The 'last mile' for climate data supporting local adaptation

Louis Celliers, María Máñez Costa, David Samuel Williams, Sergio Rosendo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Non-technical summary The 'last mile' is a transportation planning term that describes the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination; a local place such as a home or a shop. This is the final step of the logistics process that unites the product with its new owner. We present and explain challenges of science-guided adaptation at the local level, and how this is an equivalent 'last mile' challenge for climate adaptation. Technical summary The 'last mile' issue, a term used in transportation planning, describes the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination, a local place such as a home or a shop. This is the critical final step of the logistics process that unites the product with its new owner, and the point of the value chain. This analogy aptly describes the last steps between presenting scientific evidence of climate change to decision-makers for use in local adaptation and planning. Climate change data (observational and model simulation data e.g. climate change projections and predictions) remain under-utilised, especially by local institutions and actors for which adaptation is a priority. The assumptions and assertions of the classical data-information-knowledge-wisdom are challenged, and a derivative form of the information hierarchy is proposed. Elements of the classical information hierarchy are offset by four balancing elements of access (to data); usability (of information); governance (of knowledge) and politics (of wisdom). These balancing elements and their relatedness coincide with newer models of innovation relating to the interaction between different stakeholders across the different levels of governance, the inclusion of stakeholder expectations, transparency and accountability. Social media summary Climate data to wise decision-making in the 'last mile': a novel perspective on science-guided local adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Sustainability
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Information hierarchy
  • Local adaptation
  • Social entropy

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