Scottish climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024: consultation draft

We want to hear your views on Scotland's new five-year climate change adaptation programme to be launched in autumn 2019.

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

Sub-Outcome 6.1: Scotland's coastal and marine biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes are adaptable to the changing climate.

Helping nature to adapt will provide us with benefits such as clean water, flood prevention, biodiversity and carbon storage. We will need these benefits increasingly as our climate changes. The policies under this sub-outcome work to support the biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes of Scotland's coastal and marine environment.

Policy Name

Description and Link to Adaptation

Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and Route Map to 2020

The strategy and route map aim to protect and restore biodiversity and support healthy ecosystems. Maximising the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides also contributes towards sustainable economic growth.

Scotland's National Marine Plan and Marine Atlas

The plan sets out how marine resources are to be used and managed. It applies to all decisions taken by public authorities that affect Scotland's marine area. The plan stipulates that developments in coastal and marine areas should protect the health of the marine area, be resilient to coastal change and flooding, and not negatively impact on coastal processes or contribute to coastal flooding. The plan also promotes the management of non-native invasive species in Scotland's marine environment.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Network and Monitoring Strategy

Approximately 22% of Scotland's seas are covered by the Marine Protected Areas network. The network aims to maintain or enhance marine biodiversity. By doing so, resilience of habitats and species is improved, giving them more space to adapt to a changing climate.

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts in Scottish Seas

Marine research strategies and monitoring programmes will be used by Marine Scotland to gather data on the impact climate change is having within Scottish seas. This data will inform future policy development.

Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP)

MCCIP collates expertise from across the UK and uses this to present high quality evidence on climate change impacts in the marine environment. The Annual Report Cards summarise impacts on a range of specific environments and ecosystem components, and the Climate Smart Working Reports provide adaptation advice for marine sectors.

Farmed Fish Health Framework

Scotland's Farmed Fish Health Framework includes a Climate Change and Ocean Acidification subgroup. The subgroup aims to monitor, review and assess the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on Scottish waters. This policy creates a framework to support the adaptation of marine aquaculture to climate change

Inshore Fisheries Strategy

The strategy sets out a vision to support the development of a more sustainable, profitable and well-managed inshore fisheries sector in Scotland. Sustainable management of inshore fisheries improves resilience of habitats and species, giving them more space to respond to the changing climate.

Proposal Name

Description and Link to Adaptation

Future Fisheries Management Strategy

The Scottish Government is undertaking nationwide discussion with stakeholders to help develop Scotland's Future Fisheries Management Strategy. The aim is to develop a range of ideas and proposals to establish Scotland's place as a wold leader in responsible, sustainable fisheries management. Sustainable management of fisheries improves resilience of habitats and species, giving them more space to respond to the changing climate.

Develop and implement conservation strategies for the marine environment

Proposed conservation strategies include the Scottish Seabird Conservation Strategy, UK Small Cetacean Conservation Strategy and an update to the Scottish Marine Nature Conservation Strategy. These strategies will aim to enhance the status of habitats and species and increase their resilience to climate change impacts.

Support work to better understand the vulnerability of coastal habitats to climate change

An ongoing project on intertidal sediments will help to identify sites experiencing significant climate change effects. This will inform prioritisation of SNH's future monitoring and management advice.

Respond to marine invasive non-native species (INNS)

Marine Scotland will work in partnership with SEPA and SNH to respond, where feasible, to marine invasive non-native species in Scottish waters. The response will aim to minimise negative impacts on biodiversity and promote ecological resilience.

Crown Estate Scotland

Marine Scotland will work with Crown Estate Scotland to ensure that investment in aquaculture research and coastal projects contributes towards climate change adaptation.

Sub-outcome 6.2: Scotland's marine and coastal environment and its contribution to wider societal adaptation is enjoyed, valued and maintained.

As well as providing physical benefits, our natural environment also contributes more intangible benefits. It contributes to our health and well-being, enjoyment of the outdoors, sense of place and who we are as a nation. The policies under this sub-outcome support the wider benefits of the natural environment to the people of Scotland.

Policy Name

Description and Link to Adaptation

Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and Route Map to 2020

The strategy and route map aim to protect and restore biodiversity and support healthy ecosystems. These policies will work to connect people with the natural world, enhancing their health and wellbeing.

Dynamic Coast 2 (Scotland's National Coastal Change Assessment) and Coastal Change Guidance

Rising sea levels, increased coastal erosion and erosion enhanced flooding will progressively impact Scotland's soft coastlines, assets and communities. Phase 2 of Dynamic Coast will investigate the resilience of Scotland's natural coastal defences, estimate how future climate change may exacerbate erosion, and develop adaptation plans at super sites around Scotland.

Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland

The strategy aims to develop measures to ensure that the amount of litter entering the coastal and marine environment is minimised. This helps to reduce pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems, leaving more room to adapt to climate change.

Scottish Coastal Forum

The forum exists to facilitate understanding of Scottish Government policy with internal and external stakeholders. The forum is able to work with Local Coastal Partnerships (LCPs) to highlight climate change issues with local, geographically disparate coastal communities.

Coastal and Marine Environment - Adaptation Behaviours:

1. Try new fish. Changing sea temperatures may put pressure on fish that traditionally inhabit Scottish waters. You can help to reduce pressure on these species by choosing to purchase different fish in the supermarket.

2. Reduce plastic consumption. Ocean plastics are causing significant damage to our marine environment and climate change adds additional stress. By reducing the amount of plastic you use and throw away, you can help to reduce the pressure on marine ecosystems.

Associated Risks (from the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017)

Ne11: Risks to aquifers, agricultural land and freshwater habitats from saltwater intrusion.

Ne12: Risks to habitats and heritage in the coastal zone from sea-level rise; and loss of natural flood protection.

Ne13: Risks to, and opportunities for marine species, fisheries and marine heritage from ocean acidification and higher water temperatures.



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