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Open AccessArticle

Uncovering Engagement Networks for Adaptation in Three Regional Communities: Empirical Examples from New South Wales, Australia

1
Institute of Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
2
Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, QCAT, Pullenvale, QLD 4069, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2021, 9(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020021
Received: 23 November 2020 / Revised: 14 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Cities and Communities)
Climate change is a significant challenge for policy makers, planners and communities. While adaptation responses are generally recognised to be place-based, policy processes on adaptation often reside with central (state or national) governments that may be remote from regional communities. In this paper, we contribute to the literature regarding how diverse regional communities engage with planning and policy for climate adaptation, which is important for successful implementation. We adopt a social network analysis (SNA) approach that enables an exploration of the interaction of community networks with policy information. There are limited empirical studies of information sharing about climate adaptation policy through community knowledge networks. One previous study, located in coastal New South Wales, Australia, mapped the community’s knowledge acquisition and diffusion to reveal the underlying network structures that influenced policy engagement pathways. However, further studies are needed to determine how the features of community networks may change with local context (e.g., coastal versus inland). This paper extends previous studies to compare and contrast adaptation knowledge networks in three NSW communities: Shoalhaven (the original coastal study site), Bega (coastal) and Orange (inland). Findings suggest that the presence of a natural resource-dependent industry, local geographies and boundary spanners acting as network knowledge brokers are factors influencing community knowledge flows. The work further demonstrates the utility of SNA to measure knowledge networks that can inform government engagement and communication with communities on climate adaptation policy. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation policy; climate change policies; community participation; knowledge networks; environmental governance; social network analysis adaptation policy; climate change policies; community participation; knowledge networks; environmental governance; social network analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cunningham, R.; Jacobs, B.; Measham, T.G. Uncovering Engagement Networks for Adaptation in Three Regional Communities: Empirical Examples from New South Wales, Australia. Climate 2021, 9, 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020021

AMA Style

Cunningham R, Jacobs B, Measham TG. Uncovering Engagement Networks for Adaptation in Three Regional Communities: Empirical Examples from New South Wales, Australia. Climate. 2021; 9(2):21. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cunningham, Rebecca; Jacobs, Brent; Measham, Thomas G. 2021. "Uncovering Engagement Networks for Adaptation in Three Regional Communities: Empirical Examples from New South Wales, Australia" Climate 9, no. 2: 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020021

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