Strong Roots – Climate change adaptation and leadership

Strong Roots was a project to increase the capacity of community and town councils to both lead and support sustainable development and to partner the Welsh Government in its commitment to the development of sustainable, resilient, low-carbon communities.

The aims of the phase one scoping research were as follows;

a) Explore the attitudes and perceptions of risk amongst community and town councilors

b) Understand the capacity of community and town councils to assess and respond to climate change risks

c) Identify and describe existing adaptation best practice in community-scale governance within Wales, the UK and the rest of the world; and best practice in behaviour change interventions to overcome barriers to action on climate change adaptation.

d) Map results of attitudes and perceptions to scientific projections of local temperature, precipitation and sea level change.

The project partners provided training and resources and developed programmes to address specific issues such as climate change adaptation.

What we learnt from the work is that people do not identify climate change as an immediate local issue. They are concerned with jobs, health, education, sense of place (culture and community), and delivery of services. We were able however to help them see climate change as a material risk to these more immediate concerns. We helped four town councils to develop climate change adaptation strategic responses with their communities that were unique to their locality and addressed issues that mattered to the people who lived there.

Rhodri Thomas, Sustainability Consultant and Project Lead

The Strong Roots Climate Change Adaptation project emerged from this initiative and was implemented in two phases between 2012 and 2014.

The “Strong Roots” initiative was a partnership between Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales and One Voice Wales which delivers support for community and town councils on the issue of sustainable development.