What are the main climatic and socio-economic changes/stressors that will affect challenges and chances in our local area or economic sector?
In order to answer that question, four exercises will be performed to address the key issues:
- Identify your worldview, that is how you think the world will change in the future and what the likely implications of this will be on your local area (Exercise I - How might the future society look?).
- Map how the climate is likely to change in the future in your area (identify the most significant changes according to how they will influence the local area) (Exercise II - Climatic stressor mapping).
- Map the non-climatic issues that will influence vulnerability in your area and identify to what extent these stressors will aggravate or relieve the challenges and chances generated by climate change (Exercise III - Socio-economic stressor mapping).
- Assess how the most critical climate stressors would affect your local area (a more general assessment on all activities in society) or economic sector (a more in-depth analysis of the impacts on a specific activity) (Exercise IV - Local sensitivity).
We suggest you start with a half day (four hour) workshop dealing with Exercises I, II and III, which will result in a list of the most critical climate stressors affecting your local area. Then you could arrange a workshop targeting people with extensive experience of how the local economy and spatial structure has changed or is likely to change in the future to address the Exercise IV. With their in-depth knowledge of the weak and strong aspects of your area or sector, they will contribute greatly to assessing the consequences of the significant climate and socio-economic issues. The outcome from that workshop will be a list of the main the most sensitive sectors and/or activities.
Depending on how important you think non-climatic changes are for vulnerability to climate change in your local area, you may address the Exercise III in different ways. If you think non-climatic change is likely to have a minor significance in your particular application, then the potential stressors listed in the questionnaire of Exercise III can be systematically rated based on the future scenario, and climate stressors. You will try to answer whether they are likely to aggravate the problems or provide even better conditions to take advantage of opportunities. If you think non-climatic changes have a major impact on vulnerability to climate change, then we suggest you distribute the questionnaire to a wider group of respondents in order to capture the most important end users identified in Exercise A - Mapping the stakeholders. Then, use the survey results to decide on the most critical non-climatic stressors facing your local area or economic sector.