A planning strategy for the adaptation of coastal areas to climate change: The Spanish case
In a context of growing concern about climate change and its potential consequences for coastal systems, adaptation is becoming more important than ever before. This paper presents a national planning framework for adaptation to climate change, which is pioneer in the field as it is multi-sectoral and focuses specifically on coastal areas, pursuing the safety of their communities in an uncertain future. The strategy is statutory as it emanates from the new Spanish Coastal Law, which in addition to many other implications includes the compulsory development of a Spanish Strategy for Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change (SSCACC) and its submission to Strategic Environmental Assessment. This paper covers the fundamental aspects of both the SSCACC and the accompanying Strategic Environmental Study, providing recommendations on the assessment of coastal risks triggered by climate change and extreme events, adaptation and risk reduction planning and implementation, and monitoring. Additionally, this work gives insight into the wide-ranging consultation process carried out prior to the SSCACC's approval and the stakeholders involved, and how the SSCACC handles climate change uncertainty and struggles for overcoming barriers.