Despite being highly vulnerable to climate change, the province of Barcelona is not implementing adaptation measures with nearly the required urgency and intensity. Local municipalities and businesses do not have a clear understanding of the threat posed by failing to adapt or the opportunities that adaptation measures could bring to the local economy, improving its competitiveness and creating jobs. Social organisations must take a lead in promoting adaptation processes.
The project LIFE CLINOMICS aimed to increase the climate change resilience of selected territories and economies within the province of Barcelona. Its proposed actions were in line with Spain’s climate change strategy and would contribute to EU policy on biodiversity, natural catastrophes, agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure, tourism and forests.
An initial aim was to promote knowledge and awareness about climate change adaptation by engaging local administrations and employees in the agriculture, silviculture, fishery and tourism sectors. The project has specifically carried out interventions in the counties of Montseny, Alt Penedès within the province of Barcelona, and Terres de l’Ebre.
Specifically, the project aimed to:
- Draft climate change adaptation action plans and strategies, and to create the appropriate conditions so that material and financial implementation is carried out in the short term, with the added strength of social participation;
- Provide local authorities with the tools that allow them to affordably launch climate change adaptation processes;
- Develop a climate change adaptation planning model that can be replicated across the Mediterranean region of southern Europe;
- Establish criteria to attract private investment and launch local investment processes with private-public partnerships, as part of a drive to modernise local economies to adapt to climate change, increase their competitiveness, improve the market position of businesses and create new jobs;
- Improve the competitiveness of farming, forestry, fishing and tourism businesses through investment in climate change adaptation;
- Demonstrate through the implementation of six pilot actions the feasibility of adaptation measures, their costs and their benefits;
- Create knowledge, capacity and information concerning the impacts of climate change in the participating counties and economic sectors, as well as about the actions that reduce or eliminate these impacts;
- Raise awareness among citizens, stakeholders and local authorities on the impacts of climate change and to promote their active participation in both private and public adaptation actions;
- Inform businesses of the long-term financial consequences of not adapting to climate change (e.g. insurance costs); and
- Extend participation in the Covenant of Mayors scheme among the municipalities of Catalonia.
The project LIFE CLINOMICS helped increase resilience to climate change in three territories (Monsteny and Terres de l’Ebre Biosphere Reserves and Alt Penedès county) and in four economic sectors (agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquiculture, and tourism). As a first step, it assessed the climate change vulnerability of these territories and sectors. Its studies then formed the basis for determining a strategy for local climate change adaptation and the drafting of Action Plans for adaptation to climate change for the three territories. In total, the three Action Plans include about 100 different actions for climate change adaptation.
A participatory approach was adopted towards the drafting of these plans, engaging relevant local and economic stakeholders via the territorial (MeTACC) and sectorial (MeSACC) governance platforms established under the project. For each territory, two pilot actions outlined in the plans were implemented and monitored to demonstrate the long-term environmental and economic benefits of adaptation measures. The demonstration activities in Terres de l'Ebre Biosphere Reserve focused on aquaculture and vine dry crops, especially the optimisation of crop support irrigation. Alt Penedès also demonstrated the optimisation of irrigation of vine crops, along with grazing as a forest fire prevention measure, while demonstration activities at Montseny focused on adapting forests and agrarian and tourism activities to climate change as a way of increasing their resilience. The six pilot actions carried out will continue after the project end, with several already receiving funding commitments. The project moreover drafted a strategy for climate change adaptation to promote similar actions in other territories.
A key outcome of the project was the raised awareness of public and private stakeholders on the subject. The project also contributed to the development of the Catalan Adaptation Strategy 2021-2030. The vulnerability studies carried out formed the basis for the participative process currently in place, while the pilot activities are providing a valuable reference source for future activities. Finally, the project directly facilitated the incorporation of climate change adaptation into the agenda of local authorities and municipalities through the Mayors Adapt initiative and is fully in line with the European Climate Pact launched in December 2020.
Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).