Unattended gap in local adaptation plans: The quality of vulnerability knowledge in climate risk management

Anna Marín-Puig*, Eduard Ariza, Antònia Casellas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


A risk-based management approach to climate change is dominant in local adaptation plans integrating climate-science data with place-based vulnerability assessments. While the former has a regional character and uncertainty is approached by means of probabilities and confidence, the latter is context-specific, relies on local knowledge and uncertainty is barely assessed. The objective of this paper is to highlight the relevance of uncertainty analysis in the vulnerability assessment of local adaptation plans by enhancing the Knowledge Quality Assessment tool. This analytical proposal differs from technical uncertainty analysis because it addresses both the social context and the process of knowledge production. Next, the advanced uncertainty dimensions have been applied in the vulnerability assessment used in two Mediterranean adaptation plans. Findings show that institutional arrangements and the role of intermediate parties (contextual dimension) shape the knowledge used, produced, and reproduced (substantive dimension) and hamper community-engaged assessments (procedural dimension). Resulting vulnerability representations, which are poorly grounded on context-sensitive knowledge, compromise the relevance of risk-assessment outputs and local agency in adaptation governance. The present research contributes to the academic study of plans evaluation and of the adaptation science-governance interface at the local scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100465
Number of pages14
JournalClimate Risk Management
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Knowledge governance
  • Knowledge quality
  • Local climate change adaptation plan
  • Uncertainty
  • Vulnerability


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