Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges. In Europe, over the period 2009-2018 average temperatures ranged from 1.6 to 1.7°C above levels in the pre-industrial period, making the decade one of the warmest on record. This period also saw 3 years with the highest average temperatures measured in history. Climate models predict a further increase in temperatures of up to 4.8°C by the end of the century (according to the pessimistic emission scenario known as RCP8.5). Climate change is also reflected in changes in the amount of precipitation. These vary from one part of Europe to another, but in general the probability of intense episodes of precipitation has grown. Such episodes can cause local floods in north-eastern Europe, while longer periods without precipitation can result in devastating droughts in southern and south-western Europe.
The situation is similar in Czechia. In the period 2001-2016, the average temperature increased by 1.1°C compared to what is considered to be normal. The country is responding with the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic and the National Action Plan on Adaptation to Climate Change (both adopted in 2015). In reality, however, this process is insufficient. In particular, activities at the regional and local level are uncoordinated, unconnected and not evaluated centrally. There is also a lack of sufficient knowledge and motivation on the part of potential beneficiaries for their implementation.
Although interest in developing adaptation strategies has increased, only about 20 out of 130 cities with a population of over 10,000 in Czechia have developed and adopted such strategies. Currently, just 1 region out of 14, the Moravian-Silesian Region (MSR), has a vulnerability analysis on the impacts of climate change and an adaptation strategy, as well as implementing these in the Regional Development Strategy. In addition, to date only 24 municipalities and cities in Czechia (out of a total of over 6,250 municipalities) are signed up to the Covenant of Mayors initiative.
The adaptation process is demanding and requires effective cooperation in a territory, supported by a functioning system of tools for planning, communication and evaluation of the entire process. In order to manage such a complex process, the MSR needs to create a functioning system based on professional capacities, suitable tools and connections between the actors of the whole process, including international connections, in order to draw on good practice and experience.
The objective of this integrated project (IP) is to successfully implement the Moravian-Silesian Region’s (MSR) adaptation strategy, in order to increase the region’s climate resilience, improve the quality of the environment for its inhabitants, and support the region’s sustainable development. LIFE-IP COALA aims to introduce a system of adaptation and mitigation in the region as part of the common agendas of local governments and the MSR. The goal is to improve the use and coordination of tools, involve key stakeholders, establish partnerships with similar regions in the EU, and contribute to the successful transformation and long-term improvements of the region.
In addition to the IP budget, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of more than €124 million in complementary funding from the European Regional Development Fund (operational programmes Environment and Just Transition) and national public funds.
LIFE-IP COALA follows the priorities of EU policy on adaptation to climate change, including its integration in all policy areas. The project will contribute directly to the implementation of the MSR’s regional adaptation strategy (Adaptation Strategy of the Moravian-Silesian Region to the Impacts of Climate Change) and to the national Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic. The MSR is currently also preparing for transformation in line with the European Green Deal and defining its needs, which the region intends to address via the Just Transition Fund.
- Coalition formed for adaptation and common priorities for climate resilience in the MSR, with: information updated on priority areas; the MSR adaptation strategy updated; the operation of advisory centres ensured; and connection with other teams in Czechia and the EU, deepening cooperation;
- Planning tools strengthened in the adaptation process and their application ensured, with:
- Adaptation plans approved for cities with a population over 10,000;
- 20 municipalities implementing at least 2 adaptation measures on greenery and rainwater management;
- At least 20 public buildings prepared for a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
- Spatial plans of at least 20 municipalities incorporating the project’s results; and
- Low carbon and climate-resilient development pathway implemented in 5 projects in the post-mining landscape;
- Capacities for management of the adaptation process ensured, supporting projects from complementary sources to strengthen climate resilience, via: 20 core project experts; specialised advisory centres; 50 stakeholders trained; at least 100 adaptation projects supported by advisory centres; and at least 100 state administration and self-government representatives trained;
- Information about the territory improved and concentrated in an information system used for targeted measures and ongoing evaluation of the adaptation process: the regional information system RISA set up, made accessible to the public, and used to evaluate results;
- More than 15 demonstration and pilot projects carried out, as examples of good practice to be used by other actors in the MSR and other Czech regions or abroad, including:
- Demonstration and pilot adaptation measures on approximately 230 hectares;
- Pilot management of 2 protected areas using adaptation measures
- Adaptation measures applied on 1 building and modification of 2 public buildings owned by MSR prepared; and
- Good practice shared with 13 regions in Czechia and 130 cities, as well as with partners in the Silesian Voivodeship in Poland;
- Awareness raised of MSR residents about climate change and the need to strengthen resilience, to increase their activity through education and training, including an environmental education programme in more than 330 of the region’s grammar schools (75%);
- Financial resources mobilised and used for climate-resilience projects in the MSR, including preparation of 200 projects financed from operational programmes and 3 new projects for community programmes; and
- Results disseminated within the MSR and other Czech regions, establishing new partnerships and drawing on good practice available in other EU countries.