Assessing collaboration, knowledge exchange, and stakeholder agency in coastal governance to enhance climate resilience

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Coastal governance plays a central role in building the capacities for adaptation and transformation towards climate resilience in coastal social-ecological systems (SES). However, enhancing climate resilience requires effective coordination between organisations involved in coastal governance. Therefore, more information about the role and agency of organisations and the relationships between them is needed. This paper aims to improve the understanding of collaboration, knowledge exchange, and stakeholder agency for enhancing climate resilience in coastal SES, using a case study in Algoa Bay, South Africa. We apply and combine stakeholder analysis and social network analysis, which is currently underrepresented in climate change adaptation research. Results suggest that different top-down and bottom-up processes are needed to improve knowledge exchange and enhance climate resilience in the coastal governance of the Algoa Bay SES. These include improved leadership, effective knowledge transfer, integration of climate information, support for bridging organisations, and inclusivity of marginalised stakeholders. These suggestions may also be more broadly applicable and transferable to similar coastal SES. Ultimately, the results of this study shed light on network structures in coastal governance facing climate change and advance research on combining stakeholder analysis and social network analysis in climate change adaptation and environmental governance research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. LR and LC acknowledge funding from the I2B Program of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Germany and from the WIOMSA-MASMA Cities and Coast Program Grant Number: Cities&Coasts/OP/2018/02. NR acknowledges funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) of South Africa Innovation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Grant Number: 129498.

Funding Information:
This study was part of the research programme Cities and Climate Change in the Coastal Western Indian Ocean (CICLICO). We would like to thank the project team, especially Sergio Rosendo for his support in designing the questionnaire. We also thank all survey participants for their time and valuable input. Ethical approval for this study was granted by the Nelson Mandela University under the number H20-BES-DEV-003. This work contributes to Future Earth Coasts, a Global Research Project of Future Earth.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).