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The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.

VIDEO: Find out why the IMCORE partners developed this website and how it can be useful for practitioners

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Access or download overviews, tools, techniques and examples of visualisation tools, educational tools, legal and policy tools, future scenario techniques, etc

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Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

The Severn Estuary IMCORE process set out to increase awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation options in order to inform the development of guidelines to assist with the identification of adaptation options.

Why adaptation guidelines were needed? There was a clear need to provide some Severn specific guidance to planning authorities as there was little specific guidance available at the start of the project, there was a focus on mitigation rather than adaptation in existing and evolving plans, and there was concern that all the different planning authorities around the Severn were taking varying approaches and using different climate change predictions

Why guidelines and not a strategy? - because there were already a large number of existing and evolving plans and strategies which dealt with elements of climate change. Estuary-wide plans dealing with flood and coastal risk were also under development during the IMCORE project (Section 6)

Why a planning and local authority focus? – There was particular concern from SEP stakeholders within the previous INTERREG IIIB COREPOINT project about development and flood risk on the urban, low-lying and potentially vulnerable shores of the estuary

Why a focus on education too? - There was a need to raise awareness of climate change in local school children, tomorrow's decision makers. There was also a desire to build on the success of the COREPOINT education pack.

Who was involved? - The Expert Couplet involved Cardiff University and the Severn Estuary Partnership. A wide range of other stakeholders were engaged during the project, particularly local planners, other local authority officers as well as representatives from key sectors related to climate change and planning. In addition, educators and school children were involved from the Welsh side of the estuary

What we did – a lot! In summary, we

  •  conducted a range of surveys on climate change issues and planning system issues
  •  organised a range of workshops on issues, scenarios and the guidelines
  •  constructed exploratory socio-economic scenarios
  •  developed climate change adaptation guidelines for the estuary.
  •  produced some simple summaries of climate change science and impacts on the estuary
  •  undertook a baseline study of the Severn estuary environment (the State of the Severn) against which future climate change  impacts can be assessed.
  •  organised large scale events (forums and conferences) to inform and engage with our key stakeholders

Deviations from the general IMCORE process - Whilst following the general IMCORE model, the complexities of the Severn Estuary in terms of its geography and institutional characteristics meant that some deviations from the IMCORE process have been essential. This has included the need for multiple workshops on some aspects, such as scenarios, in order to engage with as wide a range of stakeholders and to relate to the varying coastal features around the estuary.

Our key achievements –better informed stakeholders who are more engaged with the debate on future coastal, including climate change. The main outputs (scenarios, guidelines, state of estuary report and education materials) are also key achievements and should be of value for some time, informing the development of other plans and strategies around the estuary.

What we have learnt – The Severn Estuary is large and complex and it takes considerable time and effort to develop outputs which are meaningful to the estuary community. We've also learnt the value of tapping into local knowledge and expertise. It was clear that our engagement with representative local authorities in addition to estuary-wide forums and networks enabled better 'ground truthing' of the final adaptation guidelines.

This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

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