Introduction to Regional Adaptation Collaboratives

Why work on adaptation at the regional level?

Uncertainties in the timing, severity, and extent of climate change impacts pose an unprecedented challenge for communities. Most local governments are unable to adequately address these impacts on their communities alone. Many impacts of climate change are best addressed regionally because they cross jurisdictional boundaries. A regional approach ensures that communities minimize risk while maximizing opportunities to leverage financial resources needed to adapt to climate change.

To respond to climate change effectively at a regional scale, all stakeholders – local governments, private sector, non-profit and community organizations – are working together more closely than ever before. However, coordination of adaptation efforts across regions faces significant structural barriers including lack of funding, governance, policy and institutional constraints. Several examples have emerged that show that regional coordinated response to climate impacts can be successful and allow a region to come together to share costs, support coordinated policy, create value to stakeholders, and create a voice in state and federal conversations that would otherwise not exist.

What is a regional adaptation collaborative?

A regional adaptation collaborative, as defined by those in ARCCA, is a group of diverse public, private, and / or nonprofit entities representing a region and committed to preparing that region for the emerging impacts of climate change, such as rising sea level, extreme storm events, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts.  Regional adaptation collaboratives have emerged as a response to the need of stakeholders to work more effectively across jurisdictional boundaries on climate change impacts where no one existing entity is set up to address all of the impacts that a region faces.

Regional Collaborative Case Studies

The Georgetown Climate Center in partnership with ARCCA and its member regional collaboratives developed a series of case studies to illustrate common themes in regional collaborative formation, structure, operations, and activities.