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Coastal vulnerabilty assessment tool (Sardinia)


Sardinia,  as well as many parts of the Western Mediterranean coastline, is at risk of flooding and erosion due to rising sea-levels and the increasing frequency and intensity of storm events. Low-lying coasts (e.g. deltas, lagoons, tidelands and some islands) are particularly vulnerable.

On a larger scale, there are two theories about  the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean area.

One is that the Mediterranean is likely to remain Europe's prime region for summer-time beach tourism for at least the next 50 years: according to this scenario, coastal managers in Mediterranean destinations are advised to focus some of their attention on other climate change impacts such as Sea Level Rise (SLR) or water availability, and include environmental quality and diversification of activities in their deliberations.

On the other hand, the other major theory,  suggests that the impacts of climate change on beach holidays in the Mediterranean are likely to be serious and largely adverse due to greater drought and fire risk, more flash floods, higher personal heat stress and more tropical diseases (e.g. malaria).

The southern Mediterranean and its ecosystems are identified as particularly vulnerable to water stress and desertification processes under climate change conditions. In particular the central and southern portions of the Iberian, Italian, Hellenic and Turkish peninsulas, parts of South-eastern Europe, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily may become dry and arid.

The object of the activity is to assess coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise and provide a simple numerical basis for ranking sections of coastline in terms of their potential for change that can be used by managers to identify regions where risks may be relatively high.

Specifically,  to review the current status of Coastal Vulnerability Assessment tools and methods; to identify a robust and “easy-to-use” method to be applied in the Mediterranean context and in particular to the local scale of Sardinian coastal areas.

How does the activity develop in Sardinia?

The aim of the activities is to develop an evaluation tool for coastal vulnerability that is practical and appropriate to the Mediterranean context. The activities will begin with the analysis of the existing coastal vulnerability assessment tools; then move on to the selection of the most appropriate tool for Sardininan coastal areas and finish with the application of the instrument in at least one of the CAMP areas.

The activity will produce vulnerability maps (for at least one area). On the basis of such maps, adaptation measures will be decided.