skip to Main Content

Towards climate adaptation and coastal governance in Ireland: Integrated architecture for effective management?

Falaleeva, Maria, Cathal O'Mahony, Stefan Gray, Margaret Desmond, Jeremy Gault, and Valerie Cummins. 2011. Towards climate adaptation and coastal governance in Ireland: Integrated architecture for effective management?. Marine Policy, . in press

Abstract

Coastal environments are susceptible to a range of impacts arising from medium and long-term climate change. However, as Ireland’s population and industrial centres are concentrated in coastal locations, Ireland’s coastal communities will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Therefore, making the best use of existing knowledge to inform the establishment of governance structures capable of facilitating the measures and actions which may soon be required is a national imperative. Coastal communities worldwide have turned to integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) as a process to deliver sustainable development. This paper explores how experience gained from ICZM implementation can be harnessed to inform the development and implementation of climate adaptation policies, with a particular focus on the coastal zone. Using the principles and conceptual basis of Earth System Governance – an emerging approach to analyse complexity of governance under global environmental change – the paper maps the architecture of ICZM and climate governance in Ireland. The research identifies the main barriers to, and opportunities for, integrated application of the two policy domains. Barriers include the fragmentation of governance structures and responsibilities of key stakeholders, a lack of coordinated support for ICZM implementation at the national level, and a relatively weak awareness of the specifics of adaptation at the local level. Opportunities include the availability of expertise gathered from phases of ICZM implementation in Ireland, which encompasses mechanisms for science-policy integration, and invaluable experience of stakeholder participation and interaction. Current political and scientific support at national and EU levels give an additional impetus to climate research and actions which may bring additional opportunities and resources to coastal governance in Ireland.

Keywords: Climate adaptation; Coastal zone management; Policy integration; Governance architecture; Earth system governance

You might like these publication categories

Recent publications

Climate Refugees: Global, Local and Critical Approaches

The last few years have witnessed a flurry of activity in global governance and international lawseeking to address the protection…

The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals?

Written by an international team of over sixty experts and drawing on over three thousand scientific studies, this is the…

The Normative Foundations of International Climate Adaptation Finance

Billions of dollars are annually transferred to poor nations to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. This…