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Assessing Impacts From Climate Change on Local Social-ecological Systems in Contexts Where Information is Lacking: An Expert Elicitation in the Bolivian Altiplano

Adan Martinez-Cruz (), Miriam Juarez and Santiago Guerrero

Ecological Economics, 2017, vol. 137, issue C, 70-82

Abstract: Assessment of the expected impacts from climate change is an essential input for agencies engaged in fostering adaptation of local social-ecological systems. However, data is seldom available at the required scale. This study overcomes this hurdle by gathering data via an expert elicitation protocol. We report experts' judgements about two topics: i) the impacts from climate change on crop yields in three communities located in the Bolivian Altiplano; and ii) the effectiveness of specific irrigation techniques in mitigating the impacts from climate change in the communities under study. Our gathered data allow us to document heterogeneity of expected impacts across communities –with one community expected to experience an increase in yields under wet climate change scenarios. Experts judge irrigation as an effective mitigation tool under most of the dry climate change scenarios presented to them. We believe that our data collection strategy represents a promising decision support tool for a wide range of public policy issues. Particularly, when monetary and time constraints converge with the lack of scientific information. In addition, the information gathered with this methodology can be incorporated into participatory methodologies gathering information from local social-ecological systems.

Keywords: Expert elicitation; Expected impact; Climate change; Irrigation; Local social-ecological systems; Double-bounded dichotomous question; Bolivia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C80 C83 Q15 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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