Collaborate to find a fair comprise

Challenge #3:

Confrontations may lead to overall reduced benefits

The policy sectors that relate to climate change adaptation, such as water, land use, agriculture and nature, start the dialogue from their sectoral perspective, and often from a particular stakeholder perspective. A change of perspective and an understanding for other interests is necessary to acknowledge different interests as legitimate, and to open space for compromises. In the adaptation dialogue, stakeholders should recognise that individually they may not be able to achieve all their original objectives. Otherwise, the dialogue could result in confrontations that may lead to overall reduced benefits.

Policy recommendation #3

Consensus building is necessary to achieve the bigger goal of an adaptive system. In this mode, the stakeholders seek to make mutually advantageous compromises about adaptation. They co-create solutions that go beyond individual objectives. This solution has added value, because it fulfils most individual interests (when win-win outcomes are not possible). Along with this comes the need to ensure that decision frameworks and funding arrangements enable fair compromises between the involved stakeholders.

Quick wins driving the vision for the future



De Staart – a neighbourhood in Dordrecht – can be developed as an attractive residential work area and at the same time as a large- scale, self-sufficient shelter. The municipality of Dordrecht organises meetings with stakeholders who have an interest in the future of De Staart. These meetings are structures according to the ‘Green Circles’ method. This starts with formulating a shared dream for the area: the future vision. This vision incorporates knowledge, wishes and interests of the parties in the circle, such as companies, residents and public and social organisations. The vision is then translated into projects that help to realize that dream. In addition, parties are identified who will benefit from the realization of the future vision. It can be interesting for those parties to invest in projects. However, not all imaginable projects can be implemented in the short term. That is why the municipality is starting with the quick- win projects, such as greening linked to sewer works, as a step on the way to an attractive and healthy neighbourhood. If the first projects are successful, it will give positive energy to tackle subsequent (more expensive) projects.



Socially vulnerable groups are often the most exposed to climate risks and those with the poorest understanding of climate and flood risk. At Kent County Council, adaptation projects carried out in the past tended to assume a level of public understanding that didn’t exist, weakening the ability to actively engage and incorporate socially vulnerable groups in adaptation measures. Work in the Medway catchment – Kent’s largest catchment – has attempted to tackle this knowledge barrier to participating in adaptation decision- making. The Medway Flood Partnership, established in 2017, brings together local people and organisations, national agencies, non- governmental organisations and community representatives to develop a Medway Flood Action Plan. Within the Plan, an inclusive approach to engagement and community involvement is key. This involves the co-design of location-specific actions, developed through consensus, for supporting communities to establish local flood forums in high risk communities and develop local resilience plans. It also involves the recruitment, training and sustained engagement of volunteer flood wardens. They helped local communities to build residents’ awareness of their individual flood risk and what they can do to prepare and respond. Over the coming years, the partnership will continue to work with communities to develop this plan further and consider the 25-year vision and the pathway to getting there.

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