Developing Policies & Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region
Focussing on the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), the project Developing Policies & Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region (ASTRA) assesses regional impacts of the ongoing global change in climate. Its aim is to develop adequate climate change adaptation strategies and policies, together with relevant stakeholders, such as planners and decision makers.
Climate change has potential long-term effects on the living environment. The impact of climate change, along with the socio-economic impacts of natural hazards, plays an important role in the spatial and economic development of regions. For example, the economical losses caused by natural hazards are rising continuously. Positive responses towards these impacts on regional development are mid- to long term strategies supported by decision makers and other stakeholders, including regional and local planners.
The ASTRA project uses climate change models and climate impact research studies to develop regional and local impact scenarios. In the development of adaptation strategies it concentrates on risk awareness and the formulation of policy recommendations.
The project focuses on practical applications, and several stakeholders are directly involved in all project activities. ASTRA's partners comprise various research institutes and regional planning offices around the Baltic Sea Region, in total 19 inner and 16 outer circle partners. Lead partner of the project is the Geological Survey of Finland.
The ASTRA project is a follow up of the INTERREG IIIB project Sea level change affecting the spatial development of the Baltic Sea Region (SEAREG), which operated from 2002 to 2005.
Meanwhile the SEAREG project focused only on sea level changes and related flooding problems, ASTRA has a wider scope. The Decision Support Frame on sea level change and related hazards was initiated by the SEAREG project and further developed in the ASTRA project. It is available as an online application under Decision Support Frame (DSF). The publication of the SEAREG project's results can be downloaded for free from here.
The SEAREG and ASTRA projects were awarded for special project results by the Amber Tree Award of the Baltic Sea Region's INTERREG IIIB secretariat.
The ASTRA project is co-financed by the Baltic Sea Region's INTERREG III B Program of the European Union, with a project budget of 2,2 Mio Euro. The time frame of the ASTRA project is from June 2005 to December 2007.
The main objective is to assess regional impacts of the ongoing global change in climate and to develop strategies and policies for climate change adaptation.
* The project will address threats arising from climate change in the BSR, such as extreme temperatures, droughts, forest fires, storm surges, winter storms and floods.
In order to elaborate adaptation and mitigation strategies it is inevitable to involve regional and local spatial planners and stakeholders. Entry points and integration to existing planning processes and methods will be identified. Climate change impacts and vulnerability of regions are studied in several regional and local case studies.