The Mediterranean is one of the world’s main biodiversity and cultural “hotspots”. The concept of hotspot has a double meaning. On the one hand, it refers to the diversity that characterises the Mediterranean area, and at the same time it identifies this region as a climate change high risk area. The impacts linked to climate change are especially relevant in the Mediterranean basin as a whole, and are expected to have a higher incidence rate than the expected average impact on a global scale. In short, it is one of the most threatened areas on the planet. This severe impact of climate change means a substantial increase in all the socio-environmental problems that are currently an issue: changes in land use, pollution, loss of biodiversity, degradation of cultural heritage, reduced water availability, risks for food security and the health and well-being of people, growing migratory flows and increasing economic and political instability.
Given this situation, it is essential that universities in the Mediterranean basin play a key role as drivers for training and innovation to address this critical situation, which is expected to worsen significantly in the coming decades. We cannot do this individually, but networking and the generation of synergies are essential to address the well-being of people, the future generations and the common heritage. In this context, training for sustainable development, risk mitigation and adaptation to new future scenarios must be promoted within the framework of a true ecological transition of the Mediterranean countries towards models that favour socio-environmental resilience and economic and political stability.
The Subnetwork “Climate and Environmental Change” aims to connect the main actors involved in the topic, promote synergies, knowledge-exchange and partnerships among the involved Universities, support policy dialogue and strengthen consultation in the Mediterranean. At the same time it aims to engage universities with research centers, public administrations, private companies and NGO’s working in this field to develop and share initiatives and projects.
The main objectives of the subnetwork are:
- Promoting regional and cross-cutting cooperationbetween the two shores of the Mediterranean, to create new partnerships and develop joint projects related to climate and environmental change, heritage conservation, mitigation, adaptation, resilience and ecological transition.
- Supporting Universities in the definition of key competences and learning program’srelated to climate and environmental change, heritage conservation, mitigation, adaptation, resilience and ecological transition to facilitate studies and trainings for a new generation of students, scientists, professionals and entrepreneurs.
- Increase the awareness and understanding of the risk associated to climate and environmental changeand contributing to provide innovative solutions to this global challenge for the future of Mediterranean biodiversity and cultural heritage and its impact on the different territories, economies and societies.
- Encouraging the awareness and understanding of the importance of the Cultural and Natural Heritagein the Mediterranean context.
- Organizing international events(workshops, conferences, webinars, trainings) to improve the flow of knowledge and exchange of experiences.
- Developing and reinforcing virtual exchangein all kind of activities developed inside the subnetwork.
- Gathering and sharing information, to collaboratively carry out studies, analysis and research papers on the thematic, and to support knowledge-based policy making.
Participating in this Subnetwork means being actively engaged with its activities, with commitment in the networking, and regular participation. In this frame, the Subnetwork can also be an active player in the dialogue with national and regional authorities, international organizations, the private sector and the general public.Register you University to the Subnetwork