Understanding the landscape of adaptation platforms in Europe – improving complementarities and connecting needs and practices

14:00 Wednesday 29 May


Room S1


José Ramón Picatoste (Denmark) 2; Valentina Giannini (Italy) 1

1 - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change; 2 - European Environment Agency

One of the priorities of the EU Adaptation Strategy is to promote better-informed decision making and to contribute to a climate-resilient Europe. The European Climate Adaptation Platform Climate-ADAPT is one of the core actions of the Adaptation Strategy and aims to facilitate the sharing and uptake of adaptation knowledge and contribute to a better cooperation among sectors and between governance levels.

Along with Climate-ADAPT, a growing number of information systems have been developed in recent years at European and other levels, transforming the landscape of adaptation platforms (and related areas) across Europe. These are global platforms (such as weADAPT, managed by SEI), transnational platforms (such as the one coordinated by the Pyrenees Observatory of Climate Change) and a large variety of national and sub-national platforms (such as AdapteCCa, operated by the Spanish Climate Change Office).

At the same time, since the adoption of the Adaptation Strategy in 2013, there have been a continuous increase in knowledge generation and practical experiences coming from EU funded projects and other sources. This circumstance poses a challenge for information systems that need to be relevant and complementary in the way they identify and facilitate the right information needed for each specific profile of users.

This session will review some examples in the landscape of adaptation platforms in Europe at global, European, transnational and national levels, from a planning and managing perspective, highlighting the specificities of each in terms of objectives, governance, target audience, contents, key features and tools, sources and providers of information, and stakeholder interactions. Presentations in this session will be comparable, in order to show common approaches, needs and/or substantial differences among the platforms, allowing discussions on complementing and connecting platforms from a bottom-up perspective.

The session will also include the scientific perspective from PLACARD project that is working to improve collaboration, communication and coordination between the large and complex landscape of stakeholder networks, research, platforms and information sources regarding Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction communities in Europe.

The discussion will focus on how to enhance the coherence, the complementarity and the connections among the adaptation platforms in Europe. Guiding questions will address key aspects to be discussed among authors and to promote audience participation. A pilot showing a cross harvesting action between platforms at different levels will be presented.

Target audience

Who? Governmental decision makers at all levels as well as organizations supporting them in the development, implementation and evaluation of adaptation strategies and actions.

Why? In this session, we will review the potential synergies among CCA and DRR platforms at different levels in Europe that are facilitating sharing information and coordinated actions. The potential interest relies on knowing the benefits that users and providers of information can get from a well-connected network of adaptation platforms, and provide feedback and influence on the building of these connections.

The audience will benefit on the diversity and complementarity of knowledge systems available as resources to support adaptation action and as tools to share their own information and products. Organisers will benefit on direct feedback from real and potential users and providers of information.

Proposed format for the session

This science-practice session will count on the participation of 5 speakers; first speaker and presenter will introduce and frame the session in 15 minutes, and then the other 4 speakers will present for 10 minutes each. Then there will be 30 minutes of discussion/roundtable including audience discussion around key questions, following by 5 minutes of wrap up and conclusions. Finally, a short online demo showing a pilot that connects the platforms (5 minutes) will be presented.

A simple questionnaire of closed-ended questions will be distributed to the audience to get information on the profile and expertise of the audience and feedback about relevant points on the topic of the session.

Contributing Authors abstracts

1. Climate-ADAPT – José Ramón Picatoste (EEA) & Valentina Giannini (CMCC).

This presentation will focus on the Climate-ADAPT European platform, summarising the key features and the conclusions of the Climate-ADAPT evaluation carried out during 2017-2018. First implementation actions coming from the recommendations will also be presented.

The findings from the Climate-ADAPT evaluation, which results have fed into the ECÕs evaluation of the EU Adaptation Strategy, conclude that the growth of knowledge (from EU funded research and other projects, countries, cities and others) was captured, the knowledge is presented in a useful policy context and the platform has informed adaptation policy processes across Europe at various levels of governance.

According to the results of the evaluation, Climate-ADAPT succeeds in reaching its intended target audience across all governance levels in Europe, has successfully involved many information providers who have shared their knowledge and has assisted the uptake of knowledge to inform decision-making. In addition, the platform has supported coordination among governance levels.

Recommendations from the evaluation include increasing the structural coherence of the platform, further developing dissemination actions and enhancing the complementary of Climate-ADAPT with transnational and national knowledge platforms. These actions are being implemented by the EEA with the support of the ETC /CCA.

2. AdapteCCa – Francisco Jorge Heras (OECC) and Anna Pons (FB)

This presentation will be focused on the Spanish National Adaptation Platform, AdapteCCa, a tool conceived to facilitate information and knowledge exchange and to promote coordination among Spanish stakeholders. Recent improvements on the Platform, mainly regarding content creation and the incorporation of new features such as the Climate Scenarios Viewer have given the platform a central role in the governance of climate change adaptation.

The AdapteCCa platform is making an important contribution in bringing closer knowledge generation and society. It is making adaptation knowledge accessible for all by making available all kinds of studies, reports and researches, regarding a broad set of topics, as soon as they are produced. This contributes also in the building of knowledge and fosters and ‘adaptation network’ regarding stakeholders.

The Platform is being currently redesigned and restructured through the LIFE SHARA project (2016-2021). A whole set of new features are being incorporated such as the development of a technical link and knowledge exchange with the EU Platform Climate-ADAPT and the recent development of the Climate Scenarios Viewer. This Viewer, which allows visualizing and downloading data regarding the climate change projections for Spain is a key element towards making climate data accessible and understandable for all users

3. The Pyrenean Climate Change platform – Idoia Arauzo (OPCC)

This presentation focuses on the interoperability between platforms at different geographic scales. Pyrenean Climate Change platform developed in the frame of territorial cooperation between France, Spain and Andorra. This development of the platform has followed the European Directive INSPIRE about interoperability between platforms.

This platform of information about climate change in the Pyrenees has been recently renewed to offer a more user-friendly experience. It hosts 6 cross-border cooperation projects website about climate and climate change impacts on the flora, forest, water resources and lakes. The portal hosts also the citizen science initiative called ‘Phenoclim’ for the Pyrenees. Besides that, the portal includes a geoportal that summarised in a cartographic format, the climate evolution in the Pyrenees in the last 6 decades, the downscaling climate projections to 2100 for the Pyrenees and layers about climate change impacts in natural and socioeconomic sectors.

The presentation will show this cross-border platform as an example of cooperation and of sharing information and it will expose how this platform is cooperating at the same time with national platform AdapteCCa and with the European platform Climate-ADAPT.

4. weADAPT – Julia Barrott (SEI)

This presentation will describe the weADAPT platform, the motivation behind it, how it operates and our approach to its development, which strives to respond to users’ needs.

weADAPT is a global, open-access online platform that aims to promote knowledge sharing, learning and collaboration amongst actors working in climate change adaptation and related areas. As such, it supports a broad and diverse user base with users coming from governments, research institutes, non-government organisations, community-based organisations, the private sector, the media and the interested public. The platform uses various ways to make it quick and easy for users to find and digest content, including through offering different interfaces and options for exploring content, providing learning-focused summaries and integrating the Climate Tagger to support keyword searching and filtering.

Surveys of participants of the 2016 and 2018 Adaptation Futures conferences suggest that weADAPT is one of the most frequently and widely used adaptation platforms globally. In addition to providing an overview of the weADAPT platform, this presentation will briefly highlight some of the factors that are contributing towards this large-scale uptake.

5. The PLACARD Connectivity Hub – Sukaina Bharwani (SEI)

This presentation will show how the use of a shared taxonomy and keyword tagging can facilitate the connection of relevant information from across numerous platforms. Currently featuring content from Climate-ADAPT, PreventionWeb and weADAPT, the PLACARD Connectivity Hub is an open-access ‘search and discovery’ tool that allows users to explore articles, organisations, authors and keywords and see how they are interconnected. In doing so the tool helps users navigate the huge volume of information available to them quickly and efficiently, while also driving new and increased numbers of users to participate.