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The LRC-approach has the potential to serve as a communication and decision-support tool by creating a sense of steward- and ownership concerning existing and emergent climate-related risks, it is important to provide the whole approach in an appropriate manner. This means that the ARISE approach needs to be translated into a short, but comprehensive form and made accessible for interested practitioners and decision-makers on the local and regional level.

This guidebook enables local and regional stakeholders to draw from existing and co-design respective new iterative risk management and adaptation concepts to reduce the risks aggravated by climate change and socio-economic development and build resilience at the local level. The guidebook for the analysis and assessment of LRCs in Austria should also contribute to closing the gap between the scientific and practitioner’s DRR and CCA communities.

The guidebook consists of the main project steps described above and provides some lessons learned and insights in the case study site City of Lienz. Some of these lessons learned, e.g. the spatial delineation at the beginning of the LRC process, which laid the foundation for the following process or the compilation of stakeholders for the project, are described in the guidebook.

ARISE Guidebook for municipal level (German, 10 MB)

Abstract

The overall aim of ARISE was to develop a decision support system for informing climate-sensitive iterative risk management applicable to community levels as a key adaptation approach building on “IPCC’s Reasons for Concern”. The “IPCC’s Reasons for Concern” concept illustrates the development of future global climate change-related risks split into five categories in order to inform global mitigation policy. Having received a great deal of attention from policymakers, this integrative concept had not been tested as to its applicability to local levels for informing climate adaptation and risk management strategies and implementation. The project ARISE addressed this gap by developing and testing a generic, participatory approach organized around “Local Reasons for Concern” jointly with key stakeholders in the City of Lienz (the Tyrol, Austria). This scenario-based, pro-active risk management approach will contribute to building long-term resilience at the local level by enabling local decision-makers to identify key climate-related risks and plan effective, efficient and locally acceptable adaptation and risk management measures.

Overall research questions

  • How can the global “Burning Embers – Reasons for Concern” be adapted to the local level in Austria to serve as a decision-support tool in adaptive and iterative risk management? In which ways do the five global “Reasons for Concern” need to be altered and subdivided to meet local requirements?
  • What are the main impacts of climate change risks and socio-economic changes in the case study Lienz according to the Local Reasons for Concern (LRCs)? How are the risks and associated impacts changing over time?
  • Which approach needs to be taken to integrate the LRCs with iterative risk management tools? Which adaptation measures need to be prioritized and implemented in order to counter potentially rising risk and vulnerability levels in the City of Lienz?
  • How can the LRC framework be standardized and applied in other Settings?

Methodology and activities

In order to answer the overall research questions, user-oriented approaches in the form of hybrid methodologies (top-down and bottom-up, model-driven and participatory) were used. Interviews with various stakeholder groups in Austria (national and regional scale) and in the study site City of Lienz were conducted, and a comprehensive desk review on global, regional and national frameworks was completed. Based on this input, the generic theoretical framework and the applicatory framework for downscaling and adapting the IPCC’s global “Reasons for Concern” to the local level were developed. A workshop aimed at co-developing and co-designing socio-economic pathways for the study site was held in the City of Lienz and possible future climate indices were calculated. Additionally, realistic and implementable adaptation measures were elaborated based on the LRC findings. A selection of these adaptation measures were discussed and evaluated with local stakeholders via a multi-criteria assessment tool in an interactive workshop in March 2016. We found out, that in comparison to the IPCC’s Reasons for Concern, the LRCs concept and approach as tested for the City of Lienz well communicates local concerns not only because of the scale, but also due to associated socio-economic-pathways, which form an integral part of the LRCs. The degree of the LRC-detail makes it easier to set accurate adaptation measures.

Results and conclusions of the project

With project completion, the LRCs for the City of Lienz as well as the adaptation measures based on the LRCs were elaborated and the analysis and evaluation of these measures by local experts in the final stakeholder-workshop in the City of Lienz (March 2016) were completed. Lessons learned from the entire ARISE-project and its findings were discussed during the “gap-analysis workshop” that took place at the end of the project. Some of them, such as the spatial delineation at the beginning of the LRC-process, which laid the foundation for the following process, are part of the LRC-guidebook for practitioners. This manual, vetted by the Austrian association of municipalities, provides future users, external stakeholders or interested people with a concise overview of the entire LRC-concept and guides decision-makers and practitioners through the whole methodology developed in ARISE showing how this process can be replicated in other cities and municipalities in Austria and beyond. Among other papers, an overview journal paper reporting on the LRC approach, its testing in Lienz and generic lessons learnt for other applications within and outside of Austria is currently under development.

Outlook and summary

The cooperation between practitioners and decision-makers from the City of Lienz and the Tyrolean Regional Government with scientists from the ARISE project and from outside, contributes to closing the gap between the scientific and practitioner’s disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) communities. The LRCs have the potential to serve as a communication and decision-support tool by creating a sense of steward- and ownership concerning existing and emergent climate-related risks. This enables the local stakeholders to draw from existing and co-design respective new iterative risk management and adaptation concepts to reduce the risks aggravated by climate change and socio-economic development thus contributing to building resilience at the local level. Singling out and visualizing the most relevant climate-related risks at the municipal level by means of the LRCs constitutes a “missing link” and provides additional actionable input for local governments to choose from a breadth of available and novel adaptation measures and tailor them accordingly to their specific requirements.

Projekt duration: April 2014 – June 2016