Exploring climate change effects in Euro-Mediterranean protected coastal wetlands: The cases of Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, Spain and Kotychi-Strofylia, Greece

Sandra Fatorić, Ricard Morén-Alegret, Charalambos Kasimis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate change is widely recognised as a serious threat, especially to some Mediterranean wetlands; therefore, their ongoing protection is of great concern. Aiguamolls de l'Empordà (north-east Catalonia, Spain) and Kotychi-Strofylia wetland (western Greece) are considered important coastal wetlands deserving protection both by European and national authorities. The main aim of this study was to explore stakeholders' perceptions on local climate change there and to contrast these perceptions with some of the local meteorological data from the Estartit station (near Aiguamolls de l'Empordà) and Andravida station (near Kotychi-Strofylia). Semi-structured interviews with thirty-six stakeholders from both coastal wetlands have been conducted with the aim of understanding the perception and constraints facing those currently engaged in a wide range of social, political, environmental and economic activities in both territories. The research results showed that major climate change effects such as increased air temperature, precipitation change, prolonged droughts and shifting seasons were more pronounced over the past twenty years and are of particular concern in both wetlands and their surrounding areas. Moreover, the stakeholders from Spain had a higher awareness of sustainability issues than those from Greece. It is worth mentioning that about two-thirds of the interviewed stakeholders in both areas perceived their coastal wetlands as unsustainable. In addition, stakeholders from the Greek area had higher willingness for not emigrating from their territory than those from Spain. Finally, about half of the stakeholders indicated that they are in favour of natural adaptation measures based on technical solutions such as setting up sand dunes and beach barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-360
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aiguamolls de l'Empordà
  • climate change
  • coastal wetland
  • Kotychi-Strofylia
  • Mediterranean Europe
  • stakeholder's local perception

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