Appl. Geog. 45, 22–28 (2013)

Policymakers are increasingly planning at local and regional levels for future climate-related impacts. The importance of stakeholders' involvement in such decision-making processes is discussed, but more evidence is needed to persuade institutions to include stakeholders for robust decisions.

Kathleen Ernst and her colleague Micheline van Riemsdijk, both of the University of Tennessee, USA, investigated the role of stakeholders in the Climate Change Scenario Planning (CCSP) for Alaska — a three-year project designed to help National Park System (NPS) managers develop plausible climate change scenarios for all NPS areas in the state. Through participant observation and semi-structured interviews at two CCSP workshops held in 2012, the researchers found that contribution of non-NPS stakeholders allowed institutional barriers to be overcome and facilitated the understanding of attitudes about climate change. In addition, they found that the geographical context influenced decision-making. They concluded that the CCSP participatory approach could serve as a model for future climate change planning in public land agencies.