Diversifying knowledge governance for climate adaptation in protected areas in Colombia

Claudia Múnera*, Lorrae van Kerkhoff

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Protected areas face many threats, including the observed and projected impacts of climate change, yet there is little evidence that adaptation strategies are providing comprehensive solutions to deal with ecological transformation due to changing climates. In this article we explore whether, how and to what extent the governance of knowledge helps or hinders managerial change towards more proactive climate adaptation. We applied a knowledge governance framework that addresses social and cultural dimensions of environmental decision-making, alongside the institutional arrangements that support particular knowledge-based relationships, to document the knowledge-based processes in place for managing protected areas under uncertain climate change in Colombia. We found that the results of scientific experimentation and modelling (mainly in the natural sciences) are often stated as the preferred source of knowledge to inform decision making, forming a dominant narrative that climate adaptation can and should be driven by scientific and technical information. However, institutional arrangements in practice were typically more diverse in the knowledge sources that contribute to protected area policy and practice. This indicates a significant mis-match between the desired knowledge base for climate adaptation governance, and the actual knowledge processes that underpin effective planning. We propose that understanding institutional arrangements that shape adaptation decision contexts can help to address barriers for using climate information effectively, including understanding its limitations. It can also help managers identify opportunities to draw on existing diverse and rich knowledge systems to support the institutional transformations needed to enable strategic planning and management for effective climate adaptation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-48
    Number of pages10
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


    Dive into the research topics of 'Diversifying knowledge governance for climate adaptation in protected areas in Colombia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this