Many regions in the world are becoming predominantly vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate and may need from adaptation strategies to deal with it. In our sense, when dealing with adaptation strategies special attention needs to be drawn towards processes through which the capacity of authorities, experts, interest groups and the general public to manage uncertainty effectively and its reactions towards adversity are increased (Webler et al., 1995). Such processes occur not only within the “well-defined” stakeholder groups but more within behavioural systems. Dealing with uncertainty to climate change, then, is a change of belief that influences behaviour at a systemic level. In this approach we consider decision making as a process embedded in a social environment, shaped by particular cultural perceptions and shared beliefs about the cause and nature of resource management and planning decisions. Socially constructed context for actions to react to climate change are given by behavioural system acting under a collective scheme. Thus, collective schemes outline the accepted definitions of what is usual or unusual, i.e. what is out of place or congruent. So far, collective schemes are outputs and inputs to the socially embedded knowledge that succeed upon group practices and can be the same across different stakeholder groups. Thus, the transitions and the acceptance of new policies are determined rather by behavioural systems than by the so-called stakeholder groups. Under this paradigm, behavioural systems and its processes become an inseparable part of planning uncertainty under climate change and developing adaptation policies for e.g. maritime urban regions.
In this paper we present the concept of behavioural system as an indispensable milestone in the process of developing adaptation policies to deal with the uncertainties attached to climate change.
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