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Overcoming social barriers to learning and engagement with climate change adaptation: experiences with Swedish forestry stakeholders
Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute. School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 0282-7581, E-ISSN 1651-1891, Vol. 30, no 3, 217-225 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is expected to significantly affect forestry in the coming decades. Thus, it is important to raise awareness of climate-related risks – and opportunities – among forest stakeholders, and engage them in adaptation. However, many social barriers have been shown to hinder adaptation, including perceptions of climate change as irrelevant or not urgent, underestimates of adaptive capacity and lack of trust in climate science. This study looks into how science-based learning experiences can help overcome social barriers to adaptation, and how learning in itself may be hindered by those barriers. The study examines the role of learning in engagement with climate change adaptation with the help of the theory of transformative learning. Our analysis is based on follow-up interviews conducted with 24 Swedish forestry stakeholders who had participated in a series of focus group discussions about climate change impacts and adaptation measures. We find that many stakeholders struggled to form an opinion based on what they perceived as uncertain and contested scientific knowledge. The study concludes that engagement with climate change adaptation can be increased if the scientific knowledge addresses the needs, objectives and aspirations of stakeholders and relates to their previous experiences with climate change and extreme weather events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 30, no 3, 217-225 p.
Keyword [en]
climate change, climate change adaptation, forestry, transformative learning, climate change communication
National Category
Environmental Sciences Forest Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124898DOI: 10.1080/02827581.2014.1002218ISI: 000350887300003OAI: diva2:891217
Available from: 2016-01-06 Created: 2016-01-06 Last updated: 2016-01-08Bibliographically approved

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