Incorporating intergovernmental participation into building resilience for integrated river basin management: A social network approach

19:00 Tuesday 28 May




Hung-Chih Hung (Taiwan) 1; Min-Ling Hong (Taiwan) 1; Chih-Hsuan Hung (Taiwan) 1

1 - Department of Real Estate and Built Environment, National Taipei University

1. Background

Asia-Pacific region has an increasing exposure and vulnerability to climate change and weather-related extremes due to rapid urbanization and over-development in hazard-prone areas. Thus, there is an urgent need to adapt river basin management (RBM) towards more integrated approaches and highlight an overarching goal for building resilience. In Taiwan, the central government has issued the Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change (ASCC) and the Integrated River Basin Governance Programme (IRBGP) to incorporate water management, land use planning with climate policy, which is targeted at enhancing water supply, adaptive capacity and reduce flood hazard risk.

The implementation of ASCC and IRBGP needs participatory approaches that can mainstream stakeholder dialogue and cross-governmental collaborations into the process of adaptation planning and increasing resilience. However, existing studies pay little attention to the interaction mechanism between governmental sectors in executing RBM. This study aims to improve the understanding of intergovernmental adaptation strategies in RBM, as well as map their social networks and examine their determinants.

2. Methods and data

Combining social network with adaptation theory, we develop a Social Network Model of Governmental Adaptation to Climate-related Hazards for River Basins (SOGARB) to investigate governmental adaptation options in RBM. Using Keelung River Basin, Taiwan as a case study, a trans-sector questionnaire survey was conducted among the central and local governments involved in the IRBGP. The survey was implemented through a face-to-face interview, which was designed by integrating focus group meetings with pre-test surveys for the governmental departments. To more comprehensively understand the implementation of IRBGP, this intergovernmental survey includes the government sectors of water management, land use planning, hydraulic engineering, soil and water conservation, agriculture and forest management. Finally, 65 sectors (or respondents) were interviewed and used in the analysis.

3. Results and conclusions

We map the structures of the social networks of information exchange, decision-making and implementing adaptation strategies among the governmental sectors and stakeholders related to the IRBGP. Then, we integrated a factor analysis into a Logit regression model to examine the SOGARB. Results show that the implementation networks of IRBGP are predominantly hierarchical with the hydraulic engineering and water management sectors as the most central actors. Increases in intergovernmental collaboration and stakeholder engagement could significantly enhance the ability of implementing adaptation planning and strategies. Therefore, RBM measures can focus more on participatory approaches, as well as communicating available information, adaptation strategies and resources to local authorities to improve resilience and hazard risks in river basins.