Citizens from around the Mediterranean have participated in adaptation planning for the management of their local river basin in the light of global change. Based on a novel approach developed over the course of the EU-funded BeWater project, stakeholders from four Case Study River Basins were engaged in a collaborative process with experts and policy makers.
The process has culminated in the drafting of four River Basin Adaptation Plans, aimed at fostering adaptation to climate change within the basins. The innovative participatory approach is not only replicable in other Mediterranean river basins, but could be used in other environmental decision-making processes or scaled up to develop guidelines of national and international relevance.
With future climate change projections for the Euro-Mediterranean region estimating an increase in water scarcity and droughts, substantial socioeconomic losses and environmental impacts are expected to significantly affect river basin dwellers. Sustainable water management strategies are needed urgently. To maximise their effectiveness, local communities must engage with such strategies and play an active role in their development.