Climatic Change

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 387–400 | Cite as

Cross-sectoral integration in regional adaptation to climate change via participatory scenario development

  • Jakob Wachsmuth


In the research project nordwest2050, scientists and stakeholders from Northwestern Germany jointly develop a long-term strategy (time horizon 2050) to increase the regional resilience, with respect to uncertainties of both regional climate change and socio-economic developments. This roadmap is based upon sectoral adaptation strategies. As the first step in the development of the roadmap, framing scenarios for the external driving forces were built. These scenarios both incorporate the different regional climate projections in consistent regional developments and capture the most relevant socio-economic uncertainties from the sectors involved. The main difficulty in building the scenarios was the cross-sectoral integration of the different perspectives from the various sectors, which is necessary to be able to integrate the sectoral adaptation strategies in the regional roadmap. Therefore we built the framing scenarios with strong participation of stakeholders from all the sectors. We present the methodology used to build the scenarios and discuss the insights we drew from the process. Our findings support the thesis that it is important to integrate the stakeholders in the building of the scenarios to achieve acceptance and enable learning. Even more, their feedback should already be incorporated in the early stages of the process and the intermediate steps should be kept transparent.


Regional Climate Change Story Line Action Scenario Regional Stakeholder Regional Climate Projection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This article was presented at the workshop of the joint initiative on climate uncertainties in Lisbon in 2012. We thank the organizers and the participants for the inspiring discussions on this article and related topics. We acknowledge that Marion Akamp, Manfred Born, Marina Beermann, Heiko Garrelts, Stefan Gößling-Reisemann, Nana Karlstetter, Matthias Kirk, Andreas Lieberum, Anna Meincke, Michael Mesterharm, Maik Winges and Stefan Wittig took part in the scientific preparation or the realization of the scenario process. Finally, we thank Christian Stiller for his assistance in processing the data on cross impacts.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Sustainability StudiesUniversitaet BremenBremenGermany

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