Most climate adaptation initiatives are developed by governments or by businesses, rather than to help citizens help themselves. The new approach, published in Nature Climate Change, was created by researchers from the Universities of Reading and Surrey and involves generating maps and networks that can help citizens identify solutions to the threats their communities face.


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Research Paper: Empowering citizen-led adaptation to systemic climate change risks

Abstract: The increasing impacts of climate change instigate the need for adaptation. However, most adaptation initiatives focus on actions by government or businesses, despite growing calls for communities on the frontline of climate risks to be involved in planning and selecting strategies. Here we appraise a pilot process using participatory systems mapping with citizens to identify (1) diverse threat vectors for local climate impacts and (2) context-relevant interventions to protect households and communities while (3) considering synergies and trade-offs with other socially desirable outcomes. We tested the pilot process in communities in the Lower Volta Basin in Ghana, the Assam region in India and Southern England. From participants’ perspectives, the process increased awareness of and preparedness for climate change impacts and raised essential learning points for upscaling citizen-led adaptation approaches. These include understanding multiple outcomes of interventions, barriers and enablers to implementation, and sensitivity of co-design to regional geography and socio-cultural context.


Click here to access the research paper from the Journal of Nature Climate Change

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