Climate change adaptation and landscape planning

Symposium organised by:

Claire Vos, Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands

Stefan Rüter, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany


This symposium will explore adaptation measures at the landscape level to increase the adaptive capacity of regional communities. It will include the latest research and planning solutions for the challenges of climate change.


Adapting landscapes to reduce impacts from climate change has received increasing scientific attention. Proposed adaptation measures will concern natural resources such as water, soil and biodiversity and related ecosystem services like water supply or recreation values of landscapes. Existing adaptation plans often focus on solutions from the viewpoint of a particular sector, such as preventing flood damage by building dams or preventing loss of biodiversity by developing ecological networks. However on-the-ground implementation of adaptation measures is still hampered because adaptation measures are insufficiently suitable for application in local planning processes with multiple stakeholders.

Concepts like adaptive management, building adaptive capacity, the ecosystem approach, vulnerability or resilience are often recommended as planning solutions for the challenges of climate change. However, further research how to apply these concepts in planning practice is strongly needed. This symposium will tackle the following questions:

Which topics are especially relevant for landscape planning under climate change conditions and which methods and concepts are useful to fulfil these tasks? What knowledge do local communities need to diagnose whether climate change will affect the adaptive capacity of their landscape and to develop measures that strengthen the adaptive capacity of the physical landscape to cope with the impacts of climate change? How should landscape planning, design and management to improve the regional adaptive capacity be organized to improve the implementation of scientific knowledge on adaptation measures? How can the handling of uncertainties be incorporated in landscape planning, for instance maintaining future options and flexible reactions to unforeseen developments? How can adaptation measures be integrated, what are the cross-sectoral effects of adaptation and where does synergy between functions exist?


The symposium will encourage interaction between people from different countries working on climate change adaptation.

Oral presentations