UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Climate change : assessing the adaptive capacity of community forests Furness, Eleanor


Community Forests Organizations (CFOs) have been developed in British Columbia (BC) to manage forests according to the needs and desires of local communities and First Nations in forest dependent regions, in order to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of forestry. The effects of climate change in many of these regions are expected to be significant, and likely to have a detrimental effect on the health of the forests and communities. However, there are practical steps that CFOs can take which may improve their ability to cope with future conditions such as planting different species, practicing different silvicultural techniques and increasing monitoring and observation of the forest . This study is concerned with what CFOs need to have in place to take these steps. 'Adaptive capacity' is a term used to describe an ability to adjust to change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Adger et al. 2007), adaptive capacity depends upon access to natural, physical, economic, human and social capital, as well as enabling guiding values. This study aims to measure and describe each of the components of adaptive capacity in the CFOs in order to ascertain which of these factors are present in more adaptive organisations and may reveal something about the process of adaptation. Describing the nature of adaptive capacity in CFOs could inform policy development in climate change adaptation by both assessing what current capabilities exist in the sector and suggesting potential areas for development.

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