There is considerable research on the vulnerability of agricultural producers to climate change; we know that the institutional
governance system is an important component of adaptive capacity impacting on the agricultural producers’ livelihood capitals
that determine their livelihood success; and we have knowledge of best practices of adaptive policies. However, there is much
we don’t know. We don’t know how the problems of d&f are being framed by policymakers, the types of governance instruments
(regulatory, market, etc.) that promote agricultural livelihood capitals, the impacts different instruments have on agricultural
producers and their livelihoods, and which instruments promote social learning, trust, and inclusive development, all given
perceptions of risk and uncertainty. Hence, this research answers the question:
How can a theoretical and policy framework
(norms, principles, and instruments) be designed to build capacity for rural agricultural producers to respond to the increasing
likelihood of d&f, defined by uncertainty?
The research was carried out in four study areas: two in Canada, one in
Chile, and one in Argentina. All case study areas are glacier fed, dry land riverbeds, with some irrigation and experience
with d&f. All four study areas have very disparate governance structures, especially in relation to water (a fundamental
system in relation to d&f). The two Canadian study areas represent a developed country, and Chile and Argentina developing
countries. These differences allowed for comparison of institutional practices.
The thesis answers the question of how
a policy framework can be designed to build the capacity of agricultural producers to cope with d&f by assessing which
instruments are and are not working in the context of the drivers with an expanded analysis of adaptive governance (policy
framing, participation, and learning) and a focus on redesign.