Highland Adapts: Regional Adaptation Partnership

The Highland Adapts initiative is co-developing a climate risk and opportunity assessment for the region with people from across the Highlands that will be freely available and is based on both research and lived experience from Highland communities.

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Our story

The Highland Adapts partnership was set up in 2021 and brings communities, businesses, land managers and public sector together to facilitate transformational action towards a prosperous, climate-ready Highland.

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.

Our advice

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.

Our metrics

We know the climate is changing both in Highland and around the world, with changes predicted to continue intensifying in the future. Our stories and lived experiences of weather and climate across Highland will provide the evidence needed to better understand the climate risks and opportunities that we may face over the coming decades. Success in this current phase of collecting stories will mean that the diverse range of voices in Highland have been captured, and that a conversation has started about how our region must adapt to build resilience for the future.
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This is how the temperature in Highland is changing.
Our story map collects stories of how weather and climate impact people.
It is vital that everyone gets involved.