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When salient science is not enough to advance climate change adaptation: Lessons from Brazil and Australia

Increased social and environmental vulnerability to extreme climatic events and inherent aggravation of environmental and social problems has placed climate change adaptation as an urgent challenge for decision-makers. Understanding and using climate change information to advance the implementation of climate-friendly policies further compounds this challenge. A rich scholarly literature focusing on climate change adaptation endorses that investing in mechanisms that narrow the gap between climate change information production and its use is crucial to increase adaptive capacity. Based on this assumption, this paper investigates the extent to which two collaborative projects that functioned as boundary organisations in Brazil (CiAdapta project) and Australia (Climate Change Adaptation for Natural Resource Management in East Coast Australia) increased access to information, and enabled the continual and continuous usefulness of produced knowledge for climate change adaptation. Considering the distinction between usable and useful information, we applied six criteria to guide the data analysis and extract key lessons from each project. Our findings confirm that face-to-face interactions are more likely to result in research having the societal impact that is being increasingly required by research and funding bodies. Our findings also indicate that two key systemic changes are critical for the long-term influence of boundary organisations for advancing climate change adaptation. These include changes to the science, knowledge production process; and shift in the political culture.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Serrao-Neumann, S., Di Giulio, G., & Low Choy, D. (2020). When salient science is not enough to advance climate change adaptation: Lessons from Brazil and Australia. Environmental Science & Policy, 109, 73–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.04.004
Elsevier BV
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Environmental Science & Policy. © 2020 Elsevier.