1.5 Communicating adaptation and raising awareness

Successful communication of climate change adaptation is often key to ensure political and public support, strengthen public participation and encourage private sector action. For the communication to reach the intended aims, the appropriate messages in the most suitable formats for different target audiences need to be developed.

Identifying effective ways to communicate climate change and the needs for adaptation is an essential prerequisite for joint adaptation efforts among responsible authorities and further affected stakeholders should form an integral part when preparing an adaptation process.

I. Clarify the terminology

When working with other services and stakeholders, but also when informing the general public on the issue of adaptation, important terms need to be clarified in order to build a common language and reach a common understanding. Agreed international definitions could be first considered and defining key terms specific to the local characteristics could then be a task for the core team. Once agreed, a glossary could be added to the adaptation policy documents.

The Climate-ADAPT Glossary gathers a set of key references glossaries with the specialized terminology on climate change and adaptation.

II. Communicate climate change and the needs for adaptation

Communicate climate change and the needs for adaptation should be undertaken within and outside the responsible authorities in order to raise awareness, enhance acceptance and motivate to take adaptation actions.

Sharing information is, among others, an essential pre-condition for good adaptation. Information on climate change, impacts and possible adaptation actions should be bundled and refined in user-oriented ways to reach different audiences. Good practice examples from other countries might further foster the adaptation process and allows learning.

Various formats for communication exist and can prove useful such as personal consultations, internet communication/platforms and mass media to spread information on climate change, impacts and possible adaptation actions.

A national web-portal/platform gathering tailored information on climate change and climate change adaptation in the national language may reveal to be an excellent tool for disseminating relevant information - e.g. Overview of climate changd adaptation platforms in Europe. Such platform should be connected with other existing portals on sectoral policies (e.g. disaster risk reduction/management, biodiversity, water, health).

Links to existing national web-portals can be found on the Climate-ADAPT country pages.

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