Part 1: Highlights in Policy and Process
The following section sets out some of the highlights emerging this year in delivering the objectives and implementing the proposals and policies set out in the 2014 SCCAP. These are set out under each of the three main SCCAP themes. More detailed reporting on every policy / proposal of the SCCAP is contained within the detailed tables which are available online.
Natural Environment - Highlights in Policy and Process
Our understanding of the impact of climate change on the natural environment is improving:
The National Coastal Change Assessment due to be published will identify areas of past and anticipated future coastal erosion. The results (www.dynamiccoast.com) provide the context for current and anticipated changes associated with climate change. The data and maps collected during the project will support the flood risk management planning process, as well as land use planning and the management of infrastructure and other material and heritage assets.
The MarClim survey fieldwork has been completed and the data have been analysed and the final report published. Sites from the previous MarClim survey (10 years ago) were revisited and new sites established where the previous survey has not sampled. MarClim provides long term data on changes in the distributions of species of rocky shores and allows us to detect effects from climate change.
A range of projects are improving the capacity of the natural environment to adapt to climate change and to sustain the range of benefits that nature provides:
The Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention is working with partners to deliver a programme of urban green infrastructure projects for funding as part of Scotland's programme for European and Structural Investment Funds 2014-2020. https://www.greeninfrastructurescotland.org.uk/ Projects are required to consider how they can contribute to climate change objectives, including flood alleviation.
SNH completed a set of 8 case studies on managing National Nature Reserves which demonstrate adaptation principles for helping nature adapt to climate change. http://www.snh.gov.uk/climate-change/taking-action/adapting-to-change/helping-nature-adapt/turning-principles-into-practice/ (see also Case Studies below)
The first annual report on progress with Scotland's Biodiversity Route Map to 2020 was published in 2016. 11 of the 12 Priority Projects are on track to be completed by 2020. Notable achievements include restoration management of over 10,000ha of peatland, the target of 80% of natural features on protected sites to be in favourable or recovering condition was met, and extensive habitat improvements were delivered across Central Scotland.
The Peatland Action project actively promoted restoration of both designated and un-designated peatland habitats working to promote mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Since 2013, Peatland Action has started the restoration process on more than 10,000 hectares of degraded peatlands. The project continues in 17/18 with £8m of new funding.
The Statutory Group on Non-Native Species, chaired by SNH, is developing contingency plans for responding to the arrival of new invaders. Notable responses during the past year include: the successful interception of quagga mussels near Grangemouth; the eradication of floating pennywort from a site near Elgin; and preventing the spread carpet seasquirt in Loch Creran Special Area for Conservation.
The SNH-led Pearls in Peril LIFE+ project has undertaken much work to improve the condition and resilience to climate change of Special Conservation Areas for freshwater pearl mussels. The project comes to an end in 2017.
The SNH-led LIFE+ Project: EcoCo LIFE is implementing £2.3m of habitat management and awareness-raising habitat networks projects across the Central Scotland Green Network area to improve ecological coherence, natural capital and derived socio-economic benefits
A range of recent developments are improving our capacity in promoting tree health, including better biosecurity co-ordination ( e.g. through the GB and Scottish Tree Health Advisory Groups). The new Centre of Expertise on Plant Health is expected to be commissioned in 2017, and will work with the new Scottish Strategy on Plant Health.
A west of Scotland case study is underway in support of ClimeFish, a Horizon 2020 EU Project, which aims to identify, assess and propose management solutions to tackle the main impacts of climate change on fish production in Europe, with an overarching goal of stakeholders have a model to ensure a sustainable future for European aquatic production.
Farming for a Better Climate, the Scottish Government flagship scheme for climate change in agriculture, has published a series of case studies on the work it has done regarding climate change adaptation. (further details : case study 13)
Buildings and Infrastructure - Highlights in Policy and Process
The University of St Andrews has completed a climate impact assessment workshop with staff and senior managers from the Estates department. The assessment has helped to identify how the University's historic and modern buildings may be impacted by climate change and to identify actions that can increase resilience. (more detail: case study 3 below)
Historic Environment Scotland ( HES) have worked in close partnership with the British Geological Survey ( BGS) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) to conduct a Climate Change Risk Assessment for the 335 Properties in Care ( PICs) on the Estate. This assessment will improve decision-making for prioritising the on-going conservation and maintenance programmes, thus ensuring the long term survival of HES monuments and buildings. (more detail: study 4 below)
The Engine Shed, due to open in summer 2017, is Scotland's dedicated building conservation centre, based in Stirling. Run by Historic Environment Scotland, it serves as a central hub for building and conservation professionals and the general public. It will support Scotland in adapting the built historic environment to the impacts of climate, including the promotion of the use of traditional skills and materials in historic building maintenance and repair.
Society - Highlights in Policy and Process
Adaptation Scotland and PAS developed climate ready places lesson plans and resources for primary and secondary schools, to include in Charrette plus® spatial planning with community planning model, thereby factoring in adaptation in helping local communities plan and deliver the future of their place. (Further detail: case study 5).
Flood Risk Management Strategies were published in December 2015 The Scottish Government continue to fund Scottish Flood Forum which works directly with communities to raise awareness of flood risk and help protect families and homes.
Email: Roddy Maclean
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House