Fire is the most significant natural threat to forests and wooded areas of the Mediterranean basin. The average annual number of forest fires in the Mediterranean basin, particularly in southern Europe, is close to 50,000 - twice as many as during the 1970s. The natural plant ecosystem of the Mediterranean basin is rich in shrubs and coniferous forests and, thus, particularly susceptible to fire. Meanwhile, summer periods are now warmer, drier and longer and projected changes in the climate suggest increases in the frequency and severity of forest fires.
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Körös-Maros National Park, SE-Hungary, was created in 1997 for the protection of birds. Located in the region consisting of the meandering branches of river Körös and on the Dévaványai, it has a variety of habitats including steppes, remnants of wooded grasslands and marshlands as well as meadows and groves of extraordinary value. The impacts of climate change to these habitats can be great and varied, but also can exasperate the impacts caused by other pressures.
The Forested Infiltration Area (FIA) is proving to be an effective tool in Northern Italy helping to address water scarcity challenges and/or to achieve environmental benefits over the long term. FIA is a method to recharge groundwater aquifers by channelling surface waters during times of excess into designated areas that have been planted with various species of trees and/or shrubs. With an extension of 2.5 hectares, the FIA of Carmignano di Brenta (Padua) – called Bosco Limite - is the largest in Veneto region, constructed on private land which was previously used to grow maize.
Forests can provide effective protection against rockfalls, landslides and avalanches; their preservation and proper management can maintain these services and functions which assume relevance also in the perspective of adaptation to current extreme events and future climate changes. The Protect Bio method enables the evaluation of these ecosystem services. The method aims to evaluate if technical protective (and expensive) measures (i.e.
The densely populated River Lavant valley region in the eastern part of Carinthia in the southern Austrian Alps is characterised by a low level of precipitation, geological conditions unfavourable to groundwater storage and a limited number of springs that can be used for water supply. In the past decades, annual precipitation amounts have declined significantly, and the region has been affected by water shortages during hot summers several times.
Herdade do Freixo do Meio is an organic certified farm of 440 hectares located in the Alentejo region in the south of Portugal, a region characterized by the multifunctional agro-silvo-pastoral system of cork and holm oak trees, named montado. This farm employs about 20 people and produces cork, vegetables, fruit, wine and herbs, and holds animals (such as sheep, cows, pig, turkey and chicken) extensively.
Tamera, a farm of 154 ha, is located in the most arid region of Portugal (Alentejo). This area has shown significant trends of increasing erosion and desertification and climate change will most probably exacerbate these issues. Tamera has managed to counteract such trends of increasing erosion and desertification through the creation of a “Water Retention Landscape” (WRL) comprised of a system of lakes and of other retention systems, and also including other structures such as terraces, swales and rotational grazing ponds.
Šibenik-Knin County in Croatia has 960 km of coast and 285 islands and rocks. Its coastal zone consists of seven municipalities and three cities including Šibenik, the administrative centre. The Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County focuses on the impacts of climate change in the coastal zone and adaptation to projected changes. The Coastal Plan (at December 2014) is being prepared by the PAP/RAC (Priority Actions Programme/ Regional Activity Centre) in Split and the Plan Bleu: both are components of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Programme.
The agriculture sector in Montpellier is highly vulnerable to higher temperature and more frequent droughts associated with projected climate change. To prepare for the effects of climate change it is important that agriculture in Montpellier takes appropriate adaptation measures. The current system, largely based on monoculture, is deemed to be more vulnerable compared to alternatives such as the cultivation of a mixture of crops and species, especially a mixture of trees and crops as in agroforestry.
Dorset is a county in South West England on the English Channel Coast. The Dorset heathlands cover an extensive area of South East Dorset, fragmented by urban development and other land uses. These heathlands once covered over 50,000 hectares, stretching as far as Dorchester and Poole. Changes in agricultural practice, conifer planting, scrub encroachment, urban expansion and road building have all contributed to a reduction in area. Dorset's fragmented heaths total approximately 7,000-8,000 hectares today.