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Stakeholder Engagement

The importance of the involvement of the stakeholders’ assessment to risk, adaptation and vulnerability as it is the stakeholders that will be most affected and thus need to adopt the environmental, social and technological changes stemming as a direct or an indirect impact of climate change(Burton et al., 2002; Renn, 2004; UNDP, 2005).

Stakeholders – individuals who have anything of value (either monetary or non-monetary) that may be involved by climate change or by actions taken to manage anticipated climate risks. That can involved anyone from the range of policy-makers, scientists, communities and/or managers in the sectors and regions most at risk.(Rowe and Frewer, 2000; Conde and Lonsdale, 2005).


Success of stakeholder involvement

Stems from informing interested and affected people to act on the knowledge. Kasperson (2006)

The political, economical and social context where the stakeholder’s involvement occurs may raise conflicts and it is the researchers’ responsibility to either solve these conflicts or be involved in them.


Approaches of stakeholder engagement:      passive interactions where stakeholders only provide information                                                                                 Stakeholders themselves initiate and design the process

Figure 1: Ladder of stakeholder participation (based on Pretty et al., 1995; Conde and Lonsdale, 2005).


Adaptation and mitigation

The role of stakeholders may be characterized by:

Organizational structure

Level of decision making (e.g. policy strategic planning or operational     implementation)

             Spatial scale (e.g. local, national or international)

Time frame of concern (e.g. near term to long term)

Function within a network (single sector, multilevel institution)

Decisions might cover adaptation only, mitigation only, or link adaptation and mitigation. Relatively few public or corporate decision-makers have direct responsibility for both adaptation and mitigation (e.g., Michaelowa, 2001). For example, adaptation might reside in a Ministry of Environment while mitigation policy is led by a Trade, Energy or Economic Ministry. Local authorities and land-use planners often cover both adaptation and mitigation (ODPM, 2004).


Stakeholders are exposed to a variety of risks, including financial, regulatory, strategic, operational, or to their reputations, physical assets, life and livelihoods (e.g., IRM et al., 2002). Decision-making may be motivated by climatic risks or climate change (e.g., climate-driven, climate-sensitive, climate-related) although many decisions related to adaptation and mitigation are not driven by climate change (Watkiss et al., 2005).

In relation to the stakeholders’ interests, the risk is defined as “the probability times the consequence” (e.g., Tol, 2003; Stainforth et al., 2005). The process of decision making takes into account gamut of factors: (Newell and Pizer, 2000; Bulkeley, 2001; Clark et al., 2001; Gough and Shackley, 2001; Rayner and Malone, 2001; Pidgeon et al., 2003; Kasperson and Kasperson, 2005; Moser, 2005): values, preferences and motivations; awareness and perception of climate change issues; negotiation, bargaining and social norms; analytical frameworks, information and monitoring systems; and relationships of power and politics.

Stakeholders may adopt the strategy of simulating the technological or social changes, instead of balancing the costs and benefits i.e. simulating the social impact of carbon, one measures the benefits of mitigation policies.


Adoption and Mitigation Process:

The process behind the decision making related to adaptation and mitigation processes changes over time. For example mitigation processes in the energy sectors began with the adoption of low-cost supply and demand side option by implementing passive solar panels. Through the long series of adoption processes, the composition of the energy sector is likely to change. The adaptation options have already started to be implemented to answer current climate risks by making early-warning systems available and by proactively anticipating environmental changes via land-use management. (e.g., Martens and Rotmans 2002; Raskin et al., 2002a, b).


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Burton, I. and M. van Aalst, 1999: Come Hell or High Water: Integrating Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation into Bank Work. World Bank, Washington, District of Columbia, 60 pp.


Clark, W.C., J. Jaeger, J. van Eijndhoven and N. Dickson, 2001: Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks: A Comparative History of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 361 pp.


Conde, C. and K. Lonsdale, 2005: Engaging stakeholders in the adaptation process. Adaptation Policy Frameworks for Climate Change: Developing Strategies, Policies and Measures, B. Lim, E. Spanger-Siegfried, I. Burton, E. Malone and S. Huq, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 47-66.


Gough, C. and S. Shackley, 2001: The respectable politics of climate change: the epistemic communities and NGOs. Int. Aff., 77, 329-346.


IRM, AIRMIC and ALARM, 2002: A Risk Management Standard. AIRMIC, IRM, ALARM, London, 17 pp.


Kasperson, J.X. and R.E. Kasperson, 2005: The Social Contours of Risk. Earthscan, London, 578 pp.


Kasperson, R.E., 2006: Rerouting the stakeholder express. Global Environ. Chang., 16, 320-322.


Martens, P. and J. Rotmans, Eds., 2002: Transitions in a Globalising World. Swets and Zeitlinger, Lisse, 135 pp.

Michaelowa, A., 2001: Mitigation versus adaptation: the political economy of competition between climate policy strategies and the consequences for developing countries. HWWA Discussion Paper No. 153, University of Hamburg, Hamburg.


Moser, S.C., 2005: Impacts assessments and policy responses to sea-level rise in three U.S. states: an exploration of human dimension uncertainties. Global Environ. Chang., 15, 353-369.

Newell, R.G. and W.A. Pizer, 2000: Regulating stock externalities under uncertainty. Discussion Paper 99-10-REV. Resources for the Future, Washington, District of Columbia.


Pidgeon, N., R.E. Kasperson and P. Slovic, Eds., 2003: The Social Amplification of Risk. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 464 pp.


Pretty, J.N., I. Guijt, J. Thompson and I. Scoones, 1995: Participatory Learning and Action: A Trainer’s Guide. IIED Training Materials Series No. 1. IIED, London, 268 pp.


Raskin, P., T. Banuri, G. Gallopin, P. Gutman, A. Hammond, R. Kates and R. Swart, 2002: Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. Global Scenario Group, Stockholm Environment Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, 99 pp.


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Renn, O., 2004: The challenge of integrating deliberation and expertise: participation and discourse in risk management. Risk Analysis and Society: An Interdisciplinary Characterization of the Field, T.L. MacDaniels and M.J. Small, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 289-366.

Rowe and Frewer, 2000


Stainforth, D.A., T. Aina, C. Christensen, M. Collins, N. Faull, D.J. Frame, J.A. Kettleborough, S. Knight, A. Martin, J.M. Murphy, C. Piani, D. Sexton, L.A. Smith, R.A. Spicer, A.J. Thorpe and M.R. Allen, 2005: Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Nature, 433, 403-405.


Tol, R.S.J., 2003: Is the uncertainty about climate change too large for expected cost-benefit analysis? Climatic Change, 56, 265-289.


UNDP, 2005: Adaptation Policy Frameworks for Climate Change: Developing Strategies, Policies and Measures. B. Lim, E. Spanger-Siegfried, I. Burton, E. Malone and S. Huq, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 258 pp.


Watkiss, P., D. Anthoff, T. Downing, C. Hepburn, C. Hope, A. Hunt and R. Tol, 2005. The Social Costs of Carbon (SCC) Review: Methodological Approaches for Using SCC Estimates in Policy Assessment, Final Report. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), London, 121 pp.