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Climate resilient communities

  • This research report presents a transdisciplinary student research project on developing climate resilience of communities in Marine Protected Areas in the Lesser Antilles. For the second time, the Leuphana University Lüneburg and the Sustainable Marine Financing Programme (SMF) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) partnered up. The first project on the Caribbean Island Dominica showed that community resilience is a complex concept that is not yet well understood. Building on these findings, this year’s project broadened the scope in addressing the effect of varying local conditions on climate resilience on four different Caribbean islands: Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. For the GIZ, the research project aimed at improving the understanding of the socio-ecological resilience framework for tackling problems of Marine Managed Areas (MMA) and Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Also, it enabled new thoughts on how the GIZ and other development agencies can more effectively assist island states to better cope with the challenges of climate change. The role of the students from the “Global Environmental and Sustainability Sciences” programme of Leuphana University included the design of four transdisciplinary research projects to study the effect of varying local conditions in disaster-prone regions in the Southern Caribbean on climate resilience. The developing island states in the Caribbean are extremely vulnerable to more frequent and intense natural hazards while relying on ecosystem services that are threatened by extreme weather events, in particular Hurricanes. After such adverse events, low economic stability leads to a dependency of the states on international assistance. To decrease the vulnerability to shocks, counteracting measures that encourage learning and adaptation can increase the resilience against extreme weather events and their consequences. Concepts that were considered during the design of the transdisciplinary research projects were the adaptation of systems, diversity and stakeholder participation and resilience-focused management systems. Building on the results from last year in Dominica, the establishment of a four islands design allowed for greater comparison to better understand community approaches to solve a concrete sustainability problem: securing livelihoods while protecting natural and cultural resources. The research methods of a literature review, stakeholder mapping, semi-structured interviews, scenario development and visioning were used in the projects. A comparison of the four TD projects revealed four overarching lessons. First, all countries recognise a need for restoration and conservation projects, i.e., nature-based solutions implemented and managed by the local community in the MPA. Furthermore, all four cases show that the limited participation of local people in the management and organisation of the MPA is a factor constraining community resilience. Third, this TD project highlights the importance to distinguish climate change as an event or as a process. When climate change occurs as a series of disaster events (e.g., hurricanes, floodings, and heatwaves) in combination with s gradual degradation of natural ecosystems (e.g., coral bleaching and ocean warming), people in MPA communities show highly adaptive and restorative behaviour. Finally, this project was an attempt to realize a cross-cultural and virtual transdisciplinary project. The research approach of transdisciplinarity links different academic disciplines and concepts, and non-scientific stakeholders are included to find solutions for societal and related scientific problems. A major learning was that in virtual TD projects particular attention needs to be paid to setting clear boundaries and be explicit about success criteria. Nonetheless, the findings of the projects provide valuable learning lessons to be applied in practice and that can prove useful for future research.

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Metadaten
URN:urn:nbn:de:gbv:luen4-opus4-12967
URL: https://pub-data.leuphana.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/1296
Subtitle (English):A transdisciplinary student research project on marine protected areas in the lesser Antilles
Editor:Steffen Farny (Prof. Dr.)
Document Type:Report
Language:English
Year of Completion:2023
Date of Publication (online):2023/02/08
Publishing Institution:Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Universitätsbibliothek der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Release Date:2023/02/08
Pagenumber:35
Institutes:Fakultät Nachhaltigkeit / Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 577 Ökologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung