The IPCC’s 5th report (ARS, 2014) reminded that the Mediterranean Basin is a climate change hotspot. Prospects of sustainable development for the Mediterranean societies will be strongly affected in the next few years by climate change impacts. Nevertheless, institutional frameworks and cooperation projects about adaptation are being implemented at regional level.
The Mediterranean: one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change
It is now widely recognized that the Mediterranean region is a hot spot of climate change. According to the IPCC, it is expected a temperature rise of 2 to 3°C in the Mediterranean region by 2050, and from 3 to 5°C by 2100. In this scenario, summer rainfalls could decrease by 35% on the southern rim and by 25% on the northern rim by the end of the century. Climate change impacts such as rising sea level, sea acidification and increased storms frequency and intensity have also dramatic effects on coastal areas and are as much impacts threatening biodiversity and populations.
Mediterranean countries are already facing important issues of water stress, desertification, biodiversity decline and extreme climate events such as floods and droughts. Climate change will most probably worsen these problems, causing significant human and economic losses. However, institutions and governments took stock of the phenomenon and act together to develop adaptation measures.
Plan Bleu’s works to support climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean
As climate change impacts and adaptation would be one of the major issues for sustainable development progresses Plan Bleu have been participating in several projects in order to support Mediterranean countries in their effort to define and implement climate change adaptation policies.
- Clim Run project “Climate Local Information in the Mediterranean region: Responding to User Needs”, 2011-2014, research project financed by the European Commission (FP 7)
- ClimVar project “MED Integration of climatic variability and change into national strategies to implement ICZM Protocol into the Mediterranean project”, 2012-2016, implementation project partly financed by the GEF
- Contribution to the works on the adaptation to climate change in the Barcelona Convention’s framework and notably the development of the Regional framework of coastal areas adaptation to climate change.
MedECC (Mediterranean network of experts on climate and environmental change) was created in 2015 to provide policymakers with the information they need about the impacts of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean. Today, it brings together more than 380 scientists from 31 countries and will publish in 2019 its first regional assessment report and – like the IPCC – a summary for decision-makers.
This Mediterranean experts’ network is tangible evidence of the MSSD 2016-2025 flagship initiative on climate change adaptation. The network’s objective is to produce by 2019 the first report on environment and climate changes in the Mediterranean region. This report is not meant to be prescriptive, and is not designed to propose solutions, but rather to propose a framework from which solutions could be devised by decision-makers.
Plan Bleu, which accompanies MedECC (Mediterranean experts on climate and environmental change network) with the support of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) and the Princely Government of Principality of Monaco since 2016, has strengthened its support by hosting the MedECC secretariat since May 2018.
As part of a convention with UN Environment/MAP/Plan Bleu, the Union for the Mediterranean supports the MedECC Secretariat, in particular through funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
More information about MedECC: http://www.medecc.org/