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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

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

guidance1The general feeling is that we are not as yet at an advanced level of preparedness; and there is a requirement for leadership;

Some climate change effects are already visible but it is not always clear what the cause is of these effects (e.g. more storms; more marine mammals like seals and dolphins; more warm water species like anchovies, Japanese oyster, seahorses, more sludge after a storm, contaminated mussels).

The issue identification workshop provided a very clear and comprehensive indication of how stakeholders in Cork Harbour viewed the impact of climate change on various sectors.

Of the impacts examined, flooding emerged as the principle driver for adaptation; other outcomes included:

I. A general feeling that we are not as yet at an advanced level of preparedness to adapt to climate change; and there is a requirement for leadership (from national & local government);

II. Some climate change effects are already visible but the cause is not always clear how the effect will manifest itself at the local scale (e.g. more storms; more marine mammals like seals and dolphins; more warm water species like anchovies, Japanese oyster, seahorses, more sludge after a storm, contaminated mussels).

III. Some climate change effects are positive (market opportunities presented by new species), whereas others could be seen as negative(e.g. sea level rise), this is often specific to the sector in question.

IV. Raising awareness about the need to adapt (some sectors already take adaptation measures, others not).

V. The international community will have a role in highlighting the need for strong leadership;

VI. In some instances, progress on preparedness has been achieved through measures such as: the draft Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study (Lee CFRAMS); the Maritime and Energy Research Campus and Commercial Cluster (MERC3) Ireland initiative, which is located in the Harbour area; and the work of certain voluntary groups;

VII. Certain sectors will be well positioned to exploit opportunities due to varying levels of preparedness; and,

VIII. Absence of coordination between terrestrial and marine planning regimes is not yet fully resolved and this could hamper adaptation efforts within the Harbour (and in other coastal locations in Ireland).



Issue Identification Workshop
What we did

We conducted a review and subsequently assessed previous research conducted in Ireland. From this we were able to isolate the key issues of climate change which may affect Cork Harbour. Once this was completed we were able organise the workshop and identify and invite key stakeholders to participate. We deliberately set out to have a diverse stakeholder group and the 32 participants included representatives from local government, the private sector, Harbour community and resident groups, academia, industry and Harbour interest groups.

We held the scene-setting part of the Workshop in plenary; with experts from University College Cork and the Environmental Protection Agency giving with a series of presentations that:

1) introduced the IMCORE project and the workshop objectives;

2) described the global drivers for climate change, IPCC scenarios and how Ireland is likely to experience changes in climate;

3) specifically dealt with climate policy and planning for adaptation in Ireland; and

4) outlined the structure for the subsequent group sessions, including an explanation of key climate-related issues for Cork Harbour.

After the plenary session, parallel sessions facilitated by ECN members were held. This provided the opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the impacts of climate change on a range of sectors ranging from Coastal Protection to Tourism & Recreation. The outcomes from these sessions were then collated and reported back to the plenary group for further debate.

Why we did it

It was essential to identify the impacts of climate-related issues specific to Cork Harbour, as well as the economic, social and environmental constraints in dealing with these impacts directly from stakeholders. This workshop sought participant's views and opinions on issues relevant to adaptation to future coastal change in Cork Harbour - how will climate change influence social, economic and physical changes, how will various sectors of activity be impacted, what are the implications of the various changes facing Cork Harbour?

This workshop was necessary as we needed to pinpoint the key climate change concerns in Cork Harbour if we were to effectively focus the development of an adaptation strategy for the Harbour.

What we achieved The workshop was very successful as it not only raised the awareness of the IMCORE project and the INTERREG NWE programme it also identified a wide range of impacts and issues that climate change for Cork Harbour. It also provided the first opportunity to engage with stakeholders, discuss their concerns in a neutral environment and secure their participation for the duration of the project.

As an outcome of the Workshop we were, with the input from the stakeholders able to identify a number of key constraints across the majority of the sectors, including:

(1) Lack of strong leadership;

(2) Role of national and local politics;

(3) Regional problems, e.g. European Directives;

(4) Economic costs of change, and financial restraints;

(5) Lack of information /education;

(6) Absence of a baseline, particularly in relation to vulnerability;

(7) Denial of timescales; and,

(8) The overwhelming size of the challenge that lay ahead.

Problems we had The only perceived problem was that the time with stakeholders, given their own work commitments and time (work) constraints would be too limited to achieve the workshop goals.

We overcame the time constraint issue by streamlining the workshop process and by producing pre-pared information and templates to aid expedient gathering of information on the day. We agreed with stakeholders that we would follow up with email and telephone calls to discuss any aspects that required clarification.

What we learned

We were reassured by the high levels of interests in climate change from all participants and that there was merit in developing an adaptation strategy for Cork Harbour. There was agreement that elements of the adaption process are already part of everyday life (both working life and social life) and a common recognition of the scale of the challenge posed by climate change.


Click here to download the issues presentation given at workshop 

Click here to download drivers for climate change and issues workshop

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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