Ara Kaupapa Here Urutau me te Hihiri

Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP)

We cannot be certain of all the changes we will face from climate change. For instance, temperature increase is dependent on a range of factors, like how quickly emissions reduce globally. This means we need to keep our options open for as long as possible while we are preparing for any outcome.

Adapting to climate change requires decisions that avoid the risk of locking decisions and investments into something that cannot be changed, if it is no longer fit for purpose, e.g. building infrastructure.

The Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) approach develops a series of actions over time (pathways). It is based on the idea of making decisions as conditions change, before severe damage occurs, and as existing policies and decisions prove no longer fit for purpose.

To determine which pathway we should follow, we develop a series of triggers. For example, as the sea-level rises, the frequency of hazard events (e.g. flooding) exceeds an agreed trigger. At this point we need to take additional or different actions, and an alternative pathway to avoid reaching the threshold at which damage occurs.

By exploring different pathways early and testing the consequences, we can design an adaptive plan that includes a mix of short-term actions and long-term options.

The plan is monitored for signals that a decision point is approaching to:

  • implement the next step of a pathway
  • shift to an alternative pathway
  • reassess the objectives of the plan itself.

The DAPP approach was developed in the Netherlands and is now embedded into the national Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance   and is being used in coastal and riverine flooding settings and for infrastructure decision making.

Our plan takes this approach across our priority areas, particularly in the Built environment and Community and coast priorities.

How we manage our water is a good example of how this approach can be applied: