The workshop with the Azores stakeholder group happened in Ponta Delgada, in São Miguel island in the Azores, on the 23rd of January 2024. It was organized by FC.ID (FCiências.ID\ULisbon) within the RethinkAction Project activities. The workshop had 16 participants with different sectors represented by local institutions, decision makers and others. These include the main local mitigation and adaptation project (LIFE IP CLIMAZ/SRAAC) and beneficiaries, farmers association (AASM/FAA and CUA), farmers development agency (IROA), energy utility (EDA) and regional energy (DREn), regional water resources (DROTH/SRAAC), Lajes do Pico civil protection and city hall (CMLP), science funding (FRCT), weather and climate services (IPMA Açores) and academia (UAc and an independent researchers). Different backgrounds among the stakeholder allowed for a diverse range of inputs concerning climate risks and LAMS (Land used-based Adaptation and Mitigation Solutions).

This was the first in-person workshop for the Azores case study where different stakeholders not only contributed to the workshop objectives but also had a change to exchange experiences and insights about climate change in the region. “This is important for us as a project parner and relevant for the local stakeholders who have an extra chance to meet and discuss the issues of climate change”, says Tiago Capela Lourenço, the project manager for FC.ID. “We organized the workshop so that local stakeholders could present the issues from their perspective”.

“For me it was interesting to see the presentation of the paper Climate Change and Extreme Events in Northeast Atlantic and Azores Islands Region and how it will contribute to our local risk analysis”, says Tomás Calheiros e Menezes, a climate expert in FC.ID. “The presentation about the risk of precipitation variability in Azorean Agriculture was an excellent real world information that set the scene for our impact chains exercise”, said Guillermo Prieto Porriños, a PhD student working in ULisbon who is going to use impact chains in his thesis.

The stakeholders built three impact chains for the Azores that relate to Agriculture, Energy and Tourism. They concerned “risk of precipitation variability affecting crop yield stability”, “risk of loss of attractiveness due to climate change” and “risk of energy production affected by climate change”. These were developed by three different groups which sat at different tables. “Stakeholders gave valuable inputs on subjects that we were not fully aware of. This tool (impact chains) allowed us to extract different system interactions and details, based on local knowledge in a short amount of time. For instance, we were not aware that the increase of pests could be an issue due to climate change in Azores and indeed this had been identified before in PRAC (Regional Program for Climate Change)”, said Ricardo Encarnação Coelho, project operative in FC.ID who is also doing a PhD thesis about Anaerobic Digestion and biogas in islands. The developed impact chains were presented by the stakeholders to the other groups.

The same tables were also asked to prioritize a limited selection of 25 LAMS identifying on how feasible and urgent they are to be implemented on Azores. This exercise sparked short discussions where the prioritization of solutions differed between the interests or sectors of the stakeholders. Each table reached a consensus but the final result differs per table thus providing a different insight that relates to each sector. “Overall the stakeholders were pleased with this event and we are very happy with their engagement” said Tiago. “We expect a sustained local engagement with the stakeholders but we need to continue to use the information that they gave us well and give back valuable outputs and insights from the project” said Ricardo.