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Welcome to Week 2

This video introduces the topics of Week 2, including cross-sectoral governance arrangements and innovation in climate adaptation governance.
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HELLEN DAWO: In Kenya, the ’70s saw an increase in political awareness in the general population. The citizens were better educated and started to hold the government accountable for social economic issues. Demands for change were led by elite men and women. One of them was Professor Wangari Maathai. At a time when the environment was not seen as a political topic, she vocalised the need to protect Kenya’s forest, which were being cut down for agricultural land, urban expansion, and energy. For her efforts, she became the first environmentalist, first African woman, and the first Kenyan woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She received it for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.
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The previous week focused on the challenges caused by climate change and past efforts to address these challenges. Despite agreements made on a global scale, in order to see effects on national and local scale, more decisions need to be made. The decisions are not always popular. Extreme weather events continue to impact human population and ecological systems. This puts governments under more pressure to respond. Let’s examine an interesting story. There was once a guard who drew a line across the street. No one is allowed to cross this line, he said. Gradually, a crowd built up behind the line. A boy was playing with a ball behind the line. Unfortunately, the ball bounced across the line.
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The boy asked the guard if he may cross the line to get his ball back. Just this once, the guard said. Needless to say, soon everyone had a reason to cross the line, and with permission from the guard, everyone did cross the line. In the story we see an authority figure laying out a rule. The rule makes the people behave in a certain way. They do not cross the line. However, an exception is made when the boy has to get his ball. Learning from this exception, the other people also come up with reasons why they should cross the line. In the end, there is no one behind the line.
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The process of governance helps us to make rules that people will follow. So when they’re asked to stay behind the line, most of them do. Through governance, societies are able to self-organise. This is done in two steps. Firstly, making certain persons or institutions responsible for the welfare of the people, just like the guard in the story. And secondly, these persons or institutions formulate rules that regulate how the people behave. This story brings us to the definition of governance. Governance may be explained as a process by which stakeholders formulate rules and guidelines that affect how society, the people, behave. So how should we behave in relation to climate change?
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This week we’ll explore current strategies used by governments in response to the challenges. We will also look at future opportunities to address climate change. By the end of this week, you should be able to recognise and critically reflect on the following four topics. What is climate adaptation governance? Then how is it adaptation governance implemented and what are the barriers to climate adaptation governance? And lastly, how can these barriers be overcome?

Governance may be explained as the process by which actors formulate rules and guidelines that affect how a society (the people) behave. The process of governance helps us make rules that the population will follow. We provide an example from Kenya to show how and why.

Through governance, societies are able to self-organize by:

  • Making certain persons or institutions responsible for the welfare of the people
  • And secondly, these persons or institutions formulate rules that regulate how the people behave.

This week we will explore present strategies used by governments in response to the challenges.

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Making Climate Adaptation Happen: Governing Transformation Strategies for Climate Change

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