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

VIDEO: The Couplet Node from Cork Harbour shrre their insights on the benefits of working together

 "If we were to undertake the scenario phase of the adaptation strategy process again, we would conduct it in a much more condensed and intensive way".                 Cork Harbour Case Study

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

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

guidance0xThe role of dissemination is essential in ensuring the success of the project at both the local, national and regional levels cannot be under-estimated. For this reason we put significant resources into both site specific initiatives such as the website and open day and presentations and national and international conferences.

In order to communicate the work of IMCORE at the local level, we (Cork Harbour ECN) used a number of tools and methods to engage with differing audiences (e.g. general public, elected representatives, regulatory bodies). These activities include those we wholly organised and delivered (e.g. website and presentations) and those to which we made a significant contribution, but also involved other stakeholders (e.g. public event - Cork Harbour Open Day). We also used certain tools (e.g. presentations, press releases) to bring attention to the existence of others (e.g. website). The full range of tools and methods we used for communication and engagement in Cork Harbour include:

• Visualization – Use of RainBath software.

• Workshop(s) – Issue identification, and development of scenarios.

• Local media, regional media – Circulation of press releases.

Website – (see Figure 3)

• Public event – Cork Harbour Open Day (see Figure 4)

• Presentation(s) – Delivered to public bodies and local authority committees (e.g. Cork County Council Coastal Management Committee, Cork County Council European Affairs Committee).


Figure 3: Cork Harbour Website


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Figure 4: Local media coverage of the Cork Harbour Open day


RainBath: A visualisation tool for communicating climate change impacts at the local scale
What we did

We collaborated with the Cork Institute of Technology to create a 3D visualisation tool based on Google Sketch-Up. The tool allows local spatial information to be used in creating simulations of the potential impacts of climate change on the coast (i.e. flooding, storm surge, sea level rise).

Why we did it

We wanted to create a means of engaging diverse stakeholders from a number of different backgrounds across the case study area. We believe that having a hands-on, interactive tool such as this will allow people to connect in a more meaningful way with the subject matter of climate change and its potential impacts than they would by simply reading statistical data. As the tool can be set to display impact levels defined by its users, it can also serve to stimulate debate regarding stakeholder perceptions of what level of impact is likely over a given timescale in Cork Harbour.

What we achieved

The tool has been prototyped, and was evaluated by the IMCORE partners in October of 2010.

Problems we had

Communication between the development team at CIT and the other ECN members required care, given the different 'languages' spoken by those involved in technology research and those involved in natural/social science research. Finding common understandings and agreed terminology became an important consideration.

Solutions (if any)

Regular meetings between the different research teams served to clarify any miscommunications in a timely way.

What we learned

We gained an understanding of the value and limitations of visualisation in communicating science. When employed as a tool of learning and as a spur for debate, we believe visualisation has great potential. In more demanding roles such as supporting decision making or communicating projected impacts of climate change, the accuracy limitations of visualisation might prove more problematic.


What we did

We organised stakeholder workshops at various stages of the adaptation strategy process (e.g. preliminary issue identification, input to development of scenarios).

Why we did it

To obtain stakeholder opinion and perspectives on issues relating to climate change, and to progress the development of scenarios for flood management of Cork Harbour.

What we achieved We obtained a clearer understanding of the challenges faced by local coastal stakeholders, and of the constraints and levels of preparedness when adapting to socio-economic and environmental change. The workshops specific to the development of scenarios ensured local planners were given the opportunity to input throughout this process and bring their expertise to bear on the exercise.
Problems we had Although in the minority, we did encounter the issues of having to separate climate change scepticism and questions over uncertainty from the adaptation discussion.

We presented the message that ability to adapt to change, whatever that change may represent (climate, economic, natural hazard), is beneficial to coastal communities, so in essence concerns over the certainty and veracity of climate impacts represent just one type of coastal change.

What we learned

Workshops continue to be a good method for engaging with stakeholders, particularly if the audience trust the facilitation process and see that their input is taken onboard and given consideration.


Local and regional media
What we did

Issued press releases via press office, and directly to journalists working in local and regional media (print and radio).

Why we did it

To assist with our efforts in reaching as wide an audience as possible, and to raise the profile of ECN activities locally and regionally.

What we achieved The use of press releases did prove effective in enlisting contributors to the Cork Harbour Open Day.


What we did

Developed the website – the content of the resource is managed by the ECN partners, but submission of material relevant to the Harbour by members of the public is actively encouraged.

Why we did it

One of the key issues to emerge from discussions and consultation with harbour stakeholders was the absence of a dedicated online resource for Cork Harbour – a site where all relevant information on what's happening in Cork Harbour could be consolidated.

What we achieved A website that is populated with: publications, e.g., relating to planning, heritage and tourism; news articles and information on events; extensive website links; image gallery - all with a focus on Cork Harbour. The site acts as an ideal resource for those wishing to publicise information on the Harbour, or seeking to obtain information on the Harbour. The site also uses social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube).


Cork Harbour Open Day
What we did

Organised an annual day-long public event to publicise the amenity and heritage value of Cork Harbour. A number of representatives from the Harbour Management Focus Group engaged service providers in the marine leisure, tourism, education and arts, as well as other users of the Harbour (e.g. Irish Naval Service) to develop a programme of water and land-based activities aimed to showcase the value of the Harbour.

Why we did it

To direct public attention to the value of the Harbour as a resource, and to raise awareness of the different activities available for people in the harbour both on and off the water. We also used the audience capture provided by the Open Day to inform people of other ECN activities, e.g. strategy development, stakeholder engagement, and the setting up of

What we achieved The Open day will be in its 3rd year in 2011, and has become a recognised fixture in the Harbour's annual programme of events. Feedback from both the contributors (e.g. service providers) and the general public has been positive, and enthusiasm remains to continue with the event into the future.
Problems we had The Harbour Open Day is organised using a very small budget, and is reliant on the voluntary commitment of a number of individuals, as well as contributors; this can have implications for event management and organisation.

Attempt to identify sponsorship opportunities that could better resource the organisation of the Open Day and possibly expand the programme of events.


Presentations – Delivered to public bodies and local authority committees (e.g. Cork County Council Coastal Management Committee, Cork County Council European Affairs Committee) and at conferences (Littoral 2008/10 / INTERREG NWE Event, Marine Institute National Event).
What we did

We delivered presentations outlining the activities of IMCORE and the Cork Harbour ECN to public bodies and local authority committees (e.g. Cork County Council Coastal Management Committee, Cork County Council European Affairs Committee).

Why we did it

We wanted to engage local elected representatives to increase political buy-in to the activities of the ECN and IMCORE project. The local authority committees comprise local councillors and provided ideal fora for interacting with elected representatives and informing them of the added value of IMCORE in terms of: supporting Council policies; assisting with delivery of statutory obligations; and building capacity within to better deliver local authority services.

What we achieved We raised awareness of the project, the ECN approach and the need for adaptation to climate change with local councillors.
Problems we had There was a significant level of climate change scepticism amongst the local authority members and an assumption that the solution to current (and future) flooding issues was purely operational.

We reaffirmed that scepticism was a driver for scientific endeavour and that without it, science would not have moved forward. We also explained that the national government had to deliver a national adaptation strategy under EU law and therefore local authorities would also be required to develop their own adaptation strategies.

What we learned

It is essential to get as many stakeholders on board as possible as their contribution will only improve the quality of the outputs delivered.


Click here to view the IMCORE Marine Institute Presentation

Click here to view the IMCORE Poster Presentation NWE Event


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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