Moving Climate Change Adaptation in the Forest Sector Forward Through Stakeholder Empowerment : A Case Study on Västerbotten County, Sweden
Abstract: Climate change and what to do about it, both in relation to mitigation and adaptation, is a strongly debated topic. One of the areas that has been brought forward as pivotal in both adaptation and mitigation is the forest sector. Yet, the scientific literature reveals that adaptation measures are to date seldomly implemented in this sector. Much is known about hurdles in the way of adaptation measures, but far less is known on how to empower local stakeholders to move adaptation forward. Therefore, this thesis examines if a new approach to climate change adaptation in the forest sector can help to empower local stakeholders to take adaptation actions. A theoretical framework for change that focusses on strengths in the surroundings of the stakeholders is developed with insights of the Institutional Analysis and Development framework, Empowerment Theory, Asset Based Community Development, and Appreciative Inquiry. Based on this framework, a method is developed and applied in a participatory backcasting workshop with students with a focus on Västerbotten County, Sweden. The results from this case study show that the new approach contributed to the empowerment of the participants and to a more holistic understanding of local climate change adaptation in the forest sector.
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