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The Role of Institutions in the Resolution of Water Conflict: Adaptive Conflict Resolution, Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity
Rojas, A., B. Reyes, L. Magzul, H.L. Morales, R. Borquez and E. Swartz 2007 English

This paper reports on one component of a larger international collaborative initiative on Institutional Adaptation to Climate Change (IACC) which seeks to understand the capacity of institutions in dry-land regions to adapt to climate change (Diaz et al 2004). One important goal of the IACC Project is to explore case studies of water conflicts as examples of situations of stress or crisis, in which water governing institutions and communities engaged in the conflict may have gained or lost the capacity to adapt to climate change impacts, and therefore contribute to the increase or decrease of the vulnerability of those communities. Institutions involved in water governance are those who most directly influencing decision-making including the government organizations responsible for water management and allocation, and the ample range of water users and beneficiaries and other civil society organizations influencing water use. Water scarcity and increasing droughts resulting from climate change are expected to increase the frequency and intensity of water conflicts (Diaz et al 2004). How these conflicts are managed and resolved, may increase the vulnerability to climate change-related water scarcities of the communities involved in the conflicts. Or, the outcome of the conflict may improve the communities? adaptive capacity, reducing their vulnerability. Our research on Adaptive Conflict Resolution (ACR) has identified eight specific principles and criteria for conflict resolution that institutions involved in water governance and communities can use to improve their adaptive capacity to face water scarcity. This paper focuses on the description of the Adaptive Conflict Resolution and vulnerability-adaptive capacity framework, which has guided the actual case studies. The framework presented here can be applied in a wide range of conflicts as a learning tool about the adaptive capacity of institutions that partake in conflict

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