Framing the application of Adaptation Pathways in Agroforestry in Mediterranean drylands

16:15 Tuesday 28 May


Room S13


André Vizinho (Portugal) 1; Ana Lúcia Fonseca (Portugal) 1; David Avelar (Portugal) 1; Hugo Oliveira (Portugal) 1; Leonor Sucena Paiva (Portugal) 1; Alice Nunes (Portugal) 1; Cristina Branquinho (Portugal) 1; Filipe Duarte Santos (Portugal) 1; Gil Penha-Lopes (Portugal) 1

1 - CE3C - FCUL

Climate change projections for the Mediterranean climate region, show very significant negative impacts on rainfed agriculture and forests, making clear the need for effective adaptation investments, planning and management.

Several authors have identified the need for an integrated framework and decision support tool for climate change adaptation in the field of agriculture and forestry. Adaptation Pathways is a decision support tool designed to create adaptation policies under different climate change scenarios. This tool has been used in several sectors and contexts such as coastal and river adaptation, urban heat waves, floods and rural livelihoods. However, the use of Adaptation Pathways tool in the field of agroforestry has never been done or documented. One of the reasons could be related with the several challenges that need to be addressed when using Adaptation Pathways in this sector, namely:

  1. an agroforestry system has several species and crops and each of them has a different climate change vulnerability, not always with already available information;
  2. defining tipping points for adaptation measures implies the knowledge of their efficacy which is also not available for all the adaptation measures nor or all existing situations of slope, soil type, crops, and techniques;
  3. an agroforestry system is composed of several species and crops that have different pathways and tipping points for the same adaptation measure;
  4. several adaptation objectives can coexist in an multifunctional agroforestry system and thus there are many ways to perform the adaptation.

In this study, the Adaptation Pathways were used for the adaptation planning of three case studies in the semi-arid Alentejo region, a Mediterranean dryland of southern Portugal. This tool was integrated in a participatory approach combined with the Scenario Workshop method, to plan the adaptation of the agriculture and forestry sector of one municipality (Mértola) and two agroforestry farms (221ha and 1000ha). The adaptation plans for the three case studies were concluded successfully and are in the implementation phase. The methodology included 70 interviews, six workshops, literature review expert analysis and the use of indicators of efficacy of adaptation measures, to define tipping points. In the end the results were evaluated by questionnaire and expert review.

Adaptation pathways have supported the choice and combination of effective adaptation measures for the case studies under planning and when combined with several adaptation pathways and a landscape approach they supported the creation of an integrated plan.