Supporting public sector collaboration for adaptation

We were delighted to be joined by over 70 participants for the Adaptation Scotland’s Public Sector Climate Adaptation Network at our recent gathering. The Network is made up of public bodies who work together to benchmark their progress against the Adaptation Capability Framework and identify and share learning on climate change adaptation.

The latest gathering was held in Edinburgh with around half of the attendees there in person, and half joining online from around Scotland. Organisations represented included local authorities, universities and colleges, infrastructure providers, and other public bodies.

The first session from the ECCI’s Adaptation Community of Practice session looked at the challenges faced by the Netwok in implementing adaptation within their organisations, and what was preventing change from happening. Its breakout discussions were centred on what a well-adapted Scotland would look like and what needs to change or improve in organisations and communities for this to happen.

Harper Loonsk, Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator at Highland Adapts who attended online found this session brought some interesting discussion amongst attendees:

“It was interesting to have different perspectives and points coming through from those working across Scotland and to see where different minds went with the same questions. I find the network helpful to connect with people outside of the Highlands and to keep up to date on what is going on across the country.”

There were also updates from the Scottish Government on the National Adaptation Plan draft (SNAP3) with the opportunity for feedback from participants. The public consultation remains open until 24th April.

Three members of the network – Police Scotland, Scottish Parliament, and Creative Scotland – shared their experiences of implementing adaptation measures at their organisations.

Police Scotland gave an overview of how adaptation is being incorporated into every aspect of its work from embedded it with its staff to reviewing its buildings and fleet vehicles, as well as tackling environmental hazards such as increased tick prevalence.

The Scottish Parliament outlined the journey it had gone on undertaking a risk assessment through the framework and learning from previous experiences of extreme weather events.

Creative Scotland shared how adaptation is being incorporated into the organisational culture and the work being delivered through it.

Looking back over the day Maureen Lynch, Environment and Sustainability Advisor at the Scottish Parliament said:

“Being part of the network is great for building connections, learning about the latest developments in Adaptation, as well as a space to ask for advice and share progress which enables public sector bodies to support each other on our adaptation journeys.”

The Network continues to expand, and it was great to have some new members with us.

Laura Burnett, Climate Change Adaptation Technical Lead at Scottish Water, joining the Network for the first time in her new role at Scottish Water, said:

“Attending PSCAN has resulted in many opportunities for collaboration, be that in place-based adaptation work, or shared learning in protecting front-line emergency response workers. I was struck by the curiosity, support, and knowledge of those in the room.”

We’re looking forward to our next gathering later in the year with more opportunities to share learning and advice and make connections with those going through their own adaptation journeys. To find out more about the network and how to join visit its webpage here.