The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region calls for the development of a Baltic Sea Region wide climate change adaptation strategy. Baltadapt aims at developing such a strategy. Upon the invitation of Baltadapt partners SMHI and CBSS Baltic 21, more than 30 experts from around the Baltic Sea met in Helsinki on 17 January 2012 to discuss the aims, directions and character of this strategy. They represented other projects and networks dealing with climate change in the Baltic Sea Region.
Should the climate change adaptation strategy for the Baltic Sea Region rather influence national policy-making, stimulate co-operation between the different stakeholders or compile a broad knowledge base? What does it mean to pursue a macro-regional approach? Who are the main target groups of the strategy? These were some of the questions that were addressed in a structured discussion.
The workshop participants gave useful guidance for the continued work on the strategy.
The main aim of the strategy will be to increase cooperation among Baltic Sea Region states concerning adaptation to climate change and to influence region wide policy making at all relevant levels in this matter. “The macro-regional approach of the strategy will facilitate cooperation of forerunners in adaptation with the ones that are lacking behind“, says Maxi Nachtigall, project officer at CBSS Baltic 21 and one of the workshop’s organisers. “The strategy will look at certain needs in defined sectors, propose a prioritization of actions needed for concerned policy makers and offer approaches to think mitigation and adaptation together.”
Countries and regions that already have adaptation strategies in place will find guidance for revision, adjustment and improvement of these. For countries currently lacking national adaptation strategies the strategy will function as support tool to develop suitable policies. What is more, the process of developing this macro-regional strategy will stand out as a blueprint that forms a learning case on multilevel governance in the process of climate change adaptation.
Furthermore, the strategy, foremost looking at climate change adaptation in marine and coastal environments, creates a clear added value to the Baltic Sea Region as the majority of national adaptation strategies do not pay specifically attention to these environments.
The strategy workshop was part of the third Baltadapt partner meeting that was held at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) from 16 to 18 January 2012. Other topics of this meeting were the further elaboration of the impact assessments within the project, the upcoming stakeholder workshops as well as structure and content of the Action Plan for implementing the Baltadapt strategy.