Protection of key ecosystem services by adaptive management of Climate Change endangered Mediterranean socioecosystems

Paraje de Cabo de Gata

Current levels of aridity in the Mediterranean appear to be unprecedented in the last 500 years and most climate models predict an increase in temperature and a substantial decrease in rainfall in the basin. Mediterranean representative socio-ecosystems (such as wetlands, high mountain ranges and coasts) and the services they provide are currently being negatively affected by Climate Change and, on the basis of current data, this affection is expected to increase significantly in the future.

The AdpataMED project focuses on developing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and disseminating adaptative management measures addressed to those socio-ecosystems identified as key for the provision of, among others, soil retention, polinization, pastures, temperature regulation, water provision, prevention of forest fires and of desertification.

Main objective
The project aims to mitigate the negative effect of climate change on key ecosystem services that three iconic and representative Mediterranean natural protected areas provide to local inhabitants and their socioeconomic sector:

• a Mediterranean wetland, Doñana Nature Space (Nature & National Park and Biosphere Reserve)
• a Mediterranean high mountain range, Sierra Nevada Nature Space (N&NP and BR)
• and a subdesertic Mediterranean coastal area, Cabo de Gata Nature Park (and BR).

The project will focus on implementing adaptation measures and providing information, experience and instruments to other managers, owners and stakeholders who must face these threats.

Expected results
- Improved protection from climate change to key ecosystem services (such as Soil retention, Water provision/regulation, Carbon cycle regulation, Oxygen production, Temperature regulation, Desertification prevention, Pollination/seed dispersion, Recreation, nature tourism) trough adaptative management of strategic ecosystems (mountain Mediterranean shrubs, pine woods, pre-desert scrubland, coastal dune woods and Quercus wood).

- Testing of specific management practices, as plantations, pruning, invasive species reduction, restoration of irrigation channels, thinning, installation of biodiversity boxes, reconstruction of soil retention structures among others;

- Design of tools and methods to quantify the effectiveness of the management actions in the protection of the ecosystem services;

IUCN Med role: Governance and Communication
IUCN Med will work to ensure proper governance model of the activities, starting with a preparatory action for participation with farmers, irrigation communities and local people to jointly define the location and characteristics of central actions.

In addition, IUCN Med is responsible for the communication activities of the project and will work to ensure the creation and use of a shared and clear corporate identity for the project, in the organization and implementation of local dissemination activities and the coordination of internal communication and external activities results.

This LIFE is led by the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía, includes partners from research and academia, including the University of Granada, through the Interuniversity Institute for Earth System Research in Andalusia; the Biological Station of Doñana, under the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC); and the University of Almería, through the Andalusian Center for Evaluation and Monitoring of Global Change.

At the same time, the consortium of Science Parks will support environmental education and dissemination and the Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation IUCN will ensure regional and international project dissemination. In this project the Agency of Environment and Water, a public company attached to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, and the company Aguas Font Vella and Lanjarón, S.A. aera also involved supporting financially.

This LIFE also has the support of stakeholders of the territories involved as farmers, and representatives of the tourism and business sector, among others.

5,462,678 Euro, 60% co-funded by the European Union / Life Programme.

The project is scheduled over five years period (2015-2020)

For further information: Carla Danelutti

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