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Climate change impact and the Islands’ plan to navigate and adapt to a new environment caused by global warming will be explored at an Outer Hebrides COP (Communities) event on Thursday March 21.

OH-COP (Communities) – will be held at Cnoc Soilleir in Daliburgh and is organised by a trio of groups: Outer Hebrides Climate Hub (Climate Hebrides CIC), Sniffer and the Island Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ).  It is aiming to address climate change impacts, working on projects and policies for decarbonisation, adaptation and further mitigation to climate related challenges. (COP stands for ‘Conference of Parties’.)

Brian Whitington, Climate Hebrides CIC said: “This is the first opportunity for major collaboration between the Outer Hebrides Climate Hub, Sniffer the adaptation charity and ICNZ. We are tackling existential issues for the islands, how climate change affects everything that we do, cherish and need to tackle as a community”.

Matthew Logan, manager of ICNZ in the Outer Hebrides added: “Decarbonisation matters to the islands, not least to help tackle fuel poverty and ensure a just transition. We believe the Island Centre for Net Zero will provide a major platform for local communities, businesses and individuals to get involved with, and benefit from, decarbonisation in the Outer Hebrides and are looking forward to discussing this in Uist.”

Iryna Zamuruieva, senior climate resilience manager at Sniffer said: "Sniffer is pleased to continue our collaborate with the Outer Hebrides Climate Hub and ICNZ. Via our Adaptation Scotland programme, we've worked with the OH CPP Climate Change Working on developing understanding what climate change means for Outer Hebridies and this event will be an excellent opportunity for this knowledge to feed into national policy – Scottish National Adaptaion Plan 2024-2029 that is currently open for consultation".

Focusing on climate change from an island viewpoint the event will look at the current challenges, potential solutions, and future aspirations.

The day will start with a bitesize session for participants focusing on raising climate awareness in the context of the effects in the Outer Hebrides, delivered by the Outer Hebrides Climate Hub. 

Sniffer will lead a presentation and workshop on the draft Scottish National Adaptation Plan 2024-2029. This session feeds into the public consultation of the plan which will be published in the autumn, and the importance of gaining local information of the threats to our islands is paramount.

The Island Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ) will give a short presentation to share their work and the opportunities arising for communities. The ICNZ is being delivered in the Outer Hebrides in partnership between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, UHI North, West & Hebrides and Community Energy Scotland. The ICNZ Team will then host a panel discussion where local participants can discuss current challenges, projects, future plans and ideas.

Climate Hebrides will then host a breakout session for the citizen science project Our Climate Story, which gives islanders the chance to pin on the map photos, stories, short films about concerns and ideas for action on climate change in the Outer Hebrides.

ICNZ will host a breakout session on the work of the Islands Community Action Network (iCAN)

The information sharing and networking opportunity will end with suggestions for future steps, new collaborations and actions to be taken.