The CARDIMED project has just started!

The CARDIMED project has just started!

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What do the creation of small forests within urban centres in French Provence, forest management in Spain’s Aragon, the restoration of riparian forests in Portugal’s Evora and stone weirs in ephemeral streams in Sifnos have in common?

They are all Nature-based Solutions (NbS), which will be implemented in the coming years in the framework of CARDIMED (Climate Adaptation and Resilience Demonstrated In the MEDiterranean region) project. The project is coordinated by the Department of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens and MedINA is one of its 51 proud partners. The project partners come from many countries in the Mediterranean and Europe.

The project aims to strengthen resilience to climate change in the Mediterranean by deploying Nature-based Solutions. 47 different types of NbS are being promoted through 83 interventions in 10 regions and 20 sites. A parallel objective of the project is the creation of the “CARDIMED Resilience Alliance” that will act as an active network addressing issues of climate change, socio-economic resilience in the Mediterranean, aspects pertaining to the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems nexus, as well as Nature-based Solutions. The Alliance is expected to have 28 regions and 70 communities as members by 2030 and aims to create 8,000 jobs in the field of environmental protection.

Picture 1. One of the smaller streams leading to the stream “Anathema” of Sifnos. Sites such as this are suitable locations for stone-built weirs with a positive impact on biodiversity. © Fanourios-Nikolaos Sakellarakis | MedINA.

MedINA, building on its experience from the reintroduction of stone-built weirs in ephemeral streams in Kythera and Paros, will contribute to the project by creating a network of 120 stone-built weirs in the Kamares catchment on the island of Sifnos. Overall, this activity is part of the organisation’s efforts to implement traditional water management practices, to systematically monitor their impacts on biodiversity and the aquifer and to promote the relevant results at national and international level, aiming to pave the way for wider application of the practice of building stone weirs in ephemeral streams in arid areas of Greece and the Mediterranean.

As a Nature-based Solution and green infrastructure, MedINA’s intervention aims at flood protection of the island from extreme weather events, which are increasingly intensifying due to climate change, enrichment of the aquifer by increasing groundwater discharge, biodiversity conservation, supporting traditional agri-food systems, such as small-scale farming and stockbreeding, and the reintroduction of ecosystem services in the life of local communities.

Map 1. The island of Sifnos. In red is the boundary of the Kamares catchment area, where 120 stone weirs will be constructed.

The kick-off meeting of the project took place in Athens from 27 to 29 September and brought together the 51 project partners to lay the foundations for its implementation.

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.

Featured image: Lily Mordechai, MedINA’s Head of Development and Fanikos Sakellarakis, MedINA’s Biodiversity & Ecosystems Expert, during the kick-off meeting held at the Serafio Centre of the Municipality of Athens.