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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Examining limits and barriers to climate change adaptation in an Indigenous reindeer herding community

Lof, Annette

Abstract

Based on recognized gaps in adaptation research the article begins by identifying the need to empirically investigate the governance of adaptation'. Drawing on Kooiman's interactive governance framework, the study examines through collaborative methodology how adaptation agency and the space for adaptation is constructed and restricted in the case of an Indigenous reindeer herding community in Sweden. Findings demonstrate that climate change and variability is currently a matter of concern. The greatest problem, however, is the diminishing space for adaptation due to accumulated pressure of predation and competing land-uses in combination with herders' lack of direct and indirect power to influence the actors and institutional factors currently limiting adaptation options. This study carries relevance not only for reindeer herding communities in Sweden, but also for the general adaptation literature in demonstrating that limits and barriers to adaptation can be essentially political; requiring the making of hard choices and hence active governmental intervention. It also shows that marginalized groups, even in contexts where adaptive capacity is considered high, are likely to remain highly vulnerable with restricted adaptation opportunities unless deliberate structural and institutional transformation are initiated.

Keywords

climate change; adaptation; governance; reindeer herding; reindeer husbandry; Indigenous; Sami; participation

Published in

Climate and Development
2013, Volume: 5, number: 4, pages: 328-339
Publisher: TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Climate Research
    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2013.831338

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/84423