Creating Adaptive Policies: A Guide for Policy-Making in an Uncertain World


Edited by: Darren Swanson & Suruchi Bhadwal

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    List of Tables and Figures

    • 2.1 Principles for Intervention in Complex Adaptive Systems 18
    • 3.1 Guidance for Developing and Using Scenarios 30
    • 3.2 Overview of Integrated and Forward-looking Analysis for Adaptive Policy-making 39
    • 4.1 Overview of Multi-Stakeholder Deliberation 54
    • 5.1 Examples of Signposts, Triggers and Policy Adjustments 63
    • 5.2 Overview of Automatic Adjustment 64
    • 6.1 Overview of Enabling Self-Organization and Social Networks 78
    • 7.1 Overview of Decentralization of Decision-making 93
    • 8.1 Overview of Promoting Variation 104
    • 9.1 Overview of Formal Policy Review and Continuous Learning 119
    • 2.1 Idealized Illustration of Policy Design and Implementation 14
    • 2.2 A Framework for Adaptive Policies and Roadmap to this Guidebook 23
    • 3.1 Adaptive Policy-making for Anticipated Conditions and the Role of Integrated and Forward-looking Analysis 30
    • 3.2 Ranking Key Factors with Respect to Importance and Uncertainty 33
    • 5.1 Spectrum of Policy Adjustment 58
    • 6.1 Making Use of Social Capital in Public Policy: From Direct to Indirect Influence 70
    • 10.1 Tasks and Tools for the Adaptive Policy-maker 123


    The imperative to marry our pursuits of economic, social and environmental well-being has never been so urgent. At the same time, the setting in which policy-makers must work has never been so complex and uncertain. And now the backdrop to this increasing urgency is a worsening global economic crisis, the likes of which most of us have never experienced—a crisis that came as a surprise to the majority of policy-makers.

    We are in danger of approaching a perfect storm of global crises. A global food crisis reared its head early in 2008 and has not gone away, and the impacts of climate change are manifesting themselves faster than was projected some years ago as carbon continues to accumulate in our atmosphere at unprecedented rates. But with these unfortunate experiences we are learning some important lessons about our economy, society and environment. For example, the economic crisis illustrates just how interconnected our local and global economies have become. The food crisis has reminded us of the vulnerability of the poor to fluctuations in market prices for our most fundamental commodities. The climate change issue has illustrated the interconnections among our economy, our society and our environment. The carbon fuelling our economy is changing the global environment on a scale never experienced before.

    It is indeed a very complex, dynamic and uncertain world.

    This is the stage on which policy-makers try to improve the lot of their citizens. Our respective organizations—the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)—strive to help governments incorporate the principles of sustainability into decision-making. Among these principles are: that we understand and appreciate the inherent interconnectedness of the pressing economic, social and environmental issues; that those who have much should be accountable to those who have little; and that we, as the present generation, are accountable to the next generation of citizens who have no voice in today's decisions.

    Advancing public policies and business decisions that put these principles into action is the mark of a mature society. Doing so is a daunting task even under the best and most stable of conditions. But today's conditions are far from stable. Putting these principles into practice, when the operating environment of a policy is highly dynamic, unpredictable and uncertain—as is the reality for most of today's pressing issues—is extremely difficult. An unprepared policy in such a setting has a good chance of not achieving its objective or having unintended negative consequences, or both. Such policies become a hindrance to advancing quality of life and sustainability.

    Creating Adaptive Policies was written to help policy-makers navigate today's complex, dynamic and uncertain terrain—to help policies help people. The authors began with an extensive search of the literature. What at first sounded like solos on how to deal with such complex policy settings from disparate sectors—including business, transportation engineering, healthcare, natural resources and Internet communications, to name a few—became a symphony when the lessons learned from across this range of economic sectors were all heard together. A common thread in these lessons was an appreciation of the policy environment as a complex adaptive system, a conceptual understanding that illuminated many important characteristics of how people interact among themselves and with their environment. The authors then listened to the people on the ground most impacted by public policies, including farmers and water resource managers in Canada and India. Policies that helped these persons deal with the dynamics and uncertainty of fluctuations in weather exhibited many of the adaptive features that were observed in the literature.

    Contained in the chapters of this book are seven tools that have helped policy-makers design and implement policies that perform in highly dynamic and uncertain settings. Adaptive policies anticipate the array of conditions that lie ahead through robust design using: (1) integrated and forward-looking analysis, including scenario planning; (2) multi-stakeholder deliberation to illuminate potential pitfalls and unintended consequences and (3) by monitoring key performance indicators to trigger automatic policy adjustments.

    But not all situations can be anticipated in advance through diligent use of analytical and deliberative tools. Adaptive policies are also able to navigate towards successful outcomes in settings that cannot be anticipated in advance. The book describes how this can be done by working in concert with certain characteristics of complex adaptive systems, including: (1) enabling self-organizing and social networking in communities (2) decentralizing decision-making to the lowest, and most effective and accountable unit of governance; (3) promoting variation in policy responses; and through (4) regular and systematic policy review and improvement—always examining whether assumptions about intended outcomes are accurate.

    As introduced in Chapter 1, these seven tools are being applied by policymakers and managers in many economic sectors to deal with a variety of policy issues. If you are a policy-maker working on the climate change issue you will find this book useful for crafting policies to tackle both mitigation and adaptation. If you are dealing with agriculture or water resource management issues, you will relate to many of the case examples presented in the book. Regardless of the arena of public policy and governance for which you have responsibility, we are confident that this book will be a welcome addition to your toolbox.

    Rajendra K.Pachauri


    The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) appreciate the generous support of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

    We would also like to acknowledge the Climate Change and Impacts Branch, Natural Resources Canada, for its financial support of IISD's Prairie Climate Resilience Project, the field work from which several of the Canadian policy case studies were identified for this book. Field work undertaken in Canada by graduate students Peter Myers and Kent Pearce, under the supervision of Fikret Berkes at the University of Manitoba's Natural Resources Institute, was instrumental in helping to identify policies from which adaptive features could be examined.

    We are grateful for the early intellectual contributions of Preety Bhandari and Ulka Kelkar from TERI in India, and to the sage advice and keen interest of Simon Carter and Marco Rondon of IDRC. The advice and review provided by TERI's executive director, Leena Srivastava, in the later stages of the project is also greatly appreciated.

    We would also like to thank the following individuals from government, academia, and the private and non-profit sectors for their input during the course of the project:

    A.S. Dhingra, Aditi Kapoor, Ajaya Dixit, Andrew McCoy, Anil Gupta, Anne Hammill, Blair McClinton, Brad Williems, Brett Dotter, Bryan Oborne, Candace Vanin, Cathy Hummelt, Christa Rust, Conference of the Parties—United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dale Rothman, Dave Sauchyn, David Radcliffe, Debbie Nielson, Dennis Haak, Doug McKell, Djordjija Petkoski, Drew Perry, Ed Dean, Elain Fox, Fikret Berkes, Guy Lafond, Harry Daiz, Institute for Public Administration of Canada, International Conference on Adaptive & Integrated Water Management, Jack Ruitenbeek, Jennifer Medlock, Jim Hiley, Jo-Ellen Perry, John Vandal, K.C. Momin, Ken Meter, Ken Schykulski, Kent Pearce, Liz Fajber, Lorna Hendrickson, Louise Smith, Lyn Gallagher, Malcolm Black, Marcus Moench, Neil Cunningham, Niranjan Pant, Oliver Puginier, Paul James, Paul Vincent, Pavan Kumar Singh, Peter Myers, Prodipto Ghosh, Richard Margoluis, R.R.B.R. Thabbah, Sangeet Srivastava, Scott Stothers, Seema Bhatt, Shashikant Chopde, Sholom Glouberman, S.K. Barik, S.K. Dalal, Stephen McGurk, Subodh Sharma, Sunil Augustine, Surya Sethi, T.S. Panwar, Teresa Raines, Terry Zdan, Vincent Marchau, Vivek Kumar, Warren Walker, Wayne Gosslin, Wayne Hjertas and William H. Glanville.

    Finally, on behalf of all the authors, we thank our families for their love and understanding during our time spent away from home in preparation of this book.

  • Appendix: Policy Case Study Overviews

    • Crow Rate Grain Transportation Subsidy, p. 134 (Swanson and Venema, 2006)
    • Manitoba Conservation Districts, p. 135 (Barg and Oborne, 2006)
    • Manitoba Crop Insurance Program, p. 136 (Swanson and Venema, 2007)
    • Manitoba Drainage Policy, p. 138 (ibid.)
    • Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association's (SSCA) Extension Activities for Minimum Tillage, p. 139 (Roy et al., 2007)
    • Alberta Irrigation District Program, p. 141 (Swanson et al., 2008)
    • Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization Program (CAIS), p. 143 (ibid.)
    • Weather-indexed Insurance in India, p. 144 (Kelkar, 2006)
    • Agriculture Price Policy in India, p. 145 (Mitra and Sareen, 2006)
    • Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) in Maharashtra, p. 147 (Bhadwal, 2008)
    • National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA)—Maharashtra Participatory Watershed Management, p. 148 (Tomar and Nair, 2008)
    • Watershed Development Project in Shifting Cultivation Areas (WDPSCA) in Meghalaya, p. 150 (Tomar and Nair, 2009)
    • Power Subsidies for Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, p. 152 (Nair, 2009)
    Crow Rate Grain Transportation Subsidy
    Policy Definition and Intent

    The Crow Rate was a regulated tariff policy that subsidized transportation of grain from the Canadian Prairies to ports for export within the country.


    The Crow Rate was a long-standing regulated tariff implemented by the Canadian government from 1897 through 1995. It initially supported railway expansion in western Canada at the turn of the last century. A largely unanticipated outcome of the Crow Rate's persistence well into the 20th century was serious under-investment in grain handling and rail transportation infrastructure—shortcomings brought into stark relief when major grain sales to Russia and China in the 1960s almost caused the system to collapse. The failure to consider the effects of rising inflation on the performance of the fixed transportation freight rate would prove to be one of the main culprits. Public pressure eventually catalyzed a complete overhaul of the policy in the form of the Western Grain Transportation Act (WGTA).1 This new policy would overcome some of the challenges including those related to the static nature of the previous subsidy and would consider a range of input parameters in the determination of the freight rate.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features of the WGTA

    Integrated and forward-looking analysis: Variable costs associated with moving grain were incorporated into the freight rate of the WGTA. This was not done in the original Crow Rate policy. The freight rate under the WGTA would: include the railways' cost of moving grain and intended to cover variable costs plus 20 per cent towards constant costs (five to six times former levels); and be distance-based, designed to allow equal rates for equal distances. As a result, it was more responsive to changes in inflation and transportation costs.

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: The Senior Grain Transportation Committee was a 29-member committee created to advise the Minister of Transport on grain transportation issues. The committee represented different stakeholders from the transportation sector and the Canadian Wheat Board for example.

    1 The Western Grain Transportation Act was terminated in 2001 amidst high grain prices and a declining tolerance for an administered rate in a free-market system.

    Fully- and semi-automatic policy adjustment: Rates were adjusted each year based on changes to the railway's costs due to changes in inflation.

    Formal review and continuous learning: The WGTA incorporated a costing review that was carried out by the National Transportation Agency every four years to take into account productivity and costing changes for grain transport. The Grain Transportation Agency was also formed to ensure that the system stayed efficient, reliable and effective with the objective of maximizing returns to producers.

    Manitoba Conservation Districts
    Policy Definition and Intent

    The Canadian province of Manitoba passed the Conservation Districts Act in 1976. It was designed to create partnerships between the provincial government and rural municipalities. The Conservation Districts (CDs) are to implement programmes that meet both local and provincial needs—with a focus on soil conservation and water management. These local organizations are given small budgets with contributions from both provincial and municipal governments, access to government staff expertise and are governed by locally-based boards of directors appointed by the provincial government.


    Water management challenges have existed in Manitoba since the province's agricultural settlement period. In response to a rapidly increasing rural agricultural population, drainage was a major focus of municipal and provincial government agencies between 1895 and 1935. In an attempt to understand impacts of upstream water sources, Manitoba conducted several inquiries, beginning in 1918—eventually leading to the formulation of Manitoba's Conservation District Policy in 1976. A watershed-based CD legislation was drafted in 1959 following earlier legislative experiences in Ontario and the United States, but was repealed. Today there are 17 CDs in Manitoba with a mixture of municipal and watershed-based boundaries.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: CD boards are members of the community and responsive to local issues. Members are selected by elected officials of the rural municipalities within which the district lies and by the provincial government. Proceedings are public and transparent: in some cases hearings on drainage applications are held in the field where the situation can be physically inspected by all concerned.

    Enabling self-organization and social networking: The autonomy provided to the CDs under the funding agreement allows them to self-organize around soil and water management issues and make spending decisions based on their on-the-ground needs and changing circumstances. For example, one CD recognized the importance of capping abandoned wells, leading to several other CDs following suit. In another instance, a CD board member identified an ancient Aboriginal ceremonial cite and was able through collaboration with the local Aboriginal community to develop interpretive signage at the site. Both of these are examples of issues not necessarily envisaged at the outset of the CD programme, but which needed to be addressed.

    Decentralization of decision-making: CD boards comprise local stakeholders who are able to make spending and programming decisions based on local needs and changing circumstances. While most CDs are based on municipal boundaries, one CD with watershed boundaries was particularly effective at managing the drain licensing process, a task normally managed at the provincial level.

    Manitoba Crop Insurance Program
    Policy Definition and Intent

    Crop insurance has been prevalent for over half a century in Canada. The policy and operational guidelines for crop insurance approved by provincial Ministers of Agriculture in 1988 stated that the objective of crop insurance is ‘to provide insurance protection to farmers on the actuarially sound basis against crop losses caused by natural perils that cannot be reasonably controlled’ (FPCIR, 1989). The Manitoba Crop Insurance Program is the provincial-level implementation mechanism of the Canadian Crop Insurance Act.


    It is a consensus legal opinion that constitutional authority for crop insurance in Canada falls largely with the provinces, but it is also acknowledged that the provinces cannot deliver crop insurance on their own given the costs and uncertainty involved. The federal government has mandate to pass legislation governing the release of federal contributions to the provinces and to administer this assistance, as well as helping to ensure coherence among the provincial crop insurance schemes and to review and evaluate these schemes from time to time. The insurance division of the Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation (MASC) is responsible for administering the crop insurance programme in Manitoba. To ensure the timely issuing of contracts and processing of claims, MASC delivers its services through 19 district offices across Manitoba.

    Farm-level interviews revealed that crop insurance was an important mechanism in helping producers cope with unusually wet conditions between 1999 and 2005. In the near term, crop insurance certainly does help farmers cope with damage caused by heavy rainfall, excess moisture, drought and hail. Over the long term, however, exposure to these types of weather events will still exist—and will likely become more frequent in the future due to climate change. Crop insurance is best able to support long-term risk reduction if the payments received are invested in ways that help build resilience to future weather events (for example, reduced tillage, diversification of livestock operations and crops, and maintenance of drainage systems).

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Integrated and forward-looking analysis: The average crop yield for determining indemnities reflects an integrated assessment approach—it is determined for different geographic areas having common soil, climate, production and risk characteristics. Within each risk area in the province, base premium rates and yields are adjusted according to soil productivity levels.

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: To help contribute to the effective management of the crop insurance programmes, producers have the option to participate in crop insurance boards, agencies and commissions, and to take part in reviews of the crop insurance programme—to gather multiple perspectives from a range of stakeholders that are impacted by the programme.

    Automatic policy adjustment: Two examples of automatic adjustment were introduced into the Manitoba Crop Insurance Program in 2007. These include the Pasture Drought Insurance Pilot Program and the Fall Frost Insurance Pilot Program. Both of these programmes delineate a threshold beyond which insurance payments will be made automatically to the producer. For example, in the pasture drought insurance programme, when rainfall falls below 80 per cent of normal during the growing season, an insurance claim is automatically generated. The Fall Frost Insurance Program is designed in a similar fashion and triggers insurance when temperatures of −2°C or lower are recorded two weeks or more before the average first fall frost date.

    Decentralization of decision-making: The Manitoba Crop Insurance Program is implemented via 19 district offices and one coordinating office. Therefore, while crop insurance is given mandate through the Federal Crop Insurance Act, it is administered at the provincial level and implemented via the district offices. This decentralization is, in part, responsible for the positive feedback that the programme receives from producers relating to the utility and responsiveness of the programme in a variety of settings across the province.

    Variation: Crop insurance has evolved from a single insurance option pertaining to all crop types and one or two specific types of natural hazards, to a multitude of coverage options for different crop varieties hazards. This evolution has been a response to the diversity of risk faced by farmers in the prairies.

    Manitoba Drainage Policy
    Policy Definition and Intent

    The intent of Manitoba's water drainage policies is to enhance the economic viability of Manitoba's agricultural community through the provision of comprehensively planned drainage infrastructure. Drainage infrastructure is defined as that infrastructure which is designed to remove excess rainfall during the growing season, based on the productive capability of the soil and on technical, economic and environmental factors. The maintenance of drains is given a higher priority than reconstruction, while reconstruction is a higher priority than new construction. The policies note that drainage shall be undertaken on a watershed basis, to protect wetland areas, fish habitat and downstream water quality, as well as consider water retention, control and timing of run-off.


    The agricultural land base in this Canadian province is approximately 8,100,000 hectares. Close to a quarter of this is made possible through extensive land drainage. This drainage network was constructed to facilitate agricultural development in areas where natural drainage conditions and relatively flat topography maintained large areas of excessively wet soils and significant wetland areas. To cope with excessive moisture conditions, many Manitoba farmers increased their efforts to improve drainage of their lands. Properly maintained drainage infrastructure can increase short- and medium-term capacity to cope with heavy rainfall and excess moisture. However, long-term adaptation is better enabled by investing in changes that mimic the natural landscape. Changes such as managed wetlands and constructing prairie potholes act to retain water in times of drought and regulate water in wetter periods.

    Throughout the province, responsibility for most waterways rests with the province. However, at the local level, municipalities and Conservation Districts which have constructed their own drains are responsible for these drainage systems (or this responsibility may have been assigned over time, for example, via CD formation). On-farm drainage is the responsibility of individual agricultural landowners.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Integrated and forward-looking analysis: A benefit-cost analysis approach was taken for determining ultimate drainage feasibility and effectiveness. Soil types, watershed topography, existing drainage and precipitation levels both during and prior to a storm event were all significant factors in the determination (Rigaux and Singh, 1977: 1–12).

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: The Drain Management Program of the Whitemud Conservation District implements a review process based on a concept of building and maintaining solid local partnerships between neighbouring farmers, rural municipalities, provincial regulators and other community stakeholders. Only one project review meeting occurs—in the field, at the actual site of the proposed drain work.

    Decentralization of decision-making: In three cases, some or all of the authority for land drainage has been transferred from the municipality to a CD, established among partner municipalities under the Conservation Districts Act. The most effective cases are those in which the boundaries of the CD are watershed based.

    Formal policy review and continuous learning: In relation to drainage reconstruction, the policy mandates the provincial government to monitor drainage systems and agricultural productivity, while local governments and CDs have responsibility to monitor local drainage systems and current agricultural needs to ensure effective drainage and assess reconstruction needs.

    Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association's (Ssca) Extension Activities for Minimum Tillage
    Policy Definition and Intent

    Minimum and zero-tillage practices are one measure used by farmers in Saskatchewan to adapt to single and multi-year droughts. The practice reduces soil erosion, conserves soil moisture and reduces farm input costs. Federal soil and water conservation policies and programmes including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research and demonstration days on conservation tillage and its Innovation Fund enabled the formation and outreach efforts of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (SSCA). The SSCA used extension activities including the demonstration of new technologies, communications and workshops to build capacity and help spread the practice of minimum and zero-tillage in Saskatchewan.


    During the dry ‘dust bowl’ years of the 1930s, large amounts of topsoil were lost to wind erosion on the Canadian prairies. A series of soil conservation policies implemented during the 1970s and 1980s encouraged the adoption of minimum and zero-tillage practices by Saskatchewan farmers. The SSCA's extension activities are considered to be a key contributor to the large-scale adoption of conservation tillage agriculture in Saskatchewan for effective soil and water conservation—38 per cent of Saskatchewan producers practiced zero-tillage in 2005.

    For a number of years, prairie farmers have adopted reduced or zero-tillage practices to increase soil moisture and quality while also reducing input costs. In some cases, these practices also proved to be beneficial in wetter times, because they allow travel on soggy land. In pursuing this practice, though, it is important to ensure responsible use of herbicides for weed control in order to prevent negative long-term impacts to, for example, groundwater quality, pollinating insects and food quality.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Integrated and forward-looking analysis: The extension activities for the promotion of zero-till farming in Saskatchewan was based on an understanding that the suitability of zero-tillage systems varied according to soil and crop types. This understanding resulted in the adoption of zero-tillage systems in ways that were specific and most suitable to local conditions.

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: The SSCA is governed by a board with representation from farmers, government, NGOs and other related sectors. Decisions are also informed through annual meetings in which members, including farmers, farm industry, conservation agencies, government agencies and academics, can provide inputs to future programming.

    Enabling self-organization and social networking: Farmer-to-farmer networking is a programme of the SSCA wherein farmers who are interested in a zero-tillage-related practice are put in touch with a farmer that has experience implementing that practice. This programme allows learning and building of trust between producers and in turn allows for the building of informal learning groups and social capital.

    Decentralization of decision-making: The SSCA implements its programmes through localized regional offices and outreach at the community level. This local-level action and implementation translates national soil and water conservation policy (including the Federal National Soil Conservation Program and the Agriculture Green Plan) through provincial support, into local level implementation.

    Variation: The SSCA developed a variety of programmes for advancing the use of conservation tillage in Saskatchewan, including: demonstration days showing the multiple values in adopting this practice; promoting related technology through exhibitions and training; allowing peer networking and promoting the multiple co-benefits of conservation tillage, including carbon sequestration and trading benefits.

    Formal review and continuous learning: The SSCA's annual conference acts as a formal review and reporting mechanism. Taking into account feedback from its annual conference, the SSCA's motivation for promoting conservation tillage has changed to include opportunities for carbon sequestration and participation in carbon markets.

    Alberta Irrigation District Program
    Policy Definition and Intent

    Irrigation plays a major role in water management and allocation in Alberta. More than 1.6 million acres of land are irrigated in Alberta, representing two-thirds of all irrigation development in Canada (Alberta Agriculture and Food, 2007). Irrigation accounts for 71 per cent of surface water use in the province. The Irrigation Districts Act (2000) describes an ‘Irrigation District’ as a corporation that operates in a similar manner to a municipality, with a board of directors responsible for managing the affairs of the district. The main responsibilities of the irrigation districts are to deliver water to irrigation farmers and maintain the irrigation infrastructure. Irrigators within the district have their irrigable acres listed on the district's assessment roll. They pay a flat fee per acre for administration, maintenance and rehabilitation of the irrigation infrastructure, but do not pay for the water itself (Nichol, 2005). The licence granting water allocation rights is owned by the irrigation district, not the individual irrigators.


    The St. Mary River Irrigation District (SMRID) has played a key role in helping producers in the vicinity of the town of Coaldale adapt to weather shocks and stresses. A water-sharing agreement brokered in 2001, to deal with drought conditions, is a prime example: the SMRID was an influential player in negotiating, communicating and implementing the mitigation plan, which was an unprecedented sharing of water resources. The SMRID has also been integral to helping producers cope with heavy rains: directly after the rainfall in 2002, the SMRID assisted the county in cutting roads, helped farmers pump water, and worked with Alberta hail and crop insurance providers to recognize flood areas. From a longer-term perspective, they have worked with the counties to make ensure that channels and waterways are set up better to avoid problems of the past.

    The role that irrigation itself plays in helping producers adapt to weather stresses presents an interesting discussion. While it is obvious that irrigation does increase the adaptive capacity of producers in the region in the face of drought, it is also the case that exposure to drought in the region still exists, and is likely to increase in the future due to climate change.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Integrated and forward-looking analysis: Representatives from the provincial government formed a technical advisory committee to the irrigation districts and other groups negotiating the 2001 water-sharing agreement. Though not voting members, they attended all meetings to provide information about how priorities might be implemented under a variety of water supply scenarios and about laws and policies (Rush et al., 2004). Through monthly planning sessions, water supply forecasts and water rationing strategies for irrigation and non-irrigation users were formulated. The province then worked with the irrigation districts to calculate estimates of the volume of water that would be available and were also able to calculate values for each farmer using individual on-farm irrigation system data.

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: Each district is run by a board of directors that is elected by farmers owning irrigated land within the district, a structure legislated by the Irrigation Districts Act (2000). The 2001 Water Sharing Agreement provides a specific example of multi-stakeholder deliberation. It brought together a diverse group of stakeholders (irrigation districts, cities and towns, recreational water users, industrial water users) who were able to reach consensus regarding how to equitably share the available water during a drought year. As well, the use of experts from Alberta Environment and Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development as a technical advisory committee added another perspective and another level of deliberation. Additionally, with regard to water transfers, an irrigation district is required to hold a public meeting discussing the potential transfer and must hold a plebiscite to gain the approval of at least 50 per cent of the irrigators in the district before the transfer application will go forward to the provincial government.

    Automatic policy adjustment: An Irrigation Rehabilitation Program (IRP) was initiated in 1969, and a cost-sharing programme between the provincial government and the 13 irrigation districts was renewed through annual agreements. The aim of the programme is to rehabilitate water conveyance and storage infrastructures. The automatic adjustment mechanism in the policy is in the inter-district funding formula. Fifty per cent of the funds are allocated on the basis of the number of irrigation acres in each district, and 50 per cent of the funds are allocated on the basis of the infrastructure replacement cost of specified infrastructure in each district. Each of these two values will shift within and between irrigation districts from year to year, and thus the policy is able to adjust for changing needs annually.

    Enabling self-organization and social networking: In conjunction with other irrigation districts, affected towns and villages, water co-ops and others, the SMRID began developing a disaster communication plan after an extreme rainfall event in 1995. The dry season of 2001 extended the plan to include responses to both drought and flooding, and more extreme rains in 2002 and 2005 began to test the various components of the plan. A district board member noted that ‘we now have a much better idea what can happen, and we're much more prepared for it’.

    Decentralization of decision-making: The 2001 Water Sharing Agreement emerged from discussions of the Main Canal Advisory Committee made up of managers from the St. Mary River, Taber and Raymond irrigation districts. This committee was already in existence, meeting regularly to discuss the operation of their common irrigation canal. In 2000, the committee started inviting other stakeholders to the table, first expanding to add the four other irrigation districts in the area, and then in the spring of 2001, other affected water users were invited to join the water-sharing group.

    Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization (Cais) Programs
    Policy Definition and Intent

    In Canada, there is a long history of agriculture safety net policies and programmes designed to increase income stability and reduce market risks. Programmes have evolved over recent years to include the National Income Stabilization Account (NISA) in the early 1990s, to its predecessor the Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization (CAIS) Program introduced in 2003. The CAIS program combined income stabilization assistance and disaster assistance into one comprehensive programme to help producers protect their farming operations from both small and large drops in income. During the preparation of this case study in 2007 and 2008 the third generation of income stabilization mechanisms was being rolled out, which included a suite of business risk management programmes.


    Both the CAIS and the previous NISA programmes were frequently cited by agriculture producers as helping them cope with weather-related stresses. The CAIS program has recently undergone a major redesign in response to negative feedback from farmers and other experts. The general attitude of producers was that the CAIS program was an overly complicated and difficult programme to use. Specific comments were that it was poorly designed, that there was high costs associated with submitting claims through the programme, and it always seemed to be changing. In the words of one producer, it is understandable that it was so complex, because how can a programme be designed to suit the needs of over 100,000 producers nationwide.

    Cited in the following are adaptive policy features observed in the three generations of income stabilization programmes in Canada, and as is specifically implemented in the province of Alberta.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: For the new business risk management suite of programmes, national stakeholder consultations were held with over 3,000 producers and processors to understand what the sector requires to effectively manage risk.

    Automatic policy adjustment: Under the NISA programme withdrawals were triggered when gross margins fell below a three-year average (gross margin trigger) or when family income fell below a minimum family income level (minimum income trigger).

    Decentralization of decision-making: In 1995 Alberta withdrew from the federal NISA programme based on concerns that it was not meeting the needs of Albertan producers and was inefficient. Alberta began extensive consultations with producers across Alberta, leading to the creation of the Farm Income Disaster Program (FIDP) tailored to the needs of the province. FIDP provided income support to Albertan producers experiencing, for reasons beyond their control, an extreme reduction in farm income. The programme was designed to supplement the net income of farmers, regardless of the commodity, when the current year net income fell below the 70 per cent of the average for the preceding five years.

    Promoting variation: Under the new income stabilization programme, a suite of programmes are being developed to compliment one another and manage risk: AgriInvest—provides coverage for small income declines and allows for investments that help mitigate risks or improve market income; AgriStability—provides support when a producer experiences larger farm income losses; AgriRecovery—provides a coordinated process for federal, provincial and territorial governments to respond rapidly when disasters strike, filling gaps not covered by existing programmes and AgriInsurance—an existing programme which includes insurance against production losses for specified perils (weather, pests, disease).

    Weather-Indexed Insurance in India
    Policy Definition and Intent

    Weather-indexed insurance is linked to the underlying weather risk defined as an index based on weather data (for example, rainfall), rather than crop yield loss. As the index is objectively measured and is the same for all farmers, the problem of adverse selection is minimized, the need to draw up and monitor individual contracts is avoided and the administration costs are reduced.


    Various pilot schemes and delivery models are being explored in India. For example, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company, with support from the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, conceptualized and launched a pilot rainfall insurance scheme in Mahabubnagar, Andhra Pradesh in July 2003. The district had previously experienced three consecutive droughts. The scheme was implemented through the Krishi Bima Samruddhi (KBS) local area bank of BASIX. KBS Bank bought a bulk insurance policy from ICICI Lombard and sold around 250 individual policies to groundnut and castor farmers. The index capped rainfall per sub-period at 200 mm, and weighted critical periods for plant growth more heavily than others.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Automatic policy adjustment: Unlike traditional crop insurance where settling a claim can take up to a year, private weather insurance contracts offer quick payouts triggered by independently-monitored weather indices (rather than farm loss sampling). This improves recovery times, thereby enhancing coping capacity. The automatic adjustment feature provides a simple mechanism for managing insurer risk and determining farmer eligibility for benefit payments, while also passing along incentives for farmers to adjust to long-term change by providing appropriate signals calculated on the basis of actuarial risk.

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: Another element of adaptability in the implementation of weather-indexed insurance stems from the engagement of local micro-finance institutions (MFIs) that have already established a presence and working relationships with agricultural communities. The experiences of MFIs in delivering insurance to the rural poor have revealed the critical importance of product design, communication and marketing approach. Self-help groups (SHGs) and e-choupals (village Internet kiosks) have been innovatively used to create awareness and trust in insurance, along with providing information about prices, cropping practices and product and providing loans or agricultural input.

    Decentralization of decision-making: The delivery of weather insurance through local micro-finance institutions suggests the importance of two-way communication channels in fostering adaptive policy design by building in feedback mechanisms to respond to changing client needs or other conditions.

    Formal review and continuous learning: Weather-indexed insurance was implemented on a pilot basis for various crops and locations by trying out different types of delivery models. The use of pilots has been suggested as a feature of an adaptive, learning-oriented policy system. ICICI Lombard and BASIX have reported that this pilot experience was valuable to better understand risk patterns and the potential for commercial expansion. It was also an opportunity to create awareness among farmers, build trust through timely payouts and improve the product design in response to customer feedback.

    Agriculture Price Policy in India
    Policy Definition and Intent

    An Agriculture Price Policy was initiated by the Government of India to provide protection to agricultural producers against any sharp drop in farm prices. If there is a good harvest and market prices tend to dip, the government guarantees a minimum support price (MSP) or floor price to farmers, which covers not only the cost of production, but also ensures a reasonable profit margin for the producers.


    Widespread promotion of Green Revolution technologies during the 1960s increased agricultural yields in India for some crops. Adoption of the new technologies involved the use of non-conventional input and investments on the part of the farmers. This made it necessary to create a stable and profitable environment for farmers adopting the new seeds.

    The Agricultural Prices Commission (APC) was set up in January 1965 to advise the government on price policy of major agricultural commodities. The objective was to give due regard to the interests of the producer and the consumer, while keeping in perspective the overall needs of the economy. Since March 1985, the commission has been known as Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The commission consists of a chairman, a member secretary, two official members and three non-official members. The non-official members are representatives of the farming community. They are usually persons with considerable field experience and an active association with the farming community.

    Some features of the Agriculture Price Policy may be ecologically maladaptive to future climate impacts. For instance, in the state of Punjab, price incentives that did not internalize natural resource costs resulted in cultivators getting locked into a highly irrigation-intensive cropping pattern, which is drastically depleting already limited groundwater supplies.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Integrated and forward-looking analysis: The CACP takes into account important factors, such as cost of production, changes in input prices and trends in market prices, in announcing the MSP each year. The CACP carries out state-specific analyses for the cost of production in respect of various commodities. This is done through consultations with the state governments. After a meeting of the state chief ministers, the MSP/procurement prices are declared. Cost of production for the same crops varies between regions, across farms within the same region and for different producers.

    Multi-stakeholder deliberation: The CACP follows a definite process to arrive at recommendations regarding MSPs. First, the commission identifies the main issues of relevance for the ensuing season (short, medium or long turn). Second, the commission sends a questionnaire to central ministries, state governments and other organizations related to trade, industry, processors and farmers, both in the cooperative and the private sector. Furthermore, it seeks their views on certain issues and factual information on related variables. Next, the commission holds separate discussions with the state governments, central ministries/departments and other organizations. The commission also interacts with research and academic institutions and keeps track of relevant studies and their findings. Finally, the commission visits certain areas to make on-the-spot observations and obtain feedback from local-level organizations and farmers.

    Formal review and continuous learning: The MSP is announced each year and is fixed after taking into account the recommendations of the CACP.

    Participatory Irrigation Management (Pim) in Maharashtra
    Policy Definition and Intent

    Following a phase of institutional strengthening in 2001 the government made farmers participation in irrigation management obligatory and enacted the Maharashtra Management of Irrigation System by Farmers Act, 2005. About 1,329 Water Users Associations (WUAs) have been formed till date that cover an area of 0.49 million hectares of land.

    The state monitors the formation of and devolution of powers. WUAs or farmer cooperatives manage the distribution of irrigation water along canal networks. The legal framework for participatory irrigation management (PIM) outlines the creation of farmers' organizations at different levels of the irrigation systems, including:

    • WUAs—covers a group of outlets in a minor addressing such aspects as preparation of irrigation schedules at the end of each cropping season, carry out maintenance of system, regulate use of water, promote efficiency in water use, collect taxes, monitor water flows, resolve local disputes, among other tasks;
    • Distributary Committees—comprising of five or more WUAs and
    • Project Committees—apex committee of an irrigation system and presidents of the distributary committees in the project area.

    The Government of Maharashtra initiated the formation of WUAs in the 1990s following the emphasis laid out in the National Water Policy of 1987. The PIM was developed to create ownership of water resources and irrigation systems at the user level; encourage the need for effective water resource management; improve service deliveries through better operation and maintenance and achieve optimum utilization of available resources in an equitable manner; increase production per unit of water where water is scarce and production per unit of land where water is adequate; and facilitate users in crop choices and other agricultural practices based on water allocations (GoI, 2002).

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Enabling self-organization and social networking: The policy instrument encourages the formation of WUAs and provides the legal support for these entities to administer their activities. NGOs have been encouraged to build capacity of these institutions through training and other modes to undertake core activities.

    Formal review and continuous learning: The mid-term appraisal of India's Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002–07) reviewed the progress of takeover of irrigation systems by WUAs. It found that there were about 55,000 WUAs covering 10 million hectares, and aimed to increase this 8–10 times in order to cover all irrigated area. It has called for empowerment of WUAs to set tariffs and retain a part of it, understanding barriers and simultaneously rehabilitating them so that they are in a position to invest in infrastructure repairs and improvement. The situation was again reviewed more recently in formulating the approach for the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007–11). Greater emphasis has been given to equitable distribution and empowerment of democratically organized WUAs. The Maharashtra State Water Policy also has a clause for review every five years.

    Decentralization of decision-making: PIM recognizes the roles of different institutions in the execution of the policy instrument, but bases the implementation of the policy instrument through local feedback and knowledge sharing.

    National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (Nwdpra)—Maharashtra Participatory Watershed Management
    Policy Definition and Intent

    The objectives of the NWDPRA project are as follows:

    • enhancement of agricultural productivity and production in a sustainable manner;
    • restoration of ecological balance in the degraded and fragile rainfed ecosystems by greening these areas through appropriate mix of trees, shrubs and grasses;
    • reduction in regional disparity between irrigated and rainfed areas and
    • creation of sustained employment opportunities for the rural poor.

    In Maharashtra, the NDWPRA project continued in India's Ninth Five-Year Plan, when it was considerably restructured. Greater emphasis was placed on decentralization and community participation. In the Tenth Five-Year Plan, the state of Maharashtra continued to implement the NWDPRA scheme with a participatory approach. NWDPRA scheme has been extended to 433 micro-watersheds across 33 districts with targeted treatment area of 2.03 lakh hectares for implementation.


    In India, watershed development was not originally conceived as a vehicle for rural development. The original concept of watershed management was management of resources in medium or large river valleys in order to prevent rapid run-off water and slow down the rate of siltation of reservoirs and limit the incidence of potentially damaging flash floods (Smith, 1998). However, long-term experiments by a number of research organizations in India in the 1970s and 1980s confirmed that the introduction of appropriate physical barriers to soil and water flows, together with re-vegetation, could generate considerable increase in resource productivity. These in turn stimulated the formulation of a number of government projects, schemes and programmes in support of micro watershed development (Jensen et al., 1996). There has been strong growth in both government and non-government institutional capacity to implement watershed development projects. This has been further strengthened by integrating the participatory approaches in watershed management. Within semi-arid areas, one may find co-existing programmes under the auspices of several different agencies, including Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Environment and Forests as well as various bilateral and multilateral donors.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Enabling self-organization and social networking: Under the NWDPRA four types of groups are to be organized at the village level namely: SHGs are a voluntary group of people who come together to take up group activities on a self-help basis for their benefit; User Groups include members who are land owners within the identified watershed area; the Watershed Association (WA) will be the General Body comprising all members of the Watershed Community who agree to participate in the watershed development project and would approve the Strategic Plan and Annual Action Plan as well as carry out review of progress during implementation phase; the Watershed Committee (WC) shall act as the executive body of the WA and carry out the day-today activities of the watershed development project subject to overall supervision and control of the Watershed Association.

    Formal review and continuous learning: The policy is reviewed continuously by the Government of India and the necessary modifications are incorporated during the five-year plans. The Planning Commission, Government of India, constituted a Working Group on ‘Watershed Development, Rainfed Farming and Natural Resources Management’ for the formulation of the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002–07). This included review of various ongoing schemes and projects in the sphere of natural resource management, particularly the programmes based on the watershed development approach under the Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment & Forests. In order to get a systematic feedback and analysis of the schemes of the three concerned ministries, three sub-groups were constituted, one for each of the three ministries. These sub-groups were entrusted with the responsibility of examining the existing projects, identifying their strengths, weaknesses, constraints and bottlenecks in their implementation and for suggesting appropriate measures for the Tenth Five-Year Plan, so as to achieve the objective of sustainable development and utilization of natural resources. They were also asked to review the progress under the ongoing schemes and suggest proposals for the Tenth Five-Year Plan, based on the experiences gained as well as the objectives to be achieved.

    Decentralization of decision-making: Under the revised guidelines, contractors were eliminated from the process to enable individual farmers to implement treatments with the financial and technical assistance on private holdings and village associations/beneficiary groups to implement community works. These modifications in the policy incorporate an element of subsidiarity which would help farmers adapt better to years of low rainfall by conserving water. The guidelines provided that:

    … in the project implementation, the physical treatments would be decided in active consultations with individual farmers and village communities. In fact the current farming systems and practices should be thoroughly analyzed and farmers' experiences and skills should be given due emphasis. The project staff may have to learn a lot from the village community and unlearn some of their orthodox views and theoretical presumptions about people's capabilities. Thus, in the ultimate analysis science and technology from research institutions, technical and managerial know-how of the project staff and accumulated experience of the village community should be symbiotically integrated to finalize the choice of treatments in the watersheds.

    GoI (1994)
    Watershed Development Project in Shifting Cultivation Areas (Wdpsca) in Meghalaya
    Policy Definition and Intent

    The Watershed Development Project in Shifting Cultivation Areas (WDPSCA) scheme is taken up on a watershed basis for treatment of arable and non-arable lands affected by shifting cultivation and to provide alternative farming methods to the farmers. It is implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India as a Special Central Assistance to the State Plan Programme for the benefit of ‘jhumia’ (shifting cultivation) families who are living below the poverty line. The main objectives of the scheme are as follows:

    • Protect and develop the hill slopes of jhum areas through different soil and water conservation measures on a watershed basis and to reduce further land degradation process.
    • Encourage and assist the jhumia families to develop jhum land for productive use with improved cultivation and suitable package of practices leading to settled cultivation practices.
    • Improve the socio-economic status of jhumia families through household/land-based activities.
    • Mitigate the ill effects of shifting cultivation by introducing appropriate water management as per capability and improved technologies.
    • Skill development through a training and visit (T&V) component.

    As a whole the focus is on natural resource management, economic enhancement, leading to poverty alleviation and eco-friendly living.


    In Meghalaya about 530 square kilometres is under shifting cultivation. As the land and water resources are depleting in the state, the government has taken up various conservation measures and developmental programmes in arable and non-arable lands. The jhum control programme is one of the schemes aimed at combating further deterioration of fertile topsoil. The main thrust of the scheme is to provide an effective supporting base for permanent settlement of the communities engaged in jhum cultivation.

    Summary of Adaptive Policy Features

    Decentralization of decision-making: The organizational structure for implementation of the WDPSCA scheme involves the following set-up at the national, state and local level: the National watershed committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation; the National Coordination by Natural Resource Management Division, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation; State Level Watershed Steering Committee, chaired by Chief Secretary; State Nodal Department; the District Watershed Development Committee; the Watershed Association, Watershed Committee, and self-help groups and User Group.

    Formal review and continuous learning: There is periodical review of progress during the implementation phase at the district, state and national level under India's national Five-Year Plan process. A system of concurrent evaluation has also evolved through internal as well as external agencies. In such evaluation studies, a critical assessment is made of the relevance of technological content, involvement of people in the programme, gender equity and equity for poor farmers, facilitation of group action, and so on. On completion of the project, an impact evaluation is undertaken by external agencies.

    Power Subsidies for Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh
    Policy Definition and Intent

    Policies for power subsidies for agriculture have been unevenly distributed among states in India, with Andhra Pradesh being among the states receiving highest subsidies per hectare of cropped land. With the coming in power of a new political party in 2004, 100 per cent free power for agriculture was announced and implemented in Andhra Pradesh.


    Communities within Katherapalli village (Chittoor district) and Neramatla village (Anantapur district) were found to be able to cope with climatic shocks and stresses and associated risks to agricultural yields. This was primarily owing to the subsidized rates of power for agriculture for irrigation, thereby allowing for cultivation of crops throughout the year. Across the country, having flat rates on power consumption in agriculture has resulted in over-use of groundwater resources.

    A few examples of where adaptive policy features would have benefited the subsidy are highlighted in the following sections.

    Summary of Potential Adaptive Policy Features

    Integrated and forward-looking assessment: A few months after the announcement of the free power policy, there was a reported rise in number of un-authorized connections. Furthermore, large farmers that make up only 5–6 per cent of the total farming community, account for over 30 per cent of the total agricultural energy consumption for their large farms, horticultural lands and so on. The blanket free power policy hence benefited these large farmers who could now enhance the capacities of their pump sets (PRAYAS, 2004). The subsidy would have benefited from an integrated assessment to detect the varied use of the policy. Consequently, the subsidy had to be revised within a year of coming into existence.

    Formal review and continuous learning: Strong oppositions to the free power for agriculture policy voiced the ecological implications in the form of over-extraction of groundwater that is already dwindling in several regions (PRAYAS, 2004). However, there is no formal mechanism or framework to review the policy periodically and building lessons from the ground.

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    About the Organizations, Editors and Contributors

    The Organizations
    International Development Research Centre

    Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For nearly 40 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable and more prosperous societies.

    International Institute for Sustainable Development

    The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) contributes to sus-tainable development by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and assessment, and natural resources management. Through the Internet, we report on international negotiations and share knowledge gained through collaborative projects with global partners, resulting in more rigorous research, capacity building in developing countries and better dialogue between North and South.

    IISD's vision is better living for all—sustainably; its mission is to champion innovation, enabling societies to live sustainably. IISD is registered as a charitable organization in Canada and has 501(c)(3) status in the United States. IISD receives core operating support from the Government of Canada, provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Environment Canada and from the Province of Manitoba. The Institute receives project funding from numerous governments inside and outside Canada, United Nations agencies, foundations and the private sector.

    The Energy and Resources Institute

    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a not-for-profit research organization working in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development. Founded in 1974, TERI is a unique developing-country institution with a global vision and local focus, and has been at the forefront of researching, formulating and implementing sustainable development strategies for India and the world.

    The Editors

    Darren Swanson is a Senior Project Manager with the Measurement and Assessment Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Canada. He is a sustainable development policy specialist and professional engineer with 17 years of consulting and research experience. He works with governments at all levels and from around the world on strategic processes for organizational and societal-wide learning and adaptive management, including sustainable development strategies, indicator information systems, integrated assessment methods and adaptive policy-making approaches. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree in international development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a Master of Geo-environmental Engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering.

    Suruchi Bhadwal is an Area Convener of the Centre for Global Environment Research at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India. She has a Master of Environmental Sciences degree. Her work focuses on community-level impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessment. She was principal investigator of the World Bank-funded project in India on ‘Addressing vulnerability to climate variability and change through assessment of adaptation issues and options’. She is a lead author contributing to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group II.

    The Contributors

    Stephan Barg (Steve) is an Associate and long-time Senior Corporate Advisor with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Canada. He has undertaken research on many sustainable development issues, but his central interests are the connections between government and corporate policy and the tools used in each arena to foster sustainable development. This work builds on his previous experience as a government finance official and as a corporate finance and planning executive. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University and a Master of Philosophy degree (Economics of Public Finance) from England's University of York.

    John Drexhage is Director of the Climate Change and Energy Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Canada. His work on climate change is based on 15 years of experience on the issue, first as a domestic advisor and international negotiator with the government of Canada, and then as an expert analyst for IISD. His expertise covers a broad range of areas related to climate change, and he is currently focusing on regulatory frameworks for greenhouse gas emissions, post-2012 climate change regimes, market-based instruments and more fully exploring linkages between adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development. He is a lead author with Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Sreeja Nair is a Research Associate with the Climate Change Division at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India. Her work focuses on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessment and policy analysis. She is an inter-disciplinary researcher with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences degree and a Masters of Environmental Studies degree. She works on cross-cutting issues and policy analysis related to climate change, across natural and social sciences. Her work explores the social dimensions of synergies and conflicts among population, environment and development.

    Dimple Roy is a Manager with the Sustainable Natural Resources Management Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Canada. She holds a Master of Environmental Design degree from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Her training and experience include a variety of roles in environmental education, policy research and analysis, and project management in non-governmental organizations and government agencies. Her current policy research is in integrated water resources management, watershed governance and market-based instruments for resource management. Prior to joining IISD, Dimple worked with the Manitoba provincial government in Canada, conducting policy and legislative analysis and coordinating the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development, a multi-stakeholder group comprising eight provincial ministers and members of the public representing various interests in sustainable development.

    Sanjay Tomar is a Natural Resource Management and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist with 10 years of research and professional experience. He is a Fellow with the Climate Change Division at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India. He holds a PhD in Forestry with specialization in Landscape Ecology from the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Department of Space, Dehradun, India. His work focuses on policy analysis, impact and vulnerability assessment, and implementation of projects addressing climate change adaptation to increase the resilience of communities. He has extensive experience in capacity building and training for watershed management and agriculture extension management. Prior to joining TERI, he worked with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) for implementing the Indo-German Bilateral Project on Capacity Building and Training.

    Stephen Tyler is President of Adaptive Resource Management Ltd., an interdisciplinary consulting practice in Victoria, British Columbia specializing in community-oriented natural resource management and adaptation studies. Recent work includes climate adaptation studies in Asia and Canada; design of adaptive resource management frameworks; as well as planning and evaluating capacity development to implement innovative resource management frameworks. From 1997 to 2005, he was team leader for the Community-based Natural Resource Management Program of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The programme he led at IDRC engaged researchers from a dozen Asian countries in developing and testing innovative resource management strategies, now being implemented in many countries through reforms to national policies and local governance. He has worked as a policy analyst, consultant and researcher on environment, energy and development issues with governments, research institutions and international agencies in Canada, the US and Asia. He holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Henry David Venema (Hank) is Director of the Sustainable Natural Resources Management Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Canada. He is a professional engineer and natural resource management consultant with extensive experience in rural development, environmental economics, water resources planning and energy sector planning in North America, Africa and Asia. He holds a Master of Water Resources Engineering degree from the University of Ottawa and a PhD in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Dr Venema leads IISD's current research on the valuation of natural capital in Prairie Canada; institutional linkages between payments for ecosystem services and integrated water resources management in prairie watersheds and governance models for Lake Winnipeg stewardship.

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