Climate change requires adaptation and impactful action in the regions — MDI drawing up the Kymenlaakso adaptation plan

Climate change is a threat to human health and to our planet’s ecosystem more generally. The United Nations International Climate Panel IPCC published the second part of its major climate report dealing with the effects of climate change, adaptation to change and vulnerabilities, in February 2022. The main message of the report is clear: action to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions is needed right away.

Humans and nature both benefit from actions to adapt to climate change. The right actions will also reduce future externalities leading to financial loss. Adaptation requires strong political engagement as well as workable systems and design. MDI is in the process of developing an adaptation plan, commissioned by Kymenlaakso, to help the region adapt to the effects of climate change. Our partner in this work is Tapio Palvelut Oy, who specialise in forestry sector work.

In adaptation, it is first and foremost important to identify the risks associated with changing climatic conditions. Anticipation of future climatic conditions is important, for example, in relation to future requirements in respect of the built environment and infrastructure more generally as well as for the agriculture and forestry sectors. 

The first part of Kymenlaakso’s adaptation work surveys climate risks and their vulnerability factors from the perspective of different sectors of society. The aim here is to identify which climate risks and related vulnerability factors are key from Kymenlaakso’s point of view. The risk and vulnerability analysis is prepared using a five-step Indicator Based Vulnerability Assessment model. Document materials and expert views are used to form the analysis, which is then compiled through workshop work and interviews.

The second phase of the work will outline measures based on the risk and vulnerability analysis focused on reducing vulnerabilities in different sectors. Irreversible changes to the earth’s systems have already occurred, but with the right actions, their effects can be mitigated and slowed. A well-planned and executed adaptation plan can therefore reduce losses to life, biodiversity and infrastructure.

Adaptation measures are identified and aligned together with stakeholders, so that representatives from all key sectors are involved in the drafting of the measures. In addition, as part of the preparation of the adaptation plan, an event will be held for provincial municipal decision-makers and a focus group will be used to develop a follow-up model of the adaptation plan. The adaptation plan will then be published in a separate seminar.