It resulted in the provision of support and a model allowing regional stakeholders to understand climate hazards and affected activities and to make use of a range of solutions to deal with them.
A unique and delicate study area
The project focused on the Alpine foothills, a low mountain area mainly covered by regional nature parks or RNP (Bauges, Chartreuse and Baronnies Regional Nature Parks, along with the main study area of Vercors RNP). These regions are interesting because they are rich in biodiversity and offer a wide range of climate conditions, altitudes and urban pressures. Nevertheless, they are also particularly sensitive to climate change.
An exemplary participative approach
To create the foundations of the AdaMont project, researchers and stakeholders worked together and shared information by participating in themed and interdisciplinary workshops with over 150 participants, including business owners and managers, experts and researchers, project leaders and regional managers. These workshops were used to gather data on climate hazards and their impact, adjustment methods used by the main regional economic activities, such as farming, forestry, tourism and water management, natural hazards and ecosystems. Particular attention was paid to defining the interactions between sectors of activity. Several actions and media materials were created and set up to provide information and raise awareness, including a public geocaching (type of treasure hunt) route. The project's results are currently being considered as part of a review to integrate climate hazards into the charter for the Vercors RNP.
Built-in modeling and a decision support tool
Investigations into current knowledge and the participative workshops in particular led to the accumulation of a large and varied mass of information. This was followed by the key task of creating a formal model using UML language in order to capitalize, structure and link the information in order to provide an integrated approach for an entire low mountain region.
The resulting model, "MAIA (Model to Improve and Integrate Adjustment)," was built around a central concept known as "adjustment scenarios." For example, in response to the climate hazard of increased temperatures and variable rainfall, the model identified the adjustment scenario "adapt livestock farming to variabilities in water availability" and defined several dozen benchmark adjustment activities that could be implemented, such as "adapt herd sizes," "plant new varieties of fodder" or "reactivate irrigation systems from ancestral pastures." The model can also be used to identify interactions with adjustment activities for other sectors.
Overview: Managing adjustment and climate services
The project design and integrated model structure were both based on internationally recognized benchmarks and standards for sustainable development, policy evaluation, business analysis approaches and process management.
The project has also contributed to a discussion around the feasibility and opportunity of implementing an Adjustment Management System in order to help regions take part in a strategic approach of continuous improvement to adapt to climate change.
Creating adapted climate projections
As part of the project, an adapted method of ensuring regionally appropriate climate projections was used to generate regionally specific data based on 3 IPCC scenarios to define the impact of climate change on climate variables and snow levels on various mountain ranges in the area. These climate projections were used as input data for the participative workshops and to launch research projects modeling the impact of climate change on natural resources and economic activities in mountain regions. These are being expanded to include the whole of mainland France and results will soon be published on the climate service platform DRIAS.