A transdisciplinary method, knowledge model and management framework for climate change adaptation in mountain areas applied in the Vercors, France

Tschanz, Léïta ; Arlot, Marie-Pierre ; Philippe, Félix ; Vidaud, Laure ; Morin, Samuel ; Maldonado, Eric ; George, Emmanuelle ; Spiegelberger, Thomas

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<p align=justify>Strategies for adapting to climate change are crucial to sustain human development while ensuring the supply of ecosystem services, especially in mid-altitude mountains. This paper presents main methodological developments and results of an inter- and transdisciplinary research that was applied to the Vercors massif in southeastern France. The approach linked regional climate projections with impacts on social-ecological systems and socio-economic activities, as well as adaptation capacities and management responses. We built on an extensive participatory process and an in-depth analysis of expert and local knowledge. This process provided a generic and transdisciplinary knowledge model together with an integrated framework for adaptation management (AMS-MAIA method). Our analyses showed that many adaptation practices were already underway in the study area, implicitly or explicitly, and highlighted key functions and some relevant cross-sectoral insights for adaptation. The research also assisted in collecting information on climate sensitivity through social-ecological indicators across spatial units. It provided resources and a prototype of web-based tools to assist local communities in setting up cross-sectoral adaptation strategies. We thus offer an original method for governing adaptation based on management standards and continuous improvement, while highlighting limitations of such formal and stringent approaches that require social and political license.</p>
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