A seminar will today highlight the importance of understanding the implications and relevance of recent research into flooding, to raise awareness of the issues involved and identify what needs to be done.
Deputy Environment Minister Rhona Brankin addressed the seminar in Dunfermline. She said:
'Scotland's climate is changing. Over the next century we can expect Scotland to become warmer with wetter winters and much less snowfall. This has implications for people across Scotland including businesses, transport operators, public sector organisations, house builders, farmers and insurers.
'An effective response to climate change must therefore include measures to adapt to the anticipated impacts at the local level and to share best practice.
'Two such measures have already been realised since the Executive commissioned them - second generation flood maps and the Scottish Flood Defence Asset Register database. These capture both the perceived threat of flooding to Scottish people and property and to what extent this risk could be contained by existing flood risk defence mechanisms.
'The Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (Sniffer) promotes a co-ordinated way of working to achieve a joint aim of understanding the risk of flooding throughout Scotland.
'I am pleased to announce that the Executive will extend the contract with Sniffer beyond August 2006.
'Climate change is a reality and Scotland must be prepared to respond to it and to grasp the opportunities that it presents.'
Fiona Mactaggart of SNIFFER, who manages the flood risk research & knowledge management service on behalf of the Executive, said:
'The key to delivery of this service is partnership working. The research agenda which SNIFFER is taking forward has been developed in partnership with Scottish stakeholders.
'This seminar aims to publicise existing research and provide a forum for delegates to contribute to the continued development of this agenda, thereby ensuring the research which SNIFFER delivers effectively informs policy developments and ultimately assists with the reduction of flood risk in Scotland.'