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Bizerte, Tunisia; Rapid Climate Risk Assessment

Submitted by Ase Johannessen 2nd May 2022 11:13
The old harbour in Bizerte, Tunisia.

The old harbour in Bizerte, Tunisia, on a bright and relatively clear day. Bizerte is the largest city in the north of the country. Credits: Keval Singh.


The Global Center on Adaptation has completed the city scoping and rapid climate risk assessment for Bizerte, Tunisia. The study identifies different climate-related hazards for the city, including floods, coastal erosion, salinity, droughts and landslides.

For the city scoping and rapid city risk assessment the “focus study area” was defined in concertation with the GCA and beneficiaries in such a way as to correspond to the area considered for the revision and extension of the Urban Development Plan (Plan d’Aménagement Urbain, PAU). It was agreed that climate risks analyses and adaptation investments should primarily target this area.

However, two larger areas are also considered:

  • The municipality: the municipal area was extended in 2016 and now covers 450 km2. It includes large rural areas. It is relevant to consider this perimeter as administrative unit (that will be strengthened through the decentralization process). It is particularly relevant for analysis of risks affecting the forest and agriculture activities.
  • The water catchment area: it was delineated based on collected topographical data. It is particularly relevant for analyses of water-related risks.

For this rapid climate risk assessment, we have considered a 2070 horizon and the IPCC SSP5 scenario. The report presents an analysis of historical climate trends and present situation, and climate projections (air temperature, precipitation annual average and max 1/5-day precipitation, drought, sea level rise.

Overall risks from climate-related impacts are evaluated based on the interaction of climate-related hazards (including hazardous events and trends) with the vulnerability of communities (susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to adapt), and exposure of human and natural systems. Changes in both the climate system and socioeconomic processes - including
adaptation and mitigation actions- are drivers of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability.


The development objective of the City Adaptation Accelerator (CAA) is to support cities and countries strengthen their urban climate adaptation and resilience outcomes through enhanced (1) understanding; (2) planning; (3) investments; and (4) governance and capacity building. The initiative’s scope is global.

In addition, all activities will adhere to four cross-cutting criteria: (A) scalability; (B) locally-led action and equity; (C) partnership; and (D) urban dialogue.

For the CAA program, improved urban climate adaptation and resilience outcomes are characterized by: 

  1. strengthened urban climate risk management[1] in cities and their hinterlands;
  2. improved climate adaptive spatial planning[2] at the municipal and regional levels;
  3. enhanced water resources management for more equitable access to ecosystem benefits;
  4. enhanced resilience, consistency, inclusiveness and integration of urban drinking water, sanitation and solid waste management services; and,
  5. improved urban livability and public health from climate risks stemming from heat stress and disease.

GCA’s City Adaptation Accelerator (CAA) will partner with national and local governments to accelerate and scale high-impact climate adaptation and resilience building efforts in cities. Technical, institutional and financial support and partnerships are urgently needed to enhance the feasibility and effectiveness of urban climate adaptation solutions that span physical, natural and social infrastructure.

As a programmatic approach, CAA will flexibly deploy a suite of decision-support tools as well as technical and financial advisory services on a demand basis – enabling cities to address climate-related urban challenges identified as the biggest impediments to long-term development. CAA will work across multiple fronts from hard investments (i.e. infrastructure), development policy (i.e. legislation, regulation) and service delivery (both formal and informal) – bringing together a diverse swath of actors ranging from national to municipal governments, local communities, international development organizations, multilateral development banks and the private sector. Climate mitigation efforts (i.e. CO2 emission reduction) are not included in this initiative; however, by pursuing green approaches (including Nature-based Solutions) to the greatest extent possible, a number of efforts will likely have significant climate co-benefits.

[1]     Common climate hazards include flood, drought, storms and fires. Risk management of these hazards will encompass the full cycle of (a) prevention, (b) mitigation, (c) protection, (d) emergency response and (e) recovery.

[2]     This will include elements related to erosion protection in coastal areas, along water bodies and in upstream catchments.