Case Study Highlights Importance of Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in Climate Adaptation Solutions

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A recently-published case study by Southeast CASC scientist Mitch Eaton and co-authors describe how to engage diverse stakeholders in climate adaptation planning.

Waterfront in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo taken by Leta Davenport Sweetgrass.

Waterfront in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo taken by Leta Davenport Sweetgrass. (Public domain.)

Read the original news story featured on the Southeast CASC website here.

In a changing world, finding a balance between conserving unique ecosystems, maintaining high standards of living, and preserving cultural landscapes is a vital yet monumental task for any community, and one that is much too large for any one organization to tackle on its own. However, in a recent publication, Southeast CASC supported researchers present an approach for engaging a diverse network of stakeholders in collaborative discussions to address social and environmental effects of climate change. Through informal meetings, workshops, and other collaborative interactions, the authors worked with community partners in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina to identify ecological and cultural resources in the area at risk from climate change and to evaluate potential collaborative roles these groups can take in future climate adaptation efforts. They found that the adaptive capacity of a region ultimately depends on a region’s ability to act collectively and that diverse stakeholder engagement led to discussions of actionable solutions anchored by a strong sense of place. This work emphasizes the interconnectedness of social and environmental systems and highlights the important role of collaboration in holistic climate adaptation strategies.

This work is a product of a two-part project funded by the Southeast CASC, Informing Conservation Management Decision-Making at Coastal National Wildlife Refuges and Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges.

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