Highland is by far the largest region in Scotland, covering nearly 10,000 square miles in northern Scotland. Home to vast landscapes, diverse communities, and rich natural and cultural heritage the region is being profoundly impacted by climate change.
The Highland Adapts initiative is developing a climate risk and opportunity assessment for the region. The approach to developing the assessment reflects the principles of the partnership. The assessment will value formal data and evidence such as academic research and data provided by major organisations alongside local knowledge and lived experience from Highland communities. The assessment will be codeveloped with people from across the Highlands and will be made freely available for all.
When the Highland Adapts partnership was established in 2021, the founding partners spent time discussing the objectives and the guiding principles that would form a reference point for their work together. The Highland Adapts manager facilitated open and honest discussions that explored conflicting points of view and built consensus. The discussions were important in reaching agreement on the future direction of Highland Adapts and created space for the partners to hear and understand different perspectives and get to know each other. Establishing any new initiative requires a lot of time and effort in the start-up phase. The Highland Adapts partners have worked through different challenges including changes in personnel from founding organisations and the need to balance a huge interest and enthusiasm from stakeholders for engaging with the partnership activities and the need to focus on delivering specific pieces of work. The governance and supporting structures allow these challenges and others to be addressed collectively.