Mariola Norte (Spain) 1,2; Rosa Chapela (Spain) 1; Marta Ballesteros (Spain) 1; Jose L. Santiago (Spain) 1; Mercedes Ferná ndez (Spain) 1
1 - Fisheries Socioeconomic Department, Centro Tecnológico del Mar-Fundación CETMAR, Vigo, Spain.; 2 - University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain.
Adaptation to climate change in vulnerable sectors such as fisheries and aquaculture is one of the priorities outlined under the European Adaptation Strategy. How to bring the science to the stakeholders, but also, how best involve them to integrate their knowledge, experience, skills and resources for an effective adaptation in these sectors has become pivotal for European policies. This paper presents an adaptive approach for addressing participation, combining analytical and participatory strategies (i.e. stakeholder consultation and validation of the climate impacts identified on each sector, co-creation of strategies to mitigate threats and boost opportunities, as well as co-production of management plans and a decision support tool).
This approach brings adaptation beyond climate change by taking the shape of a ‘Stakeholder hub’, an adaptive and flexible platform that facilitates: i) production of knowledge; ii) uptake of results; and iii) multi-level networking. The hub works as an umbrella involving all the processes and activities taken to engage stakeholders (e.g. by gathering their concerns and contributions, tailoring meetings, digesting contents and relevant information), adopting the form of a local/regional/national working group or a high-level European advisory group. This platform facilitates the link among core agents, identification of arenas for problem-solving and implementation of adaptation strategies.
The preliminary results show how an adaptive approach has proven to have an impact on stakeholder awareness of climate change; an asset when considering that climate change is a long-term concern that lacks priority in front of short-term acute issues. Likewise, providing them with information on which role they could play and jointly defining the likely consequences of not taking action, increases ownership and accountability about adaptation. This ongoing process is expected to lead to a better uptake of the results, to strengthen the science-policy interface as well as to support long-term stakeholder engagement.