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

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

The NE-ECN was developed to enhance the proficient work that has already been carried out in the region on climate change as exemplified by the ClimateNE adaptation strategy. It aimed to improve the resolution of the work in the region by focusing just on the coast and to "coast-ify" the adaptation strategy.

It was considered important to set up a steering committee for this work made up of the statutory authorities and to provide an entity for the initiative (ForeSea) to allow the profile of the initiative to grow in the region and to embed it as strongly as possible with the wider stakeholder group.

An emphasis on long-term thinking, much longer than the standard funding or project cycle, and the promotion of interaction between climate change-relevant stakeholders were the key characteristics of the approach.

Establishing a steering group and feeding in to the Climate North East strategies was straightforward since a considerable awareness of the need to adapt to climate change in the region exists. It was, however, necessary to link this awareness to a coastal element. There was positive participation at all steering group meetings that helped the IMCORE process considerably. The sea level rise tool will be beneficial to the region in demonstrating to planners and decision makers how sea level may affect an area. It can be used as a demonstration of what can be done for the whole coastline. Having the sea level rise map as a static tool reflected the outcomes of the issues workshop. The establishment of a North East Coastal Network is another result of the issues workshop where it is hoped that it will join up experts in the marine and coastal sectors to improve communication links.

Linking to Climate North East adaptation strategy
What we did Used a strategy already in place as a baseline to develop a more coastal adaptation strategy.
Why we did it The Climate NE partnership is an established group and has produced a climate change adaptation strategy and action plan. The North East Couplet decided to feed the results of the adaptation strategy workshops to this strategy.
What we achieved Through workshops the NE-ECN a preferred future scenario and used the Climate NE adaptation strategy as a basis for developing adaptation actions for the coast. Please click here to view the PESTLE-derived activities.
Problems we had No major issues occurred during this process
Solutions (if any) Keep the main parties up to date and informed of proposed actions and activated
What we learned

Keep those involved in the process up to date and informed of the ongoing work kept confidence levels and regard for the process high.


ForeSea steering group formation and meeting
What we did

The North East Couplet set up a regional steering group called ForeSea. Those invited to join were made up of individuals from statutory organisations.

Why we did it

To gather a group of informed individuals to help guide and lend knowledge to the process of IMCORE in the North East of England.

What we achieved A steering group was formed that helped guide the process of developing suitable case studies and developing adaptation strategies for the region. A terms of reference was compiled to initiate the group and all meetings were minuted for recording purposes.
Problems we had Keeping continuity in the members attending meetings

Brief new members to the meetings before the meetings occur so they are aware of the process up to that time.

What we learned

As much as possible it is advisable to keep continuity at meetings so that members know each other, are comfortable in voicing opinions and can gain better insight into one another's field of experience.


North East coastal network
What we did Initiated development of a virtual North East coastal network flyer.
Why we did it To create a communication links between coastal sectors. To become a "one stop shop" for coastal practitioners to locate documents, evidence and discuss topics with experienced individuals.
What we achieved Work is progressing on developing an online usable tool for members to feed into using a terms of reference.
Problems we had Agreeing if there was a need for such a network in the region as other groups exist.
Solutions (if any) Develop a network that incorporates and brings together all aspects of the coast. Launch though an event that will also be a meeting point for those invited. Have the network functioning different to groups already in place e.g. have it as a virtual entity, an online tool.
What we learned Finalising details of launch of the network so it coincides with relevant events in the region


IMCORE Process

The North East couplet is made up of CTL Consult (Previously Envision Management) and Durham Heritage Coast. This expert couplet node (ECN) was already set up prior to IMCORE. The aim of the couplet is to provide assistance and expertise on developing adaptation strategies for the impacts of climate change on the North East coast.

An issues workshop was held in the area from which the couplet narrowed down the main issues that are in the North East with regard to climate change. A steering group was set up for the local initiative called ForeSea. The steering group was involved in a workshop to delineate the preferred scenario for the region. This scenario was then used to work backwards to foresee how the preferred future can be reached from the present day. Actions were produced with applicable timelines to achieve these activities. Such narratives have been reformed and added to a document to present to the wider audience (not just statutory organisations) and will be used as a basis for the launch of the North East Coastal Network to forge better communication in the region.


Vision of the Couplet

On developing the IMCORE project the couplet saw a gap in the climate change structure where the current climate change adaptation policies and strategies do not have a strong coastal aspect. Integrated communication between organisations in the North East was not particularly strong. In order to make the region aware of these issues, the couplet approached the matter in a top down manner and invited the main (statutory) organisations active in climate change topics in the region to participate in a steering group for the region. This resulted in the establishment of ForeSea which is the North East UK regional initiative of IMCORE.


To develop better communication links with coastal sectors in the area to help to unify stakeholders. To develop adaptation strategies for the North East that can add value to programmes already in place. Climate change is not a new concept in the North East and the couplet needs to feed in to and add quality contributions to actions already in place with respect to marine and coastal elements.


The NE-ECN will have one full time officer for delivery and others in the ECN will continue other engagements while delivering couplet outputs.CTL Consult (Previously Envision Management) will focus on delivering on developing adaptation strategies while Durham will focus on community engagement and participation.

Click here to download to Terms of Reference/working relationship report

Click here to download the ECN presentation given in Ghent

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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