Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation


A just green and digital transition is central to the European Green Deal and crucial to building a climate-resilient future. The CARDIMED project, funded by the Horizon Europe tool, aims to strengthen climate change resilience in the Mediterranean by focusing on four major pillars: (a) Digital technologies for climate change adaptation, (b) Socio-economic resilience, (c) Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems nexus and (d) Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

A total of 51 project partners from several Mediterranean and European countries will draw on their expertise and implement 47 different types of Nature-based Solutions through 83 interventions in 10 regions and 20 sites. A parallel objective of the project is the creation of the “CARDIMED Resilience Alliance”, with the membership of its partners and the intention to include many additional actors to create an active network.

MedINA, as a project partner, has undertaken the development of 120 stone-built weirs in ephemeral streams of Sifnos island. This application is part of the demonstration actions of DEMO 1 and is being implemented in parallel with other interventions in Lesvos and Mykonos.

Figure 1. Despite its distinct Mediterranean character and highly xerothermic environment, Sifnos has one of the few large dams in the wider Cyclades region. Through its activities under the CARDIMED project MedINA aims to maximise the use and benefits of water resources upstream of the dam. © Fanourios-Nikolaos Sakellarakis | MedINA.

Stone-built weirs in insular ephemeral streams is a practice rooted in local cultural heritage and is a low impact Nature-based Solution that contributes to water sufficiency on arid islands. Being a green infrastructure, it benefits the enrichment of the aquifer, and it contributes to reducing flood and drought risk, biodiversity enhancement as well as water sufficiency for irrigation and other uses.

In the framework of the CARDIMED project, MedINA has undertaken the following activities:

A. The construction of a network of 120 stone-built weirs in the Kamares catchment area (Anathema stream).

B. Expanding knowledge on the impact of stone weirs in ephemeral streams on biodiversity and the water table through pre- and post-construction monitoring, as well as the potential benefits for flood and drought risk mitigation through a hydrogeological and hydraulic study.

C. Local community engagement through volunteer opportunities.

D. Provision of data and knowledge to the project partners responsible for the comprehensive and synthesized assessment of the results of all interventions.

Dissemination of MedINA’s intervention results at national and international level is an additional objective, aiming to pave the way for wider application of the practice of building stone weirs in ephemeral streams of arid islands in Greece and the Mediterranean.

The CARDIMED (Climate Adaptation and Resilience Demonstrated In the MEDiterranean region) project, with a total budget of 19,971,411.20 euros, is funded by the European Union under Horizon Europe 2021-2027. The lead partner is the Department of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens and MedINA is one of the 51 implementing partners.