Co-Adapt: Climate adaptation through co-creation | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Co-Adapt: Climate adaptation through co-creation

Priority Axis

Adaptation to Climate Change

Specific objective

Adaptation to Climate Change

Lead partner

Somerset County Council


Start Date


End Date


Project budget

7 347 114

ERDF amount

4 408 269

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Co-Adapt identified 3 barriers to climate adaptation: first, the need for moving beyond existing actors and empower stakeholders to take practical action through a more open policy process; second, the fact that unsustainable development & land management practices have degraded ecosystems and the natural water management processes, increasing flooding and exacerbating the effects of drought; third, the effects of climate change are very uncertain, and therefore demand for rapid adaptation decisions and flexible, adaptive strategies that will not create high future costs.

    New solutions needed to be developed and applied to improve resilience. In a context of reduced public financing, better, more robust and cost-effective measures are needed. In response, Co-Adapt’s unique contribution is a strong focus on co-creation of nature based and natural process solutions, in the framework of adaptation pathways – three pillars supporting each other to deliver highly durable results.


    Main Achievements

    Within Co-Adapt project, 7 co-created Nature Based Solutions (NBS) were developed and tested over Belgium, Netherlands and in the UK. In total, 25 demonstration sites (catchments subsites) have been implemented since the project started. The Open University designed and evaluated a Framework for Climate Adaptation through Co-Creation. To this end, it designed and implemented - together with partners - a framework based on a digital learning network of water professionals. This has been used as a Climate Adaptation case study by The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

    Devon County Council have developed a 'Blueprint for the Culm' – a long-term management plan. It is the culmination of a 3-year process of evidence-gathering, research, piloting, and discussion that has been co-created by a broad range of people. Cumulatively, the project has now involved more than 3500 stakeholders in engagement and co-creation processes. PNB also co-created a vision and implementation plan for the Aa of Weerijs around the city of Zundert.

    National Trust has delivered a wide range of Nature Based Solutions. Beavers were reintroduced to Somerset after a 400-year absence. The project has also implemented innovative floodplain reconnection, the ‘Stage 0’ approach, for the first time in the UK. The project has received excellent local, national, and international coverage. 

    Adapting the Levels has launched a unique and pioneering new web-based app which will enable communities to co-create plans to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change. FWAG’s development of Moor Associations provides a long-lasting bottom-up organisational structure, a common platform on which co-created designs can be developed and implemented.

    The approach of the Antwerp investment project was shared at various forums, including being showcased at the World Day of Urbanism 2022. It was also included as a case study in a book chapter.

    The co-creation approach developed and tested by Flemish Land Agency has influenced the wider Water-Land-Schap programme team. 79 “Nature-based solutions” demonstration sites have as a result been planned, co-designed and completed. This system is easily replicable for other projects and has ensured involvement of all key stakeholders.

    The municipality of Vlissingen has applied an innovative approach to allow non-experts and experts to jointly develop climate adaptive measures in an area prone to flooding. The lessons learned are spread within our region with experts from public bodies and the private sector.

    Boulogne Water Board (SYMSAGEB) and Permanent Centre for Environment Initiatives (CPIE) have led a preventive action against flooding program in the Boulonnais area. Farmers, citizens, elected representatives and technicians were all involved. 



    Once people are aware and they start to understand their rivers better, they realise how incredibly important they are and what rich diversity they can hold or do hold depending on the state of that river. (talking about the network of citizens scientists involved by the project) 

    Lydia Deacon, Westcountry River Trust



    Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SW)

    National Trust

    Somerset Wildlife Trust

    Devon County Council

    Open University

    Province of North Brabant (PNB)

    Municipality of Vlissingen

    Flemish Land Agency

    Province of Antwerp

    Permanent Centre for Environment Initiatives (CPIE)

    Boulogne Water Board

    Provincie West-Vlaanderen


    Output title
    URL / Download


    Theme: Climate changeEcosystem resilience

    Co-created adaptive nature based and natural process based water management solutions tested in 8 catchments

    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Theme: Climate changeEcosystem resilience

    Crossborder strategy incorporating vision and regional transition roadmaps to replicate the approach for adaptive water management

    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Theme: Climate changeEcosystem resilience

    Guide to Co-Adapt framework with guidance & tools for co-creation, adaptive pathways and nature based & natural process solutions

    Type: e-infrastructure/online tool
    Target: Nature and coastal management organisations


    Theme: Climate changeEcosystem resilience

    Method developed using co-creation approaches to adaptive pathways planning for climate change adaptation tested in 8 regions

    Type: Method/service
    Target: Nature and coastal management organisations