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Adaptation Pathways: a playbook for developing options for climate change adaptation in Natural Resource Management


Bosomworth, K and Harwood, A and Leith, P and Wallis, P, Adaptation Pathways: a playbook for developing options for climate change adaptation in Natural Resource Management, RMIT University, University of Tasmania, and Monash University, Australia, pp. 1-23. (2015) [Government or Industry Research]

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This playbook is a result of collaborative exploration, design and testing of the approach among the Southern Slopes Climate Change Adaptation Research Partnership (SCARP) research team and Natural Resources Management (NRM) planners from the nine agencies in the Southern Slopes region of Australia. It should be considered a working document that will evolve and change through application and learning.

This playbook presents an approach to climate change adaptation planning known as adaptation pathways – ‘an analytical approach to planning that explores and sequences a set of possible actions that are based on external developments over time’ (Haasnoot et al. 2013:485). It guides users through five broad activities or ‘plays’ that make up an approach to pathways planning. It provides a brief description of each activity and directs the user to relevant sections of the supporting Southern Slopes Information Report (Wallis et al. 2014), which provides greater detail on each activity, including links torelevant resources and literature.

The five key activities of this approach to pathways planning are:

  • Define objectives for pathways (Section 2.1)
  • Understand the current situation (Section 2.2)
  • Analyse possible futures (Section 2.3)
  • Develop adaptation pathways (Section 2.4)
  • Implementation, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, improvement (MERI) and learning (Section 2.5)

This playbook does not describe how to write or implement NRM plans or strategies for adaptation. Rather, it guides users through a process for identifying adaptation measures that can be used to draft an adaptation plan. This is not a prescriptive approach. Rather it seeks to reflect and support the typically non‐linear, ‘juggling’ nature of NRM planning. This juggling metaphor (adapted from Ison 2010) usefully highlights that:

  • planning can be a non‐linear process, with several activities occurring at once
  • planning can happen in different ways and describe different patterns
  • it takes concentration to coordinate the synchronicity of everything ‘up in the air’
  • while attention may focus on one ball for a moment, the whole motion is being tracked
  • planning, like juggling, requires particular skills obtained through practice

Item Details

Item Type:Government or Industry Research
Keywords:natural resource management, adaptation pathways, planning
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Harwood, A (Dr Andrew Harwood)
ID Code:111861
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2016-10-12
Last Modified:2016-10-12

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