Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change adaptation in coastal and marine areas (Blue CCA)

A practice-oriented training based on the Harvard Case Methodology


Coastal development and climate change are changing the world’s coastlines. Impacts of climate change pose additional stress to coastal and marine ecosystems, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and extreme weather events which severely affect millions of people, infrastructure, fisheries and tourism. Climate change risks to coastal and marine ecosystems are of great concern, since they sustain the livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries. The poor are and will be affected disproportionately.

Adapting to climate change is a rapidly growing challenge, particularly for developing countries. Integrating adaptation into development cooperation provides an essential opportunity to make more climate-resilient development investments. The aim of the training is to enhance capacities among development actors in coastal and marine areas and to support institutions in successfully taking action on climate change adaptation (CCA).

Training Concept

Climate change adaptation

The course is based on the Harvard Case Method, which conveys teaching messages mainly through interactive practical work by trainees. The training deals with the fictitious country of Bakul, a case closely based on real life conditions and challenges.

All modules follow the same sequence, including the following crucial elements:

  • The introduction, given by the trainer, provides the necessary theoretical background and introduces participants to the casework.
  • The casework gives participants the opportunity to work through the different aspects linked to climate change adaptation in a systematic manner. Participants assume the roles of ‘case work experts’ in charge of the specific module’s task.
  • The ‘case work experts’ present their results to the plenary. This is the opportunity to share experiences and for mutual learning. Trainers offer alternatives and corrections when necessary.
  • In a final reflection, the participants reassume their own real-life position. They reflect on their experiences and link them to their own work in order to make the newly gained knowledge more applicable. Trainer’s support through guiding questions.

The course is designed for duration of up to four days. Due to its modular structure, it can be tailored to the specific learning needs of the target audience.


Climate change adaptation

The training course provides an introduction to the theory and to the practical starting points of climate change adaptation in coastal and marine areas. Specific objectives include:

  • to understand and be able to explain the basic concepts of climate change and climate change adaptation
  • to understand the relevance of climate change as a topic for coastal and marine development
  • to apply the basic steps of climate proofing (vulnerability analysis, identification of suitable CCA options/measures, monitoring and evaluation) and identify entry points for CCA
  • what role ecosystem services can play for climate change adaptation and understand the basic concept of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA)
  • how to approach the integration of CCA in their own work context.

Participants (max. 20)

The training package is primarily intended for professionals responsible for the planning and management of coastal and marine areas and their natural resources, from a range of sectors (e.g. environment, fisheries, and coastal protection). It aims, at varying degrees of detail, at decisions makers as well as technical staff.