Local stakeholders at the table of the Nevermore European project dedicated to climate change
The Working Group of the NEVERMORE European project, a board of provincial stakeholders animated by the Tourism and Sports Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento and supported by Fondazione Bruno Kessler-FBK, was formed on March 2, 2023, at the Province Headquarters.
The NEVERMORE project, coordinated by FBK’s Digital Society center, was funded under the Horizon Europe program and aims to support excellence in scientific research on climate and climate policy. A special feature of the project is precisely the activation of the Local Working Group that will involve provincial administration, research institutions, local businesses, trade associations and civil society creating an environment for reflection and discussion on climate change with a special focus on tourism and energy. Today’s proceedings were introduced by Provincial Councillor for Tourism Roberto Failoni and coordinated by Maria Serena Barbera and Alessio Bertò of the Province’s Tourism and Sport Service, leaders of the Trentino Case Study addressed within the project.
The objectives of NEVERMORE (New Perspectives and Tools to Support an Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Risks for a Climate Neutral and Resilient Society) were outlined by project coordinator Alessia Torre (FBK); this was followed by the work of the Panel with talks by Professors Lorenzo Giovannini and Umberto Martini from the University of Trento, experts in climatology and tourism, respectively.
“Today, within the NEVERMORE project, we are starting in Trentino an important process of discussion on the impacts and risks of climate change on the local area ,” said Alessia Torre, project coordinator and project manager at FBK’s Digital Society center. “Here and in four other climate change hotspot regions in Europe, Fondazione Bruno Kessler will deploy the tools to conduct participatory planning processes with local working groups. These processes will be the basis for the development of innovative models and technologies for easier understanding of future scenarios and for planning more impactful adaptation policies for our local communities.”
Councillor Failoni in turn stressed the importance of this experience, which naturally charges the promoters with important responsibilities. “We are all aware of the effects of climate change,” he said, “but we need more data, knowledge, information, experiences to compare and exchange. This panel has a big task: to bring together scientific excellence and practitioners who actually work on the ground. We are happy and proud of the fact that in this path we are accompanied by FBK’s research and in general by all the most advanced experiences gained in this area, where we know that important innovations on the technological side are also possible: this year, for example, we have seen plants at work that consume 30 percent less energy than in the past. In the working table, I emphasize, there is not a single politician, and I am pleased, because in this way the participants will feel freer to exchange views with each other, before reporting their conclusions to those who will have to make the most appropriate decisions.”
Trentino is among the mountain areas most sensitive to climate change in the Southern Alps and some effects are already visible: rising temperatures, reduced duration of snow cover and average seasonal snow height, dramatic melting and retreat of glaciers, hydrogeological disruptions, floods but also long periods of drought, as well as destructive windstorms, are affecting the lives of communities, businesses and tourism.
The Tourism and Sport Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento and Fondazione Bruno Kessler are directly involved in the activities initiated under NEVERMORE, the former as Leader of the Trentino Case Study and the Foundation as coordinator of the entire project (with the Digital Society center) and with a support function for local work (with the Sustainable Energy center).
The Trentino Case Study, like the other 4 pilot cases in Europe, is starting its own Local Working Group (Local Council) with which to foster a participatory and interdisciplinary approach that can integrate the different skills and knowledge present in the area on climate change issues. In fact, NEVERMORE encourages the active participation of key public and private stakeholders in the co-design, co-creation and co-assessment of models and solutions that respond to concrete and urgent local challenges. In order to initiate the establishment of its Local Council, the Tourism and Sports Service met with possible stakeholders, contacting them from various sectors, such as representatives of tourism consortia, associations, nature parks, mountain guides, ski instructors, mountain lodge managers, private businesses, media, as well as representatives of possible vulnerable groups.
The main objective of today’s meeting in the Province was to launch the local participatory process, through an initial presentation of the Working Group members and the start of the roundtable discussions. A breakout session was held consisting of talks by the Province and FBK on the project objectives and by Professors Giovannini and Martini from the University of Trento, the former on the climate data framework obtained also thanks to the Trentino Climate Observatory and the work towards the provincial Climate Change Strategy and the latter on the management, enhancement and governance of a mountain tourist area that needs a balanced approach to face the challenges and changes taking place. The next meeting of the Working Group is scheduled for May 2023 and others will be scheduled until the end of the project in 2026.