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Regional climate change impact assessments bridge the global and local, and can enlist local decision-makers in direct and culturally appropriate ways. Regional assessments help local leaders see what the future holds for the things their populations care about, understand the decisions they will need to make, and support their public communication. In addition, local knowledge and monitoring are required to identify the uncertainties and critical triggers of the climate system and anticipate the impacts.

Each region has a unique combination of interacting environmental, economic, and social factors, and its own ways of reaching decisions. Local participation is essential, as is communicating in terms local people understand. To earn the trust of local populations, each region should design and carry out its own assessments, with international support but not direction.

Knowledge Action Networks that focus on specific regions and impacts can link the global science, technology, and policy communities to local initiatives. These are sponsored social networks connecting the generators of pertinent knowledge with local decision makers. Modern information techniques can ensure good communication within and between the global, regional, and local levels.

Knowledge Action Networks create a two-way flow of information, knowledge and methods between local communities, scientists, opinion leaders and decision makers, and their regional, national and global counterparts. Different networks will have different spatial scales depending on their particular situations, and may also differ in the temporal horizons of their concerns and actions.  Flexibility is required to enable Knowledge Action Networks to find their most appropriate scales of action.

 Their functions should include:

  • Understanding ongoing natural and social impacts of climate change. 
  • Characterizing the risks of future climate change to the things local communities care about.
  • Leveraging existing resources and programs.
  • Providing information flows to ensure that interrelated decisions can be made at the global, regional and local levels.
  • Building capacity, by filling gaps in available information, by stimulating local analytical capabilities, by providing models and observations generated elsewhere, by sharing best practices, and by promoting general social resilience.
  • Translating scientific knowledge and data into locally understandable and useable form.
  • Communicating the need for and nature of adaptation actions in culturally appropriate way.
  • Promoting the development by the international community of technical systems that can be applied to or operated at the local level.
  • Relaying local knowledge to the regional, national and international communities. 
  • Supporting local leaders as they implement adaptation actions.


Current Projects:

  

Resources: 

Knowledge Action Networks: Connecting Regional Climate Change Assessments to Local Action
by Charles F. Kennel and Sally Daultrey

  
   
   

For more information, please contact:

Kim McIntyre
SSI Project Manager
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P: (858) 822-1483

Kristin Blackler
SSI Project Manager
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P: (858) 534-8372