Institutional arrangements for climate-smart landscapes

Published on January 1, 2015 | Author: Susan W. Wambugu, Susan W. Chomba, Joanes Atela

Landscapes are gaining policy and scientific attention as a means to addressing the multiple aspects of climate change. Climate-smart landscapes operate on the principle of integrated landscape management encompassing ecological, social and economic actions that synergize adaptation and mitigation within the target landscape (Scherr et al., 2012). In climate-smart landscapes, institutions play a central role in structuring risks and sensitivity to climate hazards. They are critical as mechanisms for enabling or constraining individual and collective responses to climate risks and hazards (Agrawal, 2010). This chapter broadly defines institutions as a system of laws, rules, norms and regulations that define, constrain, and shape actors’ interactions (North, 1990; Ostrom, 1990). Ideally, institutions comprise interactions of multiple actors at various levels to formulate and implement rules and regulations or norms that shape resource use and access at the landscape level. This chapter focuses on these actors, their roles, and how they organize themselves to respond to climate change challenges in landscapes.

The analysis undertaken is mainly concerned with the performance of multi-level actor interactions in practice based on key institutional benchmarks drawn from institutional literature. It specifically aims to evaluate how present institutional arrangements of climate- smart interventions apply these benchmarks, and then suggests possible improvements that could enhance the initiatives’ work in achieving climate-smart landscapes. The specific objectives of the chapter are to: 1) highlight institutional arrangements in climate- smart agriculture and forestry landscapes and 2) to apply benchmarks on institutional arrangements, drawn from the literature, to determine the extent to which they are realizable in practice.

The chapter constitutes six sections. This brief introduction is followed by an overview of the various actors usually present in a climate-smart landscape and their roles. The third section briefly discusses the seven institutional benchmarks for climate-smart landscapes. These benchmarks are then applied in section four to evaluate the performance of ongoing climate-smart interventions within agriculture and forestry landscapes. Discussion and concluding thoughts for achieving climate-smart landscapes in practice are outlined in the last two parts.

Wambugu, S. W., Chomba, S. W. & Atela, J. (2015). Institutional arrangements for climate-smart landscapes. In Minang, P. A., van Noordwijk, M., Freeman, O. E., Mbow, C., de Leeuw, J. & Catacutan, D. (Eds.) Climate- Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice, 257-273. Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).
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