Canadian Forest Service Publications

Reply to the comment by Wellstead et al. on "Barriers to enhanced and integrated climate change adaptation and mitigation in Canadian forest management. 2018. Williamson, T.B.; Nelson, H.W. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 48(10):1246-1250.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39684

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0205

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In commenting on our review about barriers to climate change adaptation and mitigation (Williamson and Nelson 2017, Can. J. For Res. 47(12): 1567–1576, doi:10.1139/cjfr-2017-0252), Wellstead et al. (2018, Can. J. For. Res. 48(10), doi:10.1139/cjfr- 2017-0465) argue that the “functionalist assumptions” underlying barriers analysis in general and our paper in particular are problematic. They also argue that barriers analysis — a method widely employed both in scholarly climate change adaptation research and in national and international climate change assessments — should be replaced by approaches that remain untested in the context of climate change adaptation research, particularly in forestry adaptation and mitigation research. We believe that neither the scholarly research on adaptation and mitigation barriers nor our review have characteristics of functionalism or imply functionalist assumptions. Moreover, we disagree that barriers analysis can be replaced by the methodologies that they propose because these latter approaches address different aspects and features of processes supporting movement toward comprehensive and integrated adaptation and mitigation in forest management. We do agree that there are knowledge gaps relative to examinations and explanations of causal mechanisms to explain decision-making and policy process outcomes that have already occurred, and we encourage research to address these gaps. Ultimately, this aspect of social science research is complementary to, not a substitute for, barriers research.