DesirMED: Demonstration and mainstreaming of nature-based Solutions for climate Resilient transformation in the MEDiterranean


Climate change is becoming an increasingly significant global threat, affecting our society, health, and well-being. The Mediterranean is particularly affected by these changes and is one of the economically least developed EEA biogeographic regions. To adapt, we must change the way we think and act, including by developing new policies and collaborating at all levels.

The DesirMED project, funded by the European Union, recognizes nature-based solutions as one way to adapt to climate change. The implementation of such solutions aims to preserve and restore ecosystems, increase climate resilience, sustainably manage the environment, and ensure broader long-term socio-economic benefits.

Split-Dalmatia County (SDC) is one of five regions participating in the five-year DesirMED project. Our county, located in the central part of the Adriatic, has highly urbanized coastal areas that are exposed to rising sea levels and other climate threats such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, and coastal storms. SDC is already facing the pressures of climate change, and the DesirMED project will help us test innovative solutions to manage these challenges.

General DesirMED objectives:

The DesirMED project, using proven nature-based adaptation methods, aims to increase the ambition, responsibility, and capacity of regional leaders and communities in the Mediterranean to adapt to climate change. To achieve these goals, DesirMED collaborates with multiple stakeholders in five demonstration regions and three replication regions, along with scientific partners.

Demonstration regions (DR): in Croatia, Split-Dalmatia County; in eastern Portugal, Beiras and Serra da Estrela; in Spain, Comunidad Valenciana; in Italy, Sardinia; and in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Greece.

Replication regions (RR): in France, Région Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur; in Italy, Province of Potenza; and in Cyprus.

The DesirMED project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of experts from various disciplines, including spatial planning, biology, ecology, climatology, economics, and finance, as well as businesses, farmers, public agencies, and stakeholder engagement, communication, and outreach experts, to develop regional adaptation and resilience strategies. By engaging key institutions at the regional level in a multi-level governance framework, the project will also act as a catalyst to promote and accelerate actions needed for long-term climate resilience in the Mediterranean regions.

DesirMED is a project funded by HORIZON Europe Research and Innovation Actions in support of the implementation of the Adaptation to Climate Change Mission (HORIZON-MISS-2022-CLIMA-01). DesirMED aims to increasing ambition, ownership and capability of regional Mediterranean leaders and communities through proven transformative climate change adaptation approaches prioritizing nature-based solutions.

To achieve this, DesirMED involves a multi-level set of actors in 5 Demonstrating regions and 3 Replicating Regions working hand-in-hand with scientific partners to foster holistic approaches to implement transformative adaptation. By engaging key institutions at the regional level in a multi-level governance framework, it will act as a catalyst to trigger and accelerate the necessary actions to increase regional climate resilience over the long run.

Expected DesirMED results:

  1. Creating a common vision and ambition among key stakeholders in the region. A map of key stakeholders for the included DR and RR.
  2. Development and demonstration of nature-based solutions for climate adaptation.
  3. Identification of opportunities to expand and introduce innovative solutions for wider use and a report on experiences.
  4. Exchange of knowledge and data on landscapes and key control systems in the region. Maps of regional climate risks. An innovative monitoring framework to assess effectiveness.
  5. Promoting action for a just transition through innovative forms of engagement and management. A report on obstacles and opportunities for behavior change.
  6. Mobilization of finances and resources for climate-resilient investments.
  7. Building capacity for regional actors through learning from demonstrated solutions.
  8. Building a community of practice and a network of at least 100 Climate Ambassadors to support innovative solutions.

Project Coordinator:

CMCC Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici


Croatia: Split-Dalmatia County (SDC), Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), University of Split, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy (UNIST-FGAG), and Sunce Association for Nature, Environment, and Sustainable Development (SUNCE).
Italy: Autonomous Region of Sardinia (RAS), Province of Potenza (PPT), National Research Council (CNR), Città Ricerche Territorio Innovazione Ambiente srl (CRITERIA), and IMC International Marine Center Foundation (IMC).
Portugal: Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco (IPCB), Association for a Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CEDES), Intermunicipal Community of Beiras and Serra da Estrela (CIM-BSE), Inova+ Innovation Services (INOVA+), and Municipality of Fundao (FUNDAO).
Spain: Tecnalia Research and Innovation Foundation (TECNALIA), Valencian Community (Valencia), Vaersa Valenciana de Aprovechamiento Energetico de Residuos (VAERSA), and Medi XXI Environmental Solutions Office (MEDI XXI).
Netherlands: Climate-KIK Holding BV (CKIC), Deltares Foundation (DELTARES), and Wageningen Research Foundation (WR)
Cyprus: Energy Office of the Cyprus Citizens (CEA) and Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI).
Greece: Dynamic Vision (Dyn-V), Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region (REMTH), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Development Fund (RDF-EMT), Municipality of Pangaio (PAGGAION), and European Public Law Organization (EPLO).
France: National Council Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (Regio SUD) and International Union for Conservation of Nature and its Resources (UICN).
Ireland: BwB Connect (BwB).

Funded by the European Union: HORIZON-MISS-2022-CLIMA-01
Research and innovation actions to support the implementation of the climate adaptation mission.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under grant agreement No. 101112972
Total project cost: € 17,733,882.50
Total project funding: € 16,938,059.00

Start date: January 1, 2024
End date: December 31, 2028

Project Manager at Sunce: Maja Jurić
E-mail: [email protected]

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