Why ​‘maladaptation’ is getting so much attention

Read/listen to the full story at Canary Media.

Climate researchers are increasingly using the term ​“maladaptation” to describe adaptation measures that introduce unforeseen negative consequences into local communities.

From the construction of levees that inadvertently increased flood risk in Bangladesh to a hydroelectric dam that cut off land access in Vietnam, examples of maladaptation are popping up all over the world. 

In the U.S., Miami has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in stormwater pumps and elevated roads to combat flooding from rising seas. And it will need to invest billions more to save the city from chronic flooding. But the latest U.N. climate report says those early investments might have caused unintended impacts. 

This week, we discuss the story of how Miami’s flood investments might be leading to maladaptation — and what other cities around the world can learn from it. 

Guests: Alex Harris, climate change reporter for the Miami Herald, and Lisa Schipper, co-author of part of the U.N.‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and an environmental social science research fellow at the University of Oxford.

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