Shared awareness of the problem

Goal

To create a shared awareness of climate change, the effects and the risks with the relevant stakeholders. A common understanding of the problem is crucial in getting support in a later stage for adaptation strategies and plans.

Preconditions

The scoping of the climate adaptation plan or project has to be done before creating a shared awareness of the problem.

Outcomes

Sufficient awareness of the possible effects of climate change among relevant stakeholders to involve them in the adaptation planning process. Where raising awareness is needed, a communication strategy for specific stakeholders has been developed.

Guidelines

By contact with the various stakeholders, establish a good assessment of their current status of awareness and whether this suffices for the involvement you expect them to have in developing the adaptation strategy. Where necessary, try to raise awareness on the climate risk the relevant stakeholders should be informed on climate change, the effects and the risk. Informing can be done by effective communication, for example through campaigns, video’s, flyers, an informative website, etc. See more information on communication (Communication).

Another way to create awareness is early involvement of relevant stakeholders in the adaptation process (see stakeholder involvement).

Experiences

Greater Manchester

Through the first and second iterations of the Greater Manchester Strategy and GM’s ongoing Climate Change and Low Emission Implementation Plan, there is already an established commitment to the issue and problem of climate change. It recognizes that building resilience is a continual process, not a fixed outcome. It is also significant that it’s high level strategy documents, including the Greater Manchester Strategy, already support the need to take action on this agenda.

Extreme weather events disrupt our everyday lives in the present, and we recognize the need to increase our resilience both now and in the future to related risks and those linked to the changing climate. Doing so will help to safeguard the health and well-being of our citizens, protect our investments and, ultimately, ensure that GM is a good place to live and work.

As a result GM can:

  • demonstrate political commitment towards building resilience and adapting to the changing climate across the city-region;
  • say with confidence that its evolving governance structure, with new powers for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), supports the climate change adaptation agenda locally;
  • point to a political mandate to act, with supportive policies and strategies at multiple levels of government;
  • but that there is a complicated landscape of numerous public and private stakeholders involved in critical infrastructure protection and urban climate change adaptation and resilience more broadly; and
  • GM faces some significant deprivation issues in certain parts of the city-region that have a bearing on the vulnerability of some residents to the changing climate

It is within this framework that GM has, most recently through the RESIN project, operated to raise shared awareness of and commitment to address this challenge. It has done this via the following routes:

  • Development of a 5 year rolling climate change implementation strategy. This builds from the high level GM wide strategy process and sets 5 yearly climate mitigation and adaptation goals and actions
  • Commitment to a number of international and reporting frameworks including CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the covenant of mayors for climate and energy and under2MoU.
  • Wider set of governance and steering groups within GM. Overarching this is the GM low Carbon Hub board, which ultimately has all progress reported to it and leads the agenda. Then there a range of thematic other groups including those around civil contingencies (the Local Resilience Framework, spatial planning (the Planning and Housing Commission), critical infrastructure (the GM Infrastructure advisory Group), Floods and Water Management (the GM FWM Board) and the Natural Environment (the Natural Capital Group).

Around this the RESIN project convenes a local officer level steering group which supports the progressing of a range of RESIN activities, supports and feeds in information as relevant to the above groups. This group, and the wider RESIN Team, also supports GM in raising awareness and leadership nationally with the English Core Cities and also with DEFRA.

Supporting tools and methods

MDSS5i

The mDSS software is a generic Decision Support System (DSS) developed to assist decision makers in the management of environmental problems. It can help users to:

  • better understand or explain to the involved actors (disciplinary experts, policy/decision makers, other stakeholders) the problem at hand,
  • explore possible decision options, also within the contexts of alternative scenarios,
  • facilitate public participation,
  • smoothen the conflicts related to alternative courses of action,
  • extend collaboration with and within different stakeholder groups.

Generic tools

In general, the Stakeholder identification and management tools might provide some support.