A framework for assessing community adaptation to climate change in a fisheries context

2018 November 19

Galappathithi, E.K., Ford, J.D. and Bennet, E.M. (2019). A framework for assessing community adaptation to climate change in a fisheries contextEnvironmental Science and Policy92, pp. 17-26.


There is a rapidly growing body of scholarship on climate change adaptation in diverse contexts globally. Despite this, climate adaptation at the community level has not received adequate conceptual attention, and a limited number of analytical frameworks are available for assessing place-specific adaptations, particularly in a fisheries context. We use conceptual material from social-ecological systems (SES) resilience and human development resilience to build an integrated framework for evaluating community adaptations to climate change in a fisheries setting. The framework defines resilience as the combined result of coping, adapting, and transforming—recognizing resilience as a system’s capacity and as a process. This understanding of resilience integrates with the three development resilience concepts of resistance, rootedness, and resourcefulness to develop ‘place-based elements’ which refer to collective action, institutions, agency, and indigenous and local knowledge systems. The proposed framework can capture a local setting’s place-specific attributes relating to the well-being of individuals, households, and communities, and the through integration of SES and human development conceptualizations addresses some of the key critiques of the notion of resilience. We have proposed this framework for application in context-specific environments—including fisheries—as a means of assessing community adaptations.

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