Engagement in the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment: commitment, capacity, and communication for impact
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The National Climate Assessment’s ability to support decision-making partly relies on engaging stakeholders throughout the assessment process. The guiding vision for the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3) was for an inclusive, broad-based, and sustained process attentive to both the conduct of assessments and communication of findings. Such a process promotes dialogue between scientific experts, stakeholders, and decision-makers about what is important in a particular region or sector, the potential impacts of climate change, and possible responses. We sought to create actionable research and assessment products widely perceived as credible, salient, and legitimate. The process also sought to build capacity to conduct sustained assessments and use climate change information in decision-making processes. Here we describe how we pursued this stakeholder engagement vision during the planning, development, and release of NCA3. Through repeated opportunities for stakeholder. input, we ensured process transparency and inclusiveness in the framing of assessment and built human capital. We also increased connectivity among stakeholder organizations. By cultivating a network of collaborators who connected the NCA to other networks, the NCA3 engagement process laid the groundwork for a sustained assessment - which is envisaged to transition the traditional quadrennial assessment approach into a more dynamic and adaptive assessment process.
KeywordsClimate Change Impact Stakeholder Engagement Sustained Assessment Draft Report Engagement Effort
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