"Municipalities as integrators and coordinators
in adaptation to climate change"
Within the framework of the LIFE-MICACC project the second two days of the III. Climate Adaptation Training were organized, this time in Budapest, for the leaders and colleagues of interested municipalities involved from the river basin of the five partner municipalities.
The main purpose of the training was to establish well-functioning partnerships between municipalities in the affected river basins, in order to develop potential complex solutions together and thereby effectively adapt to the effects of climate change, in particular for water related risks and, where appropriate, jointly submit an application.
On the first day, the participants were greeted by Dr. Miklós Dukai, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior. In his opening speech, he emphasized that climate change is a global challenge for all of us, and we have to learn to adapt to its negative effects (droughts, floods, flash floods, heat waves). We can therefore do this most effectively at local level. As a result, local authorities have a key role in adapting to climate change. They are particularly important in informing and activating local communities, setting up local strategies and drawing up the necessary action plans. It is clear to us that this joint local adaptation must be coordinated at local level by the municipalities.
The first day’s presentations were given by Csaba Vaszkó, climate change expert and trainer, and Iván Balla, water management expert. The presenters described the trends in temperature and precipitation patterns in Hungary. Both temperature and precipitation trends indicate that extreme weather events will occur more frequently, for example, the increase in the number of so called hot days, where the temperature is above 35°C, flash floods, etc. This was followed by the introduction of the municipalities involved from the river basin level. The participants described the water related problems in their municipalities, and their suggestions and solutions they had made so far in terms of water retention, which could be used to solve the catchment-level difficulties of the five partner settlements’ environment.
The next day, the main actors were also the colleagues of the settlements. With the help of a questionnaire, municipalities demonstrated their vulnerability to climate change, and described the negative impacts, damages and difficulties caused by climate change in their surroundings. In the afternoon, with the inclusion of our experts (Iván Balla-water management, Dr. Andrea Kircsi Bíróné-meteorology, Dr. Kálmán Buzás-rain water management, Lajosné Komenczi-water management, Dr. Anna Páldy-health, Zoltán Sirkó-agriculture, Dr. Julianna Szabó-settlement planning) we engaged in brainstorming and finding solutions using the World Café method.
This training event was the last climate adaptation training session within the LIFE-MICACC project. We trust that our invested work will bear fruit and be able to deliver results in the project that will serve as “good practice” that can be implemented nationwide. Our goal is to have as many climate-aware, adaptive municipalities as possible in our country.
Written by Bettina Hugyecz and András Torda