I-CISK Works with Decision-makers and Stakeholders to Understand Barriers to Use Climate Services and the Need for Improvement

During the first months of 2022, I-CISK partners collaborated with decision-makers, stakeholders, and citizens in each Living Lab region, to learn from their experiences of using existing climate services, and how the I-CISK project can co-produce improved climate services that address the current challenges and the needs of those using the services.

Co-exploring needs surrounding the value of climate services, data and information are key in the design and development of climate services. It is important to understand the decision-making context of those using the climate services, the barriers to using them, and how these issues can be addressed in the development of next-generation climate services. I-CISK partners set out to learn more about the types of decisions those involved in each Living Lab are making, and how climate services and information are currently used in this process. Interviews were conducted in most Living Labs, and where this wasn’t possible, an online questionnaire was provided. Overall, 21 people participated from the Living Labs in Georgia, Spain, Greece, and Italy, with responses covering a range of sectors and relevant organizations, including tourism, NGOs, forestry, rural development, regional environment agencies, agriculture, and water management. These responses have provided an invaluable insight into the decision-making context and experiences of individuals and organizations across the diverse Living Lab regions, alongside the types of climate services available and used, and the pros and cons of using these services. 

The majority of participants across the Living Labs are concerned with drought, with 50% of the responses indicating drought was a hazard of concern for them, but multiple hazards were mentioned across the various regions, from forest fires and heatwaves to water availability and flooding, amongst others such as thunderstorms and hail. Some of the key barriers mentioned with regards to using existing climate services are the insufficient resolution (spatial and temporal), accessibility, and lack of the most useful variables. Motivations for improving climate services include the importance of influencing preparedness and adaptation strategies, increased risk of hazards and extreme events due to climate change, avoidance of conflict due to water demand, the impact of extreme events on many (if not all) sectors, easier exploitation of the available information, policy support, and a drive to help decision-makers move from reactive to proactive decisions and actions.

The information and experiences provided and discussed by participants through the questionnaires and interviews have been summarised in an I-CISK report. The information and experiences provided and discussed by participants through the questionnaires and interviews have been summarised in an I-CISK report, which is available to read through the Resources section of the I-CISK website. I-CISK partners will continue to collect new responses from across the Living Labs, and future activities are planned to further co-explore the challenges and needs of individuals and organizations involved in each LL with regard to existing and next-generation climate services.