Coastal Protection Strategy for the Balearic Islands considering the effects of climate change

Ongoing – The development of a Coastal Protection Strategy considering the climate change effects for the Balearic Islands is an initiative financed by the Structural Reform Support Programme of the European Union upon request of the Spanish Directorate-General for the Coast and the Sea of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

The project seeks to:

· Understand and characterise coastal erosion challenges under an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, and under the modern approach for Disaster Risk Management.

· Propose a planning instrument for coastal protection (the Strategy) including the viable alternatives addressing all phases of the Disaster Risk Management cycle (including prevention and recovery) and the corresponding implementation plan.

Challenges like climate change and human-driven pressures on the environment require improved protection measures and cooperation among stakeholders to ensure the resilience of coastal areas, biodiversity and natural-cultural heritage. The project aims to apply an integrated approach, considering those physical, environmental and institutional factors interrelated with coastline evolution, flood risk, public domain occupations, erosion processes and the effects of climate change, to identify the most appropriate coastal protection measures for the Balearic Islands.

The project is being implemented by a European consortium led by the Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) which includes the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria), the Balearic Islands Coastal Ocean Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) and MedCities. Working in close cooperation with the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, over the next months, the team will carry out a diagnosis to better understand the coastal erosion challenges and an analysis of possible scenarios and risk reduction options, followed by the design of the Coastal Protection Strategy along the coasts of all the Balearic Islands. The Strategy will be developed with the involvement of key stakeholders in the 6 islands under study (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Cabrera and Dragonera).

In this project, MedCities is in charge to set up the communication and participation processes needed to involve the main stakeholders influencing the erosion and the preservation of the coastal environment in the Balearic Islands. In order to do so, among other actors, all coastal municipalities will be engaged through a consultation process in two different moments: to input the diagnosis and to validate the strategy.

MedCities is especially keen in engaging our member city, Palma.

Main SDGs addressed:

11 – Sustainable cities and communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

13 – Climate action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

14 – Life below water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, sea, and marine resources for sustainable development.

15 – Life on land – Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manager forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Beneficiary:

Directorate-General for the Coast and the Sea (DGCS)of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic challenge (MITECO), Spain.

Partners:

· Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC)

· Environmental Hydraulics Institute (IHCantabria )

· Balearic Islands Coastal Ocean Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB)

· MedCities/MedCités

Budget:

464.981 euros

Financing:

This project is funded by the Structural Reform Support Programme of the European Union and implemented in collaboration with EUCC and its partners, and the European Commission.