Saturday, January 28, 2012

A climate change risk assessment and adaptation plan

EGov Monitor via Natural England (UK): Differences in the speed with which species are adapting to climate change are an increasing threat to the functioning of ecosystems. This is just one of the findings of Natural England’s Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Plan published today.

...The Climate Change Act 2008 introduced a new power for the Secretary of State at Defra to direct providers of public services to prepare reports on how they are assessing and acting on the risks and opportunities arising from a changing climate. Natural England is voluntarily reporting under this framework.

....An important conclusion is that the threats will not be uniform and there are some areas in which multiple risks appear likely and my interact. These include coastal areas with soft coastlines such as dunes, and coastal wetlands; freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands; upland and lowland peatland; historic parklands and other woodland areas, and high upland areas. This finding reinforces the view that wetland, montane and coastal systems appear particularly vulnerable in the short term.

To address the threats we have identified, a five year Adaptation Plan has been developed, with specific commitments for different areas of our work. The plan is based on three principles;
  • An adaptive management approach - measures will be regularly reviewed and lessons learnt for future work;
  • An ecosystem approach - we will consider the full range of ecosystem services a healthy natural environment provides to people
  • Broad delivery partnerships to safeguard and enhance environmental benefits, involving government agencies, local authorities, non-government organisations, land managers and local community groups...
A view of the English countryside--Seave Green viewed from the descent of Cold Moor, shot by Scott Rimmer, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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