Climate change adaptation

The RAMOGE Agreement has carried out a climate change-related coastal risk assessment study to assess the impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems in the RAMOGE area by 2100. That will enable decision-makers to anticipate actions to compensate for the loss of value of these ecosystems.

This study is developing a “RAMOGE Index” based on a method integrating vulnerability assessment and risks associated with ecosystem loss due to coastal hazards. Risk is defined as a function of forcing, vulnerability and exposure.


Risk as a function of hazards, vulnerability and exposure.


The potential occurrence of a physical or anthropogenic event or trend, or physical impact that may result in loss of life, injury or other health consequences, as well as damage to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, services and environmental resources.

Source: IPCC, 2014b


The propensity or predisposition to experience adverse impacts.

Vulnerability encompasses a variety of concepts, including sensitivity or vulnerability to threats and lack of ability to cope and adapt. The degree of vulnerability depends on the sensitivity to critical situations and the relevant ability to adapt (resilience).


The presence of people, livelihoods, species, ecosystems, services and environmental resources, infrastructures or economic, social and cultural resources in locations that may be subject to adverse impacts.

Source: IPCC, 2014b

The main climate forcing
factors are as follows:
  • Sea level rise
  • Significant wave height
  • Rainfall / Drought
  • Change in sea surface temperature
  • Increase in salinity
  • Sea acidification
The vulnerability level
is defined by seven parameters:
  • Bathymetry and altitude
  • Coastal slopes
  • Protected areas (parks, reserves, MPAs, etc.)
  • Coastal geomorphology
  • Roughness (Manning’s coefficient)
  • Historical changes to the coastline
  • Distance from the coast

Based on the coastal risk assigned to each ecosystem, the study calculates the cost related to the loss of these ecosystems. Three pilot areas (Antibes, Monaco and Portofino) were analysed in more detail with locally collected data. The economic loss between 2018 and 2100 was estimated for each of these areas. In conclusion, it can be stated that the ecosystems most exposed to climate risk are beaches, wetlands and Posidonia meadows. Almost 41% of beaches in the RAMOGE area are at high risk, of which 13.9% are at very high risk.

The risk for coastal wetlands is also considerable and exceeds 15%. Posidonia is the marine ecosystem at highest risk with 15% at high risk and 4% at very high risk (e.g. in the Gulf of St. Tropez).

Coastal forests on land and coralligenous species at sea are the ecosystems least exposed to climate risk from marine forcing. As to forests, an analysis of terrestrial forcing (temperature rise and drought) should be carried out to identify areas that are particularly vulnerable to fire. It is worth recalling that the risk of forest fires in the Mediterranean region may increase in the coming decades due to drier climate conditions.

Due to its characteristics, coralligenous is highly vulnerable to human activities. It contains many sessile, long-lived and slow-growing organisms with fragile skeletons. Coralligenous communities are therefore extremely prone to disturbance mechanisms induced by trawling, fishing nets, anchoring and uncontrolled diving practices. Furthermore, increased acidification due to climate change will be an additional stress factor for coralligenous communities.