- Representatives from the fields of science, technology, business and local government will reflect on the most effective measures to combat sea level rise
- The conference will be held from 27 – 28 September at Ficoba
(Irun, 21 September 2016).This July was the earth’s hottest month since records began, but it is soon set to lose its title. Scientists have confirmed the fact that the atmospheric and ocean temperature is undergoing an unusual global increase at an alarming rate, largely due to fossil fuel burning.
The consequences of this situation are particularly noticeable in coastal areas. Ocean warming and the proliferation of extreme weather events have joined forces with the problem of rising sea levels, which could easily exceed 30 centimetres by the end of this century. The most alarmist predictions point at a rise of up to a whole metre, affecting especially densely populated areas.
Reinforce or retreat?
With the aim of reflecting on this dilemma, its pros and cons and its costs and benefits, Ficoba will be hosting the second Uhinak Cross-Border Conference on Climate and Coastal Change, organised by Ficoba itself and AZTI, the expert Technology Centre specialising in Marine and Food Innovation.
Representatives from the fields of science, technology, business and local government will meet at Ficoba during the two-day event to reflect and debate on the situation caused by climate change and how to develop knowledge and solutions to minimise its consequences. These aims can be approached from numerous perspectives.
Uhinak’s proposal is to provide actors able to take measures to mitigate the effects of climate change with the contributions of the scientists and technology centres.
Uhinak has succeeded in bringing together an array of institutions and speakers to guarantee the content and quality of the debate: CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas; Puertos del Estado; IDDRI, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations; AZTI; CEDEX, Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de ObrasPúblicas; CESER de l’Atlantique, Agrupación de Interés Científico Litoral Vasco; BC3, Basque Centre for Climate Change; UPV; IFREMER, InstitutFrançaise de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer; San Sebastián City Council; Cerema Sud Ouest, Centre d’Etudes et d’Expertise sur les Risques, l’Environnement, la Mobilité et l’Aménagement; Rivages Protech-Suez Eau France, Cardiff University, University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour; La Rochelle University, Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya, Surfrider Foundation and the companies TYPSA (specialising in gravity foundations in the offshore wind power field) and Telespazio France, among others.
An increasingly cross-border conference
This year, Uhinak will include a total of 31 lectures, 10 by guest speakers and 21 by speakers chosen to take part after an open call. The fact that 13 of the lecturers are French reveals the event’s increasingly cross-border nature, helping it fulfil its vocation as a meeting point for the entire Atlantic Arc.
The Uhinak conference is structured into four thematic areas: climate change challenges on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, impact and adaptation of coastal uses, tools to be developed and used for change management and decision-making, and the impact of extreme events and their effects on future uses of the coast.
The main difference this year is that the geographical sphere has been extended to include the entire Bay of Biscay, from Galicia to Brittany.
Another novelty at the second Uhinak event is the creation of a Technical Committee including representatives from the Basque Government, the Gipuzkoa Regional Government, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment, BC3, EUCC Atlantic Center, the Basque Country’s Official Association of Civil Engineers, Gis Littoral Basque, the Sustainability Observatory/Cristina Enea Foundation and AZTI.
Uhinak is supported by the Basque Government, the Gipuzkoa Regional Government, the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region and the Southern Basque Country Conurbation, together with San Sebastián Tourism & Convention Bureau and Basquetour.These institutions foster participation in the event as they believe that the measures required to combat the consequences of coastal climate change could be a sustainable development opportunity for the conservation and utilisation of the coast.
The official Uhinak opening ceremony will be held at the Ficoba Auditorium in Irun at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday 27 September.