Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10451/23723
Título: Changing climate, changing decisions : understanding climate adaptation decision-making and the way science supports it
Autor: Capela Lourenço, Tiago, 1979-
Orientador: Santos, Filipe Duarte, 1942-
Swart, Rob
Palavras-chave: Alterações climáticas
Decisão estratégica
Tomada de decisão
Adaptação
Teses de doutoramento - 2015
Data de Defesa: 2015
Resumo: The current pace of global mitigation efforts brings about growing concerns about climate change impacts. In turn, even in developed countries, most societies are often vulnerable to present day climate and will most likely see those vulnerabilities exacerbated by future climate trends and extremes, accentuating the need for a coherent response through adaptation efforts. Such efforts will always have to be developed in face of uncertainty. The deeply rooted uncertainties that underpin climate change adaptation as a scientific, political and societal endeavour will always be a part of adaptation decision-making processes. It is fundamental that decision-makers and scientific communities find common ground that allows to exchange the necessary knowledge on “why to adapt”, but also to develop the required frameworks, methods and tools that sustain a clearer understanding of “what to adapt” and “how to adapt” under long-term, uncertain circumstances. This thesis is about climate adaptation decisions and decision-making processes, and how science supports and equips them to handle uncertainty. The assessment and conclusions presented in this thesis reflect research that was transdisciplinary in nature and that included working close to decision-makers in their real-life contexts. The main objective of this thesis is to enrich the understanding of how adaptation decision-making takes place in those contexts and how science can better support it in dealing with associated uncertainties. Three key research questions underpin this thesis. The first deals with the issue whether transdisciplinarity in adaptation research is a fundamental condition for practical adaptation decision-making. This thesis argues that although transdisciplinarity may be a necessary condition, it is not a sufficient one to assure that “good” or “better” real-life adaptation decisions are made. Participatory, practice-oriented research is of outmost importance, but it has to be complemented by a more fundamental inquiry and concept development from disciplinary sciences and with changes in the operational and/or normative standards associated with long-lasting decisions. Transdisciplinarity has been framed as a potential solution for the gap between knowledge production and practical adaptation action. However, a more fundamental change in the way adaptation decision-making processes are framed, one that goes beyond the simple assimilation of the perceived needs of decision-makers, may be required to bridge that challenge. The second question reflects the current gap in the understanding of what climate adaptation decisions are and how they relate to existing or perceived uncertainties. Using a set of selected case-studies spanning across a wide range of sectors and different real-life decisions, this thesis reviewed and analysed how adaptation decisions are being made in practice, their knowledge requirements, and the implications that dealing with uncertainty has regarding their outcomes. In order to consider all steps of the adaptation decision-making process, interviews were conducted with both decision-makers and those involved in supporting them via science and other activities. Results demonstrate the importance of considering both dimensions and respective contexts in dealing with uncertainty. However, results also suggest that uncertainty-management is not a guarantee of action, and that the current framing of adaptation decision-making is still very much tied to a rational-linear view, both from the policy and decision-making perspective, as in the science and decision-support standpoint. This leads to a third research question that aims to identify if current adaptation decision-making frameworks are well equipped to characterise, support adaptation and enhance adaptation action under uncertainty. In the context of this thesis, a decision-making framework is a holistic set of concepts, perspectives or approaches that support the entire adaptation decisionmaking process. This thesis argues that such frameworks should necessarily include and integrate all dimensions that naturally occur in an adaptation process namely, the decision-objectives, the decision-support, the decision-making and the respective decision-outcomes. Current frameworks have been mostly framed from a research and expert perspective that follows a rational approach to decision-making under uncertainty. Under such perspective, it is assumed that by providing information and decision-support practical adaptation decisions will be made. This appears to be sufficient to deal with strategic decisions that look into improving adaptive capacity, but seems no longer fit-for-purpose when it comes to operational decisions, the type generally required to advance vulnerability-reducing actions.
Descrição: Tese de doutoramento, Ciências do Ambiente, Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10451/23723
Designação: Doutoramento em Ciências do Ambiente
Aparece nas colecções:FC - Teses de Doutoramento

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