Research programme and themes
Climate change is one of the major environmental issues for the coming years, both regionally and globally. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) writes that most of the global warming in the past 50 years is caused by human activities. The Netherlands are expected to face climate change impacts on, amongst others, land and water use and therefore on spatial planning.
At stake is to look for opportunities for an emission low (re)development of our spatial infrastructure, to enhance land-use opportunities with respect to sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, to increase adaptive capacity in the management of, amongst others, agriculture, natural resources and water, and to enhance the protection of our infrastructure and thus the safety of our people.
Although the co-dependency of spatial planning and climate change has largely been accepted, spatial planners and the climate change community have had mostly isolated (research) agendas so far. A major goal of the programme "Climate changes Spatial Planning" is to enhance joint-learning between those to communities and people in practice within spatial planning. The programme aims to generate internationally competitive scientific results and to provide a knowledge base that interactively supports practitioners on how to cope with climate change. The mission of the programme is to introduce climate change and climate variability as one of the guiding principles for spatial planning in the Netherlands. The programme recognises that the benefits of climate research arise from the application of its findings in land-, water and nature management.
Examples of addressed scientific objectives:
1. Climate scenarios
The theme Climate scenario's covers the role of terrestrial, atmospheric and oceanic processes in the climate system, and the construction of specific, tailor-made climate change scenarios for different sectors. It aims to improve our understanding of the climate system by supporting measurements and modelling of vital climate system processes. Climate scenarios, time series and (paleo-) reconstructions are developed and tailored to support (cross) - sector vulnerability studies, adaptation studies and spatial planning policies.
2. Mitigation Research is focussed on Mitigation strategies with opportunities and consequences for land use and land management. It is a major aim to obtain a clearer picture regarding greenhouse gas emissions or sequestrations related to forestry, nature and agriculture systems. The implications of renewable energy for spatial planning, such as bio-energy, are also a major research topic in this theme.
3. Adaptation The CcSP programme introduces a 'climate proofing' approach for Adaptation from a regional and sector perspectives. Special attention is paid to sectors and regions such as transport, nature conservation and the Rhine river basin. The idea is to focus research on combinations of infrastructural, financial and institutional adaptation strategies.
4. Integration The projects under the theme 'Integration' are meant to integrate activities within the former three themes with the aim to generate comprehensive decision support frameworks for policy making. The theme also enhances consistency across the whole programme.
5. Communication The main objective of the theme 'Communication' is to allow a large spectrum of stakeholders to participate in the research through a dialogue-type of participative setting in all main stages of the programme. When the stakeholders and other key target groups are involved, the practical knowledge of the stakeholders can be used in formulating of the research questions and hence to increase the practical applicability of the research results