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At NOCCA conference: connecting DRR and Climate Change Adaptation

The CBSS Secretariat is responsible for the policy dialogue in the CASCADE project (Community Safety Action for Supporting Climate Adaptation and Development),  starting in January 2019. CASCADE will seek to improve urban resilience in cities and towns, as well as overall macro-regional resilience. The expected outcome of CASCADE is to adapt existing risk assessment methodology to the climate change context and tailor it to the local level. This methodology will be used in a training course for city officials, responsible for civil protection.

To ensure effective policy dialogue within the project, it is very important for the CBSS Secretariat to build connections with relevant climate change adaptation and civil protection actors and stakeholders, across different sectors and disciplines.

To strengthen existing connections and establish new ones, the Policy Officer for PA Secure, Nina Jernberg, representing the CBSS Secretariat’s Civil Security team, attended the 5th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (NOCCA) in Norrköping, Sweden on 23-25 October 2018. Participation of the CBSS Secretariat (the Head of the CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit, Krista Kampus and the Policy Officer Valdur Lahtvee, coordinators of the EUSBSR Horizontal Action Climate also took part in the event) brought a unique perspective to the conference since the issue of security is not yet fully mainstreamed into the discussions on climate change. This was also a great opportunity to get direct feedback from end-users regarding the expectations of the project.

The Conference was introduced and opened by a series of keynote speeches. Rolf Brennerfelt, Director General of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) highlighted that “to reach a sustainable world we need to cooperate between sectors and between countries (and) … we need to work together on both mitigation and adaptation”. Per Ängquist, State Secretary for the Minister of the Environment and Energy expressed that not enough attention has been paid to climate change adaptation efforts: “We used to think that climate change was something that would not affect us, or at least that it would not harm us … after this summer with the heat waves and the wildfires, this changed … the situation was so severe that our neighbours came to help, which we are very grateful for … after this summer it is obvious that climate change is affecting us”. Elena Višnar Malinowska, Head of the Adaptation Unit at EC DG CLIMA thereafter highlighted that: “the macro-regional framework is important for the adaptation work, and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has functioned as an enabling framework … coordination across sectors has increased”.

The 5th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation offered a platform where the participants highlighted, discussed and got inspired by Nordic adaptation solutions. The aim of the conference was to increase the general knowledge of the latest climate science, to discuss how to integrate solutions for adaptation and mitigation and to exchange ideas of adaptation methods and opportunities across many sectors. In a series of thematic sessions, representatives from all levels of Nordic society discussed the concrete actions needed to overcome the most important challenges for climate adaptation.