Jane Mccullough (United Kingdom) 1; Cassandra Moll (United Kingdom) 1; Stephen Jones (United Kingdom) 1
1 - Climate Northern Ireland
Nationwide resilience and effective climate change adaptation cannot be planned or delivered by governments alone, as climate change will continue to bring many challenges and opportunities at all levels (international, national, and local) and across all sectors. It is imperative that government and civil society adopt a strategic and collaborative approach to address climate risks, benefit from adaptation planning, implement practical actions, monitor progress and adapt to the changing climate. Under the 2008 UK Climate Act, the Northern Ireland government is legally required to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Programme every five years. These programmes outline how the government will work to address the opportunities and challenges of climate change as identified in the Climate Change Risk Assessment National Summary report for Northern Ireland.
This project set out to explore the role of external cross-sectoral stakeholders in government adaptation planning, by developing a non-government chapter within the Northern Ireland Climate Change Adaptation Programme (NICCAP) 2019-24. The chapter aimed to provide insights into the planned adaptation work of civil society and local government and develop a methodology to support a more collaborative adaptation planning process.
To engage non-government stakeholders in regional adaptation planning, this project mapped existing adaptation work planned by civil society stakeholders and used an online submission form to gather proposed actions for inclusion in the NICCAP.
The information gathered was presented and published as the ïCivil Society and Local Government Adapts’ chapter in the NICCAP 2019-24. It details adaptation activities to be undertaken during the five-year programme by external stakeholders from across three sectors (academic, voluntary and community, and private). It is the first time adaptation activities from external stakeholders have been included in the NI adaptation programme.
This project identified barriers to engaging non-government stakeholders in regional adaptation planning such as: understanding of adaptation, achieving organisational buy-in, and defining ownership of adaptation activities. Several drivers for stakeholder engagement were also identified across participating sectors such as: strengthening organisational resilience and opportunities to collaborate with government and other sectors.
Inclusion of external stakeholders in the NICCAP was a progressive step towards fostering cross-sectoral partnerships and encouraging a continuous and evolving climate change adaptation process. Learning from this project is being applied to support further development of collaborative adaptation planning and implementation in NI.