Strong Roots 2 Climate Change Adaptation Project Report

N C Nash, Rhodri Thomas, Paul Egan, Liz Court, Jim Poole, Lydia Beaman, Aled Vaughan-Owen

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Climate change is clearly a global issue, but also one that manifests itself locally. The global dimension requires an understanding of the world’s climate (i.e. physical science). Local adaptation requires a knowledge of projected physical impacts (i.e. physical science) but also a deep understanding of how (a) communities behave (i.e. social science) and (b) how to motivate behaviour change (i.e. psychology). Any project in this area must acknowledge this broad depth of factors and assemble an appropriate team of people to deal with them. The Strong Roots 2 project has aimed to achieve this blend.
The 736 Community and Town Councils across Wales represent a direct interface between communities and government. Given the stark warnings of climate change for the future, both globally, and within Wales, Strong Roots 2 set out to further explore the potential of Community and Town Councils to engage with their communities and to address climate change adaptation and resilience at this level. As indicated in Strong Roots 1, the potential contribution of Councils has been somewhat overlooked; nonetheless, this tier of local government is closest to the community and, importantly, embodies the kind of locally-relevant knowledge, expertise and community networks that could support such action.
Community and Town Councils across Wales are as individual as the communities they represent. Each Council has unique strengths, and it is important to acknowledge contextual factors when considering the contribution that each Council can make. Taking the local context into account and tailoring strategies are central to the Strong Roots research ethos, as is acknowledging and empowering community and town councillors as equal partners in the process. Moreover, the potential contribution of Community and Town Councils across Wales represents a significant step forward in developing innovative ways to tackle climate change impacts, increase resilience and engrain sustainable practices, both as a community and as a nation.
This report builds on the findings of the previous Strong Roots 1 research project and details the findings of an investigation into the potential role of Community and Town Councils as local leaders of climate change adaptation, and the behaviours, resources and skills required to fulfil that role. Strong Roots is an initiative that aims to highlight the potential of Community and Town Councils as leaders in addressing climate change issues locally, and as supporting partners to the Welsh Assembly Government in its commitment to the development of sustainable, resilient low-carbon communities. This particular project is an aspect of this wider initiative.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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