The Basque Country plays a leading role in the international symposium on climate change adaptation in built coastal environments


Today, the Basque Country has participated in an international symposium on climate change adaptation in built coastal environments. Held in Santander from June 19th to 20th, the symposium provided an opportunity to share the Basque experience in this field. Specifically, it highlighted the implementation of the Basque Mission for Climate Change Adaptation and the restoration of the Plaiaundi marsh in Txingudi, both actions being part of the European project Regions4Climate.

Every day, the impacts of climate change are becoming more visible around the world. Specifically, coastal built environments are particularly vulnerable, and improving their adaptation is essential given the socio-economic importance of these areas. This topic has been the focus of the international symposium ‘Adaptation to climate change in the built coastal environment’ which highlighted the experience of the Basque Country in this field as one of its central milestones.

The Basque case has been one of the topics discussed during the event, organized by BEACON (Built Environment learning for Climate Adaptation project) and several universities from Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Malta, and Sri Lanka. All of this was done to promote the debate on how a holistic approach to climate change adaptation can help address the main challenges and promote effective policies and methods to tackle them in built coastal environments.

Today, the Basque experience has been showcased as an example of the real work being promoted in Europe in terms of adaptation, spearheaded by the Basque Government's Ministry of Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment and its public entity, Ihobe. The project leader of Regions4Climate in Euskadi, Laura Gutiérrez, has provided details about the intervention in Plaiaundi, where approximately 5 hectares of marshland will be restored. Around 50,000 cubic meters of agricultural land will be removed and used for filling, ensuring minimal surplus soil.

In addition, within the framework of the European project Regions4Climate, the Basque Mission for Climate Change Adaptation will also be implemented. This mission was also discussed during the international symposium. This represents the second challenge for the Basque Country within the European project, aiming to align territorial planning for adaptation with European priorities, particularly regarding financing.

Regions4Climate began in January 2023, and involves 12 European regions working on innovative climate resilience solutions. The Basque Country, in particular, will participate with its pilot project in the Plaiaundi marshland in Txingudi, launched in May and involves the restoration of degraded areas in the bay to increase coastal resilience against climate change events. It is expected that the restoration of the original marshland will significantly enhance its resilience capacity, as well as positively influence the biodiversity of the area.

About Regions4Climate     

Under the motto ‘creating resilient communities’, Regions4Climate aims to improve climate resilience through the development and testing of their own transformative adaptation plans and pathways. In this framework, the Basque Country will be able to share its experiences and learn from the actions carried out by the other regions involved over the next five years.

The Basque representation of the project consortium is led by the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government and the public company Ihobe, together with the technological centres AZTI, Tecnalia Research and Innovation and Zabala Innovation Consulting

The Regions4Climateproject, coordinated by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has received a total grant of 24,522,103.00 euros from the European Commission under the Horizon Europe research and innovation program. The project addresses the theme of "Large-scale Climate Resilience Demonstrators for Cross-border Value Creation.