REGIONs4CLIMATE / Resilient Regions / Basque Country

Basque Country

Location: South of Europe, at the eastern end of the Cantabrian Sea, bordering France

Population: 2.2 million

Area: 7,234 km2

Population density: 304 inhabitants per km2

Region-important activities: The Basque Country is a wealthy, highly industrialised and densely populated region which produces 0.5% of the total GHG emissions of the European Union. The natural heritage is a key element of the Basque economy and culture; with 23% of its surface protected, it has a close relationship with fisheries, livestock and agriculture.

About the region: Due to its location, close to the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Sea, it is a very diverse region and a hotspot for biodiversity with a variety of ecosystems. Despite being relatively small, it represents two climatic bioregions: the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Challenges and solutions

Due to the effects of climate change, locations near coats have become more vulnerable to rising sea levels, coastal erosion and storm surges, risking local homes and populations. Its sea level is expected to increase between 0.45-0.8cm by 2100, which, combined with the fact that 75% of the population lives in coastal areas, makes it one of the biggest adaptation challenges for the Basque Country.

Txingudi Bay is located in a transboundary conurbation of 95,000 inhabitants in the Bidasoa estuary located on the border with France. It is a highly anthropised area of unique marshes that is highly exposed to the rising sea level and its related impacts. Restoring the original marshland in Txingudi Bay can improve the capacity for resilience against the effects of climate change and have a positive impact on the biodiversity of the area. In total, 5.5 hectares of land will be recovered.

Informational panels along Txingudi Bay.
Source: Ihobe - Basque Government

Basque Country has committed to

Restoring estuarine dynamics

Reconnecting marsh and wetland areas

Evaluating the impacts of restoration

Strengthening and adapting governance and planning structures

Several innovative actions


Deploying the Basque Mission for Adaptation to Climate Change with the participation and consensus of all agents involved, especially citizens and SMEs.

Visit of the bay by the local partners involved in the Regions4Climate project.
Source: Ihobe - Basque Government


Restoring the marshes and wetlands to improve the capacity for resilience and minimise the effects of climate change. This restoration will also significantly improve the biodiversity in the area.

Txingudi Bay, lagoon to be connected to marsh.
Source: Ihobe - Basque Government


Supporting the fishing sector by developing integrative tools for marine resources.

Actively involving the private actors and financing sector in climate adaptation.

Txingudi Bay, part of the marsh to be enlarged.
Source: Ihobe - Basque Government

Policy and governance

Highlighting lessons learned and establishing a technical board for coastal adaptation.

Developing a detailed strategy to define and apply adaptation pathways to other areas in the Basque Country.

Strengthening and adapting governance and planning structures by implementing a multi-scale monitoring program that can evaluate the effectiveness of resilience innovations.

Adolfo Uriarte, Director of Natural Heritage of the Basque Government, explaining the intervention.
Source: Ihobe - Basque Government

Faster Adaptation Challenge Suite

The Basque Country is the frontrunner region in the Faster Adaptation Challenge Suite. 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 Basque Country is well on its way to becoming a leading example of climate resilience in Europe.

Regional contact points

Laura Gutiérrez García


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