Cross-cutting adaptation policy: a case study of Lyme disease

Changes in land management (e.g. increasing woodland extent) can increase the number of Lyme disease infected ticks. At the same time nature based tourism, which can expose visitors to ticks and infection, is an important contributor to Scotland’s rural economy and employment.

Sectoral decisions taken in isolation can potentially conflict with other policy outcomes. It is therefore important to recognise and untangle these cross-cutting issues. This paper sets out a method for characterising and analysing a cross-sectoral adaptation issue.

Lyme disease provides a good example of a cross-cutting issue, as the drivers and impacts of Lyme disease cut across a number of policy areas including: health, agriculture, forestry, conservation, biodiversity, rural economy, outdoor recreation and tourism. An informed approach to Lyme disease that accounts for complexity and interaction can help avoid conflicts and enable more efficient use of resources.