Adaptation in the Šumava UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Czech Republic)
The Climate Challenge
The Šumava UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Czech Republic is one of the most extensive forest landscapes in Central Europe. The area is currently challenged by the growing occurrence of extreme weather events such as heavy rains and droughts. Higher winter temperatures are supposed to reduce snowpack and increase evaporation, leading to shifts in annual water outflows. On the other hand, both winter runoff and subsequent risk of spring floods are expected to increase, since water storage in the form of snowpack will be reduced. Bark beetle infestations, intensive tourism and disputes regarding the optimal adaptation regime are also issues.
The Adaptation Response
No adaptation measures have been implemented in the study area hitherto. The case study serves as the initial step in a potential future adaptation process, focused on analysing potential adaptation needs and proposing suitable ecosystem-based adaptation measures in collaboration with local stakeholders. The first participatory session of the scenario workshop, including key local stakeholders, took place in July 2014, and the aim was to elicit the most strongly perceived effects of climate change at present and in the near future and to discuss potential measures, e.g. sustainable forest management, enhancing ecosystem connectivity and resilience. At the same time, the stakeholders created several storylines of potential future development in the area considering plausible demographic, economic and environmetnal changes. After eliciting these information, future adaptation scenarios were finalised to serve as the basis for ecosystem-service modelling with the InVEST suite of modelling tools. A second session with stakeholders took place following the finalisation of the results of the Green Roof case study in November 2014 to disseminate the results and discuss their implications.
The People and Institutions Involved
The stakeholders involved in this case study were those participating in the scenario workshops organized by CzechGlobe, who included local authorities and stakeholders from conservation, regional development, science and research, energy, water management, agriculture and tourism and recreation.
The Outcome of Action
Since the adaptation process in the Czech Republic is mostly top-down, the actual implementation of specific adaptation measures will depend on the implementation of National Adaptation Strategy, which was adopted in October 2015. Therefore, the adaptation activity on the regional and local level has been very limited hitherto.
Zuzana Harmáčková, CzechGlobe
David Vačkář, CzechGlobe
The Šumava UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: http://www.br-sumava.cz/
The full report of this case study can be read here.
Photo © by Josef Brůna