Adaptation in the Outer Hebrides: A Community Planning Partnership-led response

Project On-going
Date added: 09/07/2020

Adaptation Scotland is supporting the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership in developing climate change adaptation actions, with an initial focus on evidence gathering and community engagement.

In June 2019, the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership (OHCPP) set up a Climate Change Working Group tasked with improving understanding of climate change in the Outer Hebrides, building collaboration across organisations and developing plans and priorities to embed in the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP).

Adaptation Scotland has worked with the Climate Change Working Group to develop a project plan, and identify a set of key aims and principles for this work. Central to these are:

  • Acknowledging that the Outer Hebrides are not a singular ‘place’; it is important that this work takes account of the many varied communities, places and landscapes that make up the islands, and
  • Ensuring that local communities, particularly vulnerable groups, are continuously engaged so that local knowledge and experience is valued and used to guide the project’s development.

Taking place over the next 18 months, there are three main phases to this project:

Phase 1 (July – Nov 2020): Background information and evidence gathering to increase understanding about how the Outer Hebrides are being impacted by climate change. Key tasks include climate impact interviews with OHCPP partners, a wider call for evidence/literature review, and initial community engagement activities.

Phase 2 (Dec 2020 – May 2021): Reviewing the evidence and conducting a risk assessment to identify key climate risks for the Outer Hebrides.

Phase 3 (May 2021 – end 2021): Developing specific adaptation objectives, outcomes and actions for inclusion in the LOIP. These might include ‘quick win’ opportunities to mainstream adaptation into existing plans, policies and strategies, or more transformative actions that move away from ‘business as usual’.

Next Steps

OHCPP partners are about to begin conducting climate impact interviews, and work is underway to support the scoping of initial options for community engagement - in particular what this may look like in a post-Covid setting. A wider call for evidence will be issued in the coming months, and partners are also identifying additional resource to support the project.