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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

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 

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What we did

The IMCORE project in the Gulf of Morbihan consisted of the following phases:

• Identifying local climate change issues. This mainly took the form of two workshops for local actors and a survey carried out in the Gulf of Morbihan on the local inhabitants' perceptions about climate change (1,062 people questioned).

• Detailing the state of scientific knowledge in the Gulf of Morbihan in order to identify climate change issues. This was done in collaboration with scientists working on these problems and thus enabled them to assess climate change outcomes in the Gulf of Morbihan area.

• Interviewing the key people who were unable to attend the workshops (10 people questioned).

• Analysing how spatial planning tools are used for climate change integration (on a legislative basis: click here to see legal report made by Betty Queffelec)

• Developing scenarios based on the identified issues by using visualisation tools. The scenarios themselves were developed in collaboration with local councillors, technicians, professional representatives and associations over the course of two workshops. Once the scenarios had been finalized, they were immediately put before local actors through the medium of nine focus groups and individual interviews. Around 70 people participated in the process.

• Using visualisation tools to create 3D models. For the duration of the project, SHOM (the French state naval hydrographic and oceanographic service) made available its Litto3D model. This model enables the sea-level rise impacts on coastal zones to be displayed in 3D format.

• Strengthening adaptive capacities through a local adaptive strategy that encompasses all scenarios, their effects and the strategic choice outcomes for the local area.

• A public presentation of the findings took place on 5 February 2010. The project's final outcome will be presented in September 2011 at a conference in the Gulf of Morbihan.

Please click here for more details on the IMCORE process in France.

What we learned

• Climate change adaptation is not a central issue for the local area. The issue seems to be too far in the future when it comes to making today's local management decisions. As such, it is difficult to convince local stakeholders of the need to tackle the issue in-depth.

• Scientific knowledge on climate change is inextricably bound to the uncertainties that accompany it. These uncertainties are a barrier to securing the commitment of local stakeholders, in particular, the decision makers that like to make informed decisions. What is more, scientific knowledge and models are highly developed on a global level, but under-developed at the regional level and this reinforces peoples' perception that the issue is far beyond the scope of local and regional stakeholders. Uncertainty is particularly conducive to inaction, or at best, to "no-regrets" decision-making, i.e., choosing adaptation measures that, regardless of the future outcome, benefit the local area, the individual, and society as a whole.

• French local stakeholders were not used to the scenario development method. Nevertheless, the participants took part with gusto and were attracted to the method's participatory and innovative nature. People who took a step back and adopted a "wait and see" attitude at the beginning of the workshops gradually entered into the spirit of the proceedings and injected a new dynamism that yielded interesting scenarios and which gave the participants a sense of ownership. Innovative methods, such as those used in the IMCORE project, are transferable if local contexts and cultures are fully integrated, and if complexity levels can be adapted to the participants' needs – thus enabling their successful integration into local projects.

• UBO's involvement in the project helped local stakeholders to identify climate change issues at the local level. In fact, it was the university's status and the scientific cachet that it lent to the project that enabled local stakeholders to perceive the issue of climate change at the local level.

• SIAGM's involvement served to engage the local stakeholders. This was made possible through the relationship of trust that SIAGM had built with the latter through long-term dialogue/consultation and mutual action in the creation of the blueprints for the Regional Nature Park. It is highly unlikely that such a large nu

1. Be clear on who you need to work with (Partners) to develop an adaptation strategy that represents the wide range of coastal interests and that you share a common understanding of what the strategy will deliver.

2. Be clear on how you will engage with communities who have an interest in the coast.

3. Ensure that you communicate regularly with Partners and communities so that they know what is happening and what is expected of them.

4. You should not assume that you will achieve consensus.

5. Using scenarios can be very valuable but can also be complicated, ensure that you prepare and practice for this and use facilitators if you feel you need help.

6. Partner and community representatives may change during the process, plan for this and arrange handovers.

7. Be clear on how you intend to implement and review the strategy.

8. It will take time, money and commitment from key partners, recognise this and make sure this is in place.

9. Identify your gaps in data and understanding and plan for how you can fill these or how you will manage without them.

10. You will need to communicate complicated information to a wide range of people, do not underestimate this task.

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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