The dynamics of institutional arrangements for climate change adaptation in small island developing states in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans

The successful design, implementation and management of the institutional arrangements for climate change adaptation are critical components of sustainable development. This is especially true for small island developing states (SIDS), a group of 58 countries spread across three main geographic regions, which are acknowledged as being disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In many instances, the dynamics of these arrangements in SIDS are poorly understood and documented. This study helps to fill this gap by identifying and analyzing “networks of action situations” through semi-structured interviews with 14 national and international climate change officials and practitioners in four SIDS (Comoros, Maldives, Seychelles, and Singapore) in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans region. We find that there are a few strategic actors involved in multiple, mutually reinforcing and sometimes conflicting arrangements, which are simultaneously being shaped and reshaped at different scales. We also find varying patterns of power, politics and participation that act as both drivers of and barriers to adaptation in these countries. By deconstructing institutional interlinkages and strategic feedback loops, this paper contributes to a broader understanding of the complexities of environmental governance in small jurisdictions.

Associated spaces

Maldives , Singapore

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