Engaging with communities on climate change adaptation

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Part of the BRE TrustEngaging with communities on climate change adaptationMindy Hadi, BRE1st November 2016Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) Launched 2013 by Big Lottery 12m to 12 Community Groups around the country To build resilience to the environmental, economic and social impacts of a changing climate. To help vulnerable people to adapt to climate change. To encourage behaviour change among individuals and communities Co-ordinated by Groundwork UK Learning PartnershipCLS ProcessInitial research 2014 Climate change resilience study highlighted a gap in activities in the area of climate change adaptation amongst CLS groups Some examples of good practice, mainly focusing on flooding Greater integration needed between community-led and statutory-led activities Need for accessible information and resources inc. examples of practical activities for communities Objectives: to explore the challenges faced by community groups in building climate resilience, identify support and resources and share lessons based on the activities of CLS communities 4 work streams: Stakeholder interviews and questionnaire to the 12 CLS groups Carrying out test bed workshops on climate change adaptation with two groups A workshop in Feb 2016 with key stakeholders for input and feedback Developing an Information Directory of guidance, case studies, resources and tools for community groups Summary key findings report of findings and lessons learned2015/16 research programmeSurvey of CLS Group Activities On-line questionnaire developed and sent to all 12 CLS groups, project leads and other partners Questionnaire covered: About you and your community Climate Change Adaptation in your community Awareness and use of information on Climate Change Adaptation Gaining Community Buy-in Vulnerabilities CLS Community Resilience Test beds volunteersKey Findings024681012Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very GoodSelf-rated knowledge about climate change adaptationMain concerns relating to climate changeCommunity interestBarriers to community buy-inGreatest barrier to getting community buy-in on climate change is the challenge of developing long term response and maintaining interestVulnerable groups in your local area People whose livelihoods are at risk (eg farmers, fishermen), People who are on a low-income, low skilled People in poor health People in poor housing Particular groups that face social exclusion Older people Single mothers People with English as a second language Recently arrived communities. Those living in isolated, rural areasif for reasons of age, health, disability or severe financial insecurity, they are unable to safeguard their personal welfare or the personal welfare of other members of the household. Irwell Valley Information directory for third sector and community organisations to help them to overcome barriers to resilience which can include lack of: Local, understandable information on Climate Change Resources for engagement and implementation support Knowledge of the most effective methods for them Information overload!! Written for non-experts ie simple, non- technical language, no jargon Signposting of existing websites etc Colour coded for easy navigationAims of the information directoryInformation DirectoryCommunity groups need examples & tools 2016 Information Directory: Definitions Relevant policy background Role of community groups Tools and Resources Identifying vulnerabilities and risks Identifying resources Who can help Case Studies Case studies Flooding and extreme weather are the two most common climate change risks faced by the CLS projects. Current lack of visible community-led adaptation activity in UK. Exemplar communities who are responding to the challenges of climate change by adopting adaptation measures eg preventing avoidable impacts through comprehensive preparation. CLS funding enabled projects to engage with their community Linked to challenges accessing vulnerable groups, fuel poverty, poor housingCase study projects Five projects selected to act as good practice case studies in the directory All areas with high flood risk and experience of flooding: Sustain Eden, Cumbria Sustainable Sheppey, Kent CLS in Dorset One Planet Middlesbrough Irwell Valley Sustainable Communities, SalfordMeasures and activities Measures include: Developing area-specific action plans for extreme weather events. Raising awareness through a wide variety of means- workshops, schools, media etc Establishing means to support vulnerable groups (e.g. people over 75, families with young children, people with disabilities, small businesses, carers) in the event of an emergency such as an extreme weather event Collaborating on related projects across other community groups and statutory organisations to build resilience Test beds Two CLS projects Manor House PACT Closer Neighbourhoods Sustainable Sunderland day workshop session with groups/partners Share information about Climate Change adaptation: what does it mean at community level In depth discussion about climate change adaptation issues in their community Try out some of the tools and guidance together eg Climate Just tool Obtain feedback on directory, tools and sessionKey Findings ReportTo inform policy makers on supporting communities Project Leader questionnaire responses Information Directory Test Bed Workshops Feedback from partners Stakeholder WorkshopQuestion and risk levels List of CategoriesVisual of progress within each categoryCommunity Assessment Tool (CAT)020406080100Climate Change &ResilienceCommunityEcology &BiodiversityGovernanceLocal EconomyResourcesTransport & MobilityWellbeingApr-12Apr-14May-16Resilience theme lessons learned Community groups are well placed to drive climate adaptation activities, particularly where these focus on vulnerable groups Communities can be creative and innovative messengers Local knowledge can adapt approaches in ways that are effective but difficult for national organisations There are many opportunities for communities to deliver low-tech and low-cost interventions Statutory bodies could be more creative in engaging community groups in their resilience planning activitiesLessons from wider project Trusted community organisations can support wide-ranging behaviour change, including among groups not normally reached by environmental campaigns Discussions about climate change and behaviour have to be rooted in real-life experiences relevant to the local context You have to start where people are- existing activities Holistic- making the links makes sense of interdependencies Sustaining volunteer involvement is a challenge even with money available It all takes longer than you think!!!!Thank you!http://www.centre4resilience.org/communities-living-sustainably/.