The Alpine Space is severely affected by climate change. Adaptation to already unavoidable climatic changes is needed to prevent unmanageable impacts and to safeguard climate-resilient and balanced territorial development. National climate adaptation strategies are in place in some Alpine countries, but implementation is inhibited by multiple obstacles in steering adaptation policies across sectors, levels & actors. Regional adaptation plans are just emerging, adaptation has hardly entered local agendas, and policy mainstreaming is limited on all levels. Governance has a key role in the transition from adaptation strategies to implementation in practice, but capacities for multilevel & cross-sector governance of adaptation processes are lacking in all countries. Adequate governance designs, models & formats, incl. effective cooperation pathways & coordination arrangements, are mostly still missing or not operational. The project thus tackles joint key challenges of adaptation governance: vertical implementation across territorial levels; horizontal mainstreaming into sector policies; and more active involvement of local, regional & non-governmental actors.

Transnational collaboration is essential to learn from shared strengths & weaknesses and from the diversity of governance approaches taken in different countries. The project builds on an existing network of the national authorities responsible for climate adaptation policy-making in 7 Alpine countries, ensuring direct application of outcomes.

Main activities include: Mapping and comparing national adaptation governance systems; identifying good practices; developing options and innovations for enhancing vertical coordination and mainstreaming; designing and testing transferable regional and local stakeholder interaction formats; developing interfaces and engaging with EUSALP.

The following main outputs will enable public & non-governmental actors to increase their adaptation governance capacities and to improve, effectuate and re-define their approaches: portfolio of multilevel governance approaches, good practices & innovations; pathways & options for mainstreaming adaptation; transferable stakeholder interaction formats; strengthened transnational cooperation networks & closer alignment of national & macro-regional adaptation efforts (EUSALP).