Submission from the Marine Climate Change
MCCIP FOR "INVESTIGATING
The following statement provides an introduction
to the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) and outlines
how the partnership is being used to advance knowledge of the
impacts of climate change on the oceans.
MCCIP is a partnership between scientists and
sponsors from government, its agencies and NGOs. Our principal
aim is to provide a co-ordinating framework for the UK, so as
to be able to transfer high quality evidence on marine climate
change impacts, and related advice, to policy advisors and decision-makers.
The initial objectives of MCCIP are to:
Develop and maintain a co-ordinating
framework for marine partners in the UK.
Build the knowledge base and
consolidate evidence of marine climate change impacts.
Create effective mechanisms
for the efficient transfer of marine climate change knowledge
from the scientific community to policy advisers and decision
Facilitate the uptake of tools
and strategies to assist stakeholders in developing and assessing
The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership
(MCCIP) was announced and launched in March 2005 as one of the
actions from the UK government and devolved administration report
Charting Progress: An Integrated Assessment of the State of
the UK Seas, which identified climate change and unsustainable
fishing as the two main threats facing the UK's marine environment.
The institutional structures for MCCIP include
a fluid Steering Group of key stakeholders (chaired by the United
Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and
an Expert Advisory Panel that provides scientific quality assurance
across the programme.
The Steering Group is the funding provider and
manages the direction of MCCIP, overseeing primary partnership
outputs. The current Steering Group comprises the following organisations;
Countryside Council for Wales, Defra; Department of EnvironmentNorthern
Ireland; Department for Trade and Industry; Environment Agency;
Marine Environmental Change Network, Natural England; Royal Society
for the Protection of Birds; SAHFOS, Scottish Environmental Protection
Agency; Scottish Executive; Scottish Natural Heritage, States
of Guernsey; States of Jersey; UK Climate Impacts Partnership
(UKCIP), Welsh Assembly Government and the World Wide Fund for
Nature. Defra is the biggest funding partner, with many of the
other partners also providing income or help in-kind. However,
it is important to note that group membership is not solely limited
to funders and we anticipate future growth.
The MCCIP secretariat services and reports to
the Steering Group, acting as the UK focus for marine climate
change impacts information. The secretariat co-ordinates and leads
on the delivery of MCCIP products.
An independent Expert Advisory Panel (EAP),
comprised of international leaders in Marine and Climate Science,
both guide and peer review scientific products from MCCIP.
During the start-up phase of MCCIP, the partnership
has concentrated on building the scientific evidence base, principally
through the provision of the marine climate change impacts annual
The first annual report card (ARC), delivered
ahead of schedule in November 2006, provides an at-a-glance summary
of current scientific understanding of UK marine climate change
impacts (www.mccip.org.uk/arc). The ARC is based on reviews submitted
by leading UK climate and marine scientists on a broad array of
subjects, encompassing all aspects of the marine environment.
The ARC addresses what we know is already happening, what could
happen in the future and rates the scientists' confidence in our
current level of understanding. It strongly suggests that climate
change has important consequences for the health and biological
diversity, cleanliness and safety and the commercial productivity
of our seas.
The partnership is now exploring the development
of new products that are distinguishable from the annual report
card and we are looking to significantly develop the MCCIP website,
with a view to its future development as a "one-stop shop"
site for UK marine climate change impacts evidence. In the first
instance, this will focus on providing more up to date information
on UK marine climate change impacts and supporting better links
to relevant organisations and data sources.
MCCIP is currently providing guidance to the
UK Climate Impacts Programme for the production of its next climate
information package, UKCIP08. The inclusion of a marine climate
change scenarios report for the first time in the next UKCIP climate
information package (due October 2008) should significantly enhance
our understanding of future change in marine and coastal environments,
at both national and regional scales. The MCCIP will have a key
role to play in disseminating the outputs of these scenarios and
is in consultation with the Met Office Hadley Centre to determine
how best to use anticipated outputs to meet policy and stakeholder
requirements. In particular we are providing advice on the type
and frequency of data to be stored and the regional areas that
should be included in these outputs.
Having successfully engaged the scientific community
into the MCCIP process, with leading UK marine climate change
researchers providing broad-based impacts evidence for MCCIP outputs,
significant challenges lie ahead in ensuring that these messages
are incorporated into planning and climate adaptation strategies.
The ability to build effective mechanisms for knowledge transfer
is critical to the success of this initiative. Indeed, the reasoning
behind and institutional design of MCCIP is dictated by the need
for effective mechanisms for knowledge transfer from the scientific
community to end-users.
The MCCIP will use conferences, workshops and
meetings to promote our activities and as the partnership develops
MCCIP will hold its own stakeholder workshops. The MCCIP will
continue to develop its website and will deliver regular updates
on marine climate change issues through the MCCIP newsletter.
As the partnership continues to mature, it is
planned that it will help to; identify gaps in knowledge and recommend
priority areas for future research; assemble community views and
partner requirements for climate change tools and information
(eg marine scenarios of climate change) and advise on the development
of an integrated marine climate impacts monitoring programme.
MCCIP is currently at an early stage. It will
continue to develop over the forthcoming years and it is anticipated
that its products will increasingly demonstrate the value of a
co-ordinated approach to addressing marine climate change. This
requirement for MCCIP to successfully evolve is critical given
the prominent role that our seas play in both shaping and regulating
our climate. What seems clear from the first MCCIP annual report
card is that the marine environment is being affected by
climate change and society needs to be able to adapt to the wide-ranging
impacts such changes are likely to have.
The progress that MCCIP has made during its
first two years has been impressive and provides a clear and effective
way to address the needs of policy makers and advisors. The focus
now is on expanding the scope and flexibility to enable MCCIP
to get to grips with the ever-growing range and complexity of
climate change information and process it effectively and in an
appropriate (short) timescale.
The current MCCIP programme runs from December
2005 until 2010 (with a formal review scheduled for year 3). In
order to assure financial security over this five-year period,
a detailed partnership agreement has been negotiated and put in
place between the MCCIP funding bodies. Approximately 75% funding
for MCCIP's core products through to 2010 is already in place.
These monies are supplied via the main MCCIP budget provided by
the Steering Group's funding bodies and agreed with individual
funding partners accordingly. Forecast costs for MCCIP are approximately
£100,000 per annum.