Stakeholder visions for trajectories of adaptation to climate change in the Drôme catchment (French Alps)

Agnès Bergeret & Sandra Lavorel (2022)

Regional Environmental Change, pp. 22-33

Abstract. Analyzing actions of climate change adaptation as envisaged by stakeholders enables to draw a shared vision or, conversely, alternative pathways imagined for a territory; and to question their inclusion in governance. This article focuses on the adaptation levers devised by 170 local stakeholders (state services, elected officials, agriculture, forest and river technicians, farmers, inhabitants) in the French Drôme Valley. Data was collected through a visioning process combining interviews and workshops designed around three collectively identified structuring issues: quality of life, agricultural production and tourist attractiveness. We characterized the 300 proposed actions according to: (1) stage of implementation, (2) the degree of socio-ecological transformation they imply, (3) the type of strategy for co-production of associated Nature’s Contributions to Adaptation through: ecosystem management, mobilization, social appreciation, and associated social dynamics (socio-economic demand, governance, knowledge systems), (4) proponents’ roles in governance of the socio-ecological system, (5) the repertoire of values to which they participate as part of collective visions for a desirable future. We identified three typical visions and associated normative goals: sustainable development, ecological and social transition, and ecosystem wealth and self-sufficiency. Each vision was characterized by the set of actions proposed by stakeholders as a pathway to the vision. We compare these three typical pathways with actions already implemented (the current trajectory), and with actions proposed according to the social roles of participants to discuss the cross-cutting nature of desired actions, and convergences or divergences across stakeholders according to their involvement and capacity to influence ecosystem management.

Extract: “Through their discourses on their visions, stakeholders propose actions reflecting their decision contexts and their underpinning interplay of values, rules, and knowledge (VRK) (Gorddard et al. 2016). We define here values in a pragmatic way as a collective process of valuation, “the result of whole set of operations by which a quality is assigned to an object (things, persons, actions, states of the world), with varying degree of consensus and stability”. (Heinich 2020). In this approach, valuation is underpinned by the axiological grammar of justification sequences (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006) or “repertoires of values”, which co-exist and are permanently re-shaped (Heinich 2020). Visioning methods associates the vision of a desirable future (expressing values) to coherent and systemic models of social-ecosystems (Wiek and Iwaniec 2014). Plumecocq et al. (2018) proposed inspiring models for western sustainable agriculture: the biotech model, based on biological inputs and a global food market; the circular model of industrial ecology with farmers inorganized as productive clusters; the diversified-globalized, relocalized and integrated landscape models based on increasing agroecological practices that integrate benefits from local NCP, integrated local food-energy systems and territorial embeddedness.” (p. 33)

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