Climate and People in a Region of Tension Between High Urbanization and High Biodiversity: Social and Ecological Dimensions of Climate Change

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:30 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Lucia da Costa FERREIRA , Nepam, Campinas State University, Campinas, Brazil
Gabriela DI GIULIO , University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Jorge CALVIMONTES , Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
José Eduardo VIGLIO , Center for Environmental Studies and Research - University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
Single policies adopted at a global scale are unlikely to cope with risks, impacts and uncertainties associated to climate change (Ostrom, 2009). Stakeholders of science, police and civil society recognize that dealing with environmental global change requires a multilevel and interdisciplinary approach to identify gaps and opportunities, and promote collective action. While climate change will expose regions to similar impacts, the extent of those impacts and effective response at the local level will be determined not only by the location’s sensitivity and vulnerability but also by local groups and individuals’ capacity, including their institutional links, social networks and motivation to actions. Considering this perspective, a research project is undertaken on São Paulo Coast, Brazil, a region of tension between high urbanization and high biodiversity. The São Paulo Coast exhibits the socio-ecological dilemmas of contemporary economic development. The combined pressures of tourism, industry, oil extraction transport, and sustainable development are increasingly difficult to resolve. The prospect of climate change intensifies this problem. Drawing on an empirical research on this area, our study aimed to set groundwork research on the environmental consequences of climate change along the coast of São Paulo, including the investigation of how solutions may require better understanding of local and regional government stakeholders’ knowledge, concerns and actions related to climate change. Our results points out that are different arenas and conflicts around the local environmental issues. The identified arenas are characterized by different interests and aims, and asymmetric capacities to mobilize resources. The results highlight how local stakeholders and residents perceive climate change risks, indicating that the social and economic context and government support are determinants in the way people responded to risk threats. Our results also indicate how climate change issues are being framed by local governments in terms of policy strategies and instruments.