Understanding public health adaptation to climate change : An explorative study on the development of adaptation strategies relating to the oak processionary moth in the Netherlands

Buist, Yvette; Bekker, Marleen; Vaandrager, Lenneke; Koelen, Maria


Understanding of public health adaptation (PHA) to climate change and implementation is limited. This study therefore focuses on one specific PHA issue: adaptation to the oak procession-ary moth (OPM). The aim is to examine the development of OPM adaptation in order to offer a problem description of the complexities involved in OPM adaptation. In this explorative case study, we investigate adaptation strategies based on semi-structured interviews with 26 actors involved in OPM adaptation in the Netherlands. The results indicate that the context of OPM adaptation is rel-atively complex, given the involvement of many interdependent actors. OPM adaptation was de-veloped with limited knowledge and strategies were based on ad hoc approaches in which there was ambiguity about tasks and expertise. In addition, different actors have different perceptions and values concerning health, sustainability, risks and responsibilities influencing decision-making processes, while also posing a challenge to collaboration and the development of a coordinated ap-proach. The generation of knowledge and its translation into practical strategies calls for interdisci-plinary cooperation in knowledge development. PHA adaptation involves more than technical and organisational solutions alone. It also entails the development of a shared problem perception and solution space in which citizens are also engaged