Nontraditional settlement patterns and typhoon hazards on contemporary Majuro atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. An adaptation initiative that simply shifts environmental pressures elsewhere is considered here as maladaptation in that the components of vulnerability are relocated rather than reduced. Such positioning explains why we named this approach the Precautionary framework: it strongly relies on the aim of avoiding irreversibility and strengthening socio-ecological systems’ flexibility. Science 325: 419. Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 15: 77-86. avoiding urbanisation too close to shorelines), limiting the sensitivity of the ecosystems to current climate stress (e.g. In: Field C. et al. When this happens, adaptation strategies are called maladaptation , a concept … The consideration of land tenure systems in urban settlement planning in Pacific Islands is an example (Yamano et al., 2007; Duvat et al., 2013), as is the desire of many people from Europe, for example, to spend summer holidays at the coast. The goal of mitigation is to avoid significant human interference with the climate system, an… Climatic Change 93: 335-354. Collins (2007). The latter point, in particular, involves wagering on the future benefits of initiatives that are committed to today. the role of ecosystems, risk perception by local communities, . Jorgensen (2009). Smith, C.M. & A.E. Cultural, social and political dimensions are thus also concerned. Ebi et al., 2004; de França Doria et al., 2009; Berrang-Ford, 2011; Ford et al., 2013) and with the identification of concrete adaptation options (e.g. This principle aims to avoid the confusion – still very common on the ground – between adaptation and mitigation (e.g. Indeed, according to the widely shared view that, at least on coastal areas, climate change will essentially exacerbate already known problems (Parry et al., 2007; Cardona et al., 2012; Wong et al., 2014), an initiative may not be considered as adaptation if it does not significantly reduce the system’s both current and future vulnerability to natural hazards. Actions are maladaptive if “they reduce incentive to adapt, for example by encouraging unnecessary dependence on others, stimulating rent-seeking behaviour, or penalising early actors” (p.212). Together, these guidelines and this assumption constitute the “Assessment framework” for approaching maladaptation to climate change at a local level. Again, however, it is not always possible to avoid such displacement of pressures, which means that it is crucial to take this constraint into account and engage in parallel compensation mechanisms (e.g. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Successful adaptation to climate change across scales. (2013). This view notably fits with that of Barnett and O’Neill. (Eds.) In addition, such an assessment grid could represent a powerful tool to allow funding bodies to make the best decisions in terms of supporting adaptation initiatives (i.e. In: Solomon, S. et al. Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 19: 240–247. ), Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Exploring the linkages between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Sustainability Science 8(3): 423-440. The following section addresses this gap by proposing a third framework, which we have called the. We named this approach the, according to words used by the authors themselves. Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 20: 211–213. Uncertainty thus cannot be an excuse to do nothing at the present, and this paper argues that a promising way to encounter uncertainty and start engaging robust adaptation on the ground is to focus the attention on avoiding maladaptation to climate change. To constitute an adaptation, an initiative must be consistent with the nature and dynamics of existing environmental components, and must take into account the potential threats of climate change on evolving environmental conditions (e.g. [Ex ante evaluation of the suitability of local initiatives for adaptation to climate change.] For example, if climate change is a highly political issue, it may be useful to steer the conversation towards observed and projected changes for specific endpoints of concern (e.g., changes in 25-year storm event or the intensity of brief downpours) or green infrastructure's cobenefits to a community's livability and economic vitality. Stocker, W.D. Maldaptation 3. 5 Except the fourth principle of the Precautionary framework. Billé, R., R. Lapeyre & R. Pirard (2012). within the atmosphere or between the atmophere and the ocean). : The various line styles have no significance other than legibility. (2012). This multilateral involvement however relies on various elements such as equity, risk perception, power relations, Referring to ‘ill-adaptation’, Hallegatte suggests that instead of looking for the best choice under one specific scenario, it is better to try to identify the most robust option, namely “the one that is the most insensitive to future climate conditions” (2009: 242). that must not be eroded. Promote the reduction of socio-economic inequalities. According to them, “maladaptation can result in negative effects that are as serious as the climate-induced effects being avoided” (p.87). Duvat, V., A. Magnan & F. Pouget (2013). This guideline is consistent with principle 1 of the Pathways framework and, more indirectly, with principle 6 of the Precautionary framework. Maladaptation 1. In: Field C.B. 6This last definition (1) has been used as a basis for the work presented here, as it is the one that best reflects, from our point of view, the various timescales of maladaptation and, more precisely, the importance of systematically linking present challenges with future threats. Consequently, there is a real risk that climate funding may support initiatives that are actually harmful for the socio-ecological systems, i.e. At the international level, also, negotiators are debating the amounts and architecture of global funding for adaptation. This Assessment framework is thus destined to inform the formulation of adaptation initiatives prior to their implementation (ex ante approach), rather than to enable an ex post evaluation of the benefits and shortcomings of initiatives undertaken in the name of adaptation. Mach et al. Billé, R., R. Lapeyre & R. Pirard (2012). When developing initiatives, there is thus a strong temptation to wait for science (of climate impacts and vulnerability) to provide more precise information. 1Many initiatives labelled as “climate change adaptation” are now emerging in both developing and developed countries. This paper reviews the current theoretical scholarship on maladaptation and provides some specific case studies—in the Maldives, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Bangladesh—to advance the field by offering an improved conceptual understanding and more practice‐oriented insights. Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 19: 89–99. London and New York: Routledge. Addressing adaption and maladaptation in coastal climate change projects will also be the theme of a training workshop hosted by ILEG and the Imaarisha Vijana Initiative as an in-depth follow up of the dialogue event. This inevitably leads to an increase in uncertainty, especially regarding the impacts to expect on ecosystems and societies. Adaptation Policy Frameworks for Climate Change: Developing Strategies, Policies and Measures, pp.33-46. When developing initiatives, there is thus a strong temptation to wait for science (of climate impacts and vulnerability) to provide more precise information. Paris: Editions des Presses de la Rue D’Ulm. This principle is consistent with principle 5 of the Pathways framework and principle 3 of the Precautionary framework, respectively. It is indeed far from sure that uncertainty will diminish with time, for three main reasons: 1—advances in climate science may lead to increased uncertainty, especially when new processes are identified1; 2—the magnitude of future climate change will greatly depend on future greenhouse gas emissions, and consequently on decisions not yet taken; and 3—future impacts will affect future societies whose precise characteristics we cannot identify decades in advance.Uncertainty thus cannot be an excuse to do nothing at the present, and this paper argues that a promising way to encounter uncertainty and start engaging robust adaptation on the ground is to focus the attention on avoiding maladaptation to climate change. The aim is to keep as low as possible the cost of being wrong about future climate change” (p.244). 257—Consider and develop local skills and knowledge related to climate-related hazards and the environment, in order to support the involvement of members of the community in and/or around the initiative taken in the name of adaptation to climate change. This framework consists of eleven practice-oriented guidelines (see Table 3), and it applies to coastal areas at a local scale and to the design phase of an initiative (i.e. The author also thanks the three anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and advice. They cover a wide array of territorial levels, ranging from projects developed at the micro-local level to national policies and regional initiatives (Pacific, Europe, South-West Indian Ocean, New research usually leads to the better understanding – sometimes the discovery – of feedbacks bet, To adapt implies maintaining or strengthening resilience against current disruptions, on the one hand, and being capable of planning for the long term, on the other (Cardona, , 2012; Magnan, 2013). Definition (1) thus puts to one side the uncertainty about future climate and environmental conditions, focussing instead on the potentially adverse effects of an initiative that may be taken now in the name of adaptation. The paper thus argues that ex ante analysis of adaptation initiatives is just as important as ex post evaluation. In fact, avoiding maladaptation is largely based on not repeating past and present mistakes (. in spatial planning), which is in line with the “First, do no harm” principle developed in the late 19th century in the medical field (Smith, 2005). However, their usefulness for studies dealing with coastal areas in the face of climate-related hazards is limited, because they focus mostly on infrastructure. “A major issue with large infrastructural development [the one considered in the authors’ case study] is the way they commit capital and institutions to trajectories that are difficult to change in the future” (p. 212). Are there social limits to adaptation to climate change? Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. In: Field C.B. 23The options available to socio-ecological systems facing natural or anthropogenic disturbances will of course also depend on human characteristics, specifically those related to the environment (beliefs, risk perceptions, traditional uses of natural resources, etc.). Another example deals with raising awareness of hazards and risk areas in contexts where new inhabitants coming from other and sometimes distant areas have massively and rapidly replaced indigenous people. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Managing the risk of uncertain thresholds responses: comparison of robust, optimum, and precautionary approaches. Barr, R., S. Fankhauser & K. Hamilton (2010). The glossary of the AR5-WGII report proposed to define maladaptation as: “Actions that may lead to increased risk of adverse climate related outcomes, increased vulnerability to climate change, or diminished welfare, now or in the future” (Field et al., 2014). In the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group II (Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation) offered this definition of maladaptation: "...actions that may lead to increased risk of adverse climate-related outcomes, increased vulnerability to climate change, or dimiinsed welfare, now or in the future." (2014). A brief description is given of both their benefits and limitations, these latter justifying the development of a complementary framework (see section 3). Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2012). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. This means a minima restricting societies’ exposure to existing hazards (e.g. McCarthy, J.J., O.F. Because of the disproportionate impact of climate change on the rural poor, priority investments should be directed towards poor agriculture, fish or forest dependent people whose livelihoods are most at risk. Global Environmental Change—Human and Policy Dimensions 21: 25-33. The term also appears in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, which defines maladaptation as “an adaptation that does not succeed in reducing vulnerability but increases it instead” (McCarthy et al., 2001: 990). Magnan A. Managing the risk of uncertain thresholds responses: comparison of robust, optimum, and precautionary approaches. As suggested in the Pathways framework, socio-economic inequalities also have a major influence on ‘disproportionally burdening the most vulnerable’ (principle 2). Leary, D.J. By avoiding a situation where all activities are threatened by the same climate-related hazards (e.g. • During periods of climate change—such as cooling or the currently experienced global warming—species that were well adapted in the original climate may be maladapted to the new climate and die out, if they are prevented from shifting their range due to geological barriers. and which is based upon eleven practical guidelines.