1.3 State of the art - The adaptation platform landscape

The adaptation platform landscape in Europe is dynamic and varied as the number and scope of such platforms are increasing. There are a variety of adaptation platforms operating within Europe with remits for providing climate adaptation information and knowledge at the national, transnational or European levels. These different platforms have varied histories and tenures that are reflected in the breadth of services provided and their respective operational and business models.

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In all cases these web-based platforms are seen as a means of enabling and empowering adaptation actions through providing a platform for sharing information and knowledge and thereby increasing the ‘visibility’ and understanding of adaptation. The information and knowledge shared includes results of adaptation research, guidance; supportive data, information and tools; policy actions at the transnational, national and sub-national levels; experiences from practice and implemented adaptation actions (e.g., case studies). In addition, some platforms are also used as a forum to engage experts. For example, Spain uses their platform to enable experts and decision makers to work on documents and to actively exchange experiences.

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As discussed above the multiplicity of providers with overlapping remits regarding content and geographic coverage) present both challenges and opportunities. Addressing these challenges and opportunities requires as a first step an understanding of the adaptation platform landscape in terms of the scope of the services provided, operational and business models, and future plans.

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The following analysis is intended to present that landscape as a basis for better understanding and addressing the above-mentioned challenges and opportunities. The information used to undertake this analysis (see Annex 2) was assembled based on the information provided during the following three events:

  • CIRCLE-2 / EEA Experts meeting on “National Adaptation Platforms” (Copenhagen, 19th June 2013)[1];
  • CIRCLE-2 / EEA Workshop on “Adaptation Platforms in Europe: Addressing challenges and sharing lessons” (Vienna, November 2013)[2]; and
  • EEA Expert workshop on “Climate change adaptation platforms” (Copenhagen, 23rd June 2014)[3].

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The national and transnational adaptation platforms identified during these workshops are those comprising the European adaptation platform landscape at the time of this report (see Table 1.3.1). Information collected during the workshops was confirmed and updated based on discussions with the platform managers and owners organised and arranged by ETC CCA during 2014 (see Annex 3).

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Table 1.3.1       Adaptation Platforms considered within this report

Adaptation Platforms

Title

Web-Link

National

Austria

Klimawandelanpassung.at (Austrian Adaptation Platform)

http://www.klimawandelanpassung.at/

Denmark

Klimatilpasning.dk (Danish National Adaptation Platform)

www.klimatilpasning.dk/

Finland

Climate Guide (Finish Adaptation Platform)

www.climateguide.fi 

France

Observatoire National sur les Effets du Réchauffement Climatique (ONERC)

 (French National Adaptation Platform)

 http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/-Impacts-et-adaptation-ONERC-.html)

Germany

KomPass - Climate Impacts and Adaptation in Germany (German National Adaptation Platform)

www.anpassung.net  (http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/topics/climate-energy/climate-impacts-adaptation)

Hungary

Climate Dialogue Forum (Hungarian National Adaptation Platform)

http://klimadialogus.mfgi.hu

Ireland

Climate Ireland (Irish National Adaptation Platform)

www.climateireland.ie

The Netherlands

Dutch Adaptation Knowledge/Spatial Adaptation Portal

http://www.climateadaptationservices.com/nl/

Norway

Klimatilpasning.no (Norwegian Climate Adaptation Portal)

www.klimatilpasning.no

Poland

KLIMADA Adaptation Platform (The Polish National Adaptation Platform)

http://klimada.mos.gov.pl/en/

Spain

AdapteCCa.es (Spanish National Adaptation Platform)

www.adaptecca.es

Sweden

Klimatilpassning.se (Swedish Portal for Climate Change Adaptation)

www.klimatanpassning.se

Switzerland

BAFU Thema Anpassung an den Klimawandel (Swiss Information Platform on Adaptation to Climate Change)

http://www.bafu.admin.ch/klimaanpassung/

United Kingdom

Gov. UK Adapting to Climate change ((including Climate Support Service by the Environment Agency

https://www.gov.uk/governm/policies/adapting-to-climate-change

Transnational

Pyrenees

Observatoire Pyrénéen du Changement Climatique; OPCC (Pyrenees Climate Change Observatory)

www.oopcc-ctp.org

Alpine Region

Klimaportal Alpenkonvention

http://www.alpconv.org/de/ClimatePortal/default.html  

 

 

C3-Alps Knowledge Inventory Platform

http://www.c3alps.eu/kip

European

European Environment Agency

Climate-ADAPT

www.climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu

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Most of the platforms in the Member states listed in the table are owned or supported by the national authorities in lead of the adaptation policy at national level. There are additional adaptation platforms in Europe beyond those considered in this report. Within some Member states (e.g., France, Germany and the UK) there are several platforms operating reflecting the diversity of organisations involved and the nature of adaptation within those different Member states.

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For example, in the UK adaptation is a responsibility at the UK government and the devolved administration, with adaptation services being disseminated by a range of partner organisations operating at the UK-level (Gov.uk [4] and Climate UK[5]). There is a government website with information on the adaptation policy context[6] The Environment Agency does not host its own adaptation platform, but provides the Climate Ready Support on this website. It delivers its information and resources also through partner organisations such as Climate-UK and Climate Local[7]. Adaptation information and knowledge are as well disseminated in each of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, and supporting local authorities, as well as UKCIP[8] as the original nationally-supported adaptation platform.   

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France has the platform of the National observatory of the effects of climate change (ONERC)[9], which presents the information and knowledge on adaptation at national level. An additional tool Wiklimat[10], accessible from the same platform has been launched in 2013 as the “local window” of the national platform to involve regional decision makers in the adaptation process.

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In the case of Germany, there are more than one adaptation platform on the national level. There is the platform of the Federal Environment Agency, which is supporting the Federal Ministry on the Environment leading the adaptation policy process in Germany. Furthermore, there is the Klimanavigtor[11] that is funded by the Federal Ministry on Research and Development. Klimanavigtor serves as a directory to the climate change and adaptation related research institutions and provides comprehensive dossiers on adaptation related research results in a user-friendly language.

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The varying mandates and lessons learned of multiple adaptation platforms in the Member states would require a more in-depth analysis of the different platforms, which is beyond the scope of this report. 

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The focus of the analysis has been placed on exploring the scope, history, business models, targeted users and funding models of the identified national, transnational and EU level platforms as well as their links to climate services and DRR platforms. These are areas where sharing knowledge and experiences would be most useful. The analysis is intended to inform owners and operators of national and transnational platforms in Europe.

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1.3.1        Scope and History

As shown in table 1.3.2 there are 14 EEA member countries that have some type of adaptation platform in place and in addition there are two transnational platforms and one at EU level.

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For various other transnational regions information is actually available on project web sites, such as EU funded Interreg projects. , (see also information on Climate-ADAPT[12]. For example there is much information provided for the Baltic Sea Region, for which a proposal for an adaptation strategy was developed and presented in 2014[13]. Also for various trans-boundary river basins climate change adaptation strategies and related information exists, such as for the Danube[14]. However such other ‘information web sites’ were not taken further into consideration in this report.

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An analysis of the scope and history of the different adaptation platform shows the driving forces behind their establishment and the temporal nature when they were launched. The analysis shows that in all cases the platforms were launched as a means of supporting adaptive action on climate change. In most cases they supported or initiated the development or delivery of national adaptation strategies or plans (see Table 1.3.2). For example, in the case of Climate-ADAPT, its origin is within the ‘White Paper Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’. It is an integral component of the EU Strategy on Adaptation (Priority 2: Better informed decision-making, Action 5) (see Table 1.3.2).

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The timing of the development and launch of these platforms is often synchronised (leading or immediately following) with the launch and implementation of such national strategies or plans (see Table 1.3.3). This is the case for 7 out of the 14 of the countries with a platform: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland.

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Table 1.3.2       Driving force behind establishing climate adaptation platforms

Adaptation Platforms

Driving Force

National

Austria

Developed as part of the participatory process to accompany and support the development of the Austrian NAS/NAP

Denmark

Initiative within the Danish Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation (2008)

Finland

Established to fulfil a perceived need to provide the research based climate change information that would be applicable in particular at the local (municipal) level

France

Launched in the framework of the French National Plan of Adaptation to Climate Change (NAPCC)

Germany

Develop and implement the German Adaptation Strategy and to identify ways towards a resilient strategy

Hungary

Created to exchange scientific information and policy on climate change and can serve as a partnership on climate policy as a forum

Ireland

One-stop web-based source information, data and resources to facilitate decision-makers in the development of adaptation plans

The Netherlands

The idea for the development of platform originated from the Delta programme and the Knowledge for Climate programme. The Delta Programme is an inter-governmental initiative, which involves the State, the ministry together with the provinces and the municipalities and is aimed to proactively protect the Netherlands against disasters. There are no links to the NAS (separate website linked to the NAS)

Norway

The platform aims to gather relevant knowledge and information about climate adaptation in one location. The portal is created mainly for planners and decision makers on local and regional level, but the information should be easily accessible and interesting for all who are engaged with what climate change will mean for the Norwegian society.

Poland

Need to support the implementation of the Polish National Adaptation Strategy – exchanging information, making information from relevant projects, reports, etc. available, and to create an official one-stop-shop for adaptation information in Poland

Spain

To reinforce the governance of the National Adaptation Plat to Climate Change (PNACC); providing a tool to exchange information and to enhance coordination among administrations and key stakeholders

Switzerland

Developed as part of the NAS to provide most relevant adaptation information and to sensitise target groups (administrative bodies on all levels and experts)

 

Sweden

Support society and citizens preparing for the consequences of climate change; increase interest and understanding of adaptation by serving as the national focal point on adaptation

United Kingdom

Gov.uk provides latest information on government action and policy on adapting to climate change within the UK. Sets out legal arrangements and includes links to key partner organisations.

UKCIP initially funded by government between 1997 and 2012 to stimulate understanding of impacts of climate change at the UK level and facilitate adaptation action

Climate Ready Support Service delivered by the Environment Agency provides tailored sector support to help the public sector and businesses in England adapt to climate change. It provides online tools and guidance through a range of partner platforms with local audiences, including Climate UK and Climate Local.

Trans-national

Alpine Region

The adaptation part of the Alpine convention website was developed in the frame of the action plan of measures for the alpine region. The C3 Alps platforms was an initiative by the C3-Alps project in response to the need to capitalise on and make available in a target group-oriented approach the increasing quantity of knowledge being funded by European and national programmes

Pyrenees

Strategic initiative of the Working Community of the Pyrenees to tackle climate change at the Pyrenean transnational bio-geographic region – to support decision making, raise awareness and capacity building

European

Climate-ADAPT

Supports and integral component of the EU Strategy on Adaptation

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Table 1.3.3       Timing associated with development of Adaptation platforms

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As depicted in Table 1.3.3, the UKCIP platform, launched in 2000 has been active the longest while the majority of the national platforms were launched after 2007. The transnational and European platforms have been available since 2011. The experience in delivering these platforms is limited with only four platforms – United Kingdom (different organisations), Germany, Austria and Denmark – having more than three years of experience. Some countries have already started to evaluate their platforms that in some cases have led to a major restructurings of their respective platform (see sub-section 2.2. under monitoring, evaluating and improving a platform). Climate service platforms within Europe and globally have been in existence for many years in numerous forms (including prior to concerns related to climate change).  Some of these were started as a result of earlier initiatives within the World Climate Programme, private sector initiatives and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Data Distribution Centre[15]). In the case of DRR, there are platforms at national, European[16] and global levels. Most of which have been implemented in response to policy initiatives at the European and global levels, such as within the UN Hyogo Framework for Action).

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1.3.2        Funding models

There are a variety of funding models supporting the development and delivery of the different adaptation platforms, related to the different legal basis and mandate of the respective platform (see table 1.3.2). A number of the national and transnational platforms were developed using project funding. For example, national project funding was used to develop platforms in Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Poland. Some platforms were also partially supported by EU funds such as through Interreg programmes for the transnational platforms for the Pyrenees and C3-Alps. In these cases, the funding has been time limited with implications for the scope of the services developed. Climate-ADAPT functional developments were and still are being supported through project funding by DG CLIMA, while the content updating and the maintenance is based on EEA staff and budget. Many of the platforms are funded by the respective ministry of the environment solely or in conjunction with the respective meteorological services (see Table 1.3.4).

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To better understand and support learning from different approaches three funding models, based on those being used by the different platforms, were identified during the EEA Expert workshop on climate adaptation platforms (23rd June 2014):

  1. Research or project driven often used for proof of concept and development stages (e.g., Austria, Ireland, Pyrenees and Alpine Region);
  2. funding based on policy support (e.g., Denmark, Norway and Sweden); and
  3. policy-mandated funding (e. g., France, Switzerland and UK; Gov.uk).

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Some platforms (e.g., Austria, Finland, Germany and The Netherlands) were developed using project funds, but are now primarily policy-support funded. Project-based funding provides mostly short-term funding. Dependence on this type of funding for operations and further development can be challenging (see section 2.1), whereas policy-supported and-mandated can provide a longer-term perspective, but the fund can be either short- or long-term. These models have not been elaborated in more detail. They have been included to help understand the implications for developing and managing adaptation platforms. More information on challenges and possible approaches regarding the funding of platforms can be found in section 2.

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Although platform development is considered as a national task, since the end of 2014, EU funding is available that can be used for the development of a platform. Potential future sources of funding at the EU-level for national and transnational climate adaptation platforms are described in the 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy with the main three identified being:

  • Climate Action under the LIFE instrument;
  • H2020 with DG CLIMA wanting to influence the 2016-2017 H2020 programme planning (focus on interfaces - information providers versus adaptation actors); and
  • Mainstreaming CCA in the EU budget, related to EU Policies and Europe 2020. 

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The European Commission has developed factsheets providing guidance on the potential for each fund to finance climate change adaptation[17].

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Climate-KIC funds adaptation projects, including adaptation platforms[18]. The approach being taken is based on recognition that difficulty in incorporating knowledge into investment decisions is due to widely dispersed information, limited understanding of involved uncertainties, and the still underdeveloped expertise of translating climate data into concrete impact chains for different sectors. This approach, focusing on businesses and innovation, is based on recognition of the need to take the available knowledge and translating it into concrete services and solutions further downstream on the required decisions and actions.

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Table 1.3.5       Funding models and sources for adaptation platforms

Adaptation Platform

Funding Source

National

Austria

Created using project funds (Ministry of Environment); updated in January 2013 using funds from the Austrian Climate and Energyfonds

Denmark

Funded by the Ministry of the Environment, maintained by the Danish Nature Agency

Finland

Originally developed with support from Life+ EU funding. Maintained jointly by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Finnish Environment Institute with substance contributions from Aalto University and other research institutes. Funding partly based on external projects for developing the portal.

 

France

Funded and maintained by Ministère de l’Ecologie du Développement durable et de l’Energie

Germany

Anpassung.net  – Created through projects funded by the Federal Ministry of the Environment; maintenance funded by UBA with the platform integrated into the Environment Federal Agency website

Hungary

Ministry of National Development

Ireland

Development stage funded by Ireland’s Environment Protection Agency with options for funding and sustaining an operational platform under exploration

Spain

Funds for development and operations provided by the OECC (budget of the Ministry of Environment) and external funding is being sought to support further development

The Netherlands

Development was funded by the Delta programme together with the Knowledge for Climate programme. These two programmes, both funded by the government, commissioned the development of the platform

Norway

Annual financial support from the Ministry of Climate and Environment

Poland

Initially funded through the KLIMADA project during which it was managed and administered by the Institute of Environmental Protection, but now the maintenance and all changes are funded by the Ministry of the Environment with the platform operating as part of the Ministry’s servers.  The platform is considered/linked to specific project funding (for updating and adding new material)

Switzerland

Platform is part of the Federal Office for the Environment website and budget

Sweden

Funding (5 years until 2015) is provided to support the Knowledge Centre with no funds specifically targeted for the portal.

United Kingdom

Gov.uk Developed, managed and funded by the UK government

UKCIP Funded by Defra until 2012 and subsequently by UKCIP and the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University. 

Climate Ready Support Service and its delivery through partner organisations is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on behalf of the UK Government.

Trans-national

Pyrenees

Funding is mainly project-based and is dependent on external funding. It also counts on funding from the 8 territories included in the Working Community of the Pyrenees.

Alpine Region

Developed by the C3-Alps project, coordinated by the Environment Agency Austria and co-funded by the Alpine Space programme through the European Regional Development – European Territorial Cooperation 2007-2013. Decision regarding long-term future financing expected in 2015.

European

Climate-ADAPT

EEA is hosting the platform while the further functional developments are funded by the European Commission. The Commission also indirectly funds content through contracts (DG CLIMA) or other EU funds (Interreg, research). The content updating is done by the EEA, supported by the European Topic Centre on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC CCA) funded by the EEA.

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