Climate change is reshaping our lives, culture, and public health in profound ways. Adapting and responding to its impacts must happen urgently, and must involve communities in new, more participatory ways.
This report from WSP and the Helen Clark Foundation highlights a unique opportunity for positive social and economic transformation through climate adaptation. It stresses the importance of inclusive adaptation strategies that respect the voices of those most affected - aiming for urban regeneration, socio-economic development, and, above all, equitable and just outcomes for all.
The report outlines principles and tools for a more meaningful approach in engaging communities - emphasising transparency, inclusiveness, and handling uncertainty in climate change responses.
Through engaging case studies, the report showcases best practices and innovations - from iwi-led adaptation planning to coastal adaptation plans and regeneration projects.
Report recommendations for Government and councils include:
- Meaningfully involve communities in long-term planning and implementation, in the spirit of collaboration, partnership, and empowerment.
- Honour the spirit of partnership set out in Te Tiriti o Waitangi in climate adaptation, proactively working with Māori and weaving Māori knowledge into risk assessments and adaptation planning.
- Adopt and foster innovative approaches to strengthen engagement and participation, including deliberative democratic approaches and creative methods to help community members understand the science.
- Support community engagement at the central government level through funding, tools, resources, capacity building, and the passage of relevant legislation.