Seminar 2007

“Rural community strategies for managing the economic & social impacts of climate change”

"It was, indeed, a classic learning experience in participating the Arkleton Trust Seminar on “Rural community strategies for managing the economic and social impacts of climate change” at Douneside, Tarland, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 2007. The program designed for the workshop was pretty compact, innovative, participatory, and educative. As a fledgling scholar in the field of climate change and community adaptation, I have learnt a lot and broaden my horizon during this week-long seminar. The arrangement for scholars participating in the workshop was indeed remarkable and the time spent with the fellow participants became a memory forever. The idea of putting all of us together in a farmhouse accommodation was splendid.  It’s a matter of great satisfaction that on return from participating from the seminar, the Interdisciplinary Research Team of my Institute appreciated the finding of the proceedings. A copy of the report on my Arkleton Fellowship is available in my Institute Library and faculty and scholars do quote by those who are involved in climate research works".


Motilal (participant) 


This seminar was the culmination of the two year thematic project covering all the Trust funds for 2005 - 2007.  The starting point in this programme was the award of four competitive fellowships. The fellows were located in Venezuela, India, Bhutan, and Finland, and each of them was charged to work with rural communities known to them on ‘Rural Community Impacts of Climate Change and Associated Amelioration and Mitigation Measures’. Subsequent awards on this theme were awarded to three other people using the David Moore Fund and the John Higgs Fund. One examined micro-impacts of low level ozone on English farming. A second examined the rural community impacts on two Swiss alpine communities. A third examined tourism-fisheries conflicts in a Mexican rural community, broadly linked with climate change impacts.

A synthesis paper of all the abovementioned reports was compiled. A copy of this seminar briefing paper report can be uploaded by clicking here.

All the fellows with the sole exception of the Fellow from Bhutan (who unfortunately failed to obtain a visa) attended the seminar. The seminar also had additional participation from Canada, China, Norway, Algeria as well as extra participants from India and the UK.

The conclusion of the seminar was that many rural and indigenous communities are actually putting into place initiatives to adapt to climate change.However, many of these communities are not being identified nor are they sharing the lessons they are learning.It was therefore felt that a global mapping of communities needed to be commenced.There was wide agreement among seminar participants that the work undertaken to date by fellows should be deepened, widened, made publicly accessible, and that links should be created with other organizations and initiatives in the field. Further that the Trust should invest in some proactive assistance to the communities the fellows had worked with where it fitted into the overall strategy of the Trust. The point was made that it is the poorest and most vulnerable individuals and communities in rural areas that suffer most from climate change impacts, and that some of these may well have the least capacity to adapt to those impacts.

The final seminar report can also be downloaded by clicking Seminar Report 2007