On 30-31 May 2019, Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change had a meeting in Kraków and Nowy Targ.
On the first day of their visit to Kraków, the working group members had an opportunity to participate in an academic discussion on climate change, held at the Jagiellonian University with the lecturers from the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management. At the meeting, they discussed the issues concerning the variability of air temperature and atmospheric precipitation in southern Poland, as well as the selected effects of Arctic climate warming and their anticipated consequences for Polish climate. During the discussion, the University scientists highlighted the important role of drinking water, whose deficit attests to substantial climate change. The experts stressed that what is needed in Poland, as well as in many countries at risk of water deficits, is an adequate and rational water management policy, including taking water issues into account in the projects being prepared.
After the lectures, the working group members had an opportunity to learn the adaptation solutions used in two city parks, implemented by the Municipal Greenspace Authority in Kraków. One of the parks – a linear park – has been created along the acoustic barriers in Ruczaj, in a green belt between the blocks and the acoustic barriers. The other – Stacja-Wisła park – has been established in the urbanised, post-industrial areas, with support of EU funds. The main intention of creating those parks was to develop and revitalise urban areas, so as to allow the residents to implement various types of activities, such as sports, relaxation, games and plays, growing vegetables and flowers, as well as participating in chamber events such as concerts or open-air exhibitions. The parks are examples of using green spaces to counteract the effects of climate change. The group members were also shown the area where a retention reservoir is to be built.
On the second part of the day, the participants in the visit listened to a presentation by the representative of the Institute for Environmental Protection on the project dedicated to climate change and adaptation to its effects, as well as to the dissemination of knowledge in the context of improving the resilience of the economy, environment and society to climate change and counteracting and minimising the impacts of extraordinary risks. The project is nationwide and, in particular, is addressed to the central administration deciding on the selection and implementation of adaptation measures related to the effects of climate change. A significant part of the project is also addressed to representatives of local government. The results of the project and the outputs generated as part of the project will also be useful for scientific institutions and the general public. In implementing the project, particular emphasis is placed on carrying out extensive training activities and educational campaigns in this regard.
The second day of the visit started in Nowy Targ, where a meeting with the employees of the Nowy Targ Forest District and of the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Kraków was held. The meeting was dedicated to the adaptation of forests and forestry to climate change. During the visit, the working group members had an opportunity to visit the peat bog nature reserve „Bór nad Czerwonem”, which is, inter alia, an example of a project of small retention and prevention of water erosion in mountainous areas. This presentation ended the visit of the Group to Małopolska.