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Ecology for the National Adaptation Programme for Climate Change

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Charles Darwin House

12 Roger Street



United Kingdom

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Climate change presents a wide range of risks to the natural environment and people. Reducing these risks needs action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also needs adaptation: adjustment in natural and human systems to reduce harm and exploit and beneficial opportunities. The climate has already changed and will continue to change, even with the most optimistic scenarios for emissions reduction so adaptation is essential.

In the UK, the Climate Change Act (2008) requires the Government to produce a National Adaptation Programme (NAP). The first NAP was published in 2013 and the next is intended for 2018; 2017 will be the critical year for developing the NAP. Ecological science is an essential part of the evidence base for the NAP. Over the last 5 years, there have been significant advances in our understanding of climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems and our understanding of the likely effectiveness of adaptation measures. We have also seen progress in implementing adaptation from which lessons can be learnt.

This meeting is organised in partnership between the British Ecological Society, Defra, Natural England and the RSPB with the following aims:

  • To review recent developments in the science of climate change impacts and adaptation and emerging understanding from practical experience

  • To draw together key messages from science and practice to inform adaptation priorities in the UK, as a contribution towards developing the National Adaptation Programme to address risks identified in Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report

  • To promote knowledge exchange between scientists, practitioners and policy makers

  • To identify evidence gap

In advance of the meeting, participants will be invited to provide basic feedback on what are the most appropriate adaptation actions to address the risks highlighted by the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) in terms of the strength of evidence to support them and relative priority.

Scope. The meeting will cover adaptation for nature conservation and environmental management across land, freshwaters, coastal and marine environments. It will include using the natural environment to help people to adapt to climate change. Environmental aspects of forestry, fisheries and agriculture are in scope but not production.

This meeting is intended to bring together scientists, conservationists and policy makers working on climate change adaptation issues. It is open to all and we hope all participants will actively contribute to break out sessions. We welcome offers of short presentations and posters which either present new evidence (published in the last 5 years) or provide case studies of how climate change adaptation is being integrated into conservation or environmental management.

Provisional Programme

0930 Registration, posters, coffee

1030 Welcome and introduction

1040 The policy context for climate change adaptation in the UK

1050 Adaptation principles for the natural environment

1100 Adaptation Case Studies 1

1120 New research results 1

1140 Break out session 1.

Break out groups are structured according to the key risk identified for the natural environment in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment.

  • Risks to species and habitats due to inability to respond to changing climatic conditions

  • Risks to soils from increased seasonal aridity and wetness

  • Risks to agriculture and wildlife from water scarcity and flooding

  • Risks to agriculture, forestry, landscapes and wildlife from pests, pathogens and invasive species

  • Risks to aquifers, agricultural land and habitats from saltwater intrusion

  • Risks to, and opportunities for, marine species, fisheries and marine heritage from ocean acidification and higher water temperatures

1300 Lunch

1400 Adaptation Case Studies 2

1420 New Research Results 2

1440 Break out Session 2 (tea and coffee available)

  • Opportunities from new species colonisations

  • Risks to natural carbon stores and carbon sequestration

  • Risks to freshwater species from higher water temperatures

  • Risks of land management practices exacerbating flood risk

  • Risks to agriculture, forestry, wildlife and heritage from changes in frequency and/or magnitude of extreme weather and wildfire events

  • Risks to habitats and heritage in the coastal zone from sea-level rise; and loss of natural flood protection

1600 Plenary discussion and closing presentation

1630 Depart

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Charles Darwin House

12 Roger Street



United Kingdom

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