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Insights from the CLIMAAX Webstival in Setúbal

Article written by Jip Lenssen - Project Officer

As proud project partners of the CLIMAAX project, EURADA is proud to have organised the Webstival session that took place in the city hall of the city of Setúbal, Portugal last month.

The Webstival came as the project is headed towards a critical phase where applications for an open call to receive financial, analytical, and practical support to improve Regional Climate and EmergencyRisk Management Plans are to be submitted and evaluated.

CLIMAAX (CLIMAte risk and vulnerability Assessment framework and toolbox) is a project funded by Horizon Europe for 24 months that started in January 2023. The project aims to support European regions in enhancing their Climate Risk Assessments. Recently, the General Assembly of the project was hosted by the municipality of Setúbal in Portugal.

Gathered in the beautiful city hall of Setúbal, a broad variety of specialised speakers delved into the project and its scope. The session was opened by Bart van den Hurk, Scientific Director at DELTARES and IPCC WG2 co-chair who introduced the audience to the project and participated in an interesting round table discussion with project partners. The project partners agreed that regions are facing a wide array of challenges and risks caused by a changing climate. However, those risk profiles and socio-economic structures are greatly diverse as coastal areas might be preparing for floods while regions relying on water availability for agricultural production face challenges in securing water resources, for example.

This project aims to harmonise the adaptation to these diverse challenges by living by the project’s motto “standardised flexibility” which is enshrined in our Framework and Toolbox to be used for climate adaptation and emergency response. This Framework and Toolbox can capture this wide array of challenges to create better policies for climate adaptation and/or emergency response.

Thereafter, the programme went further into the Open Call available to over 50 regions to receive funding for implementing the CLIMAAX Framework and Toolbox. The CLIMAAX consortium is looking for public bodies, or Non-profit legal entities representing a local/regional community who will apply to receive funding support, access to the multi-risk assessment Toolbox and participation in official CLIMAAX events. The first Open Call was open until 8 March originally but the deadline has been extended until 22 March 2024 to allow UK entities to apply to the call and recieve funding up to EUR300,000 according to regions’ specificities.

Several regions are piloting the Framework and Toolbox. We heard from two of those regions, namely, Cristina Coelho, from the municipality of Setúbal, Portugal and Michal Žarnay, from Zilina City in Slovakia, who outlined the risks their regions are facing, and the lessons learned from implementing the CLIMAAX project. Based on these interventions and the other meetings held in Setúbal, the efforts to initiate the next phase of these activities were reignited.

After that, we heard from the climate resilience community. CLIMAAX’s sister projects presented their lessons learned to the audience. We had the pleasure of hearing from Pathways2Resilience, Regions4Climate, Valorada, and PROTECT who presented their projects and shared best practices with the community. It was inspiring to see the passion and engagement of the community for climate adaptation initiatives.

Finally, the Webstival was concluded with an extended Questions and Answers moment where participants could ask all the questions they desired. From EURADA, we would like to thank all participants and speakers for their invaluable contributions to this insightful event. In case you missed it, please rewatch the recording here. If you are interested in participating in this Open Call, it is not too late to apply. For more information on the Open Call, please visit the dedicated website here. For more information about the project itself, please visit this website.