Spotlight Activity: Implementing the German Adaptation Strategy (Deutsche Anpassungs Strategie, DAS)
The German Adaptation Strategy is a policy framework that gives guidelines for adaptation of climate change impacts. The guidelines represent the input of the Federal government to guide stakeholders. It focuses on the current knowledge of climate changes the potential impacts and ways to deal with underlying risks of such consequences. The strength of the adaptation strategy lies with its ability to give guidelines on how to reduce climate change vulnerability in natural, social and economic systems while suggesting options for actions in; human health, building sector, water management, coastal and marine protection, soil, biodiversity, agriculture, forest and forestry management, fishing, energy industry, financial services industry, transport infrastructure, trade and industry, tourism, land use planning and civil protection. The Adaptation Action Plan (APA) sets strategic priorities for climate change risks and adaptation measures.
However, the strategy has knowledge gaps in relation to the extent of future climate change. The federal government relies on estimating consequences based on a multi-model approach and does not specify any individual sector or regional scenario on how to develop adaptation activities. It is thus, difficult to estimate the impacts of climate change and the adaptation efforts to be pursued in sectors or regions.
Vulnerability to climate change impacts varies from region to region. For instance, the central parts of eastern Germany, the north-east German plain and the south-east German basin and hills expect reduced water supplies. The hilly parts of the Rhine are expected to experience floods due to increased rainfall. The Rhine rift valley is likely to experience heatwaves and flooding could be a major risk. The Alpine regions are sensitive due to biodiversity and recreational activities that take place there e.g. Winter sports. Rock falls or mudslides are likely to cause natural dangers which may increase in the future. The coastal regions could be affected by sea level rise and storms. The northern German coastal regions for instance are assessing the dangers of sea level rise and storms and are identifying appropriate adaptation measures. The port of Hamburg is also likely to be exposed to potential danger because the area is low-lying.
Status: Standing Still
The German Adaptation Strategy needs to be updated with a vulnerability assessment that focuses on regions, sectors and the country as a whole. There is a need to develop an up-to-date report evaluating indicators of risk assessment for specific sectors and regions. The adaptation strategy does not set any specific targets that need to be met by the adaptation activities that are likely to be undertaken.
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Federal Minister Svenja Schulze
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, BMUB
Address: Robert-Schuman-Platz 3, 53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 22899 305-0
Email: Klimawandel.Deutsche Anpassungsstrategie@bmub.bund.de