• Climate Change

Towards an integrated strategy for adaptation to climate change in Navarra

The Spanish National Climate Change Adaptation Plan is the reference framework for developing adaptation policies in Spain. The vast majority of Spanish autonomous communities have adaptation strategies, plans or actions. However, although these are coherent with the National Adaptation Plan, there has been a lack of implementation. The situation in the region of Navarra is fairly typical. The Strategy against Climate Change of Navarra (SCCN) 2010-2020 was adopted by the regional government in January 2011. However, its implementation has encountered problems and barriers due to the global economic crisis, reduced budget allocations for climate-related measures, and insufficient involvement of key stakeholders. Since the region of Navarra is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, such as temperature increase, reduction of rainfall, decreased crop productivity, increased risk of forest fires and desertification, as well as a number of other impacts, the Climate Change Roadmap for Navarra 2017-2030-2050 (CCRN) and the revised Climate Change Strategy (2018) are key elements to overcome problems and barriers to implementing climate change adaptation measures.


The Integrated LIFE Project NAdapta-CC “Towards an integrated, coherent and inclusive implementation of climate change adaptation policy in Navarre” is the first Integrated LIFE Project on Climate to implement a comprehensive climate change adaptation strategy within an entire regional territory. The project is scheduled to be developed over eight years with a total budget of €15,565,090, with an EU contribution of €9,339,055. In addition, it is planned to mobilise and coordinate the use of an additional €377,657,899 of funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and other European programmes, along with national, local and private funds, so as to better execute complementary actions for the full implementation of the 2030 Climate Change Adaptation goals for the region.


The main objective of LIFE-IP NAdapta-CC is to increase resilience to climate change in the region of Navarra. In order to achieve this, the government of Navarra as the project coordinator, works together with research institutions and public companies. The cooperative approach between different departments of the governments and other key stakeholders should guarantee the integration of the different sectoral policies, so that the issue of climate change is incorporated into their development and implementation. Besides the principles of participation, and the breaking down of silos between sectors, the main principles of the project are long-term sustainability (enhancing regional capacities), subsidiarity (decision-making close to citizens) and networking (ensuring successful replication of results). 

Specific objectives of the project are to: 

  • Support the full implementation of Navarra’s climate change strategy, SCCN;
  • Contribute to the implementation of the climate change roadmap, CCRN;
  • Fine-tune the regional capacities required to fully implement the climate change adaptation measures;
  • Implement a series of actions in the six focus areas identified, namely, climate monitoring, and the adaptive management of water, forestry, agriculture, health, and infrastructure and territorial planning; 
  • Multiply the impacts of the project’s solutions and mobilise a wider uptake, reaching a critical mass during the project and/or in the short and medium term after the project (e.g. raising awareness, training and disseminating).

Lines of Action:

Within the six focus areas identified, there is a wide range of actions/measures that are included within the CCRN, and are related to the main adaptation measures for the natural, rural and urban settings, as well as to cross-sectorial measures:

Climate change monitoring to improve knowledge about climate change impacts in Navarra, in order to adopt adequate adaptation measures. Expected results:

  • Definition of climate change indicators in the different project areas and incorporation of the new indicators in the Territorial Development Indicators System
  • Vulnerability assessment of the territory
  • Set up of a control and warning system to allow quick decision making
  • Adaptive management of the local environment. Disseminate sustainability criteria to local entities in Navarra.
  • Commitments for climate and energy of the Local Entities of Navarra. 

Adaptive management of water: Manage demand considering the variations in the availability of water resources as a result of climate change and the implementation of an action plan to facilitate flood and drought management. Expected results include:

  • An early warning system for potential environmental emergencies in wastewater treatment plants to avoid impacts on the receiving channels;
  • Monitoring of relief points that may cause negative impacts on rivers
  • Roadmap for local flood management:
    • Municipal emergency plans for flood risk in 17 selected municipalities and the development of a mobile app
    • River restoration projects in 3 selected sites
  • Implementation of sustainable sanitation systems
  • Adaptation of urban sewerage networks through the implementation of sustainable drainage systems in urban areas;
  • Evaluation study of water resources derived from climate change scenarios based on the IPCC models (AR5)

Adaptive management of forestry: Within the project new forestry growth models will be defined in the most vulnerable areas so as to preserve their ecological value and improve forest productivity. Expected results include:

  • Identification of the most vulnerable areas in order to set out action priorities
  • Selection of seeds from adapted autochthonous species
  • Improvement of the ecological value of Mediterranean agroforestry systems, as well as minimising risks to those
  • Incorporation of adaptation measures in forestry planning tools
  • Development of forestry growth models to improve productivity

Adaptive management of agriculture: The project aims to develop innovative techniques for the adaptation of the agriculture and livestock sector in terms of irrigation systems and suitable pasture management to guarantee the quality of agriculture and animal health, with the following actions to be developed: 

  • Monitoring tools and alert systems for pest and plant disease control and animal health 
  • Advice platforms on soil quality and sustainable water management
  • A Web GIS tool for direct control of the risk of water contamination by
  • agricultural activities, 
  • A Web GIS tool for sustainable management of local farms 
  • Reduce fire risks through silvipastoral management to reduce fuel biomass in Sabaiza
  • Projects involving crop rotation, tillage conservation and the use of organic matter as fertiliser
  • Solar composting and drying plants in Tudela that treat sewage sludge to obtain organic matter
  • Pilot projects with low pressure sprinkle irrigation systems

Adaptive management of health: The aim of the project in this sector is to develop guidelines and measures for adaptation to health effects related to climate change impacts, such as extreme heatwaves, changes in rainfall, floods and droughts and the decline of air quality. To this end, the following is planned:

  • Develop surveillance and information systems that register the impacts of climate change on health and identify vulnerable groups
  • Inclusion of preventive actions in the Labour Health Plan of Navarra
  • Carry out the “Program of preventative actions of the effects of high temperatures on health”
  • Work together with the University of Navarra to examine the effects of air pollution on health
  • Analyse samples to determine emerging pathogens in food and water 
  • Implement measures to address invasive vectors
  • Implement a program to identify and quantify pollen for information and dissemination of preventive measures to the population and services of allergology and care

Adaptive management of infrastructure and territorial planning: Promoting energy regeneration of the urban and rural environment and analysing the vulnerability of infrastructures and landscapes. The following actions have been initiated in the framework of the project:

  • Climate variable integration in Landscape Documents of the POT
  • Study of Vulnerability Scenarios and the development of the different mechanisms and adaptation measures
  • May 10 Interdepartmental Commission for the Adaptation of Buildings and Infrastructures of the Government of Navarra to Climate Change: 328 buildings and 100 infrastructures inventoried
  • 2 pilot adaptation projects:
    • Social Housing Building of 38 houses of official protection in Burlada that will be transformed into houses with almost no consumption
    • Urban regeneration project in the Municipality of Tudela that began in September 2018 and will affect three urban areas of the municipality and more than 500 homes in socially and climatically more vulnerable neighbourhoods of La Ribera



More actions in this region