Tunis/Tunisia — The French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADME), in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean and Plan Bleu announced the launch of the 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards.
Following the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, this 3rd edition is an opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent need to take action and the importance of working together to create inspiring and innovative solutions that can be used throughout the region.
The Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards identify and mobilise the key players involved in implementing projects to adapt to climate change from coastal, urban and rural territories across the Mediterranean.
The aim is to reward exemplary and replicable practices in order to encourage other parts of the region to take action to adapt to the challenges presented by climate change, the UfM indicates on its website.
Actors wishing to participate in this competition must submit their applications before April 15, 2021. The trophies will be awarded at the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA), scheduled for June 2021 in Brussels.
Previous editions of the Awards have celebrated more than 50 projects from across 15 countries around the Mediterranean. These actions taken to mitigate the effects of climate change are led by private and public decision-makers and can be replicated and introduced throughout the region.
In Tunisia, the "Association du développement et études stratégiques de Médenine" carried out hydraulic works to construct dams and reservoirs that retain rainwater and top up the water supply.
This has made it possible to increase agricultural production of food products such as olives, figs, grains and fodder, for example, which has in turn increased farmers' incomes and kept young people in the area due to these more positive economic prospects.
The Mediterranean basin, with its 500 million inhabitants, is the second-most impacted area by climate change after the Arctic, as shown in the recent MedECC (Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change) report.
Temperatures in this climate change hotspot are increasing faster than the global average, and major impacts are expected as soon as 2050. These include up to a 10% drop in the availability of freshwater and a decrease in food security due to a potential drop of up to 17% in crop yields and up to 20% in overfished marine life, as well as an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods. Further major impacts are also predicted in the long term. By 2100, it is predicted there will be a temperature increase of 5.6 °C, a 20% drop in rainfall, a potential 90cm rise in sea levels, a two-fold increase in the land-area scorched by fires, as well as the disappearance of at least 40% of native fish species and the introduction of non-native species.
Cities and rural communities across the Mediterranean must therefore work to create stable social, economic and environmental conditions so that the region is better able to deal with the impact of extreme weather and events linked to climate change.