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Guidance Document

Guidelines on developing adaptation strategies


This Commission Staff Working Document from European Commission contributes to achieving the first objective of the EU Adaptation Strategy. It provides a first answer to identified barriers to the uptake of adaptation strategies at national level. It builds on and aims to make more operational the so-called Adaptation Support tool, one of the key features of Climate-ADAPT. This tool was developed together with Member States and other stakeholders during the preparation of Climate-ADAPT.

This document covers a wide spectrum of issues to be addressed when developing adaptation policy-making, from local adaptation strategies to sectoral aspects, but they also show a gap, as no resources currently target adaptation policy-making for EU Member States. The guidelines intend to advance a common understanding of important aspects relevant to any adaptation process and provide clear terms of reference on how to address the above-mentioned barriers. They highlight key principles for successful adaptation processes and deliver a common basis for cooperative adaptation activities between different actors/stakeholders. In addition, the guidelines present various approaches taken by EU Member States in order to foster knowledge transfer and lessons learnt among them.

Reference information

European Commission


adaptation barriers, adaptation process, cooperative adaptation, stakeholders' involvement

Climate impacts

Droughts, Extreme Temperatures, Flooding, Ice and Snow, Sea Level Rise, Storms, Water Scarcity


Sector Policies, Adaptation Measures and Actions, Adaptation Plans and Strategies


Agriculture, Biodiversity, Buildings, Coastal areas, Disaster Risk Reduction, Energy, Financial, Forestry, Health, Marine and Fisheries, Transport, Urban, Water management

Geographic characterisation


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