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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Sandy Bisaro

Climate Adaptation, Adaptive Management and Multilevel Governance: Institutions for sustainability in Lesotho's wetlands

Start: April 2007
End: January 2015

Interest in climate adaptation is growing due to already occurring impacts and growing likelihood of impacts to which the world is already committed because of climate inertia. Developing countries are most vulnerable to these impacts. This increasing interest in informing climate adaptation policy has also revealed shortcomings in modeling approaches which have traditionally informed climate policy. This study analyses climate adaptation governance through the lens of new institutional economics. Focusing on institutions as the rules and norms which structure human interactions, the study looks in particular at the appropriateness of adaptive management as an approach to climate adaptation, where adaptive management in a multi-level governance regime is defined by decentralised decision-making (polycentricity), information flows and a plurality of stakeholder interests (participation). We elaborate and apply the Institutions of Sustainability framework in a comparative case-study of wetlands management in four catchments in Lesotho projected to be impacted by climate change through increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. We look at the role of informal and formal institutions, such as property rights, in determining cross-scale interactions and their implications for adaptive management in interactions between the international, national, district and local levels. The expected results are policy recommendations on the multilevel governance of climate change adaptation in developing countries.

Researcher: Bisaro, Sandy

Cooperation Partners: Potsdam Institute für Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Betreuer: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn, Dr. Jochen Hinkel (PIK)

Funding: ADAM Project (EC), NeWater Project (EC)

Publications and Presentations:
Bisaro, A., Hinkel, J. and Kranz, N., in press Multilevel water, biodiversity and climate adaptation governance: evaluating adaptive management in Lesotho, Environmental Science and Policy, Special Issue on Water Governance

Bisaro, A., Wolf, S. and Hinkel, J., 2010 Framing climate vulnerability and adaptation at multiple levels: Addressing climate risks or institutional barriers in Lesotho?, Climate and Development, Special Issue on Adaptation in southern Africa, 2010

Hinkel, J., Bisaro, A., Downing, T.E., Hofmann, M.E., Lonsdale, K., McEvoy, and D., Tabara, D.J. Learning to adapt: re-framing climate change adaptation , in Making Climate Change Work for Us: adaptation and mitigation perspectives from Europe, 2009, Hulme and Neufeld (eds.)