Examining resilience in local adaptation policies – pilot studies in Taipei and Tainan, Taiwan

  • Author(s): Peiwen Lu, Ellie Yu-Hui Huang, Shu-Yun Liang, and Gin-Rong Liu
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2016.04.17.01(CCA)
  • Keywords: Resilience, Climate change, Adaptation, Local adaptation policies, Tainan (Taiwan), Taipei (Taiwan)
  • Citation: Lu, P., E. Y. H. Huang, S. Y. Liang, and G. R. Liu, 2017: Examining resilience in local adaptation policies – pilot studies in Taipei and Tainan, Taiwan. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 28, 83-97, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2016.04.17.01(CCA)
  • Undersatnding resilience as a synonym of adaptation may be risky in practices
  • The content of the assessed adaptation policies is more related to resilience
  • Embedding resilience can help generate cross-sectoral collaborative framework

Resilience has gained considerable attention over recent years in both theories and decision-making practices. In Taiwan, the term resilience is generally considered as a synonym for adaptation. This may limit the use of the notion. By understanding resilience in terms of adaptation and mitigation, we identify six attributes for assessment. The assessment is addressed in local level climate change adaptation policies in two selected cities. The city of Taipei represents places where local adaptation policies were directed mainly by the national government. The city of Tainan represents places where the municipal government plays a more critical role in framing these policies. This can result in different policymaking considerations. The assessment points out that the proposed actions of these policies are broader than a general understanding of adaptation. Mitigation strategies are addressed and sometimes highly recommended. Because of this, we can interpret these actions as resilience strategies covered under the use of the term adaptation. The notion of resilience does not stay on the rhetorical level alone. It is happening in shaping decisions – without using the terminology directly. The broadness of the resilience notion, in spite of being abstract, can provide a more general framework for cross-sectorial discussion and collaboration in policy-making. This is particularly important for dealing with complex issues, such as climate-related disturbances, which cannot be managed by a single group of professions.

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