Participatory and multi-level governance process to design a transformational climate change adaptation project at Cala Millor beach from an integrated and multidisciplinary science-based approach

[Cod. 101074227 ADAPTA]

Beaches are among the most vulnerable ecosystems to mean sea-level rise (MSLR) due to the erosion of the shoreline and coastal flooding. Under natural conditions, beaches can adapt by retreating, provided enough landward space and sediment supply are available. Instead, urban beaches have a limited adaptation capacity because they are heavily urbanized and lack of accommodation space. The Balearic Islands (Spain), due to their insular nature and the importance of tourism, are especially vulnerable to climate change. Recent studies have analysed the exposition, vulnerability and flooding risks in sandy beaches. The results at mid and long-term points to the loss and retreat of beaches and a high exposition of buildings and infrastructures which imply a great loss of recreational value. Local adaptation projects in urban beaches need science-based long-term evolution studies and high-resolution data to develop extreme events projections. Besides, the alternatives for long-term adaptation imply transformational changes in the urban ecosystem that require a political and social debate and a broad social consensus. Cala Millor is a seaside tourist resort in Mallorca whose population almost triples in the summer season. Urbanization has affected the capacity of the beach to recover from erosion and this situation is a major concern for local stakeholders and the tourism sector who are currently looking for solutions in collaboration with scientists and the regional government. LIFEAdaptCalaMillor will develop a participatory and multi-level governance approach to select potential measures for the progressive and long-term adaptation of Cala Millor to climate change. This project will integrate the physical, environmental, socio-economic and urban dimensions attending at the same time to the social needs and demands of citizens and stakeholders, showing that transformational changes to adapt sun and beach tourist destinations to climate change are possible.