Knowledge for Climate programme "Governance of climate adaptation"

The Knowledge for Climate programme funds our "Governance of Climate Adaptation" consortium. The consortium is led by Prof. Dr. C.J.AM. (Katrien) Termeer and has been awarded the Center of Excellence label.

The Governance of Adaptation to Climate Change"


The programme 2010-2014

Adapting to the possible impacts of climate change presents a demanding challenge within the existing governance structures and arrangements. It raises normative questions (e.g. who should be responsible?) and may require innovative experiments, leadership approaches and process designs. Furthermore, governments may need to reconsider the economic instruments and governance structures that allocate risks and responsibilities between public and private partners. To complicate matters even further, climate change is surrounded by uncertainties, contested knowledge and differences in stakeholders’ perspectives. Hence, the specific complexities of adaptation governance call for new advanced governance knowledge. In that sense, the governance of climate adaptation also poses a new scientific challenge. This programme aims integrate existing knowledge from the fields of public administration, economics, political science, spatial planning, law, environmental studies and psychology. Through close cooperation with hotspots, this programme will add new empirical evidence to test innovative theoretical propositions about the governance of climate adaptation. In short, this unique interdisciplinary programme will develop and test governance arrangements that will contribute to (1) developing and implementing adaptation options; and (2) increasing the adaptive capacity of society so that future climate changes can be confronted.

The work packages in a few sentences

Within our research programme we have defined six work packages (WPs). We set up two methodological WPs. WP1 deals with setting up a collaborative action research programme that facilitates and directs the interactions between hotspots and research projects. WP6 will set up an international comparative research and exchange of learning experiences across regional and national boundaries. Four key WPs address the following research questions:
1. How can we organise connectivity within the existing structures through innovative experiments, leadership approaches and process designs? (WP2)
2. Which economic instruments and governance structures to allocate risks and responsibilities between the public and the private are promising, and how can they be implemented in the Dutch situation? (WP3)
3. What are the consequences of uncertainties, stakeholders’ perceptions and contested knowledge, and which methods help to cope with them in decision-making processes? (WP4)

4. How can the principles of legitimacy, effectiveness and resilience be elaborated and what are the implications for the governance of adaptation? (WP5)

The consortium partners

  • Wageningen University (WUR), Public Administration & Policy Group
  • Free University (VU) Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies & Department of Spatial Economics
  • Radboud University Nijmegen (RU), Department of Geography, Planning and Environment
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Research Centre Governance of Complex Systems
  • Utrecht University (UU), Centre for Environmental Law and Policy & Faculty of Geosciences
  • University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences & Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
  • Carl von Ossietzky University (Oldenburg), Centre for Sustainability Economics and Management
  • Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre

The hotspots

The research is to be carried out in cooperation with seven of the eight hotspots: Haaglanden Region, Rotterdam Region, Major Rivers, South-West Netherlands Delta, Shallow Waters and Peat Meadow Areas, Dry Rural Areas, and Wadden See. Furthermore, several other stakeholders are to be involved, including the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, and the Interprovincial Platform IPO.

The program has a budget of 4.4. million Euros, of which 60% is funded by Knowledge for Climate and 40% is funded by hotspots and knowledge institutes.

More information about our Consortium 'Governance of Climate Adaptation'

Programme Knowledge for Climate.