INKA BB - Innovation Network of Climate Change Adaptation Brandenburg Berlin

Background and Goals

INKA BB is a network of scientists and practitioners who, by working together, aim to meet the challenges brought about by climate change. Berlin and Brandenburg are considered to be particularly vulnerable to future climate change. Temperature rises, extended dry periods and an increase in extreme weather events are likely to occur. Low annual precipitation and sandy soils with a low water storage capacity also make the region vulnerable in the future to dry periods and heavy precipitation. These factors impact not only on agriculture and forestry, but also lead to a deterioration of water quality, affecting both Brandenburg and Berlin. A specifically urban problem is the heating up of cities and the deterioration of air quality during hot spells, which can be detrimental to health. INKA BB is testing adaptation strategies with a spatial focus on the planning regions of Uckermark-Barnim, Lusatia-Spreewald and Berlin. In  each  of  these  areas,  local  partners  from  economic  actors  and  public  administration  collaborate  with scientists and public authorities.

The research planned within this project is carried out in 24 subprojects, which are linked to each other in content and follow a common, higher-level work programme. They are divided into three areas:

  1. Network development and maintenance: The work involved in the “Network development and maintenance” activity area creates the institutional prerequisites and framework conditions for how network partners and other stakeholders in Brandenburg and Berlin should strategically address the long-term challenges posed by climate change. The aim is to enable network partners to undertake proactive knowledge and risk management, to support the use of climatological data and scenarios and to establish and disseminate far-sighted, interlinked action for the competitive and sustainable use of resources in the face of climate change.
  2. Land use: Since the agricultural and forest land management is affected directly to climate change, appropriate adaptation strategies are to be found that will help to mitigate possible negative effects and to ensure the competitiveness of the sector.
  3. Water management: Given the challenges of climate change and climate adaptation a successful water management is crucially important. Firstly, water resources in the already water-stressed Berlin-Brandenburg region are exposed to particular stresses. Second, the availability of water for agriculture, forestry and tourism, but also for ecosystem and landscape preservation is crucial if sustainable and competitive regional development of the region is aimed at.

Against this background, it is the common goal of the project partners to ensure the sustainability of land and water use and health management in the region under changing climate conditions. These strategic adaptability of representatives from industry, politics and administration to the looming climate change is encouraged.

Specifically the project INKA BB has the goal to enable entrepreneurs and business associations as well as decision makers in political administration

  • to develop innovative approaches to climate change related risks and opportunities of land use as well as water and health management
  • to design appropriate adaptation strategies in the cooperation between science and practice and support a durable implementation and
  • to support proven adaptation strategies politically, administratively or institutional.

The adaptation strategies affect on the one hand INKA BB members, but also external partners in the region Berlin-Brandenburg. Therefore, the network understands itself as a growing organisation, which intends equally to initiate and actively design change and to act as a role model and partner that encourages learning and process change. To achieve this, the project aims to bundle the existing competencies of research, public administration, business associations and civil associations of the region.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Berlin
  • Brandenburg
Natural spatial classification
  • North-East German lowland
  • South-Eeastern basin and hills

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

A particular challenge of adapting to climate change is how to deal with an uncertain climate-related knowledge and to take decisions on adaptation measures under uncertain conditions. Therefore, updated regional climate scenarios are provided that allow the network partners, to assess the opportunities and risks of climate change problem-oriented and evaluated.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Heat waves
  • Altered rainfall patterns
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Storm
  • Dry periods

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

Climate change and extreme weather conditions (e.g. heavy rain, storms, drought, heat, frost periods) are already detectable in the region Berlin Brandenburg. Due to the relatively low annual rainfall, a high water content and the dominance of sandy soils with low storage capacity the Brandenburg region is particularly vulnerable to long-lasting heat waves, droughts and associated water shortages.

Also the Berlin agglomeration area is subject to the effects of climate change. The heating of the city during heat waves and the short-term deterioration of the quality of urban water caused by heavy rain events are to be feared.

Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances

Approach and results 

A Climate Impact Register will be developed showing data on climate impact contexts for the Berlin-Brandenburg region, which are linked to data on regional vulnerability as well as the effects of adaptation measures. On this basis, extrapolations to the effects of selected measures at the level of planning regions and the overall region of Berlin-Brandenburg will be created. This will serve as a planning and decision-making basis for political and administrative actors.

Urgency and priorization of adaptation needs 

The Climate Impact Register provides a reliable basis for the assessment of adaptation needs, for practical impact analysis and as a planning and decision-making basis for political-administrative and business actors.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

To deal with the challenges of climate change the network partners create numerous scientific and technological innovations and changes in planning and action routines in the production and management areas. This includes new behaviors such as proactive risk management and strategic adaptation behavior in companies and organizations of land use, water management and healthcare as well as structural changes such as institutionalized science-practice networks for the generation, operationalization and dissemination of relevant knowledge and new networked models and objectives.


  • Promoting strategic adaptability of representatives from industry, politics and administration on climate change;
  • Creating the institutional conditions and framework conditions for the long-term strategic approach to the actors of a forming network to deal with the challenges of climate change;
  • Development of decision support systems, recommendations for action and planning concepts to ensure the practical effectiveness and continuity of the project results.
Time horizon
  • 2011–2040 (near future)
  • 2036–2065
  • 2071–2100 (far future)

Step 4: Plan and implement measures

Measures and/or strategies 

In the following field adaptation measures are planned and partly implemented:

  • Strategies that need to be changed concerning the site-specific adaptation of the agricultural farming systems and production methods, both in particular such as the tillage, the varieties or breed choice and their system as a whole so that there are medium- and long-term development perspectives for agricultural, forestry and the horticultural enterprises when water availability has changed;
  • Adaption of manufacturing systems to reduce the risk of weather-related production losses;
  • Testing and evaluation of the importance of institutional backup strategies such as insurance solutions;
  • Long-term protection of landscape multifunctionality;
  • Development of sustainable grazing systems for sensitive groundwater influenced landscapes;
  • Development of climate forests, in which aspects of forestry and interactions to tourism and resource protection as important factors have to be considered;
  • Further development of conservation policy instruments and new management options for protected areas;
  • Establishment of a tourist destination management adapted to climate change;
  • Development of adaptation options concerning the water management at the local and regional levels in water basins, wetlands and lakes of Brandenburg;
  • Analyzing the suitability of technical solutions for climate change adaptation (e.g. irrigation, intensive water retention, storage elements, groundwater recharge);
  • Analyzing the optimal irrigation by regulatory concepts concerning the water requirements;
  • Development of institutional-financial control mechanisms and socio-economic concepts for a sustainable climate-adaptive water management.
Costs of the measures 

e.g. economic evaluation of the management effects according to silvicultural models at the regional level and of different land use options for the planning regions


Funding / Financing 

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) - research priority: "KLIMZUG – Managing climate change in the regions for the future "

Project management 

Institut für Sozioökonomie, Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung


The network links researchers, businesses, policy-makers and public administrations. Practitioner partners in the network include companies from agriculture and forestry, tourism, and water management sectors as well as civil associations and public authorities from Brandenburg and Berlin and further afield. In total, INKA BB includes around 100 organisations and stakeholders


ZALF - Zentrum für Agrarlandschafts- und Landnutzungsforschung, Müncheberg
Eberswalder Straße 84
D-15374 Müncheberg (Mark)Brandenburg

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Fields of action:
 agriculture  biological diversity  human health  industry and commerce  spatial, regional and urban land use planning  tourism industry  water regime, water management  woodland and forestry  cross sectoral