Author(s): Hens Runhaar, Bettina Wilk, Åsa Persson, Caroline Uittenbroek and Christine Wamsler

Year: 2017

In: Regional Environmental Change

DOI: 10.1007/s10113-017-1259-5

Type: Journal article



Mainstreaming climate adaptation: taking stock about “what works” from empirical research worldwide

SEi 2017 mainstreaming adaptation persson journal copyThe effectiveness of mainstreaming outputs and outcomes varies greatly across country groupings.

Adaptation to a changing climate is unavoidable. Mainstreaming climate adaptation objectives into existing policies, as opposed to developing dedicated adaptation policy, is widely advocated for public action.

However, knowledge on what makes mainstreaming effective is scarce and fragmented. This paper takes stock of peer-reviewed empirical analyses of climate adaptation mainstreaming in order to assess current achievements and identify the critical factors that render mainstreaming effective.

The results show that although in most cases adaptation policy outputs are identified, only in a minority of cases does this translate into policy outcomes. This “implementation gap” is most strongly seen in developing countries. However, when it comes to the effectiveness of outcomes, no difference across countries was found.

The authors conclude that more explicit definitions and unified frameworks for adaptation mainstreaming research are required to allow for future research syntheses and well-informed policy recommendations.

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