It is now widely recognized that stakeholder interaction and dialogue is essential to improve decisions about and awareness of climate change. The term ‘stakeholder’ is broad and researchers and practitioners may have interrelated and contrasting views on who is a stakeholder or who is (or should be) responsible for adaptation to climate change. To engage stakeholders in research or other projects on adaptation thus requires a careful mapping of the stakeholder landscape and identification of relevant actors at different levels.

An initial mapping exercise was complemented by participatory studies of local and regional stakeholders’ perceptions of who is, or should be, involved in adaptation and their significance for climate change adaptation in the respective regions. The results indicate the value of careful stakeholder analysis for sustainable, effective, planned adaptation that is flexible, but also systematic enough to fulfil practical and scientific requirements for the study and advancement of ongoing adaptation processes and implementation.

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Swedish Foundation for Environmental Research (Mistra) through the Swedish Research Programme on Climate, Impacts and Adaptation (Mistra-SWECIA) Programme.

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