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Change Makers: Climate Adaptation with the Bioregional Learning Centre


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March 4, 2024

February’s online Change Makers meeting saw a great turnout for our discussion on Climate Adaptation with the Bioregional Learning Centre (BLC).

The evening began with a presentation from Isabel Carlisle and Bridie Kennerley, introducing the concept of climate adaptation, some of the key research in the area, and BLC’s plans for launching a climate adaptation strategy for the South Hams.

In summer, BLC will be leading a learning journey for councillors and change-leaders. This will offer participants the opportunity to visit areas where adaptation work, plans and opportunities exist across the district, learning together about how we can move forward.

This learning will be developed into an exhibition around adaptation, with a focus on civil society and the ability of local communities to be first responders. More information will be coming soon via SusSH and BLC on the learning journey and how to get involved.

Isabel offered a wide context for climate change within the idea of a constantly shifting planet across deep time. She also brought up the idea of ‘positive tipping points’ – the small interventions that can ultimately trigger and speed up change across systems.

Bridie introduced the recently published Climate Adaptation Strategy for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which identifies five key themes for climate impact across the region and sets out a five-year Strategic Adaptation Plan, as well as a short-term Action Plan.

The BLC learning journey will focus broadly on five themes: Water; Food; Human Health; Local Environment; and Energy & Technology. During the second half of the evening, participants moved into breakout rooms to share their knowledge, thoughts and questions on climate adaptation through the lens of these themes.

We heard many examples of climate change impacts that attendees had already noticed, from decreasing insect populations and warmer winters, to increasing storms and flooding. There was interest in looking to other cultures and periods of history for dealing with temperature changes, disease, and agriculture possibilities. Soil health, regional food security, marine blue carbon opportunities, education, and local solutions for composting, surface water runoff and rainwater harvesting were some of the other topics touched on.

Participants also discussed some of the local climate adaptation responses they were aware of, including flood response preparations, rainwater harvesting, local food schemes, agriculture, retrofitting and community power schemes.

Find the presentation here. If you have any questions about BLC’s climate adaptation work, email