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Preparing the ground for adaptation Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change Identifying adaptation options Assessing adaptation options Implementation Monitoring and evaluation

Preparing the ground for adaptation

1.5 What initial information do I need to collect?

Adaptation policy development and implementation should be based on evidence information. When starting to plan for adaptation, a collection of all potentially relevant information should be undertaken. Act now despite of uncertainties in climate predictions.


This step includes identifying existing work on actual and potential future climate change-related effects, ongoing adaptation activities and good practice examples within or outside the urban area.

Identifying current and future climate change impacts

When starting the process of climate change adaptation planning, a first screening of existing work on current or future possible climate change related effects in the short, medium and long term should be done. A broad first overview on possible climate change related effects will help to trigger the process and develop a case for adaptation, as well as provides a basis for a more in-depth analysis at a later stage. In addition, it helps to foster the discussion on adaptation policy relevant aspects such as objectives, priority sectors, vulnerable groups etc. There might be studies and assessments carried out for the city or the larger surrounding area, climate datasets, and statistical accounts of past weather-related natural disasters and their impacts. Several sectors/themes might be affected and sectoral analyses might have been carried out by sectoral associations, consultancies, or single public entities. The insurance sector is highly advanced at undertaking risk assessments and could be approached for cooperation. See also STEP2 Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change.

Information about ongoing adaptation activities

Adaptation should not be performed in isolation. Relevant instruments and ongoing actions already in place in an urban area should be identified, such as disaster risk prevention, biodiversity protection or land use planning policies. In addition, existing national, relevant regional or sectoral adaptation strategies/plans in the country should be identified.

This can be done in close cooperation with colleagues from other municipal authorities and affected stakeholders with the following guiding questions to help identify ongoing activities relevant for adaptation:

  • Have you ever been confronted with the topic of climate change or adaptation in your work?
  • Have projects or studies on the effects of climate change been conducted on behalf of your organisation or department or are such studies planned?
  • Are you aware of studies or projects on the topic of climate change or adaptation from other sources (universities, other research institutions, governmental ministries, other states, etc.) that are important for your field of work?
  • Are there measures already in place that contribute to adaptation to climate change even if they are not specifically identified as adaptation measures?
  • Have targeted adaptation measures already been implemented?
  • Are there existing tools, strategies, processes etc. that are important or could be used for adaptation to climate change?
  • What networks or initiatives relevant to adaptation are already active or could be used for adaptation?

Good practice examples:

Adaptation practices that work well in one urban area can usually be transferred to tackle similar situations in other urban areas. However, the performance of individual measures may depend on the scope of the problem and the specific scale of implementation. Making use of existing information on good adaptation practices and experiences (i.e. Climate-ADAPT case studies that can be found in Q 3.2) can also optimise individual resource and effort management.

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