The development of the Coastal Plan for Šibenik-Knin County as well as related activities, such as work in Croatia using the DIVA model, are part of a larger UNEP/GEF project entitled ”Integration of Climatic Variability and Change into National Strategies to Implement the Protocol on ICZM in the Mediterranean”.
The DIVA method provides forecasts of climate impacts and costs that are used in preparing the Coastal Plan. The DIVA method builds modular integrated computer models by bringing together knowledge from natural and social disciplines. DIVA enables users to choose scenarios and adaptation strategies and to compare results for different scenarios and adaptation strategies. It is being used to assess the possible costs of climate variability and change for all of Croatia’s coast. Due to the small size of Šibenik-Knin County, DIVA results for Croatian coastal zone will be downscaled for Šibenik-Knin County for the purpose of the Coastal Plan. This task will be carried out by a group of international experts taking into consideration local data concerning tourism, agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure and possible forest fire costs.
Climate impacts and possible adaptation responses were discussed with stakeholders in the county using a participatory method called Climagine, which was developed as part of the larger UNEP/GEF project. Climagine is designed for sustainable coastal zone management needs in Mediterranean areas, with a special focus on climate variability and change. Local stakeholders are asked to define the sustainable development of the coastal zone and to come up with methods of how it should be attained. The work stimulates communication among local stakeholders on coastal and climate variability and change issues and facilitates participation in the development of the Coastal Plan. It engages stakeholders via a 4-step participatory process intended to describe, assess and examine the past, present and future levels of sustainability of a local socio-economic system, setting goals and monitoring the system’s progress towards sustainable development.
Through its integrated approach, the Coastal Plan will recommend possible solutions concerning the following dimensions and issues:
- Water; adaptation to climate variability and change in: (i) water resources management (measures for rational use of fresh water resources, providing water for irrigation, water demand management, reduction of water losses); (ii) river management (regulation of low and high flows of rivers, flood protection measures, retaining, storing, drainage, giving more space to river). Solutions will also be proposed for problems caused by storm waters through an integrated approach for urban drainage.
- Infrastructure: adaptation measures for protection against coastal flooding, measures for adaptation of the existing coastal infrastructure to the expected higher sea levels, and planning of future infrastructure so as to avoid negative impacts of climate change, including giving more space to sea.
- Forest fires: improvement of prevention through spatial planning, agriculture, cattle breeding, awareness raising and early warning system.
- Regional development; (i) Regional development within Šibenik – Knin County: balanced urban and rural development to reduce pressure on the coastal zone. (ii) Development of the entire Šibenik – Knin County region: adaptation to climate variability and change in tourism (strategic enhancement of the tourist offer aiming for the extension of the tourist season, compensating for climate variability). (iii) Other issues affecting both the regional development within Šibenik – Knin County and of the entire County: mariculture, agriculture, port management, recommendations for green and blue growth.
- Spatial planning: implementation of Article 8 of the ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean; managed realignment to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts; protection of the landscape; marine spatial planning for more sustainable sea use.
- Governance and management: ICZM coordination body at the regional level, creating favourable conditions for participation, awareness raising and capacity building.