Cala Millor participates in this fair with a proposal focused on adapting this tourist destination to climate change, with a systemic and integrated vision, within the framework of the LIFE AdaptCalaMillor project
Last week, at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR), the LIFE AdaptCalaMillor project was presented, an initiative of the Government of the Balearic Islands selected by the European Commission to be part of its subprogram “Mitigation and adaptation to climate change”, with an investment of 2,294,047 euros. Among the partners of this project are the Universidad de Cantabria and the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics of the Universidad de Cantabria (IHCantabria).
FITUR was attended by Diego Víu Domínguez, Director General of Circular Economy, Energy Transition and Climate Change of the Balearic Government; José Marcial Rodríguez Díaz, Councilor for Tourism of the Consell de Mallorca, and Joaquín Tintoré, Director of the Coastal Observation and Forecasting System of the Balearic Islands (ICTS SOCIB); as well as other project partners and representatives of the Cala Millor Tourism Consortium.
Based on projections for 2050 and 2100, the impacts of climate change on the Balearic coastline are expected to result in the loss of beaches and the impact on buildings and infrastructure. Phenomena such as the rise in sea level and the intensification of storms cause beach erosion and coastal flooding, directly threatening the region’s main economic activity: tourism.
The urban beach of Cala Millor is also threatened by this scenario. According to the results of the PIMA Adapta Costas Balearic Islands project, the urban beach of Cala Millor would be affected by a loss of dry beach of between 33 and 66% in 2100; in both scenarios the least favorable climatic conditions are considered. The erosion process would be irreversible for any event, given that the beach bottom is limited by the promenade and both physiography and human uses make its retreat impossible.
Under an innovative approach that combines science, citizen participation, governance and Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), the urban beach of Cala Millor is preparing to face this scenario of global change, through the LIFE AdaptCalaMillor project. This initiative was presented at FITUR at 3:45 p.m. today.
LIFE AdaptCalaMillor seeks to generate a local long-term climate change adaptation project in the urban beach of Cala Millor. It will propose a transformation of the beach system and the urban area, with the objective of increasing the resilience of infrastructure, ecosystem services and socioeconomics in the face of expected impacts. Its scientifically supported methodological approach incorporates the understanding and collaboration of diverse stakeholders with shared interests and competencies in this bay.
This ambitious project, which began in January 2023, will culminate in 2027 with the preparation of a strategic plan and a preliminary urbanization project for the coastline of Cala Millor, covering an estimated total area of 85,795 m². In parallel, the necessary documents of measures ready for implementation will be prepared. These will serve as the basis for the contracting of climate change adaptation works in different stages and in an adaptive manner; thus marking the precise roadmap for the materialization of the proposed adaptation strategies and measures.
Thus, the Bay of Cala Millor could be an example for other tourist destinations in the Mediterranean with similar characteristics. As a pilot case of adaptation to climate change, it aims to take a step forward in urban beach adaptation solutions, through scientific analysis and study of local risks and vulnerabilities, moving on to the proposal of tangible and transformative actions, with a real impact on society and the development of this coastal paradise.
In line with the need to face climate challenges, the commitment to SbN is used in the search for effective strategies for the adaptation of the urban beach of Cala Millor in the long term, implementing nature’s own elements as an alternative to coastal infrastructures and short-term palliative measures that turn out to be not so efficient from an economic and environmental point of view.
The geographical scope of the project covers an area of 1.5 km² of the beach. In this space, a thorough analysis will be carried out with maps of hazards, vulnerabilities and risks for the physical, environmental and socioeconomic dimensions. These studies will be projected into the future, considering medium and long-term scales, up to 2030 and 2050. Subsequently, multi-risk maps will be prepared, which will be fundamental for making decisions on integrated adaptation strategies at the local level, addressing urban, legislative, socioeconomic, physical and environmental aspects in a responsible manner.
Rethinking the beachfront: governance and participation approach.
This process of defining adaptation strategies and specific development projects will not only be based on science, but will also be carried out through a progressive, participatory and multilevel approach involving various stakeholders throughout the duration of the project.
According to the General Director of Circular Economy, Energy Transition and Climate Change of the Balearic Government, Diego Viu, “it is very important to work in a transversal way with public-private initiatives that help us in the preservation of the environment and the fight against climate change in the Balearic Islands. We have to anticipate possible future scenarios to design effective action plans, both in the medium and long term”, so LIFE AdaptCalaMillor will allow us to lay a common foundation to move forward firmly against climate change.