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Adaptation in Action; A Cork Example - Dr Valerie Cummins CMRC
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Adaptation in Action; A Cork Example - Dr Valerie Cummins CMRC

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  • Acknowledge organisers including M Desmond, Frank McGovern, Ger Hussey et al
  • Not theoretical discourse – practical examples in light of national agenda My argument is that Local Authorities have an important role to play in adaptation but they are constrained by a complex picture of vulnerability and adaptive capacity (expertise, awareness, resources). Build capacity; assess options; deliver actions Boundary organisations have NB role to play – Expert Couplet Nodes Example
  • Society is both resilient and adaptive – demonstrated by response to gradual and sudden change e.g. economics Lovelock – Gaia tipping point
  • Mitigation and Adaptation - Two types of responses Reducing Carbon Emissions and changing our behaviour to respond to the challenges of climate change Responding to changing circumstances – protecting against negative impacts and making us better able to take advantage of the benefits (DEFRA, March 2010). Academic discourse – interpretation and theory of adaptation – Lisa Schipper – it depends who you are talking to.
  • Adapted from Pam Berry, Neil Adgar, UKCIP principles etc. Many of these principles are consistent with good participatory decision making – Good management Partnership – Adaptive co-managment Vulnerability – exposure to risk Resilience – ability to return to stability after perturbation Win-win – opportunity from climate change e.g. enhancing resilience to CC also means investing in a low carbon economy, e,g. promoting energy efficiency and uptake of green products. Mal-adaptation – flood protection disturbs the natural dynamic of the system
  • International: UNFCCC: Since Bali (2008) adaptation is on an equal footing to mitigation for the first time; Despite limited progress in Copenhagen, there is a steady increase of focus on adaptation CBD, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Declaration on Sustainable Development / Agenda 21 International Research on Adaptation: IPCC, OECD EC White Paper on Adaptation Objective is to improve the EU’s resilience to deal with the impact of climate change Initial four pillars of action: Developing the knowledge base; Integrating adaptation into EU policies; Instruments and financing; Working in partnership with Member States and the broader international community Development of national adaptation strategies is the responsibility of the individual Member State, not the EU Current EC Directives: Birds and Habitats, EIA, SEA, Water Framework, Marine Strategy, Floods EU Policies of relevance: Integrated Maritime Policy, Soil Thematic Strategy National Strategy for Climate Change; National Climate Change Bill; National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation – NAC Assessment
  • Concepts of vulnerability (being open to or at risk of damage) (in terms of climate change vulnerability can be influenced by natural characteristics, built environment and socio-economic factors) and resilience. Resilience perturbed by non climate factors such as over fishing which put ecosystem out of balance and reduce its ability to achieve equilibrium
  • The coast is not uniform – national adaptation strategy will have to be complemented by bottom up information and action. EU White paper advocates the principle of subsidiarity – where decisions are taken as close to the citizen as possible Building capacity for local level adaption will be important for coastal management
  • 5 key factors frame my argument BAC in Cork Harbour to inform LA on how to proceed
  • This slide focuses on the need for integrated management. Collaborative enquiry into ‘how to’ achieve integrated mgt locally. Outcome = mgt plan embedded in statutory process. Learning by doing Co-produced knowledge Explored other approaches and adapted methods for Cork
  • Coastal Defence The lack of government funding to defend against climate change is a major worry. Strategic thinking is required - we need to “sell the harbour”. We need to conserve what we actually have. We need to promote the idea that Cork Harbour is worth protecting. Insurance – with continued flooding in certain areas, how long is it before insurance companies refuse to insure people/companies/businesses located in certain areas e.g. the UK problem.
  • This type of Scenarios / Futures approach has been applied by numerous institutions including major multi-nationals (SHELL) and policy support agencies (RAND CORPORATION) Predictive – what will happen Exploratory – what can happen Normative – how can a target be achieved Adaptive Co-management (ACM) – new but increasingly popular theoretical concept of natural recourse governance. Based on two narratives (Folke at al., 2006; Armitage, Berkes, Doubleday, 2007): Co-management: concerned with user participation, linking stakeholders sharing power and responsibilities; Adaptive management: learning-by-doing (in science and practices) as a way to address uncertainty and react on changes in the socio-ecological system Related to: resilience, sustainability, vulnerability, risk governance.

Adaptation in Action; A Cork Example - Dr Valerie Cummins CMRC Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Building Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change at the Local Level in the Coastal Zone EPA Climate Conference, Dublin, 30 th June 2010 Valerie Cummins Director, MERC 3
  • 2. Acknowledgements J. Gault, C. O Mahony, M. Falaleeva, S. Gray, A. O Hagan, W. Lynn, M. Desmond, T. Shine, O Sulleabhain, Lynch, O Donovan PhD supervisor Prof. R.J. Devoy
  • 3. Structure 1. Concept and principles of adaptation 2. Building capacity for local level adaptation Imcore project approach Expert Couplet Node in Cork Harbour Transitioning to Adaptive Strategies 3. Lessons learned to date
  • 4. 1. Concepts and Principles of Adaptation
  • 5. Why Adapt? Courtesy of Prof Robert Devoy, UCC We always have….
  • 6.
    • Mitigation – implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks (IPCC, 2007)
    • Adaptation - Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. (IPCC, 2007).
  • 7.
    • Principles of adaptation
    • Work in partnership
    • Cope with uncertainty
    • System vulnerability and resilience
    • Manage climate and non climate risk
    • Iterative approach
    • Focus on actions
    • Low-no regrets / win-win approach
    • Avoid mal-adaptation
    • Multiple scales of governance
    After: Berry 2009; UKCIP, 2009; Adger et al ., 2008; Willows & Connell, 2003
  • 8. Policy Drivers:
  • 9. Vulnerability – effects of climate change will be severe on coasts and marine ecosystems (e.g. risk of coastal erosion, biodiversity loss) Impacts on sectors e.g. fisheries & aquaculture New challenges – e.g. Marine Renewable Energy Governance – Need to build capacity for Adaptation Need for Marine Spatial Planning and ICZM Climate Change in the coastal zone
  • 10. 2. Local Level Adaptation
  • 11. IMCORE Methodology Nine coastal case studies across NW Europe Building Adaptive Capacity via transnational collaboration & boundary organisations Boundary organisations ‘Social organisations or collectives that sit in two different worlds such as science & policy, can be accessed equally by members of each world without loosing identity’ Forsyth, 2003:141
  • 12.
    • Local Level Issues
    • Complex picture of vulnerability and adaptive capacity
    • Lack of awareness of need to adapt
    • Lack of expertise in Local Authorities (coastal zone and climate adaptation). Need for policy, tools and guidelines to mainstream adaptation
    • Slow pace of institutional learning
    • Need for adequate resourcing
  • 13.
    • Development of the Cork Harbour
    • Management Strategy
    • 2004-2008
    Cork Harbour – Expert Couplet Node Framework to progress the local adaptation strategy is firmly established
  • 14. Cork Harbour: Review of trends Climate change will result in greater variability in flow rates. Water run-off Mean annual temperatures in Ireland have risen by 0.7°C over the past century. Recent research suggests mean temperatures in Ireland relative to the 1961–1990 averages are likely to rise by 1.4–1.8°C by the 2050s and by in excess of 2°C by the end of the century. Temperature Drier summers in the south east. Winter rainfall in Ireland by the 2050s is projected to increase by approximately 10% while reductions in summer of 12–17% are projected by the same time. By the 2080s, winter rainfall will have increased by 11–17% and summer rainfall will have reduced by 14–25%. Precipitation Evidence of significant increase in wave heights (up to 30cm) during winter months. Waves & Surges Observed decrease in the frequency of storms, but the intensity of storms has increased. Extreme Weather Atlantic waters freshened from 1960-1990 and are now becoming more saline. Sea Chemistry During the satellite era SLR of 3.5cm per decade has been observed. Projected rise of 60cm to 2100. Sea Level Rise 0.85°C rise in Irish coastal seas since 1950; 2007 warmest year in Irish coastal record. Sea Temperature Projections indicate increased risk of flooding; linked to precipitation patterns, storm patterns, and sea level rise. Flooding
  • 15. Sectors Considered Cork Harbour: Issues Workshop Note: ESE (Ecological, Social & Economic Impacts) were identified Industry and Commerce Settlement and Land-use Biodiversity Energy Fisheries Transport Human Health Agriculture Port and Shipping Coastal Defence Built Heritage Tourism & Recreation
  • 16. Cork Harbour – Scenario Building & Visualisation for Flood Risk Management Exploratory scenarios workshop - PESTLE framework; certainty & significance Visualisation tools for coastal flooding
  • 17. Attitude to climate science Economic vision Long term, holistic development Short term, profit oriented growth Outright rejection Mainstream acceptance
      • Flood prevention measures undertaken pre-emptively, investment high (i.e. ICM, barrage )
      • Legal instruments designed to enforce and where necessary enhance EC directives (Floods, WFD, MSP)
      • Long term adaptive planning
      • Technologies employed to minimise human impact in estuarine floodplain ( flexible housing )
      • Public opinion favours minimising risk of societal/environmental losses in the face of climate change
      • Existing flood management efforts maintained
      • Legal instruments meet minimum requirements of EC directives
      • Planning policy formulated in favour of long term investment (i.e. zoning of floodplain for affordable housing), decisions rarely re-visited
      • Technologies employed to enhance Lee River hydropower
      • Public opinion favours investments addressing known issues over potential hazards of climate change
      • Flood management measures undertaken retrospectively, future heavily discounted, NIMTO approach to adaptation policy
      • Legal instruments meet minimum requirements of EC directives, cost of fines balanced against costs of compliance,
      • Planning policy at odds with economic imperatives
      • Technological fixes heavily relied on, but imperfect at best
      • Public opinion favours risk-based adaptation, compensation rather than prevention the norm
      • Flood defence spending falls as local authority finances are cut
      • Fines are accepted as inevitable
      • Planning policy formulated in an ad-hoc manner
      • Technologies employed to limit influence of natural change in estuarine floodplain ( hard defences )
      • Public opinion favours exploitation of coastal and estuarine environments for real estate and leisure development
  • 18.
    • Transitioning towards Local Adaptation Strategies
      • E.g. Stakeholder validation meetings. Identification of ‘preferred scenario’
      • Participatory development of ‘preferred scenario’ into a normative scenario (including backcasting & wind tunnelling)
    • Planned Project Outputs
      • * 9 Coastal Adaptation Action Plans
      • Guidelines for Local Authorities
      • Training of Trainers & Distance Learning Tool
    Cork Harbour: Next steps in Building Adaptive Capacity
  • 19. 4. Lessons to date
  • 20.
    • Lessons to Date
    • Role of bridging organisations at local level (awareness, expertise, resources)
    • Need to mainstream adaptation across Local Authority organisational structures
    • Governance research is essential
    • Multidisciplinary challenge
    • Scenario building & visualisation potentially powerful tools for decision making
    • BAC takes time !
  • 21. “ Whatever there be of progress in life comes not through adaptation but through daring ” Henry Miller Contact: v.cummins@merc3.ie