Priority Axis 2: Cooperating for greener and climate change resilient programme area

Specific objective: RSO2.4. Promoting climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention, resilience, taking into account ecosystem-based approaches

The natural environment is one of the key elements of the programme areas attractiveness and its socio-economic development potential. Its diverse geographical conditions makes it an area with high biodiversity but also very sensitive ecosystems. However, the programme area has been very much exposed to the negative effects of climate changes. In addition to floods, the programme area has the most problems with drought and to more extreme weather conditions, wildfires, landslides, invasive alien species and earthquakes to some extent. Such events demand direct joint action once they take place. There is the need to improve the capacities and knowledge of the policy makers and other sectors for increased resilience of eco-systems. The programme will thus give priority to joint nature-based solutions and developing sustainable systems and climate change adaptation.
The aim is to improve the capacities and preparedness to combat with climate change impacts and disasters and to manage the related risks. Use of RES should be considered when developing new infrastructure.

Types of actions
The proposed (non-exhaustive) list of actions is as follows:

  1. Development and introduction of joint climate change adaptation, disaster prevention and first response plans, SECAP, as well as solutions and systems for monitoring, prevention and management of potential risks (e.g. floods, wildfires, landslides, droughts, earthquakes, invasive alien species, etc.)
  2. Encouraging intersectoral/interstate cooperation in risk prevention and rapid response management through development and implementation of joint protocols, procedures, approaches, measures, and sectoral risk and vulnerability assessments, such as establishment of joint emergency centres, small scale infrastructure preferring nature-based solutions, response vehicles, equipment, shelters, etc.
  3. Strengthening of institutional and expert capacities and raising awareness to address environmental issues, climate change and disaster risks reduction (e.g. workshops, methodologies, protocols, educational materials, joint training for civil protection units)
  4. Development of cross-border risk assessment and disaster risk strategies for cross-border hazards such as droughts, floods, landslides, fires, invasive alien species directly threatening biodiversity and eco-systems
  5. Exchanging knowledge and good practices on eco-system based climate change adaptation measures and implementing pilot actions for protection and restoration towards resilient eco-systems, e.g. rivers and wetlands, forests, cross-border connectivity of habitats, agro-forestry, biodiversity, landscapes, climate proofing, modelling and forecasting
  6. Testing integrated climate-adaptation solutions in pilot actions (e.g. green infrastructure), which combine technological, ecological, social, cultural, governance and financial aspects taking into account good practices available at local, regional, national or European level (in order to decrease the trend of landscape fragmentation and taking into account visual values of urban and rural areas).
  7. Increasing climate resilience of critical infrastructure and cultural/natural heritage sites through improved risk preparedness and risk management plans
  8. Integrating climate change aspects and nature-based solutions into water management on local, regional and interregional level (considering e.g. water quality, flooding, rainwater management and water retention, water scarcity, drinking water supply including smart water pricing, ground water, forecasting, waste-water collection and treatment) and preservation of wetlands, reforestation and preservation of natural floodplains
  9. Sharing knowledge and developing solutions for climate proofing the agricultural and forestry sectors (e.g. finding trees with increased carbon sinks, improving groundwater management and soil quality, preparation and updating of forestry management plans) to increase their resilience towards e.g. droughts, floods, outbreaks of pests, invasion of invasive alien species. The Programme shall support alternative methods of water collection for irrigation in agricultural and forestry sectors.
  10. Developing solutions for strengthening eco-system services for human health and wellbeing to support social resilience and counteracting socio-economic impacts of climate change (e.g. introducing green infrastructure and green building principles in urban and rural areas).

Allocation: 9,396,406.20 €

Main target groups
The programme will target the key stakeholders capable of planning and implementing climate change adaptation and risk prevention and responses. These are:
– public authorities (national/regional/local level) and bodies governed by public law,
– sectoral agencies and environmental institutions active in or responsible for environment protection and risk prevention and mitigation (including Basin management institutions),
– first responders, including rescue organisations and different civil protection organisations,
– public energy actors (agencies, operators and facilities),
– public providers of communal services,
– research and innovation institutions,
– education organisations (universities, faculties, schools),
– regional and local development agencies,
– NGOs and associations in the field of environment protection.