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Adapting to change - community resilience in Northern Norwegian municipalities

Helene Amundsen

This thesis presents a critical assessment of community adaptation, and identifies the need to broaden the understanding of the concept of adaptation to include subjective dimensions, such as place attachment and identity. Grounded in critical realism, this thesis has shown that the complexity of the climate change problem, in particular perceiving and acting on climate change, requires a new approach which takes into account what matters to people. The main objective of this study is to analyse the factors that are important in contributing to the ability of communities in Northern Norway to respond to a suite of changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions, and to investigate the applicability of current approaches to climate change adaptation in this context. This is based on an awareness of the need to: i) frame adaptation in a manner which includes multiple and interlinked factors; and ii) to understand better how adaptation may occur, what motivates adaptation, and which actors and institutions are relevant for the activation of these processes. This thesis asserts that in order for a community to prepare for and respond to the consequences of climate change evident in the plethora of scientific findings, it is first necessary to understand what is motivating current adaptation. This includes understanding dimensions that are important for current resilience, and considering their implications for future resilience and adaptation in a changing climate.

More details

  • Year: 2014
  • Language: English