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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | WINS | Home | WINS Seminar | Summer Semester 2019 | "Comparing Public Finance Arrangements for Coastal Flood Risk Reduction: Implications for Polycentric Adaption Governance"

"Comparing Public Finance Arrangements for Coastal Flood Risk Reduction: Implications for Polycentric Adaption Governance"

WINS Summer Semester Seminar
  • When Apr 15, 2019 from 04:00 to 06:00
  • Where IRI THESys Seminar Room, Quartier Stadtmitte, Friedrichstr. 191, 10117 Berlin, 4th Floor, Room 4088
  • iCal

Semester Topic: “Looking to the Future: Environmental Governance in the 21st Century”

First Presentation: Comparing Public Finance Arrangements for Coastal Flood Risk Reduction: Implications for Polycentric Adaptation Governance



As socio-economic development and sea-level rise increase coastal flood risk around the world, substantial finance for coastal flood risk reduction measures is needed.  Public responsibilities for deciding on and funding these measures are however distributed differently across levels of government around the world. Salient questions for public actors responsible for coastal flood risk management are whether governance arrangements adequately align decision-making and fiscal responsibilities to meet current and future costs for coastal flood protection measures, particularly in the context of projected sea-level rise.  To address this question, this research surveys coastal flood risk management arrangements in 4 countries, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Australia, analysing the distribution of public decision-making and fiscal responsibilities across different government levels. Drawing on theory from the multilevel governance and public finance literature, we characterise the alignment between public decision-making, fiscal responsibility and coastal risks to develop an understanding of current flood safety regulations, public finance gaps, and the implications of current arrangements for coastal flood safety under future SLR. We find that mixed systems which provide centralised decision-making in some areas, but local autonomy in others, give rise to barriers for local funding due to perceptions of fairness and tax competition hampering local revenue collection. The results are then discussed in the context of current calls for polycentric governance of adaptation in the climate arena.


Presenter: Dr. Sandy Bisaro, Global Climate Forum

Sandy Bisaro is a senior researcher in the adaptation and social learning research process at the Global Climate Forum (Berlin) and with extensive experience in climate vulnerability and adaptation research, both in Europe and in developing countries. His research interests lie in applying institutional economics and common pool resource theory to natural resource and environmental risk governance, particularly in the context of long-term challenges, such as, adaptation to climate change and sustainable development. Sandy has authored more than 20 peer reviewed journal articles or book chapters on these topics.  His PhD applied institutional economics approaches to analyse the impact of climate adaptation discourse and institutional arrangements on national conservation policy and its implementation at the local level in Lesotho.  Sandy also worked as a consultant on several national adaptation planning projects for example, such as, UNDP, UNEP, UNITAR, USAID, and GIZ, and he is a co-author of the UNEP PROVIA Guidance on assessing climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation.