A Framework for Assessing Climate Adaptation Governance on the Caribbean Island of Curaçao


It is becoming increasingly clear that Caribbean islands are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, longer periods of droughts, loss of biodiversity, more extreme weather events (flooding and hurricanes), and increased freshwater demands. Addressing these issues encourages good climate change adaptation governance. So far, however, the literature has not discussed what good governance could mean in this context. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to address this knowledge gap by developing an assessment framework and showing its usefulness. The framework is based on a review of the literature and is applied in an assessment of adaptation practices in Curaçao. The assessment is based on a review of Curaçao policy documents and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. We found that the developed framework was useful for obtaining a better insight into the quality of adaptation governance on Caribbean islands, and that in the Curaçao practices, the good governance principles of transparency and inclusiveness are better elaborated in comparison to connectivity, accountability and government effectiveness. We conclude the paper with some reflections on the potential of the framework and some suggestions for further research.

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