Governing Preparedness: Climate Change and Infrastructure Disruptions in Norway

Lead Author Arild, Gjertsen
Institution Contact
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.3 Current infrastructural Challenges, extreme weather and natural hazards and the effects on northern communities
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The main responsibility for civil protection and crisis preparedness in Norway is placed at the local administrative level, while national authorities are responsible for coordinating, mentoring and controlling such activities. Previous research has shown that the local level has a limited capacity to adapt to changes that impact civil protection issues, like climate change. The local level awaits instructions, information and measures initiated from “above”, and local risk- and vulnerability assessments leaves a lot to be desired in terms of coordination and integrative thinking. Given this situation, we ask: To what extent is there a conflation of interests, problem perceptions and adaptive scope between administrative levels in Norway when preparing for infrastructure disruptions caused by climate change? Furthermore, while several operational means are available to the various public governance institutions, parts of the operational responsibility are outsourced to more or less devolved agencies or private contractors – which could be expected to further exacerbate the challenges of coordination. This study’s point of departure is an analysis of two local communities in the Troms region in arctic Norway; both regularly subject to isolation, closed roads and power failures related to snow avalanches during winter, highlighting the need for integrated contingency planning. Data is sourced from interviews with representatives of various governance institutions as well as inhabitants of the two local communities.
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