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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article16 April 2024European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency2 min read

Adapting to climate change needs LIFE long commitment and community

News about climate change is overwhelming and it’s often hard to know where or how to act, even for those working on climate action projects. A LIFE project integrated education and training across France for those managing natural sites.

LIFE Natur'Adapt consortium
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Climate change is in our daily news, from new environmental standards, extreme weather incidents, clever ideas and solutions, and communities taking action.  But those directly involved in climate action, the task of continuing their job can feel too much in the face of adversity, slow pace, or lack of urgency. LIFE Natur’Adapt integrated climate change into the management of protected areas in Europe, to support and guide protected area managers responsible for them.  

LIFE Natur’Adapt focused on three aspects: developing operational tools and methods for managers; mobilising communities; and breaking down financial or institutional barriers to putting adaptation into practice. Coordinated by Réserves Naturelles de France, it involved nine other organisations across France and Germany, uniting nature reserves, experts, scientists, and local people.   

The successes have been plenty, including the production of guides, toolkits, factsheets, training programmes and delivery of 21 vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans. These have been tested on six pilot sites, then a further 14 sites across France, and one in Belgium, such as nature reserves, Natura 2000 sites, peatland, marine parks, forests, underground habitats, lakes, and rocky valleys. Through its free 7-part open online training course for managers, and a massive online open course, the project has trained over 6 000 people.  

LIFE Natur’Adapt has also developed multiple ways of communicating the project’s aims, objectives, and results, through its videos, online exchange platform, webinars, events, resource portal, a 5-part documentary series, posters, a pledge, and a very impactful and heartfelt comic strip. When looking at approaches to tackling climate change, we would do well to follow one of its messages from the comic strip character: “Don’t drown on climate data! The trends are enough!”   

Over 1 300 members are now part of the online LIFE Natur’Adapt platform, and a collective of 50 people act as ambassadors for the project. Members are spread across all regions in mainland France and Corsica.  

While LIFE Natur’Adapt came to an end in 2023, the hard work and commitment will continue in other guises. Its approach will be tested and adapted in overseas France, and it will contribute to other LIFE projects including LIFE Biodiv’France, LIFE Biosphere’Adapt (carried out by MAB France, part of UNESCO Man and Biosphere) and LIFE Adapto + (carried out by Conservatoire du Littoral). The main toolkits, guidance, and communications will remain in the public domain, and continue to be updated and communicated.    

Speaking about the urgency of the project, “administrators are not the only ones who can act. Whether we are citizens, students, professionals in all fields, elected representatives, we can all get involved in preserving nature faced with climate change,” said Christine Coudurier, LIFE Natur’Adapt project manager.   

LIFE Natur’Adapt aligns with the following EU policies: EU Adaptation Strategy, Habitats Directive, and Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.  


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