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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Governing and Planning Local Climate-Change Adaptation in the Alps

Authors: Luca Cetara, Marco Pregnolato, Pasquale La Malva

Published in: Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Several studies show that mountain territory has special vulnerabilities and is subject to specific impacts of climate change. This article investigates governance of climate change in mountain areas, focusing on the case of Italy where national and regional instruments address adaptation to climate change at various scales. The study intends to provide a methodological framework aimed to elicit adaptation actions applicable in mountain areas and consistent with specific impacts and adaptation objectives, supported by indicators and at the same time suitable for being perfected for use in other territories. The research stems from the “Budoia Charter,” a voluntary declaration of commitment to implement adaptation measures to climate change in Alpine municipalities. This study illustrates the methods used in support of the application of the charter, particularly for a set of five pilot areas exposed to climate impacts, from the western to the eastern Alps in Italy. The units under investigation are described based on geographical characterization, available sources of knowledge, local climate context and impacts, vulnerabilities, preparedness on specific vulnerabilities, governance type, resources and key planning instruments, and public awareness of climate change. Scientific information is then coupled and weighed with local demands and perceptions through a mixed model (qualitative and quantitative). An analysis of coherence and comparison between the impacts, objectives and measures of adaptation to climate change was conducted through national, regional and sub-regional plans and other sources. Aiming at identifying a set of site-specific adaptation measures applicable to mountain areas, the alignment of all actions to overarching and/or legally binding plans has been carefully checked to designate adaptation measures coherent with the national and regional adaptation frameworks. The main goal of the study is to provide a standard procedure aimed at identifying suitable adaptation actions for sub-regional geographical units in a mountain environment as a basis for framing a background to a decision support system (DSS) for sub-regional adaptation in mountain areas, aligned with the overarching planning and policy context.

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Footnotes
1
In general, Europe has shown a greater warming trend since 1979 compared to the global mean, and the trends in mountainous regions are still higher (Böhm et al. 2001). Regional climate projections indicate warming of about 1.5 times the global average, with greater warming in summer. Precipitation is projected to decrease in summer and on an annual average, and to increase in winter. General warming is expected to lead to an upward shift of the glacier equilibrium line by between 60 to 140 m per °C temperature increase (Oerlemans 1992), along with a substantial glacier retreat during the twenty-first century. The duration of snow cover is expected to decrease by several weeks for each °C of warming at middle elevations in the Alps region (Kohler and Maselli 2009: 9).
 
2
Reference of the Budoia Charter are the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement signed as a conclusion of COP21, the Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change of the European Union (2013), the Italian National Strategy (2015), and the technical process, in progress, of a National Plan for Italy. Additionally, a few other experiences of strategies, documents and regional planning instruments have been taken as reference, such as the Strategy and the Action Plan from region Lombardy.
 
3
It is to be noticed that currently a Regional Adaptation Strategy is only available for Lombardy. However, the process could be replicated for other regions in the future.
 
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Metadata
Title
Governing and Planning Local Climate-Change Adaptation in the Alps
Authors
Luca Cetara
Marco Pregnolato
Pasquale La Malva
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57332-4_5