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Bizikova L.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Metternicht G.,University of New South Wales | Yarde T.,MEAS
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2015

Environmental mainstreaming (EM) is a policy instrument to integrate environmental risks and opportunities into planning and implementation. A body of knowledge exists on identifying barriers for EM at the national level. This paper identifies contributions of regional institutions for improving capacities for EM at the national level, using the Caribbean region as a case study. The methodology adopted combines in-depth interviews with senior policy-makers and participatory workshops for medium- and junior-level staffof government agencies. Four barriers for EM are analyzed with specific roles for regional agencies, including weak leadership, insufficient science-policy linkages, deficits in quantity and quality of human resources, and institutional aspects. Research findings identify regional leadership as crucial to supporting the science-policy interface, to share data and knowledge across countries facing similar challenges, to provide assistance with national policy development for EM involving transboundary issues, and to ensure cross-sectoral perspectives in regional initiatives, especially those on economic development. © 2015 by the authors.

Bizikova L.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Nijnik M.,James Hutton Institute | Nijnik A.,A+ Network
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2014

This paper explores the challenges of institutional transformation in agriculture countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and their consequences for adaptation planning. We review key policy and planning documents and processes in CEE and CIS countries and conduct a series of interviews with key experts to analyse trends relevant for adaptation planning in the context of institutional transformation in three countries (Slovakia, Ukraine, and Tajikistan; total number of interviews 159). Our outcomes indicate that adaptation is not perceived as an important priority. Rather, two thirds of the respondents suggested their focusing on ensuring stable land use and ownership and support for infrastructure. The results also show that the importance of national level leadership in adaptation was not supported with regional and local agencies thought as potential key leaders in adaptation. Also, compared to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) -15 countries of early adaptors (analysed in our earlier paper in this series), the focus in CEE and CIS countries on adaptation is sectorial, instead of looking at the role of agriculture in supporting wider societal needs. There is also limited integration and cooperation between researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders in adaptation planning, a characteristic that played a key role in early adaptors' adaptation efforts. Finally, our findings imply that the CEE and CIS countries need to develop institutional capabilities at the regional and local level, as well as integrate adaptation actions with on-going efforts of improving the agricultural sector, while accounting for the dynamic nature of property rights, particularly the recent changes in land tenure. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Bizikova L.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Crawford E.,University of British Columbia | Nijnik M.,James Hutton Institute | Swart R.,Wageningen University
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2014

This paper explores the lessons learned by leaders in agricultural adaptation planning in order to assist other jurisdictions to develop adaptation strategies. It seeks to identify effective institutional, participatory and collaborative processes involved in designing agricultural adaptation strategies at the national and sub-national levels in Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Its methodology is based on review of agricultural adaptation policy documents, research initiatives, stakeholder engagement processes, and cross-sectoral collaborations as well as interviews with key informants such as leaders and actors in adaptation planning. The gathered data show that early adapters have an improved regional and national understanding of climatic impacts, and of the risks to agriculture before the initiation of the planning process. The results indicate that the interplay between bottom-up and top-down initiatives has been crucial in the development of adaptation strategies. The former has provided rich and robust participation in designing, implementing and monitoring adaptations, while the latter was important for prioritizing and legitimizing the development of strategy. It also provided access to high-level decision makers and funding. The results of the study suggest that fostering cross-sectoral collaborations-especially by focusing on broader questions such as the role of agriculture in society-has become an important part of adaptation planning. Finally, our results also stress that adaptation planning in agriculture could be enhanced by skills development and mutual learning across stakeholder groups, research and policy-makers, and through the ongoing interactive development of institutional capabilities. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Bizikova L.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Nijnik M.,James Hutton Institute | Kluvankova-Oravska T.,Slovak Academy of Sciences
Small-scale Forestry | Year: 2012

Communities with multicultural, ethnically diverse populations located in forest areas of the Carpathian Mountains often face serious social and economic problems, including high unemployment rates, weak social support and institutions with little stakeholder participation in decision-making. In this paper, we apply participatory scenario processes to address the development of multifunctional forestry in these mountains by taking as an example the case study of Slovensky Raj National Park and specifically focusing on the involvement of local communities, particularly the Roma minority, in sustainable forest management (SFM). The paper argues that development of local institutions and promotion of horizontal and vertical participation to increase social capital is necessary for addressing social and economic problems, managing potential conflicts and sustaining multifunctional forestry development. The results suggest that the way forward is the integration of multi-purpose forest management with community development, and that learning, repeated stakeholder interaction, trust-building and cooperation between and within multiethnic local communities are important preconditions for success. The scenario process applied turned out to be beneficial for both the majority and the minority populations, particularly allowing for discussions about future development of mountain regions, their local economies and communities, and for providing some guidance about what are the preferred actions for participation in multifunctional SFM. © 2011 Steve Harrison, John Herbohn.

Chasek P.S.,Manhattan College | Wagner L.M.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Leone F.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Lebada A.-M.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD | Risse N.,International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD
Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law | Year: 2016

The United Nations Member States set a very high bar for themselves at the Rio+20 conference in June 2012: reaching agreement among 193 countries on a broad 'post-2015' sustainable development agenda that could enhance international coordination on all aspects of human and planetary well-being. However, at a point in history when States were increasingly failing to reach consensus on key decisions, they made history by agreeing on a course that could 'transform our world', through 'an agenda of breathtaking ambition and scope'. This article reviews the two negotiating tracks to develop the post-2015 outcome - the work of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which originated out of the decision taken at Rio+20; and the agreement to launch a post-2015 development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals. The final outcome from these two processes represents a fine balance among competing interests and concerns. The article sets the stage for a closer examination of the results of these negotiations. We begin our examination of the 'original intent' of the post-2015 agenda by reviewing the negotiation of the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, with attention to their similarities and differences. The article concludes with a focus on challenges for the implementation stage, based on the themes that emerged during the negotiations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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