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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Assessment of institutional capacity to adapt to climate change in transboundary river basins

Authors:

Anita Milman

Lisa Bunclark

Declan Conway

William Adger

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2013
Secondary Title:
Climatic Change
ISSN:
1573-1480
DOI:
10.1007/s10584-013-0917-y
Pages:
755-770
Volume:
121
Year:
2013
Date:
12/2013

Abstract

Responses to climate change in transboundary river basins are believed to depend on national and sub-national capacities as well as the ability of co-riparian nations to communicate, coordinate, and cooperate across their international boundaries. We develop the first framework for assessing transboundary adaptive capacity. The framework considers six dimensions of transboundary river basins that influence planning and implementation of adaptation measures and represents those dimensions using twelve measurable indicators. These indicators are used to assess transboundary adaptive capacity of 42 basins in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Sahel. We then conduct a cluster analysis of those basins to delineate a typology that includes six categories of basins: High Capacity, Mediated Cooperation, Good Neighbour, Dependent Instability, Self-Sufficient, and Low Capacity. We find large variation in adaptive capacity across the study area; basins in Western Europe generally have higher capacities to address the potential hazards of climate change. Our basin typology points to how climate change adaptation policy interventions would be best targeted across the different categories of basins. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013