Societal Learning Needed to Face the Water Challenge
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News reports on catastrophic floods and devastating droughts and their implications abound in recent years. Extreme events are becoming more frequent and their impacts increase in magnitude (Solomon et al. 2007) but societies have also become more vulnerable (Fuhrer et al. 2006; Maslin 2008). A proposed major reason for this increase in vulnerability and the associated environmental degradation is that the values of natural capital and associated ecosystem services remain unrecognized. Instead of preserving natural infrastructure to build adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts, natural capital is being destroyed (Opperman et al. 2009; Smith and Barchiesi 2009). This implies that the increasing trade-offs between human and environmental needs are not entirely inevitable but depend on how and by whom the benefits derived from nature are conceptualized. Counteracting these undesirable developments is an important governance challenge. Central questions...
KeywordsFlood Risk Flood Protection Flood Risk Management Flood Management Water Governance
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