Communicating drought risk in a changing climate
Source: Climate Outreach
Author(s): Chris Shaw, Adam Corner
This initial briefing paper summarises research and expertise on public communication of drought risks in a changing climate. We explore the difficulties involved in building understanding and engagement with the sometimes complex issues surrounding climate change and drought in the UK. The report outlines how communicators can best respond to these challenges. These lessons are intended to support delivery of more effective public engagement with drought risks.
This is in response to consistent feedback from the national Stakeholder Competency Group of the RCUK Drought and Water Scarcity1 (DRY) project (and Local Advisory Groups around the seven river catchments which comprise the project’s focus for fieldwork). At meetings held during the first year of the DRY project, stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds identified communicating more effectively with members of the public and engaging the public around drought risks as areas where they hoped to develop their expertise via partnership with the DRY team. The ultimate aim of the DRY project is to produce a decision-making resource that integrates drought science and community-based knowledge into a ‘tool‘ or ‘utility’ for drought risk decision-making. We anticipate that the main outputs of the DRY project will themselves contribute significantly to more effective public engagement with drought risks.
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