Upcoming Webinar: Polycentric Governance in Climate Change Policies

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Panalist: Lissel Hernandez-Gongora

Date: Wednesday May 8th, 2019 @ 11:00am CST


The impacts of climate change are more evident everywhere. Rural people who depend on climate-sensitive resources (e.g. water supplies, farming land) are among the more vulnerable population affected by climate events such as heat waves, heavy precipitation, long droughts and intense hurricanes which have been more frequent around the world. Polycentric governance is a form of decision-making that involves multiple levels of authority and multiple sectors representatives under a shared system of rules to regulate their relationships. In the first decade of the 21st century, Elinor Ostrom proposed Polycentric Governance as an effective approach to address global environmental problems such as climate change. Globally and in Canada, current climate change mitigation and adaptation policies are polycentric because they include different levels (local, regional, national, international) and different sectors (public and private sector, NGOs, indigenous people). Polycentric Governance has the potential to facilitate tasks such as information sharing, knowledge exchange/learning, financial coordination, conflict resolution and creation of trust. Polycentric governance does not automatically translate into positive impacts in achieving climate change mitigation goals. Efforts to create functional institutional arrangements might exceed the actual implementation of strategies and action plans. When adopting a polycentric approach in climate change policy, some recommendation are: Developing adequate information sharing tools and a clear message, promoting capacity development for local actors, building in past experiences by exchanging best practices, creating internal rules to solve potential conflict, promoting transparency in decision-making and implementation.

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