Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Advancing Equitable Approaches to Climate Adaptation

March 19 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Start time where you are: Your time zone couldn't be detected. Try reloading the page.

March 19, 2024
9:00 a.m. EST

University of Vermont, Aiken Center 103
Virtual via teams

Preapproved for 1 continuing forestry education credit (1.0 category)

Join Rachel H. Swanwick for her Master’s Thesis Defense titled Advancing Equitable Approaches to Climate Adaptation: Exploring Barriers, Opportunities and Cross-Cultural Socio-Environmental Collaborations for Forest Stewardship across Tribal Nations and State Agencies in Maine, USA. On Rachel’s committee is Guild member Tony D’Amato and collaborators include Guild member Tyler Everett.

Abstract: Increasingly, the socio-environmental challenges confronting forest systems such as climate change, invasive plant species, insects, and pathogens will demand that forest stewards leverage their adaptive potential across spatial and temporal scales. However, adaptation is not occurring evenly across regions, resulting in adaptation gaps. These gaps are projected to have greater impacts on vulnerable populations, such as Indigenous Nations, whose cultures and rights to self-determination are tied to the landscape. Despite this vulnerability, multifaceted relationships between Indigenous peoples and their homelands, informed their inherent adaptability to environmental change. This has led to a growing recognition that Indigenous knowledge systems hold critical insights for adaptation planning and implementation. To advance equitable adaptive actions, this thesis explores how forest stewards from state agencies and Tribal Nations in present-day Maine, in the Northeastern U.S., perceive their adaptive capacity, and potential for collaboration to enhance knowledge exchange and reduce the adaption gap. To explore these questions, we conducted interviews with 22 forest stewards across state agencies (n=12) and Wabanaki Tribal Nations (n=10). Barriers and opportunities for climate adaptation were organized into three themes i) resource availability, ii) operational capacity and iii) decision making practices. Cross-cultural collaboration was identified as a primary opportunity to enable knowledge exchange and reduce maladaptation. However, challenges related to socio-political tensions, institutional incongruities, and finite capacity limited cooperation. Final study results suggest that adaptive capacity is strengthened by recognizing the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations and co-creating flexible institutions that enable cross-cultural collaborations to sustain forest stewardship.


March 19
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, ,