Climate change presents a major threat for the Autonomous Region of the Azores and its development. To face this challenge, in 2014 the regional government commissioned the Azores Regional Programme for Climate Change (PRAC). This followed its approval in 2011 of the Regional Strategy for Climate Change (ERAC). The regional strategy is put into action through the PRAC.
LIFE IP CLIMAZ aims to support implementation of the regional climate change adaptation strategy and programme on the nine islands of the Azores, helping them adapt to and mitigate the effects of the changing climate. The project will address the specific climate change vulnerabilities facing the region, with a focus on the sectors most at risk and using ecosystem-based approaches where relevant. Actions have been designed to allow synergies with other complementary LIFE projects. LIFE IP CLIMAZ aims to make a significant contribution to ensuring greater climatic resilience, through integration into different sectors and engagement of a wide range of stakeholders.
The projects specific objectives are to: Increase knowledge and information about climate change and its effects; Promote research, development of solutions and increased capacity for dealing with adaptation and mitigation needs; Improve monitoring and reporting capacity; Reinforce territorial resilience to vulnerabilities and risks of climate change;Promote adaptation throughout strategic sectors; Promote integration of adaptation and mitigation targets into other sectoral policies; Promote the transition to a regional economy based on low carbon emissions; Promote a sustainable path for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; Raise awareness within society about the key challenges posed by climate change, contributing to increased climatic governance and action by individuals and organizations; andPromote and facilitate engagement of local communities and stakeholders in the identification and definition of roadmaps for adaptation.
LIFE IP CLIMAZ will also contribute to implementation of a range of EU policy and legislation, including: the climate adaptation strategy, biodiversity strategy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Water Framework Directive, Floods Directive, Green Public Procurement Support Tools and the strategy for outermost regions.
In addition to the projects own budget, LIFE IP CLIMAZ will facilitate the coordinated use of more than 181 million in complementary funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), LIFE (other projects being implemented in the region coordinated by the same lead beneficiary), INTERREG (MAC and EUROPE programmes), Horizon 2020, and national and private funds.
Expected results: Project actions Cost-effective achievement of adaptation targets, evidenced in future assessment/reporting;Increased knowledge useful for adaptation;Greater capacity to produce native flora for adaptation/mitigation work;Increased resilience of habitats through ecosystem-based adaptation;Ecological corridors created; Reduced density/distribution of invasive alien flora;Increased availability of databases and complementary resources for monitoring, assessing and reporting climate change effects; Increased availability of management instruments and integration of adaptation goals into other sectoral policies, including energy, forestry, tourism, watershed management, coastal management and local land-use planning; Revised PRAC, accounting for the results achieved and updated information;Increased decarbonisation of transport with demonstration cases that can be further leveraged;Overall increased capacity for action on adaptation and mitigation, including among the different beneficiaries internal teams and external stakeholders in relevant sectors (e.g. agriculture and cattle breeding, energy productionand distribution, tourism); andIncreased networking with other public authorities from EU outermost regions, including active transfer/replication of know-how to deal with the common adaptation problem of island settings (e.g. energy storage and management of the energy mix of renewables and fossil fuels to overcome the problems of isolated systems).
Complementary actions Increased integration of adaptation/mitigation goals into energy and tourism policy, including that related to low carbon mobility, efficient use of energy, and promotion of renewable energies through common frameworks; Improved and enlarged databases and monitoring systems for better assessment of climate change;Overall increased capacity for adaptation/mitigation through training directed at several audiences, including entities external to the project (e.g. linked to implementation of the PRAC); andIncreased use of ERDF funding for large infrastructure investments dealing with risk mitigation, increased resilience and improved energy storage to allow for further use of renewables. This will include demonstration investments initially foreseen as using LIFE funding (e.g. energy storage batteries).