Co-development of strategies for sustainable adaptation in the nature-based tourism sector in Norway

11:15 Tuesday 28 May


Room S10


Eivind Brendehaug (Norway) 1; Stephanie Mayer (Norway) 2

1 - Western Norway Research Institute; 2 - NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norwegian Centre for Climate Services

Tourism is already being impacted by climate change, and industry actors and tourists already adapting to changing conditions. Except for ski tourism, little is known about how nature-based tourism can develop sustainable adaptation strategies to face climate change and its impacts. In this presentation we outline preliminary findings from a project that aims to enable sustainable adaptation to climate change of the nature-based tourism industry in Norway. The sub-objectives are:

  1. assess climate change consequences for weather conditions critical to the nature-based tourism industry;
  2. assess climate change consequences for selected ecosystem services and physical infrastructure critical to the nature based tourism industry;
  3. develop climate change adaptation strategies for the involved user-partners; and
  4. develop climate services that can support the tourism industry in comprehending impacts of climate change and developing adaptation strategies and measures.

The project is fundamentally interdisciplinary, with climatologists, biologists and social scientists specializing in both adaptation and tourism research, and aims to detect the linkages between climate projections, eco-system services and tourism activities. To secure connection between the knowledge developed and action in the industry the project method is based on a co-production approach. Stakeholders from the nature-based tourism are taking part in the knowledge development together with the scientists in the case studies and the project. The issues that are investigated in each case are selected by the stakeholders.

There is an emerging interest from the industry actors in the topic, but the reflections about the challenges and adaptation strategies are still limited, which point to the well-known challenge in making climate change knowledge salient to the broader society. Through more meetings, workshops and serious gaming, the goal is to foster social learning, translation, communication and mediation between scientists and stakeholders.

Previous results indicate large differences in impacts and consequences between destinations due to topographically conditions in western and northern Norway. Differences are also indicated between various tourism branches. As part of the participatory processes, the project will co-develop tailored climate indices and projection on what we can call ‘bad tourist weather’ in contrast to the more common notion ‘extreme weather’. Bad tourist weather is e.g. a long period (one or two months) of continues precipitation and/or low or high temperature. Such situation could also be called persistent weather condition which we were exposed to in Scandinavia during 2018.