AGORA: Pilot Case Study in Zaragoza, Spain

Multiple Authors
(Credit: Ioana Baciu, Unsplash)

The AGORA Project

The AGORA project promotes societal transformation to empower local communities to address the climate crisis. AGORA aims to achieve this through a multidisciplinary, integrated approach and four pilot studies all around Europe.

AGORA is a HORIZON Europe project started in January 2023. It supports the EU Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change.

Introduction

The Spanish pilot case study collaborates with the Government of Aragón and actively engages the representatives from public authorities, academia, civil society, and the private sector. The pilot case study involves two specific sites:

  • Zaragoza, the regions central city which serves as home to people from across Aragón and a meeting point for relevant discussions about climate change adaptation, primarily concerning heatwaves and flooding in the area
  • Matarraña, a rural area in the southeast part of the region with forests highly vulnerable to fires, which will allow us to address the rural perspective and urgent need to protect natural resources within the region of Aragón.

Activities so far

The Ibercivis Foundation coordinated the first participatory workshop of the AGORA project on October 24th, International Day against Climate Change. This workshop was jointly organised with the Climate Change and Environmental Education Service of the Government of Aragón as part of the Aragon Climate Week.

The workshop, held on October 24th at the Zaragoza Aquarium, brought together 18 participants from various sectors of Aragonese society: technicians, experts and researchers, representatives from the institutional and political spheres, the private sector, and spokespersons from social and environmental organizations, as well as citizens. This diversity enriched the debate seeking answers to questions from different perspectives and ways of life, contributing to create a participatory and accurate diagnosis of our community’s social reality facing climate change.

The main objective of the workshop was to gain a better understanding of the impacts of climate change in Aragón, identifying causes, consequences, and territorial needs. Various issues affecting the entire Aragón region were discussed, both general and specific, urgent or longer-term, easy to solve or more complex, at regional and localized levels.

To read more about the inception workshop please see here: Kicking off the first AGORA pilot study in Zaragoza, Spain – AGORA (adaptationagora.eu)

Figure 1. Inception workshop in Zaragoza, Spain. (Credit: AGORA project)

Next steps

Not only have the challenges and threats implied by climate change in the region been identified, but the strengths and opportunities for adaptation and mitigation of negative effects have also been discussed. We obtained insightful and enriching results about the challenges and unique characteristics of the Aragon region. While our earlier meetings with representatives of the Government of Aragon led us to believe that the primary concerns were heat waves and floods, this workshop has revealed that participants were also worried about issues like water scarcity and desertification.

The results of this inception workshop will serve as the basis for the upcoming activities planned by Agora aiming to engage even more citizens in the discussion.