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Mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation into municipal planning to foster sustainability transitions

Lüderitz, Christopher LU (2014) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20141
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Unprecedented global challenges demand all-encompassing modification of societal realms to ensure life support functions and human development. In the absence of adequate responses to climate change at a global level and the need for place-based adaptation, local governments are gaining increasing attention to govern and implement solution options to foster sustainability transitions. In this context, the importance of ecosystem-based adaptation is increasingly recognized as a place-based and multi-benefit approach. Related solutions utilize ecosystem services to tailor climate change adaptation to contextual features and have the ability to harmonize coupled human-environment systems. While there is an urgent need to mainstream... (More)
Unprecedented global challenges demand all-encompassing modification of societal realms to ensure life support functions and human development. In the absence of adequate responses to climate change at a global level and the need for place-based adaptation, local governments are gaining increasing attention to govern and implement solution options to foster sustainability transitions. In this context, the importance of ecosystem-based adaptation is increasingly recognized as a place-based and multi-benefit approach. Related solutions utilize ecosystem services to tailor climate change adaptation to contextual features and have the ability to harmonize coupled human-environment systems. While there is an urgent need to mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation to contribute to sustainability transitions, it has yet not been implemented systematically and research on how local authorities can best integrate this new approach into their core work remains vague. Against this background, the purpose of this study is to increase knowledge on the potential ways of mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation into municipal planning. I investigate three Swedish coastal municipalities (Malmö, Helsingborg, Lomma) and examine, according to vertical and horizontal integration processes, the key characteristics of mainstreaming strategies. Results show that municipal departments and sections that have mandated natural conservation concerns, advanced ecosystem-based adaptation most strongly. While horizontal mainstreaming strategies depend largely on dedicated administrative staff, support of local politicians can substitute missing guidance from the national level by promoting particular activities. Although ecosystem service and climate change adaptation planning jointly establish the conceptual foundation for ecosystem-based adaptation, practically implemented activities are widely separated and the utilization of nature for adaptation is rarely comprehensive. Finally, I elaborate on key characteristics of mainstreaming strategies that have potential to contribute to sustainability transitions. I argue that sustainability mainstreaming strategies provide promising avenues for initiating and promoting transitions by integrating sustainability into local governments. Since a theoretically sound and standardized approach is needed for the systematic implementation of sustainability mainstreaming, I expand on conceptual essentials to effectively move this approach into meaningful application. (Less)
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author
Lüderitz, Christopher LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20141
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
green infrastructure, urban transformation, sustainability science, policy integration, spatial planning
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2014:009
funder
Naturvårdsverket
language
English
additional info
This study was carried out within the research project "Ecosystem Services as a Tool for Climate Change Adaptions in Coastal Municipalities" financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
id
4467476
date added to LUP
2014-06-17 11:32:46
date last changed
2015-06-18 14:04:23
@misc{4467476,
  abstract     = {Unprecedented global challenges demand all-encompassing modification of societal realms to ensure life support functions and human development. In the absence of adequate responses to climate change at a global level and the need for place-based adaptation, local governments are gaining increasing attention to govern and implement solution options to foster sustainability transitions. In this context, the importance of ecosystem-based adaptation is increasingly recognized as a place-based and multi-benefit approach. Related solutions utilize ecosystem services to tailor climate change adaptation to contextual features and have the ability to harmonize coupled human-environment systems. While there is an urgent need to mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation to contribute to sustainability transitions, it has yet not been implemented systematically and research on how local authorities can best integrate this new approach into their core work remains vague. Against this background, the purpose of this study is to increase knowledge on the potential ways of mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation into municipal planning. I investigate three Swedish coastal municipalities (Malmö, Helsingborg, Lomma) and examine, according to vertical and horizontal integration processes, the key characteristics of mainstreaming strategies. Results show that municipal departments and sections that have mandated natural conservation concerns, advanced ecosystem-based adaptation most strongly. While horizontal mainstreaming strategies depend largely on dedicated administrative staff, support of local politicians can substitute missing guidance from the national level by promoting particular activities. Although ecosystem service and climate change adaptation planning jointly establish the conceptual foundation for ecosystem-based adaptation, practically implemented activities are widely separated and the utilization of nature for adaptation is rarely comprehensive. Finally, I elaborate on key characteristics of mainstreaming strategies that have potential to contribute to sustainability transitions. I argue that sustainability mainstreaming strategies provide promising avenues for initiating and promoting transitions by integrating sustainability into local governments. Since a theoretically sound and standardized approach is needed for the systematic implementation of sustainability mainstreaming, I expand on conceptual essentials to effectively move this approach into meaningful application.},
  author       = {Lüderitz, Christopher},
  keyword      = {green infrastructure,urban transformation,sustainability science,policy integration,spatial planning},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation into municipal planning to foster sustainability transitions},
  year         = {2014},
}