina. Communities in those states as are willing to contribute to the costs of statewide information systems and are looking for information at a geographic scale matched to their decisions. Many federal and state agencies are undertaking studies, but there is a lack of coordination and communication. There is also an issue of the capacity of organizations to keep pace with interest, new research efforts, and data requests. CISA is also receiving many questions about mitigation policy. In the Carolinas, some federal stimulus money went to hiring city sustainability coordinators, who are looking mainly at mitigation but are also addressing adaptation by improving energy efficiency in low-income housing. 1The presentation is available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/hdgc/Adapting% 20to%20Climate-Learning%20from%20the%20Carolinas%20Water%20Resources%20Sector. pdf [accessed September 2010]. 10
104 FACILITATING CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSES Drought is a chronic issue in the Carolinas. There have been worse long-term droughts in the past than in recent years, but the population has doubled, so droughts are more serious. The RISA project in the Carolinas started at a time when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was requiring relicensing of dams and also right after a major drought. FERC wanted a low-inflow protocol based on local information and acceptable to the localities. Geographic information system data were available on various drought parameters at a fine scale, although the data are collected with different frequencies. The project tried to determine what kinds of local information managers needed. County-level information was very popular, even though it was not meaningful in an environmental sense. On the trade-off between accuracy and precision, Dow noted that few water managers understood that ac- curacy is greatest where the gauges are. However, those are not the places where they most wanted accurate information. Maps of projected sea level rise rarely come with data showing what climate scenario they are based on or show uncertainties in the digital elevation models, even though these details are associated with huge differences in the number of people who are at risk. The CISA project has worked on improving visual communication and representation of uncertainty in climate maps, drawing on advances in âcognitive cartography.â The project is working to estimate vulnerability to drought. The cost of drought has been estimated at $6ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ-$8 billion per year, although the data for generating those numbers are quite thin. These estimates cover losses only in certain sectors, differ across states, and do not always correlate well with the losses covered in the local newspapers. Also, little is known about low-income populations. Some low-income jobs are lost first in a drought (for example, landscaping, car washes, pool maintenance), and no one knows how many people are involved. Also, the prevalence of shallow water wells among the rural poor causes assessment problems for drink- ing water effects. Analyses have not paid much attention to the effects of drought on household budgets, such as through water bills. Dow reported that research on visual representations of uncertainty in drought maps was scheduled to begin in summer 2010. In the discussion, Dietz suggested that much more needs to be learned about how to present information about risk, uncertainty, and distribu- tional impacts. A participant also noted that using the web to collect impact information is problematic because people do not always enter the informa- tion, and managers lack the capacity to use it well.
10 ADAPTATION AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE, NETWORKS, AND WATER RESOURCES Helen Ingram University of California, Irvine Helen Ingram began by citing the 2008 National Research Council (NRC) report on the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program, which expressed concern that social science research resources at NOAA would be drained. She sees that concern as increasingly serious now. She mentioned that the NRC report also criticized a decision support âloading dockâ model that allowed only one-way rather than two-way communica- tion, noting the need for decision support to be more iterative. Her com- ments also draw on the U.S. Global Change Research Programâs Synthesis and Assessment Product 5.3 (U.S. Climate Change Science Program, 2008), which contained significant social science content, including several good case studies, and also emphasizes the need for an iterative process of climate information translation. Ingram emphasized that knowledge production is relational, so it is important to ask who is involved in it and what perspectives are included. She also said that the social sciences often fail to give attention to the effects of physical phenomena. Water is place-based and is understood as part of local identity; these aspects of water are not handled in markets. She said that the idea of best practices, because it is generic, often means imposing an inappropriate model on a particular situation. Knowledge for adapta- tion has to flow across disciplinary boundaries and has to be developed together by users and scientists; that is the only way people will come to âownâ knowledge. In the relational concept of knowledge, verification is less important than salience, trust, and legitimacy. Water managers want to know what people think, but the tools and terminology they use tend to exclude people. Building legitimacy takes a lot of time and effort. Trusting relationships, once broken, take a long time to repair. With water manage- ment, there is a long history of mistrust. Knowledge networks require a special kind of leadership that involves individuals and organizations who serve as boundary spanners, conveners, and brokers, understanding and respecting different perspectives. Ingram said that coordination is a permanent problem, not easily solved. Agencies are better at talking about things and creating institutions that disperse the risk of tough solutions, appearing to resolve problems while in reality postponing judgment rather than actually making new, co- ordinated decisions. The 196ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ5 Water Resources Planning Act (42 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 196ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ2-196ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ2d-3), for example, was supposed to end coordination problems over water in the federal government. It set up a Water Resources Council and River Basin Commissions aimed at getting agencies at the federal and
106 FACILITATING CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSES regional levels to speak with one voice. These coordinating bodies never functioned as planned and are now mainly disbanded. There is a long his- tory in water of visionary legislation that makes big promises that have led to weak performance. Coordinating bodies in general have not had a good track record of accomplishment, although they deflect political heat. Ingram said that agencies are good at appearing to put problems to rest. Another example is the Synthesis and Assessment Product process. Ingram and her colleagues worked for 2.5 years on SAP 5.3 and, when it was released, there was little sign of immediate policy maker or media interest. The water community has failed to mobilize for change. This is due not only to inertia, but also to opposition from entrenched groups opposed to losing their responsibility and control. The professionals in the field want to keep water as a low-visibility issue. Ingram mentioned issues of equity in water supply and raised the issue of whether production of data on inequity would create a constituency for that kind of information. She considered ways to transcend inertia. One is to bring in new con- stituencies and generate new alternatives, for example by building new networks, such as the RISAs. Another is to pay more attention to framing stories and narratives. The right frameworks could overcome differences and heighten stakeholdersâ sense of shared destiny. In the discussion, Bonnie McCay said that much of what Ingram con- cluded also applies to marine fisheries. The idea of boundaries is very apparent there and is more usable to social scientists than the idea of coor- dination. Ingram agreed that boundary organizations and experiences are very valuable, more so than coordinating committees. Caitlin Simpson asked about diffusion of innovation among water managers. Ingram said that many municipal agencies want to be on the cutting edge of technology and therefore want people who can speak the latest jargonâregardless of whether it is used in decision making. Keep- ing up with the Joneses is an important motive in the water sector. She wondered whether enthusiasm for planning can stand in for having new people. People get swept up in ideas even if they are old ideas in new guises. Perhaps innovation is prompted by new framing, even if the framing is not very original. Ashwini Chhatre underlined the issue of conflict: every intervention has multiple outcomes that are impossible to anticipate and can create conflict. Coordination and collaboration assume that conflict can be resolved or smoothed over by âreaching consensusâ (which can merely sweep conflict under the rug), rather than using conflict to make explicit the differences in values and impacts that are inherent in the choices. There is a need to build more inclusive knowledge networks and set up processes in which trade-offs can be made. Some of the best changes have come through con- flict. However, governmental systems for dealing with these things do not
10 ADAPTATION AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT manage conflict well. Water is a good example, in that it does not match political subdivisions. Ingram said that the way to encourage innovation may not be to reduce conflict but to increase the numbers of participants and help them understand where their interests lie. She does not think it makes sense to manage conflicts with coordinating committees. People from different disciplines think they understand and own the water issue, but in fact each one sees it only from a single perspective. Water is a paradigm case for building knowledge that is more inclusive. Ingram also noted that conflict has led to a lot of positive progress in water management, for ex- ample, in the 1970s. Susanne Moser said there are very consistent stories across domains and countries: the same lessons repeat and management systems never learn. She said it is a waste of time to go down the same road again. More important is to figure out how to get people to learn. Ingram said that new ideas quickly become rationalized into management systems, with nothing changingâunless constituencies can be mobilized that will have an endur- ing interest in overseeing the implementation of new ideas. Roberto Sanchez-Rodriguez noted that people do not connect sectors and address issues of broader social well-being, which would bring in more actors. Ingram said that water resources research may have become too bounded. ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ATLANTIC SURFCLAM FISHERY: AN EXEMPLARY OR CAUTIONARY CASE? Bonnie McCay2 Rutgers University Bonnie McCay began by speaking broadly about responses to climate change. She asked whether human responses are negative feedback that control the systems or positive feedback that amplify preexisting trends. She said that positive feedbacks in fisheries might be counteracted by changes in property rights regimes. Although marine fisheries are not on the list of critical issues for climate change adaptation, climate change does in fact significantly affect fisheries. Fish and shellfish are experiencing changes in fertility, growth, and mortality and moving in apparent response to warm- ing trends in the oceans. Complicating the study of how fisheries adapt to climate change is the fact that the fisheries sector is already organized in response to other mandates, and climate change is a new force in the system. 2 Presentation is available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/hdgc/Case%20of%20 Adaption%20to%20Climate%20Change.pdf [accessed September 2010].
10 FACILITATING CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSES The responsible federal agency, NOAAâs National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), monitors the system, but climate change is altering it. McCay briefly described a research program of the National Science Foun- dation that she is involved in, called Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNHS). Her project, in which she is working with oceanographers, econo- mists, and ecologists, examines the surfclam industry. Surfclams are caught from the mouth of the Chesapeake up to Georges Bank, off the coast of New England, but the waters off New Jersey are currently the main fishing grounds. Big boats dredge the clams, which are then taken to factories and made into clam chowder and other products. The surfclam industry was the first to be privatized with a tradable quota system. Instituting the system re- duced the tonnage of boats by half almost immediately, with rapid consoli- dation of ownership, suggesting that there should be low transaction costs associated with collective action to adapt to climate change. Some evidence of that is the fact that the industry was a leader in developing collaborative and industry-funded research with NOAA, but it is as yet uncertain whether or how it will adapt to the effects of climate change. Surveys began to show some trouble in the fishery around 1998. Clams began dying off at the southern end of the range, off the Delmarva Pen- insula, coincident with warming in the ocean. Since 2002, there has been a dramatic decrease in catch per unit of effort not only there but also to the north, in New Jersey waters; this apparent decline in the abundance of clams has been interpreted as possibly due to climate change rather than to fishing pressure. McCayâs research is seeking to find out what is going on in the marine system affecting the clam population, not only through coupled hydrodynamic, biological, and genetic modeling but also by documenting the responses of industry, scientists, and managers. The clams do not seem to be moving north, hypothetically because their larvae are not making it across the Hudson Canyon, one of the deep submarine canyons of the region. Some fisheries have closed; some have declining productivity. The research has examined a range of responsesâmoving to more abundant clam areas, fishing more intensively, switching to other species, shifting processing factories northward, and taking business buy-outs. The research is to see whether the socioeconomic and policy responses amplify or compensate for the environmental changes. What can be done? The National Marine Fisheries Service and the regional fishery management councilâor the industry voluntarilyâcould close certain areas temporarily with a rotating fishery, protect the remaining viable clam populations with lower quotas, or change size limits on the clams. These things have not yet been done. The issue is not officially discussed in terms of adaptation to climate change. Scientific uncertainty about the role of climate change adds to tremendous resistance to change in practices, given the existence of well-developed institutions and a system of privatized fishing rights that
10 ADAPTATION AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT demands as much asset security as possible. The fisheries businesses have become deeply invested in their tradable quotas, mortgages, etc., and lobby passionately for no change. The tradable quota system has left fewer foxes guarding the henhouse but leaves open the question of whether they will be good stewards given the premium on predictable and consistent yields (in this case furthered by the close tie of the industry to large retail and institutional markets). The current management system has well-defined rules, such as that one must manage the stock throughout its range and therefore is constrained from applying different management rules for different places. It also requires making decisions based on the âbest availableâ (i.e., peer-reviewed) science. McCayâs research group is working with NMFS scientists and industry to bring climate change into the stock assessment process, in order to get the best available science into the decisions. McCay is interested in how that happens and also how the industry understands the situation. The industry has not yet overcome its collective action problems, even though there are few actors. In the discussion, Michele Betsill suggested that the well-developed institutions are a barrier because they support certain interests and keep value conflicts from being confronted. She suggested bringing in climate forces that conflict. McCay noted that privatization has led industry to make large investments, with the result that it does not want any changes in the quotas or the other rules for doing business. The inflexibility of the system is enhanced by the environmental community, which has restruc- tured the fisheries management system to make it very precautionary under uncertainty. Climate change will increase the uncertainty, and by law that will require the management councils to reduce the catch. So fishers have an incentive to keep climate change out of the system. The management system needs to change, but that is not likely. One participant commented that social science tends to be deployed to identify narrow solutions but not to look at the larger social context. McCay responded that social scientists ask for funds to study the social context but are unsuccessful. Then if the science is not there, it is not used. Agencies give money through the political process, but the social sciences are rarely called upon. Neil Leary pointed out that the behavior of this fishery runs counter to what economic analysis would predict. The fishery has been privatized, yet the incumbents are resistant to change, even though they understand the problem. He asked why there is reluctance to use available information about climate change. McCay said that there are other economic factors at play and that her group is studying the question. For example, one of the largest firms has a business plan based on the reopening of clam beds to
110 FACILITATING CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSES the north, which carry the risk of a toxin and have been closed pending the development of a method to assess the risk. Adam Henry noted that values can change and lead to social transfor- mation and also that social networks can play a role in value and belief change. He asked if anyone has examined a collaborative process in which value change has occurred. McCay said that efforts have been made to change values toward privatized rights by bringing people from the North Pacific to events to try to change values. But people are resistant. She said that the greatest changes occur when new people move into new positions. Continuing the discussion of values, Moser noted that well-facilitated dia- logic processes can open people to listening to those with different values. Kasperson pointed to historical quick change in values about nuclear tech- nology and environmental protection. ACCESS, ARTICULATION, AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE Ashwini Chhatre University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ashwini Chhatre noted that social scientists can bring a unique per- spective to climate adaptation. Historically, he said, people have not treated the climate as stationary. They have responded to climate as it came and tried to draw lessons from history. There are two kinds of data about climate change processes: coarse resolution climate models (he said that they will never be fine-scaled enough to help anyone in deciding about a local problem), and fine-scaled social science. Climate models get worse as the scale gets finer, but social science data become better as the scale gets finer. There is no a good coarse-scaled social theory, and fine-scaled exper- tise exceeds global expertise. This situation allows social science to make headway on adaptation, which is largely local. Social scientists can draw on knowledge of related phenomena and insights from various theoretical perspectives to arrive at a social science synthesis. In Chhatreâs research perspective, adaptation is first the property of a system. Adaptation practices are localized responses to risk, including cli- mate variability. Institutions are mediators that structure responses, making some responses possible and others difficult. Landscapes and institutions are mutually constituted and follow coevolutionary trajectories. His re- search project has looked at how institutions enable or disable adaptation The presentation is available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/hdgc/Access%20-% 20Articulation%20and%20Adaption%20to%20Climate%20Change.pdf [accessed Septem- ber 2010].
111 ADAPTATION AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT practices locally, examining many cases. The practices include diversifica- tion, mobility, storage, pooling, and exchange. Institutions exist at multiple scales and enable or facilitate certain kinds of practices: national laws and community civic institutions matter most. Complex adaptive systems are emergent properties of adaptation prac- tices. In the Indian Himalayas, the core production zone of apples has shifted 8 km northward and 1,000 ft higher since the late 1980s. There is a clear link to climate that was not identified until the late 1990s. Daily high temperatures have increased for the first 16ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ weeks of the year, when it matters most to apples. In the districts where Chhatre works, income from apples dropped from 80 percent of household income to less than 5 per- cent, while total incomes increased. People diversified into other fruit trees that were more tolerant of the current climate and into fresh vegetables in the off-season for urban markets. This change was not uniform. Land is heterogeneous, and the shifts from apples have occurred only where the biophysical characteristics of the landscape allowed it. This system transformation was facilitated by institutions that provided technology, know-how, and subsidies. The institutional network included university research centers, inexpensive credit through banks and coopera- tives, and regulated market access. The nodes in the network have been created by the local people since the 196ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ0s, either themselves or using insti- tutions that were created for other purposes. The network provided access to institutions for poor and vulnerable groups (women, the poor, and low- caste groups). Information flow across institutions was driven by demand, with feedback through the institutional network operating through local elections. In hindsight, the system evolved in an adaptive way. Adaptation planning in this case involved an investment in local networks to allow for self-organization, rather than a top-down enterprise. These are investments in democracy. Chhatre proposed that this strategy for adaptation will be messy, but it has a better chance of working than top-down planning. However, for this approach to work at the system level, there needs to be access to a diversity of institutions, cross-scale articulation, monitoring and improvement in flows of information and in institutions, and infusions of money and energy into existing institutions. In the discussion, Ingram commented that Chhatreâs presentation showed how adaptation is guided by existing institutions that continue past patterns. He seems to assume that the density of cross-institution ties produced beneficial results, a result that contrasts with Ingramâs experi- ence with water management institutions in which these ties resulted only in spreading risk. Henry commented that, in this case, existing networks evolved to lead to adaptive outcomes and asked how this came about: What is the evidence? He suggested that Chhatreâs assumptions appear to be based on secondary analysis of case studies and questioned whether
112 FACILITATING CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSES they are reliable. JoAnn Carmin commented that institutions generally resist change, but Chhatre claims that entrenched institutions sometimes do change. The assertion that is sometimes made, that democratic voting produced these changes, is not clearly supported. It is merely asserted in preference to the counterintuitive claim that institutions resistant to change are actually the drivers of adaptability in this case. Is this really in effect a tautological argument identifying density of institutional linkages, adapta- tion, and democracy? McCay asked about the broader theory underlying the case, and Kasperson asked if there is a good statement somewhere of the major theoretical approaches to adaptation and also whether Chhatreâs theory is supposed to be general or specific to certain domains. Chhatre said he is trying to develop a general theoretical framework, drawing on several existing theories. He noted that his database includes cases of failures as well as success. In terms of network density, he sees the system as changing over time. He thinks research has focused too much on institutions that do not change, whereas most of the institutions he has examined in India have changed beyond recognition within 30 years. He is working toward a theory of change as opposed to correlations between static conditions. He noted that there is not a good understanding of how change happens, even though institutions have changed dramatically. The difficulty has been that the institutions that one would like to change do not change. Chhatre is working with a set of 125 cases to try to get a sense of which level of insti- tutions are most important to change. Moser disagreed, arguing that there are multiple theories of change in different social science disciplinesâpolicy change, behavioral change, change brought about by social movements, organizational change, spread of innovations, and othersâjust not one grand theory.