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What change should extension be enabling in the name of climate change adaptation? Dr. Lauren Rickards Research Fellow, University of Melbourne: Primary.

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Presentation on theme: "What change should extension be enabling in the name of climate change adaptation? Dr. Lauren Rickards Research Fellow, University of Melbourne: Primary."— Presentation transcript:

1 What change should extension be enabling in the name of climate change adaptation? Dr. Lauren Rickards Research Fellow, University of Melbourne: Primary Industries Adaptation Research Network, Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute Thinker in Residence, Birchip Cropping Group Deputy Chair, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network

2 Extension – enabling change Extension is about ‘enabling change’ in rural and regional communities (Vanclay and Leach 2006)

3 Extension – enabling change Extension is about ‘enabling change’ in rural and regional communities (Vanclay and Leach 2006) Sounds agnostic...

4 Extension – enabling change Extension is about ‘enabling change’ in rural and regional communities (Vanclay and Leach 2006) Sounds agnostic... But change is not neutral.... Climate change adaptation included

5 Extension – enabling change What sort of ‘change in response to and in the context of climate change’ is needed and wanted? The answer to this is currently shaped by –Dominant perception of climate change ‘Climate reductionism’ (Hulme, 2011) –Dominant perception of current desirable/”inevitable” trajectories of change

6 Framing the problem of CCA Basic questions are often overlooked in policy arenas in the pursuit of detail and solutions Pannell, D. (2008) Environmental Policy for Environmental Outcomes Problems being defined in terms of symptoms rather than causes may not only fail to solve the problem but make it worse Cork, S. (2010) Resilience and Transformation, CSIRO

7 Framing the problem of CCA Adaptation = reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts

8 Framing the problem of CCA Adaptation = reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts Vulnerability = Future Harm

9 Framing the problem of CCA Adaptation as reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts Vulnerability = Future Harm Unknown Context-dependent Unknowable Subjective Changing Changing

10 Neglected questions about CCA Who is the subject of adaptation? And why? What is the goal of adaptation?

11 Neglected questions about CCA Who is the subject of adaptation? And why? What is the goal of adaptation? If adaptation is persistence thru change, -what is to persist, what is to change?

12 Framing CCA in agriculture 10:90 50:50 90:10 Keep : Change Who decides?

13 Neglected questions about CCA Who is the subject of adaptation? And why? What is the goal of adaptation? What is to persist, what is to change? Perceptions of the present: Where are we now? What do we want to change?

14 Neglected questions about CCA Who is the subject of adaptation? And why? What is the goal of adaptation? What is to persist, what is to change? Where are we now? What do we want to change? What sort of adaptation is needed/wanted?

15 Reframing the problem of CCA Who is the subject of adaptation? And why? What is the goal of adaptation? What is to persist, what is to change? Where are we now? What do we want to change? What sort of adaptation is needed/wanted? To what effect? How are impacts defined and identified? What costs and benefits are taken into account?

16 Broadening our view of impacts 1.First order - Direct impacts –Effects of climate on a biophysical system 2.Second order – Indirect impacts –Flow on effects on social, cultural, political, economic systems –Exacerbation of existing pressures and reduced adaptive capacity

17 1.First order - Direct impacts –Effects of climate on a biophysical system 2.Second order – Indirect impacts –Flow on effects on social, cultural, political, economic systems –Exacerbation of existing pressures and reduced adaptive capacity 3.Third order – Adaptation impacts –Costs of change (transaction and opportunity costs) –Negative effects of adaptation responses on others –Missed opportunities for positive change –Worsening of the original problem (emission of GHG) Broadening our view of impacts

18 1.First order - Direct impacts Vulnerable Pop. 1 –Effects of climate on a biophysical system 2.Second order – Indirect impacts Vulnerable Pop. 2 –Flow on effects on social, cultural, political, economic systems –Exacerbation of existing pressures and reduced adaptive capacity 3.Third order – Adaptation impacts Vulnerable Pop. 3 –Costs of change (transaction and opportunity costs) –Negative effects of adaptation responses on others –Missed opportunities for positive change –Worsening of the original problem (emission of GHG) Broadening our view of impacts

19 1.First order - Direct impacts –Effects of climate on a biophysical system 2.Second order – Indirect impacts –Flow on effects on social, cultural, political, economic systems –Exacerbation of existing pressures and reduced adaptive capacity 3.Third order – Adaptation impacts –Costs of change (transaction and opportunity costs) –Negative effects of adaptation responses on others –Missed opportunities for positive change –Worsening of the original problem (emission of GHG) Not all adaptation efforts will necessarily “do good” – or do enough good Broadening our view of impacts

20 The need for good adaptation A tripartite aim: –Reduce own vulnerability –Reduce others’ vulnerability Adaptation is a process, not a list of measures addressing specific direct impacts We need ‘sustainable adaptation’ that contributes to social justice and environmental sustainability (Eriksen et al 2011) CC - opportunity for and need for ‘co-benefits’ Reduce climate change

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22 So… Some messages for extension Address context Address values and power relations Seek multiple benefits/changes Use systems perspective – trace linkages, relations, cross-scale and cross-discipline Promote farmer and community perspective Build generic adaptive capacity Best practice extension an invaluable resource: needs to be ‘exported’ to other areas of CCA √

23 Challenges for extension Self-adaptation Revitalisation of TOT thinking: –Adaptation as “deficit” issue (problem = farmers’ climate literacy) –Marginalisation of extension as mere ‘communication’ of science CC throws into question scientific and experiential knowledge about future – a challenge to the professional role and identity of those in extension (and science) Need for collective, coordinated, cross-sectoral action Need for serious ongoing learning with other sectors

24 The Third Wave of agricultural extension? Key tasks Give voice to diversity of adaptation subjects and goals. Challenge dominant voices Facilitate open-minded discussion among and between farmers, families, government, industry, community Reflect on and acknowledge own values Facilitate adaptation to all three orders of potential and actual CC impacts Look beyond impacts to need for ‘enabling’ actions Help develop collective vision and action Encourage positive change Continue working on integration of production and sustainability Help identify research needed. What do we need to know? How can we know it? Then and only then… promote “adoption of adaptation” among farmers…


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