National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

The Strategy was developed by the Belgian National Climate Commission in response to the EU White Paper on Adaptation (2009) and the Belgian National Climate Plan (2009-2013). The three main objectives of the Strategy are:
• improve the coherence of existing adaptation initiatives (evaluation of climate change impacts and vulnerability, existing measures)
• improve communication at the national, European and international level
• create a National Adaptation Plan

The Adaptation Strategy lays down the following principles and considerations to be followed during elaboration of a National Adaptation Plan (currently being developed):
• consideration of particular vulnerability of coastal areas
• need for targeted specific adaptation measures and co-operation among all relevant stakeholders
• possible side effects from adaptation measures but also potential for win-win measures
• adaptation, so far a bottom-up approach, to be further encouraged and communicated through central co-ordinated initiatives especially for monitoring and best-practice sharing
• special support is to be provided to the most vulnerable groups

Based on the above, the following objectives of a future National Adaptation Plan are proposed:
• Cluster and co-ordinate work on adaptation
• Ensure visibility for stakeholders, both in and outside Belgium
• Create awareness and raise the sensitivity of actors
• Identify and communicate dangers, gaps, risks, possibilities and synergies
• Provide policy coherence and a clear structure in which the current activities are to be positioned
• Provide basis for individual actors to take preventive measures and incorporate impacts of climate change in their private, business and public planning
• Enable co-operation and synergy between the federal, regional and local governments
• Ensure that all levels of government can fully control an effective implementation

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