#IESTurningTheTide - Protecting vulnerable coastal communities from climate change-driven coastal change

Photo of Neist Point Isle of Skye overlaid with text: Protecting vulnerable coastal communities from climate change-driven coastal change, 12:30 - 1:15pm online 28th February
Wednesday, 28 February 2024 - 12:30pm to 1:15pm

When we imagine the Scottish Highlands, the vision we hold is one of snow-topped mountains, ancient woodlands and vast peatlands. The Highland coastline and its communities are often forgotten; however, they urgently need our attention as they struggle at the coalface of a changing climate.

Climate Action Coastlines is an ambitious attempt to reimagine a challenging stretch of coastline around the historic village of Golspie in Sutherland. The first stage of this project received Green Growth Accelerator Funding from The Scottish Government, which allowed us to assemble a team of experts, community organisations and local people to investigate the potential for nature-based solutions to protect the village from rising sea levels and storm surges.

Like so many other coastal communities in Highland and worldwide, Golspie faces an existential threat from rising sea levels and increased storm surges. For these communities, the coast is more than just their home; it is intrinsic to their identity, sense of place, health and well-being. Coastal communities need to be supported through the change to come and local voices should be at the heart of coastal change.

This webinar will introduce the village of Golspie as a case study for how The Highland Council are thinking about coastal change. From this case study, the speaker will move into a wider discussion about the challenges faced by rural, coastal communities and the role that public and private investment can play in protecting these special places.

This event has been organised as part of our Turning the Tide: systems thinking for a sustainable ocean project, which has been endorsed as a UN Ocean Decade Activity. Join our dedicated mailing list to stay up to date on future project activities and hear about ways to collaborate.  

This online event is free to attend and open to all. 

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Our speaker

Matthew LingJoe Perry, Project Manager, The Highland Council

Joe Perry is a Project Manager with The Highland Council who has led nature projects including The Flow Country World Heritage Site project, The Flow Country Green Finance Initiative and Climate Action Coastlines. Joe has an MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy from Stirling University, an MSc in Sustainable Energy Solutions from The University of Highlands and Islands and is currently studying for a PhD in Water Engineering with Aalto University in Finland. Joe also acts as a Senior Adviser to the Intelligent and Sustainable Stormwater Management (ISMO) project at Turku University through this PhD.

Joe is the lead author for The Highland Council’s first ever Ecological Strategy (coming out later this year!) and a contributing author to The Council’s first Net Zero Strategy (out now!). While volunteering as a Policy Sub-Group Officer with the 2050 Climate Group, Joe helped respond to Scottish Government climate change legislation on behalf of those under 30 living in Scotland.

Joe’s two professional passions are nature enrichment and community welfare. He believes communities are happier, healthier and more sustainable when situated within a stable ecosystem. It will take public and private investment in nature to make this a reality.