Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

Third annual progress report on "Climate Ready Scotland: Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019 to 2024".

9. Progress towards "our coastal and marine environment being valued, enjoyed, protected and enhanced and having increased resilience to climate change"

SCCAP2 Outcome 6: Our coastal and marine environment is valued, enjoyed, protected and enhanced and has increased resilience to climate change

This outcome has two sub-outcomes. These sub-outcome split across the adaptability of coastal and marine natural systems' themselves and the social and cultural benefits that societies obtain from ecosystems. The products and economic value obtained from ecosystems (provisioning services) are considered under outcome 3.

Examples of progress on cross-cutting policies in support of this outcome

Scotland's National Marine Plan - Scottish Ministers will make an announcement regarding the update of the National Marine Plan shortly. Any update of the plan will be informed by the findings of Scotland's Marine Assessment 2020, and will include the consideration of climate mitigation and adaptation objectives.

Scottish Biodiversity Strategy - 2021 saw significant new future commitments that will help marine ecosystems and their use adapt to climate change - the designation of Highly Protected Marine Areas, management measures for fishing activity in Marine Protected Areas, and a cap on inshore fishing effort. The Scottish Blue Carbon Forum's International Conference explored how new science in this area can inform marine and coastal management policy.

Multilateral action to achieve seas resilient to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification - The North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy is the key means by which OSPAR's 16 Contracting Parties will implement the OSPAR Convention until 2030. Adopted in 2021, it sets out collective objectives to tackle the triple challenge facing the North-East Atlantic ocean: biodiversity loss, pollution, including marine litter, and climate change. We are working with the rest of the UK and the other Contracting Parties on the implementation of this new Strategy to improve the state of the marine environment.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that: "Scotland's coastal and marine biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes are adaptable to the changing climate"

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Network and Monitoring Strategy - The MPA network currently consists of 233 protected areas covering over 37% of our seas, well over the 10% target defined by the CBD's Aichi Targets, and exceeding the new targets of 30% by 2030, which are still under negotiation. We are using the Scottish MPA Monitoring Strategy to measure the effectiveness of the MPA network. Fisheries measures, for sites which still require them, will be delivered by March 2024.

Farmed Fish Health Framework - Monitoring and responding to climate change has been one of the main areas of focus for the Farmed Fish Health Framework (FFHF). The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) held a workshop with the sector and specialists in this area in the summer of 2021. The aim of the workshop was to identify key species that impact the health and welfare of farmed fish, and to identify future research and modelling requirements. Marine Scotland funded SAIC to carry out some of this preliminary work at the beginning of 2022. The FFHF will continue to work towards the development of an 'early warning system' in order to mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that: "Scotland's coastal and marine environment and its contribution to wider societal adaptation is enjoyed, valued and maintained"

Dynamic Coast 2Dynamic Coast 2 (DC2) was launched in August 2021 and considers how coastal erosion rates could be affected by future sea level rises and identifies the assets at risk. The coastal change adaptation capital budget, announced in the Programme for Government 2020, starts in 2022-23. Over the next four years £11.7 million will be distributed to coastal local authorities to undertake coastal change adaptation planning and consider how nature based solutions can help coastal communities adapt to climate change.

Scotland's Future Fisheries Management Strategy 2020-2030 - Within the Future Fisheries Management Strategy we have outlined a range of actions relating to climate change and we committed to developing a programme of action in partnership with our stakeholders to address climate change in fisheries. The climate change work for fisheries is in its early stages however we are prioritising this work and a number of key pieces of research are already underway. We also published a fisheries survey during COP26 to help gauge the preparedness of the fishing sector to respond to climate change and which will inform the design and agenda for a stakeholder workshop in early 2022. The workshop will present the recent research and help us establish the programme of work/action to inform climate change mitigation and adaptation in Scottish fishing practices exploring options for next steps and a clear pathway for action.

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts in Scottish Seas - Marine Scotland monitor key parameters in the marine environment to quantify the impacts due to climate change on the marine ecosystem. These monitoring programmes have continued in 2021, although some data collections continue to be impacted by the Covid pandemic, as well as more recently due to loss of access to key laboratory spaces due to storm damage at the Aberdeen site. A key focus remains on quality assuring our data and making them publically available. An update to our Scottish Coastal Observatory data covering the period 1997-2020 was published in 2021. Time series of key water masses in the Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation have been collected and submitted to the ICES Report on Ocean Climate. Our monitoring programmes of fish stocks continue to provide data to stock assessments, as well as international research studies on changes to fish assemblages in the North Sea.

Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) - Marine Scotland continue to support the work of the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership. This partnership is a key method for providing evidence of climate change impacts in the marine environment. Work has now started on updating the scientific review papers which provide the evidence base for the overall report card. Scientists from Marine Scotland will be involved on several topics, including fisheries, fish and aquaculture.

How the Adaptation Scotland Programme is supporting this outcome:

Adaptation Scotland is a partner in the Dynamic Coast project and is involved in promoting the outputs from its second phase.



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