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Adaptive capacity for climate change: principles for public sector managers

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-26, 15:20 authored by Jacobs, B, Peat Leith
Adaptive capacity, vulnerability and resilience are terms that have recently entered the publiC sector lexicon in relation to natural resource management and climate change, often as hackneyed terms. Public sector managers are being encouraged to consider adaptive capacity and resilience in relation to a vast array of things including careers, landscapes, economies, communities, families, cities and nations, often with little understanding of how the terms can be practically applied to these contexts. This paper draws focus on perhaps the most usefully applied of these terms - adaptive capacity - as it relates to regional vulnerability assessment for climate change. While responses to climate change at global and national scales have been largely focussed on mitigation, it is now well accepted that adaptation is a necessary part of climate change strategies that will involve responses at regional and local scales (Schipper and Burton 2009). Increasingly, public sector managers are being asked to lead and contribute to assessments of regional vulnerability and to identify actions to enhance adaptive capacity of local communities to climate variability and change. There is a diverse academic literature on vulnerability and adaptive capacity but little has been distilled into broad principles that can guide publiC sector practice. In addition, because vulnerability and adaptive capacity are context specific, there are currently few Australian examples that regional public sector managers can draw on to inform their climate change strategies.


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Public Administration Today



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  • Published

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Copyright Copyright 2010, Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA)

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