The first CLIM-RUN stakeholder workshops
Clare Goodess, UEA, England
Stakeholder engagement and participation is central to the success of CLIM-RUN. Thus the first round of stakeholder workshops held between May and December 2011 have played a vital role in achieving the project aims and objectives during the first year. Generally speaking, they are considered to have been effective and appropriate mechanisms for stakeholder interaction and we are pleased that many stakeholders have agreed to continue and extend their participation in the project.
The first round of stakeholder workshops held between May and December 2011 have played a major and critical role in the early stages of CLIM-RUN and in completion of the first two key stages: stage setting and mapping the issues. A total of 11 workshops were held in Tunisia, Savoie, Croatia, Cyprus, Athens, Morocco, Spain and Venice and several non-CLIM-RUN events were used as additional opportunities for interaction with renewable energy stakeholders. Most of the workshops were held in the relevant local language and comprised a mix of presentations by climate scientists and stakeholders, together with ample opportunity for ‘roundtable’ discussion.
As well as providing an opportunity to present the CLIM-RUN project and the concept of climate services and an overview of state-of-the-art in climate modelling, observations and impacts analysis on seasonal/decadal/centennial timescales, the main objectives of the workshops were:
- To better understand who are the climate services stakeholders
- To begin to define what stakeholders need/want from climate services
- To agree mechanisms for maintaining ongoing collaboration and interaction
An important mechanism for providing the ‘who’ and ‘what’ information was a perception and data needs questionnaire. The full questionnaire is divided into the following sections:
- Your institution/organisation
- Risk perception and current use
- Your perspective on climate services
- Data requirements
- Handling uncertainties
It was designed to be used flexibly and was indeed done so. Different sections were circulated to and completed by stakeholders before, during and after the workshops. Where necessary, it was translated into local languages and questions tailored to the particular case study. An online Italian version was produced (see the article on the Veneto and Friuili Venezia Giulia case study in this Newsletter), for example, and in other cases parts of the questionnaire provided the basis for structured one-to-one interviews with stakeholders.
In order to move to the next key stage of CLIM-RUN (iterative consultation and collaboration, which will be ongoing until the planned second round of stakeholder workshops in February 2013), during the first few months of 2012, the expressed user needs have been ‘translated’ into specific products, information and tools. In particular to allow:
- Production of new examples of products and outputs (maps, figures, datasets etc)
- Identification of key data/output gaps and strategies for tackling them
- Identification of priorities
- Identification of requests which are ‘out of scope’ of CLIM-RUN or impossible to meet currently
- Definition of new modelling tools required.
It is evident, and not surprising, that user needs vary both between and within sectors, depending on the particular focus and responsibilities of the particular stakeholder/actor (e.g., whether they are more involved in operational issues or longer-term strategic issues relating to policy and/or infrastructure).
The most common requests are for temperature and precipitation and indices calculated from these variables, together with other meteorological variables such as wind (speed, direction and ‘consistency’), snow, humidity and cloud cover. Radiation (in particular, DNI – direct normal irradiance) is important for the energy (solar – PV and CSP) sector. Extremes of temperature, rainfall and wind are also requested for all case studies. For the coastal tourism case studies of Tunisia and Croatia, information about sea bathing water temperature is requested, and for the Tunisian and Venice case studies, information about sea level rise, storm surge and wave heights. Information about local winds (Bora and Scirocco) is requested for Croatia (tourism and energy) and there is an interest in dust storms for the energy case studies and the Tunisia tourism case study. The tourism case studies have expressed an interest in biometeorological comfort indices (based on temperature and/or humidity), as have some of the energy case studies (in the context of electricity demand for cooling). In general, the requests and needs are related to climate information, rather than to wider environmental or socio-economic data (though the importance of non-climate issues in decision making was raised in all workshops).
In general, there is more interest in the near-term future (the next 20-30 years and the next 50 years at most) rather than the longer-term (end of century). Thus there appears to be strong interest in decadal timescales and in many cases, also an interest in seasonal forecasting (though with some questions concerning current reliability).
Work on producing new examples and the other bullet points above is now in hand. This Newsletter outlines some work relating to wind for the renewable energy case study, and operational forest fire risk forecasts are now being produced for Greece (see http://cirrus.meteo.noa.gr/forecast/cfwi/cfwi.htm), for example. At the same time, a range of methods and approaches – many suggested by stakeholders – are being used to facilitate continuing stakeholder engagement. These include provision of examples, briefing notes and other web-based material – as well as this Newsletter.