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The ClimEmpower project holds its first CoP meeting to discuss strategies to increase the urban resilience of the Western Costa del Sol

– More than thirty representatives from government, businesses and scientific and academic sectors have collaborated in this Community of Practice (CoP) to share climate resilient development actions adapted to the needs of the Spanish case study

The ClimEmpower project organises its first Community of Practice (CoP) in Málaga. A collaborative space in which more than 30 stakeholders have been able to co-create resilient development strategies adapted to the needs of the Western Costa del Sol, where the Spanish pilot will be carried out.

The aim of this European project, financed by the Horizon Europe programme, is to empower five territories in southern Europe that are particularly vulnerable to climate change (Western Costa del Sol in Andalusia, Spain; Osijek-Baranja County, Croatia; Troodos Mountain Range, Cyprus; Central Greece and Sicily, Italy). To this end, each pilot has a collaborative learning forum in which to share knowledge and experiences on an ongoing basis with agents in the territory. These Communities of Practice will enable partners to improve urban resilience in each of their regions.

CoPs, an instrument for addressing climate change in Andalusia

In the case of the Spanish pilot, the setting is the Western Costa del Sol in Andalusia. The autonomous community suffers the consequences of climate change in the form of floods, droughts, forest fires and heat waves. To combat these effects, the Spanish CoP will focus all its efforts on securing a flood risk assessment tool, a drought modelling framework, fire and heat wave risk assessment, and climate change risk prevention or mitigation measures.

The Ministry of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy of the Junta de Andalucía (Regional Government of Andalusia); Aquatec, a company belonging to the Agbar Group, and Cetaqua Andalucía are the partners leading this CoP, in which they participate along with other local entities to serve as a tool to improve urban resilience in Andalusia and thus cope with pluvial and coastal flooding, water scarcity, heat waves and the forest fires that affect the region.

With this purpose as a roadmap, the partners organised the first CoP of the ClimEmpower project for the Spanish case study. The event, held at the headquarters of Aguas de Torremolinos, served as a forum to establish a first contact between the project and different representatives of the region’s government, businesses and scientific and academic sectors.

The Junta de Andalucía’s strategy for adaptation to climate change, the Andalusian Climate Action Plan 2021-2030, was presented to all those present. This is the general strategic planning instrument in Andalusia for the fight against climate change, and covers three major action programmes: mitigation and energy transition, adaptation and communication, and participation.

This was followed by an in-depth introduction of the ClimEmpower project and its ambition to demonstrate the importance of climate resilience in regional development. In this regard, the opportunity was taken to share experiences, resources and skills to provide valuable tools, data and knowledge to the Western Costa del Sol.

Flood models – analysed by Aquatec – and drought models – developed by Cetaqua – were also introduced. They will be implemented as proposed solutions for the Spanish pilot under the ClimEmpower project.

Involving society in the fight against climate change

One of the main objectives of the ClimEmpower project is to increase public awareness and involve the population in the fight against climate change. Therefore, in order to achieve this objective, the active participation of all of society’s stakeholders through these meetings is essential. For this reason, one of the central themes of this CoP was the participatory workshops.

The first of these sought to understand the barriers, shortcomings and needs of the Western Costa del Sol, as well as the tools needed to empower and increase its urban resilience. With this information, a second workshop was held to share the contributions of each of the sectors represented in the CoP, as well as their expectations.

The holding of this CoP event lays the foundations that will mark the coming months of work, in which ClimEmpower partners will work to actively involve all social agents in the region, so as to address the consequences of climate change that hit the Western Costa del Sol and to improve its urban resilience.