Local governance responses in adapting to adaptation

Authors: Skye Turner-Walker*, Australian National University
Topics: Development, Cultural and Political Ecology, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: Critical development, climate change adaptation, international development
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 15
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As international climate change commitments progressively prioritise addressing adaptation, in Indonesia, climate change adaptive capacity and resilience enhancing interventions have been increasingly directed at the local community or village scales. This paper situates the local experiences of adaptation aid recipients in two (national and donor-driven) adaptation programmes tasked with translating international climate finance into Indonesia’s adaptation planning goals. The paper describes the divergent ontologies in conflict between the climate change adaptation discourse and conceptual underpinnings articulated into programmes of adaptation in Indonesia, with the lived experiences of adaptation programmed activities’ intended beneficiaries. The paper describes the experience of one community of Javanese coastal farmers and one adat (customary) land small-island community in Maluku, of two national adaptation programmes, both implemented at village-scale. The paper provides the local interpretations of how in two cases, adaptation programmes implemented nation-wide and tailored to the village-level, sit counter to the ontological dynamics of local communities. The experiences show the limited ways in which local participants were engaged and allowed agency to direct the activities of adaptation programming in a manner that was culturally contextually appropriate and locally specific, or able to effectively incorporate locally-specific social processes, innovation and local knowledge. While little impact or adaptive capacity was fostered in the long-term under the national adaptation activities, the local experiences in the two cases express the ways that the communities incorporate climate change into innovative and diverse local governance responses in ongoing adaptation to a myriad of changes, of which climate change is one.

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