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FSD3104 Weather and Climate Risk Management in Finnish Municipalities 2015

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Authors

  • Haanpää, Simo (University of Helsinki)
  • Juhola, Sirkku (University of Helsinki)
  • Jurgilevich, Alexandra (University of Helsinki)
  • Räsänen, Aleksi (University of Helsinki)
  • Gregow, Hilppa (Finnish Meteorological Institute. Climate Service Centre)
  • Haavisto, Riina (Finnish Meteorological Institute. Climate Service Centre)
  • Harjanne, Atte (Finnish Meteorological Institute. Climate Service Centre)
  • Luhtala, Sanna (Finnish Meteorological Institute. Climate Service Centre)
  • Mäkelä, Antti (Finnish Meteorological Institute. Climate Service Centre)
  • Tuomenvirta, Heikki (Finnish Meteorological Institute. Climate Service Centre)
  • Halonen, Mikko (Gaia Consulting Oy)
  • Raivio, Tuomas (Gaia Consulting Oy)
  • Hildén, Mikael (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE))
  • Jakkila, Juho (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE))
  • Parjanne, Antti (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE))
  • Peltonen-Sainio, Pirjo (Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke))
  • Kollanus, Virpi (National Institute for Health and Welfare)
  • Lanki, Timo (National Institute for Health and Welfare)
  • Miettinen, Ilkka (National Institute for Health and Welfare)

Keywords

climate, climate change, disasters, environmental changes, environmental planning, local government, risk

Abstract

The study was part of the ELASTINEN project funded by the Prime Minister's Office Finland whose aim was to produce information and seek solutions to improve weather and climate risk management. The survey was conducted by a reasearch consortium consisting of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, University of Helsinki, Finnish Environment Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland, National Institute for Health and Welfare, and Gaia Consulting. The survey charted the effects of weather and climate on the activities and risk management of Finnish municipalities. The study surveyed sources of weather and climate information and views on the usefulness of these sources in risk management. In addition, the improvement of weather and climate risk prevention and preparedness was studied.

The respondents were first asked whether preparing for climate change had been discussed in the climate strategy work of the municipality, and how current and future weather and climate risks had been assessed. Further, the respondents were asked whether they had assessed the impact of climate change and weather phenomena regionally and on the activities of the municipality, and whether they had assessed how to mitigate the effects of these phenomena. With regard to management of weather and climate risks, the respondents were asked what the most important motivators for managing weather and climate risks were in the municipality and how big the risks were compared to other risks.

Significance of different weather conditions and phenomena in terms of municipal industry and services and well-being of residents were charted (e.g. severe weather phenomena occurring in Finland). Potential positive impacts of climate change on the municipality and the most significant harmful weather phenomena for the municipality and its residents were surveyed.

Use and awareness of different sources of weather and climate information were canvassed (e.g. long-term forecasts of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, climate change scenarios of the IPCC) as well as opinions on the usefulness of some sources of information in terms of climate risk management (e.g. scientific publications, social media, websites on weather and climate). The respondents were also asked whether they collected data on the effects of exceptional weather phenomena and climate change in the municipality and whether geographic data were available to outsiders.

Finally, relating to improvement of risk preparedness, the respondents were asked how significant they regarded different factors that hinder the management of climate risks (e.g. limited resources, lack or problems of technological solutions) and how significant different ways of improving weather and climate risk management were for the climate work in the municipality.

Background variables included the municipality and number of inhabitants in the municipality as well as the respondent's position and field in the municipality, and work experience in the field.

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