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Develop your own coastal adaptation strategy by learning key methodologies and techniques.

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

VIDEO: Graham Lymbery talks about the Sefton coast and what they have learnt

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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 



Read the key lessons learned from the experience of the Sefton Expert Couplet:

Lessons learned about People

Lessons learned about Understanding the Coast

Lessons learned about Adapting

 

The Sefton Coast is changing and will continue to change, the rate of change will increase as a result of climate change. As a Council we need to anticipate this change and plan for it. The main opportunity from coastal change is the potential to increase tourism as an economic activity. The main threats are loss of habitats and infrastructure as a result of coastal erosion and changing weather patterns. There is strong community interest in the coast with people participating through a range of mechanisms from guided walks and volunteering through to pressure groups.

Lessons Learnt:

People

There are two principal groups that we chose to engage with, the public in order to raise awareness and professional partners both to raise awareness and change behaviour by encouraging them to embed adaptation to coastal change within their policies and actions.

When raising awareness it is important to be clear on what your messages, how you are going to communicate them are and to understand your audience. Communication should be well structured, recognise the audience's attention span and be understandable; having a good story to tell makes it easier to tell and to understand. When simplifying complex information there is a balance to be struck between absolute accuracy and keeping it short and interesting; a method of overcoming this is to present it in a clearly simplified form so that it is apparent that the simplification has taken place.

The nature of the audience will alter the way the message is delivered and the content, older audiences may be more resistant to messages about climate change but respond well to setting coastal change in an historical context. School children may be able to be presented with a longer message because they are studying the coast but the material needs to be made relevant to their learning objectives. The combination of messages delivered on-site and off-site can work well allowing the reinforcement of key messages.

Who communicates the messages is important as those with a significant level of understanding such as academics are not necessarily the best to communicate; they appear to have problems separating out what is relevant to the layperson both in terms of level of detail and content. There can also be problems when trying to consult on very technical documents that have not been tailored to the audiences needs.

An informed stakeholder is much easier to talk to and progress options with than one who does not understand how the coast is changing.

When considering people whose behaviour we want to change it is important to understand the organisational context that they work within and be clear why we are talking to them. If it is their responsibility to take something forward we only need to raise this awareness with them. There are times when it is useful to have a neutral external facilitator to allow for honest expression of opinions from partners and thus the development of more robust solutions.

Understanding the Coast

Understanding the coast is a long term activity that benefits from collaborative working with academics. The value of this understanding relies on clear communication and it being expressed in terms that link through to policy.

There is a risk that the knowledge from practitioners is lost because they don't find it accessible or useful to write in an academic style so information is either not documented or risks being lost within grey literature.

Adapting

When using new methods in workshops it is useful to practice them beforehand. It is also good to be clear on what you are doing and why. If you have some elements of responsibility on the coast you may take a different approach to your areas as you want to identify the risk, options to address the risk and select the preferred option. If you are looking at areas that are not your responsibility you only want to develop the risk assessment to the stage where it allows the person with the responsibility to understand that they need to take action at which point they are best placed to take it forward with support and facilitation from you if necessary.

The future for adapting to coastal change in Sefton is good although limited by lack of financial resources. We have identified officers within the Council to take a lead on this action, we have a strong commitment from key Partners on the coast to adapt and we have identified the key issues. We are also clear on the need to embed the adaptation approach in to existing policy.

 

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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