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Harnessing the green and blue : an investigation of ecosystem-based adaptation measures in four southern Swedish coastal municipalities

Niven, Lisa LU (2014) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20141
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Climate change poses a current and ongoing threat to urban areas worldwide. Rising sea levels and the increased occurrence of heatwaves, heavy rainfall and related impacts due to erosion and landslides in particular are risks that are becoming increasingly urgent to address in the near future. Though Sweden is seen as a pioneer in sustainable city development, climate change adaptation is a relatively recent addition to the discourse, with previous focus primarily on mitigation and liveable cities. Where adaptation has been addressed at all, it has often been done by means of technical approaches and 'hard measures' using built structures and traditionally engineered ‘grey infrastructure’. The emerging approach of 'ecosystem-based... (More)
Climate change poses a current and ongoing threat to urban areas worldwide. Rising sea levels and the increased occurrence of heatwaves, heavy rainfall and related impacts due to erosion and landslides in particular are risks that are becoming increasingly urgent to address in the near future. Though Sweden is seen as a pioneer in sustainable city development, climate change adaptation is a relatively recent addition to the discourse, with previous focus primarily on mitigation and liveable cities. Where adaptation has been addressed at all, it has often been done by means of technical approaches and 'hard measures' using built structures and traditionally engineered ‘grey infrastructure’. The emerging approach of 'ecosystem-based adaptation', which uses ecological structures and the services they generate as part of an overall strategy to adapt to the impacts of climate change, is investigated with regard to its potential to contribute to adaptation and risk reduction strategies and measures in Sweden. This thesis identifies existing and potential measures under an ecosystem-based adaptation approach by means of literature review, analysis of planning documents, and key informant interviews in four coastal municipalities in southern Sweden. The measures identified are categorised and analysed for their potential to contribute to a more integrated climate change adaptation—disaster risk reduction approach, and social, economic, environmental and climate change mitigation co-benefits are identified for each measure. Finally, barriers and opportunities to the implementation of these measures are discussed. While the range of measures planned and implemented show that there is awareness within the municipalities of the underlying principles of an ecosystem-based adaptation approach, integration into climate adaptation planning documents is varied, and adaptation measures in general are still in their infancy. Planners mention a variety of implemented measures which do not in fact have climate change adaptation as their primary focus, showing the diversity of reasons for engagement in ecosystem-based approaches in these municipalities. While this diversity is positive, there are elements from theory could contribute to a more comprehensive ecosystem-based adaptation approach. Examples of these are evaluative techniques for adaptive and risk-reducing structures to make their adaptation services more transparent, including multi-criteria analysis. The integration of stakeholder perspectives and management is a further element which could be harnessed more effectively in this process. (Less)
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author
Niven, Lisa LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20141
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainability science, ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, urban green infrastructure
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2014:013
funder
Naturvårdsverket
language
English
additional info
This thesis was carried out in the context of the project “Ecosystem services as a tool for climate change adaptations in coastal municipalities” which is Working Package 2 of a broader project titled “Implementing the Ecosystem Services Approach at the municipal level” funded mainly by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
id
4466489
date added to LUP
2014-06-16 17:51:38
date last changed
2015-06-18 14:04:23
@misc{4466489,
  abstract     = {Climate change poses a current and ongoing threat to urban areas worldwide. Rising sea levels and the increased occurrence of heatwaves, heavy rainfall and related impacts due to erosion and landslides in particular are risks that are becoming increasingly urgent to address in the near future. Though Sweden is seen as a pioneer in sustainable city development, climate change adaptation is a relatively recent addition to the discourse, with previous focus primarily on mitigation and liveable cities. Where adaptation has been addressed at all, it has often been done by means of technical approaches and 'hard measures' using built structures and traditionally engineered ‘grey infrastructure’. The emerging approach of 'ecosystem-based adaptation', which uses ecological structures and the services they generate as part of an overall strategy to adapt to the impacts of climate change, is investigated with regard to its potential to contribute to adaptation and risk reduction strategies and measures in Sweden. This thesis identifies existing and potential measures under an ecosystem-based adaptation approach by means of literature review, analysis of planning documents, and key informant interviews in four coastal municipalities in southern Sweden. The measures identified are categorised and analysed for their potential to contribute to a more integrated climate change adaptation—disaster risk reduction approach, and social, economic, environmental and climate change mitigation co-benefits are identified for each measure. Finally, barriers and opportunities to the implementation of these measures are discussed. While the range of measures planned and implemented show that there is awareness within the municipalities of the underlying principles of an ecosystem-based adaptation approach, integration into climate adaptation planning documents is varied, and adaptation measures in general are still in their infancy. Planners mention a variety of implemented measures which do not in fact have climate change adaptation as their primary focus, showing the diversity of reasons for engagement in ecosystem-based approaches in these municipalities. While this diversity is positive, there are elements from theory could contribute to a more comprehensive ecosystem-based adaptation approach. Examples of these are evaluative techniques for adaptive and risk-reducing structures to make their adaptation services more transparent, including multi-criteria analysis. The integration of stakeholder perspectives and management is a further element which could be harnessed more effectively in this process.},
  author       = {Niven, Lisa},
  keyword      = {sustainability science,ecosystem services,climate change adaptation,disaster risk reduction,urban green infrastructure},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Harnessing the green and blue : an investigation of ecosystem-based adaptation measures in four southern Swedish coastal municipalities},
  year         = {2014},
}