The Forested Infiltration Area (FIA) is proving to be an effective tool in Northern Italy helping to address water scarcity challenges and/or to achieve environmental benefits over the long term. FIA is a method to recharge groundwater aquifers by channelling surface waters during times of excess into designated areas that have been planted with various species of trees and/or shrubs.
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Financial system and insurance activity
Fire is the most significant natural threat to forests and wooded areas of the Mediterranean basin. The average annual number of forest fires in the Mediterranean basin, particularly in southern Europe, is close to 50,000 - twice as many as during the 1970s. The natural plant ecosystem of the Mediterranean basin is rich in shrubs and coniferous forests and, thus, particularly susceptible to fire. Meanwhile, summer periods are now warmer, drier and longer and projected changes in the climate suggest increases in the frequency and severity of forest fires.
The agriculture sector in Montpellier is highly vulnerable to higher temperature and more frequent droughts associated with projected climate change. To prepare for the effects of climate change it is important that agriculture in Montpellier takes appropriate adaptation measures. The agricultural systems based on monoculture are deemed to be more vulnerable compared to alternatives such as the cultivation of a mixture of crops and species, especially a mixture of trees and crops as in agroforestry.
In Germany, for a long time a single fee for both rainwater and wastewater was levied in all communities. After some German court decisions the fee for rainwater was separated from wastewater one and is now based on the extension of impervious property surface (m2), which directs water into the public sewage system. Collecting rainwater on private property with e.g. rain barrel or infiltration system (as for example green space) is then likely to reduce sewage costs due to lower loads to be treated by the treatment plant.
Herdade do Freixo do Meio is an organic certified farm of 440 hectares located in the Alentejo region in the south of Portugal, a region characterized by the multifunctional agro-silvo-pastoral system of cork and holm oak trees, named montado. This farm employs about 20 people and produces cork, vegetables, fruit, wine and herbs, and holds animals (such as sheep, cows, pig, turkey and chicken) extensively.
Sustainable development has been a major concern for the City of Paris for more than 10 years. When, in 2015, the City of Paris hosted the COP21, the City Hall wanted to send out a strong signal to the international community and to other local and regional authorities and show the diversity of municipal ecological actions and commitments. To emphasize this, the City of Paris erected the climate bond to finance climate and energy projects. The total size of the bond is € 300 million, with a running time until May 2031.
Malmö is experiencing negative effects from climate change due to rising temperatures and excessive rainfall. The city therefore aims to realise climate adaptation measures by integrating it directly in the design of urban development projects, such as in the case of the Western Harbour. The private funding to realise these measures is provided by developers, who realise the actual construction of the projects.
Vrijburcht is a multipurpose living-and-working complex in Amsterdam. It offers many shared social amenities for both the residents and the people from the neighbourhood. The heart of the complex is the courtyard garden with trees, a vegetable garden, lawns, flowers, benches and a greenhouse. The garden provides various solutions to the expected impact of climate change; it offers residents a cool environment during warmer summers; rain water is stored in underground tanks for irrigation in dry periods; the unsealed area permits maximum rainwater permeability.
In response to flooding causing damage in Smolyan’s Ustovo neighbourhood in 2005, the city implemented a number of flood protection measures that presumably have paid off already during the wet year of 2014. Under the project, river banks were widened, existing protection walls were reinforced and new walls constructed. The cost of about 480,000 EUR was mainly derived from funding by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Ghent aims at realizing more green areas in response to climate change and actively seeks citizen involvement to achieve this. This is in line with the city being very social and creative with many citizens actively developing bottom-up initiatives. Many of these small scale projects however have difficulty developing into a successful project through the available financing mechanisms. Therefore, Ghent has developed a crowdfunding platform that allows citizens to propose and finance their ideas for the city.