What is the Adaptation Challenge? The Adaptation Challenge
What is the Adaptation Challenge? The Adaptation Challenge creates an opportunity for young people to take the lead in raising awareness of climate change adaptation across the North East, and establish their schools as hubs of community climate change action. Harriet Thew Climate Change Schools Project Officer August 2010 Its important to remember that: Mitigation:
protecting the climate from us Adaptation : protecting us from the climate Both are very important and should be tackled SIMULTANEOUSLY Our climate is changing We are guaranteed to see some degree of climate change as a
result of historic emissions. We are already witnessing more extreme weather events like the Cumbrian floods and the heat-waves across Europe in 2003 The Adaptation Challenge aims: To establish schools as a hub of
community climate action To prepare for expected impacts (not to reduce emissions) To take action To broaden the project into the community To share ideas with other schools and businesses To continue to lead the way on UK climate action First, we need to look at climate change projections
1.Download Module 4, Climate Change Impacts from the CCSP website 2.Read this document stating the possible effects and adaptations necessary in the North East of England www.ukcip.org.uk/images/stories/Pub_ pdfs/ne_sum.pdf 3.Look at the North East Climate Change Adaptation Study: http://www.adaptne.org/ Past experience can no longer provide a reliable guide to the climate we can expect in the future Assess your future (and current) vulnerabilities to extreme weather
For example, how might your school or local community be affected by: Flooding? Drought? Rising summer temperatures? Sea Level Rise? How might biodiversity be affected? What about tourism and recreation? . Climate Change Adaptation involves: Taking action to understand the likely impacts of climate change or raise adaptive capacity and
Physically preparing for these impacts taking adaptive action Raising Adaptive Capacity e.g: Raising awareness of our baseline climate Investigating and addressing our vulnerabilities (existing and future) Looking at UKCIP projections for our regions climate to 2050 Outlining ways in which we can protect our communities Recognising potential opportunities Taking Adaptive Action e.g:
Making physical changes to buildings and infrastructure in a flexible and creative way - from raising coastal defences to creating shade for classrooms Its a Challenge! You may discover that people are reluctant to adapt due to current financial pressures. Adaptation is sometimes seen as a luxury rather an a necessity, or something to put off. However: 1. Adaptation doesnt have to be costly, especially if it is done as part of other works 2. Taking action now will cost less than what we will have to
spend later if we dont. 3. Adaptation takes time 4. Small steps can make a BIG difference In 2009-10, eight Climate Change Lead Schools began inspirational Adaptation Challenge projects: Broadway East First School Gosforth Bydales Technology College Marske Conyers School Yarm Gurney Pease Primary School Darlington Richard Avenue Primary School Sunderland St Annes and Bill Quay Schools Gateshead The Grove Primary Consett See Module 6 on Lead Schools site for further details of their projects In 2009-10, eight Climate Change Lead Schools began some
inspirational Adaptation Challenge projects: Their adaptation activity to date includes: Creation of shaded outdoor classrooms to cope with rising summer temperatures Planting trees to reduce surface water flooding, to cope with more frequent high intensity intensity rainfall Creation of biodiversity gardens for the future future to provide habitat for struggling species Community events to raise awareness of climate change impacts Creation of a community adaptation information centre. Canopies in playgrounds for shade and to reduce heat and glare in classrooms Collecting and using rain-water to prepare for future droughts Pupil-led whole school campaigns to encourage children to wear sun hats and sun tan lotion on hot days Child-led research on how schools in other countries deal extreme weather conditions Production of leaflets to inform the local community about how to prepare for flooding and heat-waves Drama productions, games, songs and quizzes about climate change adaptation
Community events to spread the message to a wider audience A few examples: Flooding The Environment Agency website has maps showing river and tidal risk areas. Its important to also think about surface water and drainage Actions could include: Moving equipment and materials upstairs/elsewhere Signing up to Flood Warnings Direct Door barriers and Floodsacs Evacuation plans Moving power sockets
Flood Kits Sharing facilities with other schools Drainage upgrades if part of other works Impacts on local community and business Flood Wardens Working with local business and farms Contact with recently flooded schools A few examples: Extreme Temperatures Likely to impact most
schools Measures to increase shade (eg screens, tree planting) Outside working undercover? (underground?) Case studies from overseas Uniform changes Natural ventilation, air movement improvements Dont forget about the other Impacts:
Water shortages Wildfire Storm damage Power cuts Severe snowfall or ice (though less frequent) Transport problems These can be difficult to address, but careful planning and taking action to reduce impacts can make a big difference Local adaptation projects Find out whats going on locally. It may be that your Local Authority, or other organisations
such as the Environment Agency , National Parks, Groundwork, or Wildlife Trusts have projects running in your area which address some impacts of climate change which you could get involved with. There also may be businesses locally who have already started to prepare themselves for the impacts of climate change. If not, encourage them to follow your lead! Is your school already starting to adapt? Spread the word! Ofsted says: With their central locations, facilities and extensive networks,
schools can act as hubs of learning and catalysts for change in their local communities. Focusing on local challenges and finding solutions to them gives pupils the opportunity to learn and helps to strengthen local relationships. It also allows them to experience how decisions are made at first hand, and to develop applied skills that complement classroom study. Ref: Ofsted, To sustainability and beyond Inspecting and reporting on progress in sustainable development. June 2010, p.15
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