Iberian Congress on Water Management and Planning

Presenting the FASTER Living Lab

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Last week, the 11th edition of the Iberian Congress on Water Management and Planning virtually brought together researchers, professionals, and social agents from all over the world to contribute to achieving a paradigm shift in water management. The Congress covered four main themes: Water Transition, Nature-based solutions and other innovative approaches, From TSI’s to programs of measures, and Governance, education and communication. Annelies Broekman and Anabel Sánchez from FASTER’s partner CREAF contributed to the latter with a presentation on the FASTER Living Lab. 

The FASTER Living Lab, launched in October 2019, is a multi-actor platform for communication, knowledge exchange, and co-design to promote the inclusion of adaptation in Tunisian agriculture to climate change through Farm Advisory Systems (FAS). More concretely, it aims to integrate research results on adaptation, gathered through the knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners from the agricultural sector, into FAS, and to improve FAS as a tool for adaptation. Ultimately, the solutions in soil and
water management found through the Living Lab project are aimed to be generalized for other situations within the FAS that present the same challenges.

We talked with Ms Broekman and Ms Sánchez about their experience presenting the FASTER Living Lab at the Congress.

What is the importance of events such as the Iberian Congress on Water Management and Planning for projects like FASTER?

It was a great opportunity for the project team to present the approach and preliminary results of the Living Lab, sharing views, and learning from fellow professionals and experts in the field. In line with a Living Lab format, the Congress allows creating favourable conditions for actors with different professional profiles to work together. The participants to the
session posed interesting questions, allowing FASTER to further reflect on barriers and opportunities for research transfer in non-European settings, as well as for engaging people in a co-production process for adaptation to climate change.

This year’s motto for the Congress is “Water transition and global change, from diagnosis to action”. How does the FASTER Living Lab contribute to this?
The Living Lab is designed to contribute to putting into practice the vast knowledge generated by researchers into the field. It is urgent to sustain transference of research results into society to support adaptation and to induce transformation of current water, soil, and forest management towards the objective of reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts. The approach as well as the expected results aim to contribute to this objective.

What is the key message people should remember from the FASTER Living Lab project?
The key message from the FASTER Living Lab is that adaptation to climate change is a complex challenge. Therefore, it is crucial to put into value all available knowledge to develop innovative solutions and to promote the active engagement of society for its implementation.

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