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Highland project to present report on place-based approaches to tackle climate change

By Niall Harkiss

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Cllr Trish Robertson
Cllr Trish Robertson

A new Highland climate business team is about to meet for the first-time next week to establish how Highland Adapts can take a collaborative, partnership approach to make Highland businesses climate ready and to net zero.

Highland Adapts, a project which aims to bring local people, businesses, land managers and the public sector together to take collaborative action to adapt to the changing climate will present its latest report to Highland Council members this week.

In the report, the project's principal project manager will provide members of Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group with information on the place-based partnership's approach to climate change adaptation on Friday, January 28.

Also included are the Climate Action Town workshops in Ross towns Alness and Invergordon, run in partnership with Architecture and Design Scotland and the North Highland and Islands Climate Hub.

These workshops are focused on taking a place-based approach to support these communities to identify opportunities to take climate action.

The Highland Adapts team has also been working with Tyndall Centre for Climate research on their OpenClim project, to scope out the Highland Climate risk assessment.

Highland Adapts principal project manager, Emma Whitham, said: “The Highland Adapts initiative brings our communities, businesses, land managers and public sector together to facilitate transformational action towards a prosperous, climate-ready Highland.

“The governance structure and model for Highland Adapts has now been agreed and is based on the principle of shared responsibility with clear channels of communication and domains of accountability to support a collective journey towards meaningful transformation.”

She added: “It is dynamic, without rigidity, allowing space to grow, adapt and be responsive.”

Chair of the Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group, councillor Trish Robertson, said: "It is encouraging to note the positive response and willingness to participate from organisations and individuals pan-Highland.

"The various thematic teams have been populated with partners from a wide range of organisations across the region who wish to take a collaborative place-based, community-led approach to climate change action.

"The programme board have welcomed the positive response and willingness to participate from organisations and individuals pan-Highland. It has nine members with representatives from Highland Council, NHS Highland, NatureScot, Forestry & Land Scotland, Changeworks, Zero Waste Scotland, HIE, Highland Climate Hub, and Sniffer. This Board is the strategic decision-making body that provides general direction and support and ensures the Partnership remains true to its purpose and principles.

"Whilst significant progress has already been made in respect of setting up the Highland Adapts initiative, the coming months are vital as efforts to increase levels of community engagement, deliver the communication strategy and finalise the risk assessment scope to support funding applications to deliver a full risk assessment over the coming year, are all ramped up."

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