Mission and Approach
National interest and international applicability were important criteria in prioritising efforts in knowledge development and innovation within the Knowledge for Climate programme. Many adaptation measures have a spatial dimension.
This makes the implementation of adaptation measures complex as:
- various sectors need to jointly design effective and efficient solutions, with more emphasis on adaptive development than on the rigid maintenance of spatial plans
- the solutions, in different areas and at different scales, must provide an effective answer at the scale level in which climate change has an effect
- costs, benefits and risks should be spread equally i) between present and future generations, ii) between governmental, public and private organisations and citizens and iii) at the international level between various countries
The chance of producing successful and feasible adaptation strategies is considerably greater if there is good cooperation between all relevant stakeholders (governmental organisations, commercial parties and academic institutes) and if the development of knowledge is actively demand-driven. It is important that the integrated application of expertise from water and environmental management, climate research, spatial planning and the related natural and social sciences takes place, independent of demand.
The choice was therefore made in the Knowledge for Climate research programme to:
- first focus on a limited number of vulnerable areas, or hotspots, and regional knowledge programme lines through an integrated, multi-stakeholder and participative approach when adaptation strategies were developed
- establish a Climate Knowledge Facility to focus on the more generic long term knowledge issues
- actively participate in knowledge transfer so that the knowledge generated through the Knowledge for Climate programme were available both in the Netherlands and internationally
The research programme therefore worked with both centralised (the Climate Knowledge Facility and the Knowledge Transfer, including international hotspots) and decentralised programme lines (the national hotspots).