'Water is coming': take part in the EU event on coastal risks


March 29 is the date fixed for the online event "Water is coming: The EU Strategy on Climate Adaptation - Focus on Coastal Erosion and Sea Level Rise". Organized by the European parliamentary intergroup SEArica, this event will be an opportunity to discuss the measures to adopt in order to counter the increasingly serious threats to our coasts. As co-organizer of the event, Surfrider Europe will outline its vision for protecting coastal ecosystems and maritime communities in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Climate change is an accelerator of coastal risks 

Climate change is now clearly visible: the past few years have been the warmest on record, and the UN predicts that temperatures will rise exponentially over the next decade, increasing the frequency and intensity of the meteorological events that affect the coastal regions ever more severely.

There is no doubt that these disturbances accelerate rising sea levels, coastal erosion and the disappearance of beaches all over the world. Half of the world's beaches could be wiped off the map by 2100. Just like sea level rise and erosion, this phenomenon - which is also due to construction of dikes, urbanization, industrialization of the coast and use of sand in construction - represents a serious danger for the environment as well as for coastal populations. Today, more than 200 million European citizens live near the coast and are confronted with these risks. It is essential for them to be aware of this risk and, above all, it is absolutely necessary that institutions prepare for and adapt to the many other challenges raised by climate change. 

The UE: a vulnerable region that has to adapt

We have to intensify our efforts to mitigate climate change, but we must also adopt new measures to protect our coastlines and the people who live there and who will be increasingly affected.

It is in this context that the new strategy for adapting to climate change was published by the European Commission last February. While it clearly states the member states' determination to find solutions adapted to coastal risks, the ways to implement solutions concretely still need to be thought out. This is the purpose of the event “Water is Coming: the EU Strategy on Climate Adaptation - Focus on Coastal Erosion and Sea Level Rise”, which will take place on Monday, March 29. The event is organised by MEPs specializing in seas, rivers, islands and coastal areas, and is supported by Surfrider Foundation Europe. It will bring together European institutional actors and representatives of civil society and coastal regions who will outline their vision on adapting coastlines and reflect together on best practices for a resilient Europe.

The proposals put forward by Surfrider Europe, an expert of coastal development and climate change 

As co-organizer of the event, Surfrider Europe will take part in the discussions: it is an opportunity for the NGO to give its opinion on the measures to be taken and to report on the actions it carries out on the ground. 

As an expert in coastal development and climate change, Surfrider fights, via its Coastal Defenders programme, against the different projects threatening coastal ecosystems. Its actions in the field are reinforced by programmes aiming to raise awareness among the largest possible number of citizens - diffusion of videos, articles and comics on the Ocean Campus platform; creation of an erosion map containing abundant information on eroded European coasts; support for local communities in setting up consultations, and so on. The NGO is convinced that educating citizens on the issue of coastal risks is essential in order to enhance public participation in taking decisions and developing solutions. 

Finally, to ensure that best measures are taken in terms of coastal protection, Surfrider Europe continuously lobbies institutions so that the subject is put on the local, national or European agenda. The association argues, for example, against the urbanization of the coast and asks for coastal protection solutions to be environmentally friendly, or for more funding to be allocated to scientific research. It will set out these proposals in more detail at the “Water is coming: the EU Strategy on Climate Adaptation - Focus on coastal erosion and sea level rise” event. You can attend it on Monday March 29, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., by registering here.  

Watch the event

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