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Sustainability principles put into practice: case studies of network analysis in Swiss climate change adaptation

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Ingold Karin, Balsiger Jörg,
Project IWAGO - Integrated water governance with adaptive capacity in Switzerland
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Regional Environmental Change
Page(s) 1 - 10
Title of proceedings Regional Environmental Change
DOI 10.1007/s10113-013-0575-7


Climate adaptation policies increasingly incorporate sustainability principles into their design and implementation. Since successful adaptation by means of adaptive capacity is recognized as being dependent upon progress toward sustainable development, policy design is increasingly characterized by the inclusion of state and non-state actors (horizontal actor integration), cross-sectoral collaboration, and inter-generational planning perspectives. Comparing four case studies in Swiss mountain regions, three located in the Upper Rhone region and one case from western Switzerland, we investigate how sustainability is put into practice. We argue that collaboration networks and sustainability perceptions matter when assessing the implementation of sustainability in local climate change adaptation. In other words, we suggest that adaptation is successful where sustainability perceptions translate into cross-sectoral integration and collaboration on the ground. Data about perceptions and network relations are assessed through surveys and treated via cluster and social network analysis.