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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

Assessing and selecting adaptation options

4.3 How to assess cross-cutting issues, trade-offs and synergies of adaptation options?

Individual policy areas/sectors might follow different objectives, thus leading to proposals for adaptive actions that could potentially create negative side effects for another policy area/sector if not coordinated. Likewise, adaptation responses in distinct policy areas and sectors can potentially deliver synergies when mutually aligned. It is therefore advisable to coordinate adaptation across a wide range of political, legal, and institutional settings, as well as the different information-management approaches and financial arrangements.


Climate change adaptation is a cross-cutting issue that is, however, often implemented on a sectoral level. Uncoordinated action within sectors and policy areas as well as poor alignment of measures even within one sector can lead to negative mutual trade-offs, cancel each other out, or miss the opportunities to use the potential synergies. In order to improve the coordination, increase the efficiency of adaptation planning and implementation, and employ the cross-sectoral synergies, these actions are advisable:

  • Setting up of a central adaptation coordination unit as described in Q1.2
  • Establish and continuously employ an institutional arrangement for dialogue and coordination among sectoral stakeholders. See Q1.6
  • Include cross-sectoral issues, trade-offs and synergies evaluation in the assessment of adaptation measure as in Q4.1
  • Develop a common adaptation strategy linking the issues that are of relevance in each policy field. See Q5.1

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