Danish Strategy for Adaptation to a Changing Climate 2008. | Land Portal

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January 2008
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The present Strategy is based on the notion that adaptation to climate change is a long-term process, and that it is still uncertain what the consequences of climate change will be and how soon they will take effect. The government will therefore initiate an information campaign and organise the area, with the aim of ensuring that climate change is incorporated into planning and development so that public authorities, businesses and citizens have the best possible basis for considering whether, how and when climate change should be taken into account.The Strategy comprises the following measures: a) targeted information campaign, including creation of a web portal operated by an information centre; b) a research strategy that will include estalishment of a coordinating body to ensure that Danish climate research focuses on the adaptation question to a greater extent; and c) establishing an organizational framework, including establishing a horizontal coordination forum for adaptation that will ensure a coordinated effort among public authorities. The Strategy includes a description of the vulnerability of those sectors where climate change is expected to have significant consequences. Focus will be on autonomous adaptation measures already underway, and what is necessary to advance this processThis Strategy focuses on what will be attainable in the individual sectors within the next 10 years. By "attainable" is meant that a measure should be scientifically, technically and socio-economically appropriate for implementation within the given period. A common feature is that a more detailed socio-economic analysis is often required before implementation of a concrete measure. Within the various sectors the following are, inter alia, relevant: 1) Coastal management: Adaptation to climate change in connection with coasts and harbours is expected to be necessary as a result of rising sea levels and more storms, if the present safety levels and operational conditions are to be maintained. New construction, dismantling or renovation of dikes or port installations may be necessary and will require knowledge of the extent of climate change and risk analyses based on the probability of extreme water levels in the lifetime of a particular construction. In addition there is a need for ongoing adaptation of rescue and storm surge preparedness as well as information on conditions significant to planning coastal constructions in future risk areas.Water supply: Adaptation to climate change with repect to drinking water might include reorganisation of water extraction, taking into account the future groundwater resources and water flow/quality of watercourses and wetlands. A precondition of planned reorganisation of water extraction wil be that goals are set such that it is possible to determine 1) how large a quantity of water really should be subject to reorganisation and 2) in which areas this will be possible. Such gradual adaptation of water extraction should start no earlier than after 2009, when the first generation of water plans under the Water Framework Directive must be drawn up.Energy supply: Energy plants have an investment horizon of 10–30 years, therefore there will be ongoing replacement and adaptation of plant capacities according to need. Changes in energy supply are expected, including greater production of renewable energy and altered consumption patterns with less heating in winter and more cooling in summer.Agriculture and forestry: A longer growing season is expected to allow for the introduction of new crops and increased yields, meaning greater Productivity in agriculture and a need for increased fertilisation. Furthermore, changed precipitation patterns are expected. Increased insect pressure is expected to lead to the use of more and different pesticides. The consequences of these changes may result in a need to adapt existing regulations with respect to environmental-policy goals, for example evaluation in 2008 of the Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment III and the Pesticide Plan 2004–2009. A changed precipitation pattern will also change drainage and irrigation requirements. An information campaign aimed at businesses and consulting services will be central to promoting autonomous adaptation. The ongoing change to close-to-nature forestry in the public forests will be reassessed in order to speed up or adjust. Voluntary conversion to natural forest management of private forests will be promoted through targeted information and the existing subsidy schemes.Fishery: It is expected that, as a result of changed fishing possibilities, commercial enterprises, will develop new equipment, fishing methods and types of boats. Adaptation and development of new management systems is expected to occur within the present international cooperation on fisheries management and marine ecosystems. There will be a need for models and databases to quantify and qualify the significance of the climate changes. It is expected that there will be a need to restructure fish and shellfish cultivation in both fresh and salt water. There is a need for an information Campaign aimed at both businesses and the administrative/political system to promote autonomous adaptation.Nature management: A number of activities are already underway to ensure a healthy and robust nature under the changed climate conditions, for example restoration of selective river valleys to natural wetlands with extensive operation and care, an effort against oxygen depletion in the sea and fragmentation of nature as well as preventing and combating invasive species. Such activities will continue to have high priority. In order to ensure that sectors' adaptation efforts take place considering natural and environmental effects, the existing regulations on assessing environmental impact should be reviewed and perhaps adjusted.Rescue preparedness: Ongoing adaptation of rescue preparedness is already underway, for example, as a result of the hurricane in 1999 and the storm surges and floods of recent years. This development will continue on the basis of observed weather events, experience from efforts undertaken and expectations for the future. As part of a political agreement on rescue preparedness after 2006, which includes the period 2007–2010, the extent of state rescue preparedness will be examined. Weather-related events will naturally be included in this examination, partly with regard to risks and threats and partly in connection with the capacity of the rescue preparedness. Since 2007, the municipalities have based rescue preparedness on local risk evaluations, which include risks caused by weather events. This means that at the same time there is an increased focus on existing national advisory efforts.Cross sectoral initiatives. There is a need for a more general and at the same time goal-oriented information campaign, partly to inspire the stakeholders faced with climate challenges and partly to get citizens to change their behaviour. In addition, there is a need for Danish climate research to include more research on the consequences of climate change and adaptation-relevant research and technological development, including socio-economic research.Targeted information campaign. The focal point of the information effort will be the establishment of a web portal for climate change adaptation. To provide Danish society the possibility of timely adaptation to climate change, it is important that easily accessible information concerning the expected changes is available.

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