Anticipating future climate hazards to improve land management

Steve Maslen, Head of Environment, is presenting the keynote address at the Trent Rivers Trust one-day conference on 19th February 2020: ‘Flood Risk Management for the next decade: a multi-layered safety approach’.

The conference will discuss integrated approaches to flood risk management (FRM) which can be used to reduce flood risk and to increase community flood resilience to create more sustainable outcomes.

Steve’s keynote presentation focuses on nature-based solutions which work with natural hydrological and morphological processes and features, and can provide for communities an important part of an effective flood risk management solution, even through the extremes that climate change is now delivering. Steve will also reflect on the type and scale of land use changes needed in the UK to create more natural flood storage and reduce run-off, while ensuring communities have much greater influence over solutions which help to manage risks.

Themes of land management and future climate hazards also feature in a recent research paper by Steve Maslen and Rachelle Ngai, published in the December 2019 issue of ‘InPractice’, the Bulletin of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Where climate change presents a threat to current land use, following adaptive pathways which consider land-use change in advance of the climate hazard event occurring, delivers higher net benefits compared to waiting until the hazard has occurred.

Anticipating Future Climate Hazards to Improve Land Management in the UK, December 2019

Working with natural processesIn their paper ‘Anticipating Future Climate Hazards to Improve Land Management in the UK’, Steve and Rachelle set out the research approach and results that contributed to the recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) first report to Parliament in 2018 – Land use: Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change.

The CCC 2018 report to Parliament asked the questions: In respect to the potential impacts of climate change on UK landscape and land uses up to 2100, is it possible to improve or at least maintain the natural capital value of these landscapes? Could adaptive decision-making pathways ensure landscapes continue to deliver valued services?

Steve and Rachelle’s paper presents case study results from four catchments across the UK and sets out the development of an ‘adaptive pathways’ approach that considers climate change projections, management responses to climate hazards and natural capital accounting. This approach can support the development of land management policies which will create more resilient productive landscapes.

Want to know more?

For more information about nature-based solutions to flood risk management, email Steve Maslen. You can find out more about the upcoming conference with the full agenda of speakers on the Trent Rivers Trust web pages.

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