Roles and Responsibilities in Climate Risk Management in Austria – the RESPECT research project

18:00 Tuesday 28 May




Thomas Schinko (Austria) 1; Markus Leitner (Austria) 2

1 - Scientist; 2 - Project manager

Damages caused by climate and weather extremes have increased over the last few decades and will likely only broaden with the progression of climate change and socioeconomic development. Austria is largely exposed to floods and droughts, which often bring grave social and economic consequences with them. Such climate-related risks are already being tackled and overcome within the framework of natural disaster risk management (DRM), as well as climate change adaptation (CCA). However, to manage these climate-related risks more effectively it is necessary to link DRM and CCA to develop approaches more comprehensively, leading to what has been broadly referred to as climate risk management (CRM).

The overarching goal of the research project RESPECT (Roles and Responsibilities in Climate Risk Management in Austria) is to support the implementation of comprehensive CRM in Austria. A practical and holistic climate risk management will be developed together with relevant stakeholders. The RESPECT Project executes the project goals on two different levels. At the local level, RESPECT cooperates with the city of Lienz in East Tyrol. By means of a role-playing simulation, roles and responsibilities were identified and assigned.

At the national level, the fiscal implications of present and future climate risks were studied. Possible connections between these two levels are also be taken into consideration and examined carefully. In this presentation, we will focus on two selected project highlights. First, the insights gained from a comprehensive stakeholder analysis in the Austrian CRM decision making context, which revealed that CRM is not (yet) explicitly implemented in Austria’s risk management landscape, based on interviews and two stakeholder workshops. Second, the insights gained from the role-play simulation for allocating roles and responsibilities in CRM, which has been developed, tested and applied to the case of flood risk in the city of Lienz. Finally, we will put these Austrian insights into the international context and, together with the audience, reflect on how the concept of CRM can be further developed in research and practice to better integrate DRR and CCA actors.