“We have crossed the point-of-no-return with climate change and the only thing that we can do is try our best to adapt to the new conditions” . These were the conclusions of the event "The climate is changing -Brijuni" organized by the Public Institution Brijuni National Park.
The event was held on 19 March 2019 in Pula (Croatia), and gathered more than 70 participants, mostly scientists, experts from the nature protection sector, representatives of the local administration and the interested public.
The participants had the opportunity to hear the results of the latest researches on underwater habitat carried out in Brijuni National Park, thematically linked to climate change, as well as to learn about the changes that are affecting the whole Adriatic Sea area through experiences from other Marine Protected Areas (MPA). The park management team pointed out they were particularly grateful that the local fishermen and divers participated in the event as they were involved in the MPA-ADAPT project by taking part in the research on the local ecological knowledge (LEK) - a methodology with the aim to gain as much valuable information on present and historical trends in abundance of most important exploited species in the area and to record new field observations of thermophilic species.
Scientists highlighted that climate change is just the tip of the iceberg and that marine habitats are increasingly exposed to a variety of anthropogenic stressors that need to be mitigated better. MPAs, while not impervious to all climate change impacts, provide areas of reduced stress, improving the ability of marine organisms to adapt to climate change.
Furthermore, the vulnerability assessment approach and studies on the impact of climate change on the marine habitats and the tourism sector in Brijuni NP was presented and discussed among the participants.
Following the conference, expert panel discussions were held the second day, providing an informative platform for illustrating different research approaches and tools as well as exchange views with the interested expert audience.