On January 25th 2024, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and CARTIF hosted the first in-person workshop in the city of Almería, Spain.

The purpose of this participatory session was to introduce the project to local actors and to discuss climate risks and potential solutions for the Province of Almería. A total of 13 local stakeholders engaged in the session, with representatives from the provincial government, academia, water and energy suppliers in addition to environmental consultants and civil society.

An introductory session included a brief overview of the project, before more technical presentations from the city of Almería on local climate impacts and a summary of early work carried out within the project on modelling future water needs for barley.

The first main activity involved the participants working in groups to represent the socio-environmental system which is at risk under climate change. This was achieved through the production of Impact Chains linking hazards, exposure and vulnerability in line with IPCC risk framing. In particular there was discussion of how reduced rainfall and increased temperatures can impact upon agriculture and greenhouse-based horticulture in the province. One stakeholder pointed out that the current trends were a “threat to local farmers and their families”, with another participant stating that “what we have now is an industrial form of agriculture… this is not sustainable”.

Having discussed the challenges facing the province, the second session focused on prospective solutions. Again in groups, participants were asked to categorise Land-use Adaptation and Mitigation Solutions (LAMS) according to the extent to which they are of relevance and urgence to the local social and environmental context. This led to a rich discussion about the nuances of managing water, including as one participant stated, the need to address “how to include complex issues in the price of water” because as another stakeholder put it, “the price cannot be equal for everyone”.

Suggestions from the two sessions are already being incorporated into project development, and in particular the development of the local model. The next workshop will be held later in 2024 in which stakeholders will learn of project developments and be able to further define the solutions to be modelled.