Department Environmental Social Sciences

Climate change adaptation strategies in Switzerland

© Kecko 2013

This project addresses the research question on how local climate change adaptation strategies are designed and may evolve. We strongly focus on the impact of extreme events on the design and policy formulation of adaptation measures. Climate change adaptation becomes nowadays particularly crucial for the resource water, mainly in relation with the principles outlined in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) addressing the challenge of coordinating the use of, and the protection of and from the resource water. The protection from the resource water directly links to flood events and natural disasters that may be impacted by global climate change. Furthermore, the integration of actors in different policy sectors, political entities and decision-making levels can be seen as a way how to improve the adaptive capacity within the water sector. Thus, integrated water resources management constitutes one major challenge of current and future generations when it comes to find sustainable responses to climate change impacts. We therefore analyze adaptation to climate change in the case of flood risk management, and compare various actors’ preferences for measures and measure mixes with the current implemented measures as a contribution to IWRM.

Project team

Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold Group leader, Cluster: PEGO Tel. +41 58 765 5676 Send Mail

External team members

Anik Glaus (Institute of Political Science, Universität Bern)

Prof. em. Dr. Gunter Stephan (Department of Economics, Universität Bern)

Prof. Dr. Rolf Weingartner (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Universität Bern)

Prof. Dr. Philippe Thalmann (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Universität Bern)


Ingold, K.; Gavilano, A. (2020) Under what conditions does an extreme event deploy its focal power? Toward collaborative governance in Swiss flood risk management, In: Bynander, F.; Nohrstedt, D. (Eds.), Collaborative crisis management. Inter-organizational approaches to extreme events, 132-147, doi:10.4324/9780429244308-11, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K. (2017) How to create and preserve social capital in climate adaptation policies: a network approach, Ecological Economics, 131, 414-424, doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.08.033, Institutional Repository
Balsiger, J.; Ingold, K. (2016) In the Eye of the Beholder: network location and sustainability perception in flood prevention, Environmental Policy and Governance, 26(4), 242-256, doi:10.1002/eet.1715, Institutional Repository
Ingold, K. (2014) How involved are they really? A comparative network analysis of the institutional drivers of local actor inclusion, Land Use Policy, 39, 376-387, doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.01.013, Institutional Repository

Metz, F.; Glaus, A. (2019). Integrated Water Resources Management and Policy Integration: Lessons from 169 Years of Flood Policies in Switzerland. Water, 11(6), 1173. DOI: 10.3390/w11061173.

Ingold, K.; Zimmermann, W. (2011) How and why forest managers adapt to socio-economic changes: a case study analysis in Swiss forest enterprises. Forest Policy and Economics 13: 97-103. DOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2010.06.003.

Ingold, K.; Balsiger, J.; Hirschi, C. (2010) Climate change in Mountain Regions: How local communities adapt to extreme events. Local Environment 15(7), 651-661. DOI:10.1080/13549839.2010.498811.


Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold Group leader, Cluster: PEGO Tel. +41 58 765 5676 Send Mail


Project Start: September 2014 – Juli 2020

Funding: Sinergia SNF, OCCR, IPW