Adaptation in Coastal Areas: How Are We Bracing for Sea Level Rise?

4 October 2023. From 18:00  To 19:30 | Conference | English | French | CaixaForum Macaya, Barcelona
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Coastal areas are home to a significant portion of the global population and serve as critical hubs for economic activities, biodiversity, and cultural heritage. However, as a consequence of the combination of seawater expansion and the melting of ice over land due to climate change, sea levels are increasingly rising, posing a major threat to coastal regions.

In the Mediterranean Basin, scenarios show that sea levels are projected to rise by 21 to 27 cm by 2050 and between 20 and 110 cm above the present level by the end of the century (MedECC, MAR1). The consequences of such an increase include unprecedented levels of coastal flooding, more frequent extreme events, coastal erosion, and damages to communities that have traditionally developed their activities and infrastructures in close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. In the Nile Delta alone, 6.3 million residents are threatened by a sea level rise of 75 cm by 2100 (IPCC, 2022).

It is crucial to understand and address the challenges faced by coastal communities and explore effective adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise. Although there is no universal solution, multiple adaptation practices exist (classified as protect, accommodate, advance, and retreat practices).

Following an explanation of the main impacts of sea level rise on sustainable development in the Mediterranean Basin, this session explores the different approaches adopted to adapt to such a challenge based on case studies, highlighting the advantages and challenges in their implementation (e.g., impact on nearshore ecology, economic and social costs) across the Mediterranean Basin. The session also takes stock of the current situation in terms of progress in adopting initiatives and policies for coastal adaptation and management. Finally, perspectives of transboundary cooperation are discussed by the participants.

This session of the Med Dialogues 2030 series takes place at the CaixaForum Macaya, Pg. de Sant Joan, 108, Barcelona. Free entrance with prior registration.

Read the article “Coastal Adaption under Climate Change” by Agustín Sanchez-Arenilla.



Agustín Sánchez-Arcilla

University Professor , Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)

Maria Snoussi

Professor University Mohammed V of Rabat

Sònia Sánchez

Climate change & Environment journalist Diari ARA

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