REGIONs4CLIMATE / Resilient Regions / Azores


Location: Region of Portugal consisting of nine volcanic islands in the mid-Atlantic

Population: 246,000

Area: 2,333 km2

Population density: 101.8 inhabitants per km2

Region-important activities: The islands offer nature and water sports activities, making them a popular tourist destination.

Challenges and solutions

The economy of the Azores has historically been supported by agriculture in the form of cattle raising and fisheries. In the last decade, the increase in tourism resulted in significant growth in the island’s population during the summer months. This raises the pressure on natural resources and threatens the existing balance of land use, biodiversity conservation, water usage and other environmental concerns.

Furthermore, coastal erosion threatens the homes of coastal residents and creates competition in finding a suitable place to live. There is a need for solutions for adaptive management, as well as public awareness and participation in environmental management.

Livestock in the Azores.
Source: SIARAM

Azores has committed to

Improving climate literacy of citizens and stakeholders through an Azorean Footprint app

Creating a digital coastal vulnerability map to support decision-making processes

Several innovative actions


Empowering communities to actively participate in shaping regional policies on climate change and resilience.

Raising stakeholders’ and citizens’ awareness of risks and improving their understanding of climate change.

Coastal erosion in Fenais da Luz.
Source: SIARAM


Developing digitalisation in decision-making processes through data collection and adapting the Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI). This will allow real-time monitoring and decision-making.

Coastal erosion in Porto Vila Nova.
Source: DRAAC (Direção Regional do Ambiente e Alterações Climáticas)


Identifying critical stressors and sectoral development issues using the nexus approach (understanding synergies of coastal erosion threats, land use planning, biodiversity, and agricultural policies), and initiating adaptation planning as a natural path for regional planning instruments and specific environmental management tools.

Monte Brasil, Terceira.
Source: DRT (Direção Regional do Turismo)

Policy and governance

Implementing novel digital tools to facilitate decision-making processes.

Actively engaging citizens and other stakeholders in the decision-making and governing processes.

Hiking on Pico Island, one of the many natural tourism sites in the Azores.
Source: DRT (Direção Regional do Turismo)

Faster Adaptation Challenge Suite

The Azores are part of the Faster Adaptation Challenge Suite, whose frontrunner region is the Basque Country. The challenge suite recognises the need for innovation and Faster Adaptation to combat climate change and reduce climate-related risks while safeguarding coastal ecosystem integrity.

Through these proposed demonstrations of innovation actions, the Azores are well on their way to becoming a leading example of climate resilience in Europe.

Regional contact points

Catarina Gonçalves 

University of the Azores 
Helena Calado


Discover the other regions in the Faster Adaptation Challenge Suite

Basque Country


South Aquitaine




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