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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.”
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.
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 Change” to promote energy transition, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is also coordinating the “Regional knowledge program on water” to 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.
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.