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EEA Publishes Guiding Principles for Adaptation

8 November 2010: The European Environment Agency (EEA) of the EU has released a technical paper titled "Guiding principles for adaptation to climate change in Europe," which aims to support adaptation processes for a wide range of situations and actors, as a common basis for cooperative adaptation activities.

The guiding principles include to: initiate adaptation; ensure commitment and management; build knowledge and awareness; identify and cooperate with relevant stakeholders; work with uncertainties; explore potential climate change impacts and vulnerabilities and identify priority concerns; explore a wide spectrum of adaptation options; prioritize adaptation options; modify existing policies, structures and processes; avoid maladaptation; and monitor and evaluate systematically. The paper illustrates three practical examples for better discussing the implementation of the guiding principles: Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project, UK; regional adaptation in Dragør, Denmark; and integrated urban and spatial development in Hamburg, Germany.

The guiding principles build on a literature review, a comparison of national adaptation strategies and inputs from experts representing local and European decision makers, governmental institutes, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business organizations and research institutes, covering a variety of climate-sensitive sectors, such as civil protection, energy, forestry, health management, biodiversity, tourism and water management. [The Guiding Principles]