100 Voices, 1 Goal: A case study in multidisciplinary collaboration to create a climate adaption plan.
Creating populations resilient to the rising threats brought on by climate change has convened together unique collaborations between academics, policymakers, stakeholders, and professionals. Interactions between these fields brings together the benefit of diverse viewpoints and approaches towards problem solving, but has also highlighted the difficulties of combining varying terminology, methodologies, and perceptions. In practice, preparing climate change adaptation plans to increase the resilience of populations has shown that these differences in viewpoints, understanding of the topic, and, at a micro scale, goals of the project, can lead to significant misunderstandings and frustrations.
This presentation aims to summarize and detail the problems faced when multiple groups of people from vastly different backgrounds work together to create these plans. Using a case study from a coastal city in British Columbia, it will demonstrate the problems that arose from differences in backgrounds of the participants and how they were overcome.
The case study will emphasize the importance of understanding all stakeholder viewpoints and ensuring a shared based of knowledge and terminology. What do you do when all four stakeholders have a different understanding of the words ‘impact’, ‘hazard’, and ‘risk’? What happens when suggested adaptation actions clash with local realities? Through a summary of the process, this presentation will focus on how this project managed to balance stakeholder desires, the rigorous expectations of academics, the political pressures faced by the policymakers, and the practical knowledge of professionals while still utilizing the unique skillset of each group and reaching the final goals.