Mediterranean climate change adaptation awards – 2021

Updated 01/29/2021


2021 appears as a crucial step for adaptation to climate change regarding the preparation of COP26 and at the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of Paris Agreement. Urgence is pointed again in the recent report released by the Mediterranean Experts on Climate and environnemental Change network (MedeCC) on risks and challenges for the Mediterranean Region. 

The Mediterranean basin, with its 500 million inhabitants, is the one of the most impacted area by climate change. 

Temperatures in this climate change hotspot are increasing faster than the global average, and major impacts are expected as soon as 2050. These include up to a 10% drop in the availability of freshwater and a decrease in food security due to a potential drop of up to 17% in crop yields and up to 20% in overfished marine life, as well as an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods. Further major impacts are also predicted in the long term. By 2100, it is predicted there will be a temperature increase of 5.6 ℃, a 20% drop in rainfall, a potential 90cm rise in sea levels, a two-fold increase in the land-area scorched by fires, as well as the disappearance of at least 40% of native fish species and the introduction of non-native species. 

Cities and rural communities across the Mediterranean must therefore work to create stable social, economic and environmental conditions so that the region is better able to deal with the impact of extreme weather and events linked to climate change. 

The 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards is an opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent need to take action and the importance of working together to create inspiring and innovative solutions that can be used throughout the region. 

A competition to encourage territories to adapt

After two successful editions, ADEME and its Mediterranean partners, The Union for the Mediterranean and the Plan Bleu have launched the third edition of the Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards. This new edition will pay attention to an increased digital communication  within these times of pandemic and will relay on several sponsors to support the concourse.

This contest aims at disseminating and promoting adaptation actions in rural, urban or coastal areas of the 23 mediteranean countries in the 3 following categories: 

  • Category 1 “Resilient facilities and infrastructure”;
  • Category 2 “Preservation of ecosystems and nature-based solutions”;
  • Category 3 “Designing, implementing and monitoring public policies”.

Who can enter the contest? 

This competition is targeting public stakeholders, members of the private sector and NGOs which are taking action and developing solutions to adapt the Mediterranean regions to the changing climate:

  • Local authority;
  • National body;
  • Public university;
  • NGO in partnership with a local public stakeholder;
  • Companies or members of the private sector in partnership with a local public stakeholder.

This competition concerns the regions included within the Mediterranean bioclimatic zone, i.e. part or all of the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestinian National Authority, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey.

Project are selected regarding criteria related to their relevance, the exemplarity of the actions, efficiency and sustainability as well as their replicability at the Mediterranean level. 

What are the key dates?

Opening date: January 20, 2021
Applications close: April 15, 2021
Announcement of the winners during European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (Brussels, june 2021 – tbc)


More information on the nominees and applications received: 

Carte - Limite bioclimatique de la région méditerranéenne
Limite bioclimatique de la région méditerranéenne

Click to enlarge

Feedbacks from previous editions

Second edition feedbacks and laureates – 2018-2019

The second edition of these awards was held from November 2018 to May 2019. The nominees have been awarded in Lisbon during the European Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA, 2019) on the 29th of May. 28 applications have been received (+30% compared to the previous edition) coming from 9 countries, 74% coming from Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMCs). This contest was organized in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean, the Plan Bleu, the Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories (AViTeM), in association with the Association of Mediterranean Agencies for energy management (MEDENER), the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), the Association of Mediterranean Chamber of Commerce (ASCAME) and the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (EMWIS).

In the "Infrastructures and Resilient Buildings" category, the Municipality of Jerash in Jordan has been awarded for rainwater harvesting to supply a public park. This project, with multiple co-benefits, also raises awareness among the population about water resources scarcity in the area.

Look at the project Greater Jerash Municipality (Jordan) "Harvesting rainwater and reusing grey water for the Green Garden Concept of Jerash"
In the "Ecosystems and Natural Resources" category, the Union of Municipalities of the District of Bint Jbeil in Lebanon has been awarded for “Increasing green cover through reforestation and creating new forests through afforestation” project. Funded with mainly local resources, this project, started in 2005, has a medium and long term approach, an exemplary approach to encourage. The forest cover has already been increased by 5% since the start of the project.

Look at the project : "Increasing green cover through reforestation and creating new forests through afforestation"
In the category "Methods and Tools for Public Policy Design”, the County of Šibenik-Knin in Croatia, supported by PAP/RAC, was awarded for its Coastal Plan taking into account the variability of climate change. This participative planning approach, initiated in 2014, already bears some fruits. Officially adopted by the authorities, it guides urban development projects and investments of the targeted municipalities.

The latter is also the Overall Winner to encourage the dissemination of this planning process.

Look at the project "Development of a coastal plan with specific focus on variability caused by climate change"

First edition feedbacks and laureates (2016)

At the occasion of COP22, organized in Marrakech from 8 to 18 november 2016, the first Mediterranean climate change adaptation awards were offered to 4 laureates.
The first prize was awarding the Association of the development and strategic studies of Medenine (Tunisia) in Category “Ecosystems and natural resources”. This initiative involves carrying out Water and Soil Conservation (WSC) in order to preserve the agricultural heritage and improve the income of inhabitants (conserve rainwater by creating a succession of earthen dykes, rainwater cisterns etc.).The project was proposing innovative solutions for water resource management in arid region of Hariza-Chaab Chnini in South Eastern Tunisia.

Download the project presentation: "Managing natural resources for climate change adaptation in the Hariza and Chaab Chnini regions"
The “Boosting Prize” was awarding Municipality of Ramallah (Palestinian territories) in the Category “Developments, infrastructure and buildings” for their “Green plan” for climate change adaptation, launched in 2014.

Download the project presentation: "A plan for Ramallah’s climate change adaptation"
In category “Ecosystems and natural resources”, the Dar Si Hmad Association (Morocco) was awarded for its project aiming at developing technologies (nets) to collect water from fog, to improve living conditions and to promote sustainability and development of rural local communities.

Download the project presentation: "Capturing the fog to ensure water supply"
Finally, in category “Methods for designing and implementing public policies”, the Foundation of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon/Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Change (Portugal) was awarded. This initiative therefore focuses on building the capacities of local stakeholders and improving the consistency of policies for adapting to climate change (provide training for local stakeholders, creation of a stakeholder network for local adaptation, support to deployment of Municipal Adaptation Strategies (MAS)).

Download the project presentation: "Municipal strategies for adapting to climate change - ClimAdaPT.Local"