In the Adaptation research theme we analyse, assess and design strategies and plans to cope with impacts of global change. Our research covers dynamics in long term planning (adaptation turning points, adaptation pathways), innovations in coastal management (nature-based, multifunctional flood defences, building with nature), monitoring and analysis of real-life experiments (climate proofing of catchments) and development of hydro- and meteorological information services.
Climate change and socio-economic developments are inextricably accompanied by a high degree of complexity and uncertainty. To plan for uncertain future conditions requires the ability to adapt to sudden changes. Adaptation pathways are a way to achieve this: a promising decision-focused approach which incorporates flexibility into decision-making by planning for multiple possible futures.
This sub-theme explores the potential of nature and natural processes for adaptation, and in particular on adaptation of flood defences. Interesting issues are the long-term performance of such nature-based adaptations in a changing climate, the balance between co-benefits and trade-offs, and the implications for management and policy development. This requires an interdisciplinary systems approach.
Agriculture contributes significantly to global warming through large scale GHG. At the same time agriculture systems are vulnerable to climate change. Climate-smart agriculture aims to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change through an integrated approach, focusing on: (1) sustainable increase of agricultural production (2) adaptation of food security systems to climate change; and (3) reducing GHG from agriculture.
Multiple sectors are increasingly aware how vulnerable our society is to the impacts of climate change. Following the rapid increase of monitoring of climate data there is a need to transform these into climate information services. This includes ICT-tools, relevant products and aligned services such capacity building, education and networking to benefit society at all scales. To achieve that, the human component needs also to be taken into account to deliver research-based, tailor-made water & climate information services.