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4th Call - CIRCLE-MED2-2013 Joint Call


"Adaptation to Climate Change from a natural and social science perspective: Water in coastal Mediterranean areas"



CIRCLE-2 ERA-NET (Climate Impact Research & Response Coordination for a Larger Europe) launched a new joint call for transnational research projects in "Adaptation to Climate Change from a natural and social science perspective: Water in coastal Mediterranean areas"


The aim of this call is to encourage scientific cooperation between social and natural scientists in order to find novel solutions for transnational water-related climate change adaptation challenges in support to public policies. CIRCLE-MED2-2013 is a 2013 joint call of the Mediterranean network under the CIRCLE-2 ERA-NET.


The funding countries of this call are France, Greece, and Portugal represented by the following research funding organisations from the CIRCLE-MED network:

Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE), France;

Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences (MKF), Greece;

Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal;

Announcement - Download


The total available budget for the present call is 610 k€.

Call documentation:


Projects Information:


Project Title: Is current decision making "adapted to internalise adaptation" into policy making?

Partners:  ACTeon (coordinator) France, BRGM (France), University of Aveiro (UAVR-CESAM) Portugal, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) Portugal, University of Athens (NKUA) Greece

Coordinator: Vincent JOLIVET (ACTeon) (Email: )

Keywords: Adaptation, perception, decision-making, policy exercise, adaptation strategy, impacts, societal challenges


The objectives of the projects are to identify the main factors that affect the capacity of decision making to effectively internalise adaptation to climate change, negatively and positively, and to derive recommendations for adapting components of decision making so adaptation can be better accounted for in today's decision making.

The topic "Water and Adaptation to Climate Change from a natural and social science perspective in coastal Mediterranean areas" highlights the role and importance of water for human life, nature and the economy, and the societal challenges emerging from climate change to protect our water resources and ecosystem services. In the last decade, many assessments of the impacts of global and climate change in the coastal zones have been undertaken. However, such assessments have rarely been connected to decision making on adaption strategies, often because of the uncertainties associated to climate change impacts. Generic methods to inform decision making (e.g. the robust decision making) exist, but they have rarely been set up at regional and local scale. In addition, adaptation being trans-sectorial, there is a need to better demonstrate how such measures can be taken within the existing regulation on development, risk prevention and land use planning. In this context, the ADAPT-MED questions: Is current decision making "adapted to internalize adaptation" into policy making?

To address this question, ADAPT-MED will first collect and build a knowledge database for a well-selected regional research sites, namely: the territory around the Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon in Portugal, the region "Provences-Alpes-Côte d'Azur" in France and the Easter coast of Crete (Greece). All these coastal regions have been affected by increased urbanisation in the last century, and will be diversely affected by the adverse effects of climate change on water resources, aquatic ecosystems and urban infrastructure. We will investigate how adaptation is currently being practice in these regions and how this relates to other regulatory mechanisms on land use planning and risk prevention. We will examine what adaptation measures would be desirable and how they can be mainstreamed/integrated within current policy, decision making and regulatory mechanisms. Finally, we will examine how changes in understanding, perception and values can result in changes in climate change adaptation decisions.

The ADAPT-MED strives to contribute to the European and national efforts in favour to adaptation of coastal zones to the effects of climate and global change, by creating a breakthrough on adaptation decision making practices, in particular by better taking account of vulnerability assessments and their uncertainties. Stakeholders will be associated to the project right at the beginning, taking advantage of the current responsibilities of the partners in providing them support for coastal management and risk prevention. They will be involved through national and regional workshops. Wider dissemination will be done through policy briefs, scientific publications and newsletters.

The ADAPT-MED research will be implemented by a research consortium of 5 partners from 3 different countries that combine excellent scientific in the technical and socio-economic dimensions of environmental policy in general and of climate change adaptation in particular.     


Project Title: Social memory of water-related trades and practices: local knowledge and climate change adaptation

Partners:  Lisbon University Institute, Centre for Social Research and Intervention (Portugal), Centre for Marine Sciences, University of Algarve (Portugal), Social Psychology Laboratory, University of Nîmes/Aix-Marseille (France) and School of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Coordinator: Paula Castro (Email:

Keywords: Social memory, walking stories, social resilience, local knowledge, social representations, place attachment, climate change, biodiversity conservation


The Natura 2000 network of protected sites aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU, and features prominently in the environmental policy of the European Union. However, in the Natura sites the pursuit of these goals relies heavily on scientific and legal-institutional knowledge, and little room is left for the building up of adaptive capacity based also on local knowledge. This means that communities there residing become "interested parties" where they could be also "agents of change".

This project intends to contribute to fill in this gap in a two-fold way: (1) by turning local knowledge into a long-term asset for climate change adaptation, by preparing a "memory bank" of water-related practices and trades that can be critically analyzed, combined, and integrated with other types of knowledge; (2) by helping to integrate adaptation into current routines through the sharing, in both vertical and horizontal workshops, of local knowledge and social memories with scientific and legal knowledge, as a way to increase mutual awareness and hybridization among different types of knowledge.

The project purports to address these aspects, responding to the need for developing more detailed regional information on the impacts of climate change, through a bottom-up descriptive approach. It will do so by selecting in each of the 3 countries (Portugal, France and Greece) 1 important coastal protected site for studying local knowledge of biodiversity relevant topics, social memory of water-related local trades and practices, and social memory of forms of tying social relations to the use of local resources. The traditional trades focused include fishing, shell-fish and seaweed collection, but also uses of the land in the shoreline, and uses of seeds and plants in everyday and medicinal practices.

The project is organized in three main phases; a first one for gathering scientific and local information; a second phase for developing in-depth case-studies to access local knowledge and memories and constructing the memory bank, as well as to respond to specific research questions; and a third phase of archiving, dissemination and discussion of the results with the local communities and key stakeholders. Throughout the project, several activities will ensure the management and broad scientific dissemination of the results.

The methods to be used for the case-studies include open interviews, press analysis and a survey. The interviews will use the innovative methods of recorded walking interviews and recorded walking memories. The interview and survey studies will also be an occasion for addressing two main groups of socio-psychological questions. The first regards some of the persistent controversies about the nature of local knowledge and the results of its encounters with both scientific and legal knowledge, and will examine the conflicts as well as the adaptive resources and forms of knowledge hybridization that emerge from these encounters. The second regards the articulation of social representations, practices and place attachment.

The results include also the creation of a "memory bank" of local knowledge and narratives, to be archived both in the community and nationally, and actively shared during the project; fostering encounters between different types of knowledge, oriented for increasing mutual awareness and developing new social and trade responses for dealing with uncertainty associated to climate change in protected coastal sites; and policy recommendations for action at the EU level.