Climate Proof Areas

Background and Aim

The aim of the project was to accelerate the climate change adaptation process in the North Sea Region by means of the joint development and testing of innovative adaptation measures in pilot locations for a variety of areas representative for the North Sea Region as a whole, and use the results to give recommendations for regional, national and North Sea Region wide adaptation strategies and create a toolkit for adaptation in the North Sea Region, thus preparing these regions, countries and the North Sea Region for anticipated changes in the climate.

The project also aimed to improve adaptation policies on regional and national level by means of targeted communication actions to the various political stakeholders.

The North Sea Region is threatened by the effects of climate change and especially raising sea levels will impact the North Sea Region, which mainly consists of coastal areas. The frequency and impact of natural disasters such as storm surges and floods will increase in the future while also increased levels of rainfall and higher water levels in rivers are expected.

This directly threatens core values of the North Sea Region such as precious nature areas and densely populated urban areas along the North Sea coast. The European Commission has recognised that apart from working on mitigation (CO2 reduction) adaptation is unavoidable, hence the development of the green paper 'adapting to climate change in Europe - options for EU action'. Experience and expertise in designing effective adaptation strategies and especially designing and implementing concrete adaptation measures is very limited.

Adaptation will require (huge) spatial investments and innovative solutions which are politically sensitive. Therefore the NSR countries have the common challenge to work on climate change adaptation strategies and innovative measures that will enable the NSR countries to deal with the problems caused by climate change. This project will set major steps towards implementing concrete adaptation measures, transfer this experience to the entire NSR and thus accelerate the adaptation process in the NSR.

Throughout the partnership, different land uses as nature conservation, urban/build-up areas and agriculture are represented. Although all have different accents in land use, still an integrated approach is needed in order to achieve a sustainable approach. Therefore all partners will work together on jointly developed regional adaptation strategies and pilot locations that will set further steps towards implementation and testing of adaptation measures.

PROJECT DURATION: 2008-07-01 - 2011-12-31
ERDF GRANT: 2,711,442.00 €
LEAD BENEFICIARY: Province of Zeeland, The Netherlands