Nature-based solutions as a climate change adaptation strategy

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Abstract: Because of climate change, rising sea levels in Kristianstad Municipality is more urgent than ever. Sea levels around Scania are estimated to rise more than 2,5 meters in 80 years considering that they are currently rising with 3,2 mm per year. This can lead to erosion and more frequent floods, which in turn can alter beach areas and nearby housing. Kristianstad has an excessive risk of being affected by global temperature increases and sea level rise because of the lowland and vicinity to the ocean. The lowest point in Sweden is located in Kristianstad at 2,41 meters below sea level. Kristianstad Municipality has implemented seawalls to prevent disastrous consequences of sea level rise and is currently prevailing in the discussion of biological-based solutions to the matter in two different projects. The first is a EU-funded project called LIFE Coast Adapt, where the city is planning on constructing a natural reef, which aims to prevent coastal erosion and facilitate biodiversity. Furthermore, the second project, dubbed Drömprojektet, is funded by the WWF and municipality and intends to plant eelgrass shoots to improve the environment around the bay area of Hane. Nevertheless, the city’s coastal and maritime spatial planning plan and climate adaptation plan lacks a clear definition of the concept of nature-based solutions and often uses the phrase interchangeably with ecosystem-based adaptation. The planning documents frequently discuss trade-offs and challenges associated with different climate adaptation measures but rarely reach a conclusion. The discussion regarding adaptation strategies therefore follows the Swedish trend of the rise of “the sustainable city” but what that implies is uncertain.

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