Improving the resilience of social-ecological systems in mountain regions as a climate change adaptation tool

You are here

Improving the resilience of social-ecological systems in mountain regions as a climate change adaptation tool
Thematic sectors: 
Sensitive high mountain ecosystems
Water resources
Political sectors EU: 
agriculture and the forestry sector, biodiversity, risk reduction, financial sector, health, infrastructure and water resource management, urban, others
Geographic characterisation - Biogeographic region: 
Project duration: 
Adaptation initiative typology: 
Soft or non-structural measures
Type of climate impact: 
Water scarcity
Extreme temperatures

Description of the case study

Mountain regions are among the world’s most climate-sensitive areas. This project comprises a social, regional and participative analysis of the implications of climate change for mountain systems and the preparation of action plans to improve the resilience of these regions by using ecosystems as a climate change adaptation tool.
The project covers two pilot regions in the Ordesa-Viñamala (Huesca) and Valles de Omaña y Luna (Castile and León) biosphere reserves.

Challenges : 

It uses strategy planning and research with local stakeholders to define new guidelines for climate change adaptation in mountain environments. The project proposes a participative process built upon recognition of essential ecosystems, the socio-economic activities associated with these and their vulnerability to climate change. Said process will enable the development of a shared future vision (future scenarios) by identifying current issues.
Using this shared scenario as a starting point, the project will embark upon a creative process as a means to developing responses to these problems. The resulting pilot action plan for each region analysed should be realistic and attainable, include a timeline, be equipped with the necessary resources and have the potential to be extrapolated to other areas.

Objectives : 

The overall project objectives are as follows:
- Analyse and diagnose the climate change implications for the two selected mountain regions.
- Develop scenarios for the next 50 years with a view to analysing the impacts of climate change in different production sectors.
- Identify good practices through the participation of local stakeholders from the various socio-economic sectors.
- Prepare an action framework for each of the regions analysed which is transferable to other mountain regions on the Iberian peninsula.
- Generate a catalogue of good practices specific to each of the regions analysed.
- Raise awareness among the local people in mountain regions of the vulnerability of these environments to climate change and the need for adaptation in traditional production sectors.

Solutions : 

The project actions are not yet under way (implementation expected throughout 2019).

Importance and relevance of the adaptation : 

Case study developed and implemented as a climate change adaptation measure.

Key words : 
ecosystem services
mountain regions
social-ecological systems
participative approach
Region and / or city: 
Countries involved: 
Geographical governance level : 
Organisations involved : 

Fundación Territorios Vivos, Ordesa-Viñamala and Valles de Omaña y Luna biosphere reserves.

Additional Information

Stakeholder participation : 

Project promoted by Fundación Territorios Vivos with the support of Fundación Biodiversidad. The project involves the collaboration of the Ordesa-Viñamala and Valles de Omaña y Luna biosphere reserves. The implementation phase will also involve local stakeholders from both areas or from the network of biosphere reserves in Spain. 

Success and limiting factors : 

Success: comprehensive regional and participative approach to addressing a global problem; use of innovative participative tools (future scenarios); transferability of the project.

Limiting: obtaining co-funding to facilitate comprehensive project development; mobilising local stakeholders for a thorough and realistic participative diagnostics exercise; generating proposals which are connected to the specific needs of each region and which can subsequently be transferred to others.

Cost-benefit analysis : 

Project funding amounts to €58,556, of which 66% is from Fundación Biodiversidad and the remaining from the project partners.

Legal aspects : 

The project received funding through the 2017 round of grant funding from Fundación Biodiversidad (Ministry for Ecological Transition) for climate change adaptation.

Implementation period : 

2018-2019 (10 months - at initial implementation phase)

Reference information

Contact : 
Roberto Aquerreta






To access


Avenida Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, 8
22.700 - Jaca
Huesca - España

+34 974 36 31 00