Global climate change poses significant challenges to future agricultural production, with significant implications for global food security, agricultural producer livelihoods, and environmental degradation. Agricultural water systems are highly sensitive and exposed to potentially substantial climate change impacts. In fact, agriculture is the sector most affected by water scarcity, as it accounts for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals and more than 90% consumption. Farmers develop their activity supporting a complex coupled human and natural system characterized by political, economic, institutional, cultural and biophysical conditions. Furthermore, real-world climate change adaptive responses can be differentiated along a number of social, spatial and temporal dimensions, while they can be protective, in terms of taking preventive measures against negative impacts, or opportunistic as they take advantage of potential beneficial effects of climate change. Yet, adaptation can be constrained not only by technical difficulties or scientific uncertainties, but also by the absence of political will and consensus, opposed economic and cultural factors, lack of governance in decision-making processes, conflicting strategies among governments at national and local scale, and shortcoming of tangible results. Previous research highlighted how adaptation strategies and actions need to be evaluated also in terms of their acceptance by stakeholders at different levels (i.e. water authorities, irrigation districts, individual farms). The aim of this contribution is to assess the effectiveness of main climate change adaptation policies carried out in irrigated agriculture in Lombardy (Italy) with respect to what extent and under what socio-economic, environmental and cultural conditions they are being implemented to reduce the gap between theory and practice. For this purpose, we conducted a review of the literature, an evidence-based and SWOT analysis to highlight which driving factors and multifactor criteria should be taken into account to cope with the risk of maladaptation and lack of confidence in achieving climate change adaptation goals.

How far is climate change adaptation policy from practice? Contrasting the effectiveness and acceptance of local and regional strategies in irrigated agricultural systems in Northern Italy

Castelletti, A.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Global climate change poses significant challenges to future agricultural production, with significant implications for global food security, agricultural producer livelihoods, and environmental degradation. Agricultural water systems are highly sensitive and exposed to potentially substantial climate change impacts. In fact, agriculture is the sector most affected by water scarcity, as it accounts for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals and more than 90% consumption. Farmers develop their activity supporting a complex coupled human and natural system characterized by political, economic, institutional, cultural and biophysical conditions. Furthermore, real-world climate change adaptive responses can be differentiated along a number of social, spatial and temporal dimensions, while they can be protective, in terms of taking preventive measures against negative impacts, or opportunistic as they take advantage of potential beneficial effects of climate change. Yet, adaptation can be constrained not only by technical difficulties or scientific uncertainties, but also by the absence of political will and consensus, opposed economic and cultural factors, lack of governance in decision-making processes, conflicting strategies among governments at national and local scale, and shortcoming of tangible results. Previous research highlighted how adaptation strategies and actions need to be evaluated also in terms of their acceptance by stakeholders at different levels (i.e. water authorities, irrigation districts, individual farms). The aim of this contribution is to assess the effectiveness of main climate change adaptation policies carried out in irrigated agriculture in Lombardy (Italy) with respect to what extent and under what socio-economic, environmental and cultural conditions they are being implemented to reduce the gap between theory and practice. For this purpose, we conducted a review of the literature, an evidence-based and SWOT analysis to highlight which driving factors and multifactor criteria should be taken into account to cope with the risk of maladaptation and lack of confidence in achieving climate change adaptation goals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1192729
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