The conference will bring together key policy makers and practitioners in this rapidly developing field to:
- showcase the best of emerging practice on policy and action at national, regional and local levels;
- explore the role of eco-innovation, new collaborative approaches and financial mechanisms to ensure effective and sustainable responses;
- enable the cross fertilization of ideas and experiences among participants;
- make recommendations to the EU and Member States in setting future frameworks to support adaptation measures.
The earth's climate is changing and the impacts are already being felt in Europe and elsewhere. Probable changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events will affect our economy, the health and safety of citizens and our infrastructure. In agriculture projected climate changes will affect crop yields, livestock management and the location of production.
We must therefore prepare to cope with living in a changing climate. The process is known as adaptation. Adaptation involves taking action so that we can be more resilient to our current climate, less susceptible to the impacts of future climate change and in a position to take advantage of opportunities.
Adaptation measures can be taken at national, regional and local levels and include using scarce water more efficiently, adapting building codes to future climate conditions and extreme weather events, building flood defences and raising the levels of dykes, developing drought-tolerant crops, choosing tree species and forestry practices less vulnerable to storms and fires, and setting aside land corridors to help species migrate.
Adaptation will be a long and continuous process. It will operate at all levels and require close coordination with stakeholders.
Innovative technologies and approaches to planning, financing can help assess the impact of climate change, pinpoint areas for adaptation, identify risks and exploit opportunities in order to develop an adaptation strategy for the local, regional and global level.