Introduction to the Virtual Special Issue
E. Lisa F. Schipper, Associate Editor, Climate and Development
Adaptation to climate change was once a concept that required flag-waving ambassadors to underscore its importance to the climate change science and policy worlds (e.g. Burton et al, 2002). There is no longer such a need. Early scholarship on adaptation helped lay the foundations of adaptation science, through the development of typologies and by documenting case studies, which in turn contributed to recognition of adaptation within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and consequently to its central role in recent negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Meanwhile, adaptation has formally been acknowledged as its own topic of study through the four international conferences on adaptation that have been organised since 2010, from 2014 under the title ‘Adaptation Futures’. Not only a subject of research and policy however, adaptation is equally established in practice. The now-annual Community-Based Adaptation conferences held their tenth gathering since 2005 in April 2016 (see: http://www.iied.org/10th-international-conference-community-based-adaptation-cba10), mainly bringing together practitioners from NGOs and development agencies who are working at the interface between adaptation and development. This goes to show that adaptation has a solid place in science, policy and practice, and rightly so – the need for adaptation is growing on a daily basis while greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations remain high.