Update on the climate change focused work of Highland Adapts to be presented to Council this week

Highland Adapts, a project which brings local people, businesses, land managers and the public sector together to take collaborative action to adapt to our changing climate will present its latest report to Highland Council members this week. 

The project's Principal Project Manager will provide members of Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group with information on the place-based partnership's approach to climate change adaptation on Friday (28 January 2022).

Among the report highlights are the Climate Action Town workshops in Alness & Invergordon in partnership with Architecture and Design Scotland and the North highland and Islands Climate Hub.

These workshops are focused on taking a place-based approach to support these communities to identify opportunities to take climate action.

The Highland Adapts team has also been working with Tyndall Centre for Climate research on their OpenClim project, to scope out the Highland Climate risk assessment.

And significantly, a new Highland climate business team is about to meet for the first-time next week to establish how Highland Adapts can take a collaborative, partnership approach to get Highland businesses climate ready and to net zero.

Highland Adapts Principal Project Manager, Emma Whitham, said: “The Highland Adapts initiative brings our communities, businesses, land managers and public sector together to facilitate transformational action towards a prosperous, climate-ready Highland.

“The governance structure and model for Highland Adapts has now been agreed and is based on the principle of shared responsibility with clear channels of communication and domains of accountability to support a collective journey towards meaningful transformation.”

She added: “It is dynamic, without rigidity, allowing space to grow, adapt and be responsive.”

Chair of the Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group, Cllr Trish Robertson, said: "It is encouraging to note the positive response and willingness to participate from organisations and individuals pan-Highland."

The various thematic teams have been populated with partners from a wide range of organisations across the region who wish to take a collaborative place-based, community-led approach to climate change action.

The Programme Board have welcomed the positive response and willingness to participate from organisations and individuals pan-Highland. It has nine members with representatives from Highland Council, NHS Highland, NatureScot, Forestry & Land Scotland, Changeworks, Zero Waste Scotland, HIE, Highland Climate Hub, and Sniffer. This Board is the strategic decision-making body that provides general direction and support and ensures the Partnership remains true to its purpose and principles.

Whilst significant progress has already been made in respect of setting up the Highland Adapts initiative, the coming months are vital as efforts to increase levels of community engagement, deliver the communication strategy and finalise the risk assessment scope to support funding applications to deliver a full risk assessment over the coming year, are all ramped up.

26 Jan 2022