EU Science Hub

Resilient futures of a small island: a participatory approach in Tenerife (Canary Islands) to address climate change

Abstract: 
Adaptation to climate change has been considered to be crucial to current societies, especially for small islands. In this paper the case of Tenerife (in the Canary Islands) is analysed. Tenerife is a small island located northwest of the African continent, in the Atlantic Ocean. Tenerife presents a high vulnerability to heatwaves and Saharan dust events as a consequence of its closeness to the Saharan desert. In fact, increasing frequency of heatwaves and Saharan dust events has been reported and could worsen in the future due to global warming. An exploration of adaptation strategies to an increase of the frequency and intensity of these phenomena is therefore needed. Different social actors have been engaged in a participatory process aiming at exploring pathways for adaptation to extreme weather events. Resilience was argued as the relevant framing to address those hazards. Four focus group sessions were carried out in order to explore key transformative elements necessary to make resilient futures for Tenerife. The results highlight the need for broader climate-based policies across all sectors to assure that the island becomes resilient to climatic and non-climatic shocks.