Evaluating the readiness of three States in the Northeastern United States to adapt important natural resources systems to climate change: practical and theoretical considerations

Friedetzky, Claudia (2022) Evaluating the readiness of three States in the Northeastern United States to adapt important natural resources systems to climate change: practical and theoretical considerations. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In the last decade, governments have made advances in the development and adoption of climate adaptation programs. With the rise of these programs, scholarly efforts have emerged to assess and evaluate their effectiveness and quality. Thus, researchers have developed and applied a range of climate adaptation evaluation approaches to gauge adaptation progress. In this thesis, a climate adaptation evaluation approach developed by Ford and King (2015) — the adaptation readiness framework — was applied to assess the readiness of three Northeastern US States – Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine – to adapt the natural resources systems located within their boundaries to climate change. To enable the adaptation readiness evaluation, the indicators in the adaptation readiness framework were revised to fit the context of this study shaped by scale and governmental system. Systematic reviews of the scholarly and grey literature were pursued. The revised indicators were used for the coding of documents. Indicators were then scored based on ordinal rankings. Results demonstrated that Massachusetts had the highest level of climate adaptation readiness, New Hampshire the second highest and Maine the lowest climate adaptation readiness. It was found that political leadership – one of the factors in the framework – strongly correlates with climate adaptation readiness, and that high levels of climate adaptation readiness are associated with government centralization. The conceptual strengths of the framework include its ability to illuminate adaptation deficits, and adaptation policy patterns and structures. Its weaknesses stem from the vagueness of the underlying definition of adaptation. Rather than measuring adaptation progress, the adaptation readiness framework measures the extent to which governments have established programs that fall under the category of adaptation as “adjustments”.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15304
Item ID: 15304
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 132-166).
Keywords: climate change adaptation, United States, northeastern, natural resources systems, ecosystems, resilience, climate adaptation progress, climate adaptation evaluation, climate adaptation tracking, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, forests, estuaries, wildlife habitat, adaptation readiness, adaptation readiness framework
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: February 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/TP22-8Y45
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Climatic changes--Massachusetts; Climate change mitigation-- Massachusetts; Natural resources-- Massachusetts; Adaptation (Biology)--Massachusetts; Political leadership-- Massachusetts; Environmental policy--Massachusetts; Climatic changes--New Hampshire; Climate change mitigation--New Hampshire; Natural resources--New Hampshire; Adaptation (Biology)--New Hampshire; Political leadership--New Hampshire; Environmental policy--New Hampshire; Climatic changes--Maine; Climate change mitigation--Maine; Natural resources--Maine; Adaptation (Biology)--Maine; Political leadership--Maine; Environmental policy--Maine.

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