Climatic Change

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 243–259 | Cite as

Are human values and community participation key to climate adaptation? The case of community forest organisations in British Columbia

  • Ella Furness
  • Harry Nelson


This study develops a multidisciplinary framework composed of a range of determinants of adaptive capacity to climate change found in economic, sociological, political, geographical and psychological literature. The framework is then used to carry out a survey of community managed forest organisations to measure their adaptive capacity and establish the characteristics that enable their adaptation. The research finds that adaptive organisations spend a substantial amount of time on community consultation and involvement, and prioritize environmental considerations over other aspects of their organisation. The effort invested in creating and maintaining links with the wider community by adaptive organisations may give them a legitimacy which enables adaptive changes to be made with community support. Reflecting calls for values based approaches to climate change, the article discusses the role that different values play in adaptation, and the ‘transcendent’ values that adaptive organisations tend to hold. The article concludes by suggesting that a deeper understanding of community adaptation to climate change could be derived from an exploration of the role of human values in adaptation across the disciplines.


Social Capital Adaptive Capacity Physical Capital British Columbia Climate Change Adaptation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Forestry, Forest Sciences CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Sustainable Places Research InstituteCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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