Climate change in New Aquitaine
The New Aquitaine region, located in the southwest of France, has become, after the territorial reorganization that took place in 2016, the largest region in France with more than 84,000 km2. It is home to nearly 6 million inhabitants, has 720 km of coastline and is the leading region in terms of agriculture and wood as well as photovoltaic production.
In 2011, the Aquitaine Regional Council decided, given the lack of information on the effects of climate change at the local level, to create a committee of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (GIEC) type. The objective was to assess the available information that could help to better understand the impacts of climate change in the region and to anticipate the associated adaptation needs. The task was entrusted to GIEC member and climatologist Hervé Le Treut, and the C2A group (which stands for Climate Change in Aquitaine) was launched with one main objective: to produce a report that could focus and summarize studies concerning climate change, while maintaining a close link with other issues, such as biodiversity, ecosystems or economic activities. More than 170 researchers contributed to 15 themes, each with a dedicated coordinator. In 2013, the report "The impacts of climate change in Aquitaine" was published and presented at public meetings to stakeholders from society and the territory. It is important to mention that this approach was the first of its kind in France.
As already mentioned, shortly afterwards, the region was faced with a major change: a merger of three regions to become New Aquitaine. New territories, new landscapes, new issues, new challenges. In order to overcome them, the Regional Council renewed its confidence in this committee, renamed AcclimaTerra.
Thus in 2015, more than 240 researchers and volunteer contributors were mobilized to produce another report that could harmonize knowledge on climate change information for the entire region. In June 2018, the report "Anticipating Climate Change in New Aquitaine. Taking action in the Territories" was published. The purpose of this work was to show how climate change will affect our territory and to provide a diagnosis and recommendations that could help in decision-making in a wide range of areas.
In addition, in view of the societal challenges posed by the erosion of biodiversity, the regional interdisciplinary scientific committee ECOBIOSE was created in November 2017 on the initiative of the New Aquitaine Region. Its mission is to take stock of scientific knowledge on the interrelationships between the state of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the provision of economic and socio-cultural services in New Aquitaine. ECOBIOSE is the regional version of IPBES (Intergovernmental Scientific and Political Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).
The region, particularly because of its geography (mountains, countryside and ocean), will be strongly affected by climate change. To face these impacts, the Regional Council has decided, on the basis of the scientific expertise of the AcclimaTerra and ECOBIOSE committees, to accelerate and support the transition effort in terms of energy, ecology and agriculture by 2030. Concrete operational actions will be drawn up quickly and in the years to come, co-constructed with all public and private stakeholders.
This ambition is described in the Néo Terra roadmap, presented on July 9, 2019, and structured around 11 major ambitions: citizen engagement, agro-ecology, business change, energy transition, clean mobility, resilient urban planning, waste treatment, biodiversity preservation, protection of natural resources and water in particular, sanctuarisation of agricultural and forest land.
In addition to the preparation of the above-mentioned reports, AcclimaTerra and ECOBIOSE are continuing their activities with the growing ambition of linking science and society at the heart of public decision-making.
For more information, please click here:
AcclimaTerra, Le Treut, H. (dir). Anticipating climate change in New Aquitaine. Taking action in the territories. Éditions Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 2018, 488 p.
ECOBIOSE, Rapport d'évaluation sur le rôle de la biodiversité dans les socio-écosystèmes de Nouvelle-Aquitaine (Assessment report on the role of biodiversity in the socio-ecosystems of New-Aquitaine), 2019.
Neo Terra Roadmap www.neo-terra.fr