How to Best Adapt to Climate Change? - Insights from Applied Research
In March 2013, the first European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) conference took place in Hamburg (Germany). The overarching topic was "Integrating Climate into Action," with the objective of translating shared ideas into action for adaptation to climate change. Such action could ensure reduced vulnerability and growing resilience to climate change in Europe and internationally. The Ecologic Institute presented the results of three projects concerning climate change adaptation issues. The presentation slides are available for download.
Adaptation to climate change requires action at multiple scales and sectors. The Ecologic Institute facilitates such action through research and public awareness activities, working from the local to the European level. Its adaptation work addresses a broad array of topics, such as governance processes at the local and regional levels, vulnerability of ecosystems and their services, mainstreaming of climate adaptation, use of ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, costs and benefits of adaptation measures, and policy frameworks for climate adaptation.
Activities in the area of climate change adaptation carried out by the Ecologic Institute comprise
- stakeholder participation and consultation processes;
- applied research;
- conducting case studies;
- studying the impacts of adaptation measures;
- designing programmes to implement regional, national, and European strategies;
- carrying out socio-economic assessments;
- mentoring and supervising academic works;
- giving courses on environmental policy; and
- organizing visitor programs.
Sponsors include the European Commission, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).
The first ECCA conference took place from 18 to 20 March 2013 in Hamburg. This conference is becoming an important new European arena for the exchange of scientific results about climate change adaptation and debate about what this means for practical action on adaptation as a response to climate risks and opportunities.
The Ecologic Institute presented outcomes from its current research on the following topics:
The Use of Ecosystem-Based Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: Barriers and Success Factors
In response to the growing pressures from climate change, the maintenance and restoration of natural habitats has emerged as an effective strategy to increase the resilience of ecosystems and support sustainable livelihoods. However, the integration and implementation of such ecosystem-based approaches is still lacking while awareness of the concept and its potential remains substantially low. Sandra Naumann gave a presentation on "The use of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation: barriers and success factors".
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Lost in Translation? Transnational Cooperation to Link EU, Macro-Regional and National Adaptation Strategies
Ecologic Institute's Susanne Altvater participated in a workshop during the European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA) 2013 about improved transnational cooperation with regard to climate change adaptation. Her presentation about the currently developed "Baltic Sea Region Strategy for Cooperation on Climate Change Adaptation at different levels" is available for download.
The Influence of Local Cultural Values on the Governance of Adaptation
Grit Martinez' presentation during the European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA) 2013 dealt with the perception of climate risks and the reasons why different measures and attitudes emerged in two communities at the German Baltic Sea coast. The research was based on qualitative analysis and document research including chronicles and exploration of sites of local coastal heritage. Special attention was given to the respective cultural traditions in the communities, e.g. images of nature, people's relationships to the sea and their sense of place, economic development as well as past approaches and attitudes to coastal defense. Her presentation is available for download.