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Pilot Action Peer Reviewing: The Critical Friend Visit to Portugal

2023-11-07 15:17 by Portugal's Directorate-General for Territory

The Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points (NTCCP) recently wrapped up its ‘Critical Friend Visit’ to Portugal. Taking place on September 21st and 22nd, the event was jointly hosted by Portugal’s Directorate-General for Territory (DGT), with the support of the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of Algarve (CCDR Algarve), and the Municipalities of Monchique and Silves. Over the course of two days, the visit emphasized the importance of international cooperation in addressing climate change challenges.

The primary focus of the visit was the presentation and peer review of the Final Report of the Pilot Action ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience through Landscape Transition’, resulting from the partnership between Portugal and Croatia, the latter represented by the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets and the Institute for Physical Planning of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The event aimed to facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences, and knowledge to strengthen ongoing work and collaborative efforts aligned with the goals of the Territorial Agenda 2030.

Participants embarked on a journey through the Monchique and Silves mountain regions, where the Portuguese case study was presented, emphasizing the significance of the Landscape Transition Programme (PTP) and its programmatic measures. They also explored the Croatian case study, which focused on the rise of sea levels in the Primorje and Gorski Kotar County, concerning the Croatian efforts to incorporate climate change adaptation into the relevant spatial planning documents and legislation.

On the first day, notable visits included the Parra National Forest, the National Iberian Lynx Breeding Center (CNRLI), and the Silves Educational Farm. These visits featured presentations by the Mayor of Silves, representatives from ICNF, CCDR Algarve, and Civil Protection, highlighting collaborative efforts within the Landscape Planning and Management Programme (PRGP) in the Monchique and Silves mountain regions. Local, regional, and national authorities reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development and climate resilience in the region.

The second day included a peer review workshop for the Final Report of the Pilot Action, enabling participants to provide objective assessments of the work under review, following the ‘critical friend’ principle. The closing session took place at the DGT Auditorium in Lisbon. The ‘Critical Friend Visit’ provided an opportunity to share this knowledge and to create an engaging environment for a peer review that strengthened the Final Report. Incorporating recommendations from members of the NTCCP and ESPON, the report will soon be available on the Territorial Agenda 2030 website.

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