Towards a Pyrenean Climate Change Strategy

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Once again this year, the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory (OPCC) of the Working Community of the Pyrenees (CTP) welcomes spring with an agenda full of news and initiatives on climate change adaptation and natural risk management in mountain areas.

Through the LIFE programme, the CTP has received funding from the European Union for the preparation of a larger project in the future, an Integrated LIFE. Its objective is to prepare the implementation plan of the future Pyrenean Climate Change Strategy. About thirty people participated on Wednesday 24th February in the kick-off meeting of the new LIFE Technical Assistance project led by the Working Community of the Pyrenees, through the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory: "LIFE TA-CC PIRINEOS, towards a more climate resilient Pyrenean mountain area".

This work will capitalise on the results of previous OPCC projects, such as the INTERREG POCTEFA OPCC ADAPYR, thus making it possible to articulate a common response to the impacts caused by climate change in the cross-border territory of the Pyrenees. This strategy is a unique opportunity to move from theory to practice and to translate the knowledge acquired over a decade into concrete and consensual measures through a common roadmap. Moreover, this strategic reflection comes at a key moment for Europeans with the recently published European Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: for the next two years, this document will be a milestone in the process of developing the Pyrenean Climate Change Strategy.

During the spring of 2021 and until the end of the year, the OPCC of the CTP will develop the second phase of an ambitious participation plan for the definition of the Pyrenean climate change strategy, in which the main sectoral actors in the Pyrenees will be involved through participatory workshops, with a clear cross-border and cooperative  approach.

During the World Earth Day 2021, the second seminar of the INTERREG SUDOE MONTCLIMA project took place. The online event, with more than 12 expert speakers from Portugal, Spain and France, addressed the risk of forest fires in Southwest Europe by analysing historical data and forecasts The round table allowed to discuss how forest management practices affect these mountain territories: from risk identification to the reduction of large forest fires or the implementation of common monitoring tools. This event follows on from the 1st MONTCLIMA seminar on natural risks and climate change, and will be complemented by 4 other seminars as part of an ambitious transfer action of this INTERREG SUDOE project.

At the same time, the CTP has launched the membership campaign of ASPir (Pyrenees Soil Alliance). With the creation of ASPir, which already has more than 20 member organisations, the CTP wanted to support the creation of a cross-border initiative to harmonise policies and actions relating to soil management and conservation in the Pyrenean territories, in line with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The ASPir will promote soil conservation and the maintenance of soil quality in the Pyrenean bioregion.

Within the H2020 PHUSICOS project, the CTP organised a participatory workshop on the benefits of nature-based solutions in the Pyrenean cross-border territory. The main objective of the day was to deepen, together with the key actors of the territory, the concept of nature-based measures for the management and prevention of natural risks.

The session also served to briefly present the PHUSICOS project and to promote the Living Lab, which aims to incorporate different perspectives in the perception of the risks analysed and in the collaborative analysis of the possible NB solutions to be implemented in the two pilot sites of the project in the Pyrenees: St. Helena and Artouste.

Finally, until the end of May, the CTP, through the POCTEFA OPCC ACDAPYR project, is carrying out a campaign to collect good practices for adaptation to climate change in mountain areas in order to complete its current catalogue.

This tool is intended to be a window on successful, innovative and replicable experiences in the cross-border Pyrenees area.  We are now trying to compile new practices with a greater emphasis on concrete and virtuous examples and on issues such as health and climate change, the local action for climate or energy inequalities.

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