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Workshop held by Adaptation Scotland. Photo courtesy of Sniffer.

Novel ways to incorporate stakeholders into adaptation planning

December 04, 2012

It is common knowledge by now that adaptation to climate change is only possible if a wide range of society engages itself into the process of implementing actions. For local governments it is therefore important to work together with regional stakeholders and to incorporate them into adaptation planning. But how is this to be done? Two examples of how local governments successfully integrated multiple stakeholder collaborations with researchers, experts, local communities and the private sector were given throughout our last webinar in 2012.

The experience of Anna Beswick from Adaptation Scotland shows that the need for climate change adaptation is not yet clear to every stakeholder in a region. Inputting knowledge about climate change and its direct impacts is therefore crucial to start a discussion in which everyone can follow and contribute. It also has to be clear to everyone what they can actually contribute and how they benefit from supporting adaptation goals.

Three novel approaches presented in the webinars are especially interesting. A cutting-edge method to make people understand why changes in climate matter is to make them tell their climate story. To do so, participants in a workshop held by Adaptation Scotland were asked to draw their vision of a climate scenario they felt was relevant and to use words to describe it. These stories help people in different contexts or work environments to understand what climate change means for their own future.

Collaborations between governments and businesses are not always easy. Looking at the same topic each side has a different perspective and it can be quite a challenge to bring them together. Lone Kelstrup from Carbon 20 in Denmark outlines a method how the Municipality of Kolding and other cities managed to establish closer ties to enterprises. They elaborated agreements between companies and city governments that contained obligations for both sides. Throughout this period of agreements the city workers got to know the people of the companies they worked with and became able to understand their partner’s perspectives. Thus they developed long lasting and personal work relations that helped developing solutions for adapting to climate change.

The third method aims to bring together companies that supply energy solutions with those who are in need of these solutions. In workshop meetings organized by Carbon 20, the first group of companies was given some time to present their products and members of the second group of companies had the chance to introduce themselves. This method that works kind of like an auction is closing a vital gap in the facilitation of B2B (business-to-business) partnerships.


To learn more about common methods used to create stakeholder collaborations, specific results of real-life examples or challenges on the way, watch the Webinar on Collaborating with local stakeholders.

This blog post was written by Ines Schaefer from Resilient Cities