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Territorial Resilience to Climate Change

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    Territorial resilience to climate change (TRCC), both mitigation and adaptation, refers to “the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a territory to survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what kinds of climatic and environmental chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.”


    Lead Organization

    Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI)



    French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), French Development Agency  (AFD), Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories(AViTeM), International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Cities Alliance, Cooperation for urban mobility in the developing world (CODATU), European Investment Bank (EIB), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), International Union for Nature Conservation in the Mediterranean (IUCN Med), MedCities, Plan Bleu, Région Sud, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), World Bank.


    Regional Context

    The Mediterranean region is prone to environmental stresses and shocks associated with water scarcity, air pollution, coastal erosion, desertification, droughts and extreme weather events including storms and heavy rains leading to flash floods, heat waves and wildfires.


    These risks are aggravated by climate change whose impact is expected to intensify in the coming decades particularly in the Mediterranean region, which is one of the most affected regions due to its geo-strategic position in the world (at the carrefour between Europe, Asia and Africa), its unique biodiversity and high reliance on scarce natural resources, including water.


    The socio-economic impacts of climate change have been aggravated by demographic pressure which results in dense built areas, often located on the coastline as well as rapid and unplanned urbanization. In the Mediterranean region nearly 40% of the coastline is built up and a third of the population live close to the sea.


    At the global level, the international community reiterated its commitment to act through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2015 Paris Agreement (COP 21). Resilience approaches, both mitigation and adaptation, are progressively being adopted globally. Mediterranean countries have submitted their National Determined Contributions and are working on national and city climate plans and resilience strategy to reach their objectives. However, regional cooperation is still limited and knowledge and action on resilience solutions and approaches are still scare, with many territories and communities lacking capacities for disaster risk management, climate change mitigation and adaptation.


    Since climate change is occurring more rapidly than anticipated at the COP21, it is time to support the Mediterranean countries to mitigate and adapt to its effects, help them share experiences, act collectively and better link policy and decision makers with experts, practitioners and donors.



    The TRCC program fits under the CMI’s second thematic pillar for the period 2019-2021: “Resilience: mitigation and adaptation to external shocks, mainly climate change and response to the effects of conflicts”.


    The CMI currently has two active programs aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate change. It is managing, in cooperation with DG EU, the Mediterranean Forum on Electricity and Climate Changeto promote energy transition, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is also coordinating the “Regional knowledge program on waterto prevent water scarcity and support adaptation and mitigation to climate change in the Mediterranean.


    Since climatic and environmental stresses and shocks are complex and interconnected, it is therefore essential to approach resilience in a systematic and comprehensive way. Hence, the new program will focus on territorial resilience to climate change (TRCC) through a multi spatial and multi sectoral approach and be linked with CMI’s energy and water programs. It will strive to break the siloes between the different sectors including agriculture, housing, transport, forestry impacted by climate change and to encourage all territories (rural/peri-urban/urban/coastal/marine) to cooperate and develop dynamics of cohesion that will help them to survive, adapt and overpass shocks.


    The TRCC program is therefore intended: (i) to strengthen the capacity of national, sub-national actors and local communities to achieve transformative reforms and deploy territorial resilience approaches to climate change, and (ii) to promote a resilient integrated governance across all Mediterranean territories.


    As part of this action plan, the program will prioritize six high potential areas.

    • Food security and sustainable management of natural resources and land by bringing together agriculture, forestry, fishery, water, housing and transport;
    • Climate change and migration by promoting sustainable solutions since there is evidence that climate change works, among other factors including economic hardship and conflicts, as a catalyst for the displacement of people;
    • Land, land use and housing by strengthening land and urban planning to improve territorial coherence, reduce impacts on climate and lessen climate change vulnerability. This includes coastal management to build coastal resilience by bringing together municipalities, ministries and civil society organizations;
    • Territorial governance and inclusive local development by strengthening territorial infrastructures and services. This will help make territories more efficient and resilient and reduce increasing territorial vulnerabilities and inequalities across all Mediterranean territories;
    • Building resilient infrastructures and giving priority to nature-based solutions (eco-system-based solutions) to support disaster risk management;
    • Leveraging climate friendly digital technologies (i.e. early alert information system or climate smart dig-agriculture) to better prepare and build more inclusive communities, including the poorest and most vulnerable.


    Expected Outcomes

    The program will enhance knowledge base on the good practices and opportunities for adapting and mitigating climate change in the Mediterranean region using territorial approaches. It will help share experiences and evidences via analytical works and capacity building events. This will enable governments and practitioners from countries exposed to similar risks to learn about their challenges and to respond the questions of Mediterranean leaders to enhance resilience strategies. The program will bring together a broad range of stakeholders, IFIs, local and national governments, NGOs and the private sector to work together in the definition, funding and implementation of innovative solutions.

    • Convening and facilitating the “Territorial Resilience and Climate Change Hub”. The TRCC Hub will be the steering committee of the program and will oversight the program activities, capacity building, conferences, analytical work, etc. The hub partners will be consulted on the work program and will work together on some of the realizations.
    • Building the “Territorial Resilience and Climate Change” Community of Practice (CoP): a network of resilience practitioners gathering public and private sector professionals, researchers and civil society members working on climate change at the local /territorial/central level. This Community of Practice will be a resource to ensure that resilience, a cross cutting theme, is embedded in all development programs. These practitioners will help transform policies and analytical work into concrete programs and actions.
    • Facilitating high level dialogues and produce analytical work to better inform national policies and on the ground operations. The program will start with a comprehensive mapping of resilience initiatives and stakeholders in the region to take stock of the progress made to build resilient communities and territories. One or two analytical papers will be produced every year on priority areas determined by the TRCC hub partners.
    • Developing bilateral knowledge and capacity building activities with partners, including existing on-going activities implemented with partners such as the Leaders in Urban Transport Planning (LUTP) Capacity Building Sessions jointly organized by the WB and the AFD with the technical support of CODATU, the Metropolitan Workshop Series organized with AVITEM and further activities to be developed with other CMI partners such as CIHEAM.