The effects of manmade climate change are dramatic and uncontested and whereas mitigation still remains a priority, it’s now recognized that adaptation is essential too, because there is no escaping the effects of climate change, whatever we do. BirdLife International has always been advocating ecosystem based adaptation, which is based on the fact that healthy ecosystems are more resilient to climate change and our best insurance against its effects. Ecosystem based adaptation follows two main avenues, one which aims to maintain and strengthen resilience of ecosystems and wildlife and one to accommodate change.
As there is increasingly an urgency to work on adaptation and influence decision makers on this, RSPB/BirdLife in the UK and LIPU/BirdLife in Italy, organised a very interesting workshop for BirdLife Partners on Climate Change Adaptation between 25 and 27 May 2016, in Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps, which BirdLife Cyprus attended.
LIPU chose the location because apart from a beautiful place the Gran Paradiso National Park is also the location of one of the longest running ecological studies in Italy, which has also provided valuable data on the effect of climate change on wild animals. The study concerns the Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex). Researchers studying the Ibex, at first, until early 1990s, recorded a population increase mainly due to reduced winter mortality of adults because winters were milder. In recent decades, however, the population has declined drastically because of changes in the quality and timing of pastures, which in turn has had negative consequences on milk quality; the young ones are not fed properly and experience increased mortality in winter. The research has been led by Professor Guiseppe Bogliani of the University of Pavia.
Participants were able to share experiences and best practices in the classroom, but also go in the field with the researchers and learn about their work and studies.
These lines of works will increasingly become really important for BirdLife Cyprus, as Cyprus is among the countries that are predicted to experience up to 4oC temperature increase according to a medium prediction scenario of 3.3oC degrees increase globally towards the end of the century and will experience much more intense droughts.
The importance of climate change adaptation, and its implications in all policy fields, needs also to become a central government policy in order to prepare for the effects of climate change.