Sustainable Adaptation Projects and Initiatives in Portuguese Municipalities

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:18 AM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Joćo GUERRA , Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Inźs CAMPOS , University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Gil PENHA-LOPES , University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
André VIZINHO , University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Governance for sustainability has gained greater public awareness and social significance since the late 1980’s (Adger and Jordan, 2009), and it shares basic purposes and characteristics with sustainable adaptation. Consequently, both governance for sustainability and adaptation to climate change often overlap in policy design and implementation (Kemp, Parto and Gibson, 2005)..
In the Portuguese case, despite the persistent lack of a concerted national framework and/or reliable funding policies, incontrovertible advance has taken place in recent years. However, these dynamics are still irregular, in reality some misconceptions and unsustainable practices are persistent (Schmidt & Guerra, 2011). Bearing this in mind and in the context of climate change, the overall objective of BASE – Bottom-up Climate Adaptation Strategies for Sustainable Europe, (a FP7 funded project) is to produce knowledge to support decision making on adaptation strategies and pathways, as well as related action programmes across Europe.
Based on results from an online survey applied to a representative sample of Portuguese municipalities by the BASE Portuguese team, and framing our analysis within a multi-arena governance framework (Jorgensen, 2012), this paper will discuss the conditions and features of local sustainability initiatives promoted by Portuguese municipalities. We will attempt to diagnose the situation, analysing the features and context of initiatives and projects currently being planned or implemented by municipalities, under the framework of European and national policies for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Moreover, we will try to highlight some relevant features of local communities (e.g. economic, social, ecological and institutional conditions, as well as their resilience capacity), but also specific characteristics of local initiatives and processes (motivations and objectives, challenges and difficulties; engagement and participation, political will and municipal involvement; partnerships and civil society; information sources and means of dissemination).