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TransformAr Project: communities protect the environment, the environment protects the people from climate change

The MEDSEA Foundation is one of the 22 partners of TranformAR, the Horizon 2020 project of the European Union which for four years will work to start and improve local processes of response to climate change.

The perspectives provided by the latest report by the IPCC, the United Nations scientific body that has been studying the evolution of the climate in the history of our planet for decades, are extremely alarming: even if we were to be able to contain the temperatures rise to 1,5 ° C, we would be forced to face critical situations in the agricultural, food and infrastructural sectors, as well as in the ecosystems, with serious risks for the well-being of our societies.

TransformAR will work together with local communities in the implementation of a model of adaptation to climate change based on the combination of several tools: innovative technologies and financing, integrated management of the territory, the construction of a new relationship between community and environment, the application of nature -based solutions, solutions based on the sustainable use of nature to address the social, economic and environmental challenges brought about by the climate crisis.

The MEDSEA Foundation, coordinated like the other 21 partners by the University of Antwerp, will work on the Marceddì lagoon, a wetland that is part of the larger and more complex system of the Gulf of Oristano, characterized by six Ramsar sites, 200 kilometers of coastline, 17 Natura 2000 sites and the "Sinis Peninsula - Mal di Ventre Island" Marine Protected Area. A paradise of biodiversity and beauty that climate change puts at serious risk: large tracts of the gulf, according to the latest scientific projections, could be submerged in 2100.

The compendium of Marceddì-San Giovanni-Corru S'Ittiri has been suffering from the manifestation of extreme climatic phenomena. Its ecosystem is cyclically affected by floods and droughts. Water in the lagoon suffers the most, as it is altered in the degree of salinity and in its ability to be renewed through a normal flux. One of the most serious consequences is the fragility of the fish species that inhabit it, weakened and reduced in number. The alteration of the natural balance immediately affects the communities: there are about 150 families who live thanks to fishing activities in the lagoon.

The MEDSEA Foundation will carry out the adaptation process following 3 main actions. An "intelligent" mechanism of openings will be created, capable of facilitating the in-flow from the sea during alluvial phenomena. Thanks to a sensor system it will be possible to monitor and predict the masses of water, their pH, the percentage of oxygen saturation. Extreme atmospheric phenomena will be identified early and in their local declination through a small and efficient weather station. To make even more solid the complex intervention, strategically deployed in several points of the compendium, MEDSEA will proceed to the reforestation of the banks, a practice that completes the new adaptation paradigm composed of community participation, technology and nature-based solution.

The innovative water flow management system will fit into the wider community of the "Coastal Contract", the integrated management model of the marine-coastal areas that MEDSEA has built in the Oristano area with the Maristanis Project, focused on the conservation of the incredible environmental assets of the Oristano area, and on the sustainable development of economic activities that for millennia have characterized the harmony between work and nature in this precious corner of the Mediterranean, now seriously threatened.

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