Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Mistake to avoid: Climate change adaptation projects that unnecessarily harm nature - example of flood protection measures

Organisation: Umanotera Website: Added: July 10, 2023
Project start date: January 01, 2023
Project end date: December 31, 2029


The highest financial allocation in Slovenian Recovery and resilience plan (RRP), €310 million, is for implementation of flood-protection measures. Another €132 million for this purpose are planned under Slovenian programme for cohesion funding 2021-2027. It has been stated at the declarative level by the autorities that the measures will mostly and where possible be based on nature-based solutions, however, a review of documentation for concrete projects reveals that most of them will instead be based on traditional construction measures. Such measures will continue to destroy the banks of rivers and life in and around them. Consequently they will exacerbate biodiversity loss and make long-term adaptation to the impacts of climate change even more difficult. The misguided direction and lack of involvement of the interested public in the process of finding and preparing solutions in areas at risk of flooding is also demonstrated by the emergence of more and more local civil initiatives that, together with experts, fight against the existing flood-protection plans that will unnecessarily harm nature. Due to pressure from civil society initiatives and difficulties in obtaining construction permits, the financial allocation for flood protection measures under RRP has already been reduced by €170 mio. Cities at risk of flooding certainly need flood protection measures and the problems that we have seen arising in implementation of projects could be solved by taking into account nature-based solutions wherever this is possible, taking the whole watercourse into consideration, not only one microlocation at a time. These are generally also cheaper and can be implemented more quickly.

Financial data

Recovery and Resilience Plan: €140 mio; European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund €132 mio


Make sure that projects aimed at adaptation to climate change do not harm nature, as this will exacerbate destruction of ecosystems and erode their resilience. The climate and biodiversity crises are interconnected and will both have increasing negative effects on people's lives, so they need to be tackled simultaneously and with all seriousness. Therefore, only actions that are in line with the EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2030 and the IPCC’s special report Climate change 2022: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerabiltiy should be supported, incuding the protection, restoration and renaturalization of rivers.

Information sources

Local initiatives and civil society organization; national RRP; Operational programme for cohesion funding

Other info (pp. 91-93); (pp. 103-109);;

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.