Adaptation science for agriculture and natural resource management — urgency and theoretical basis
Holger Meinke, S Mark Howden, Paul C Struik, Rohan Nelson, Daniel Rodriguez and Scott C Chapman
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2009, 1: 69–76
The urgency for adaptation actions in response to climate risks is rapidly growing and climate change mitigation efforts alone are insufficient to avoid further, and often negative, impacts. Although most agricultural producers respond rapidly to changes in their external environment, science needs to play an important, partial role in instigating adaptation actions that go beyond the ongoing, experience-based response process. This requires well-structured, conceptual frameworks that connect science with action. These frameworks must also ensure that the scientific input into the adaptation process remains salient, credible and legitimate. For the field of agriculture and environmental sciences we review the urgency and the theoretical basis for such engagement processes. On the basis of this we propose an adaptation cycle that first, provides a reflective analysis-action continuum; second, ensures broad-based scientific input and feedback; and third, helps to increase the adaptive capacity of everyone involved (including farmers, policy-makers and scientists).
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