Climate change adaptation of the coastal tourism industry at the German Baltic Sea

Internship position (12 ECTS)
EUCC – The Coastal Union Germany e.V., or EUCC-Germany for short, promotes integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and the sustainable development of coasts and seas in Germany. To this end, EUCC-Germany provides information, consultation, knowledge, and education around Germany in addition to arranging workshops and leading demonstration projects. EUCC-Germany provides a voice for German ICZM activities in Europe and bridges the gap between science, practice, and the public. The Baltic Sea coast along Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Germany is highly diversified, reaching from steep cliffs to white beaches or forests covering the shore. The region is an attractive destination and tourism is the driving economic factor esp. in the coastal areas. In 2015 7.4 million tourist arrivals and 29.5 million overnight stays have been reported in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a state with only 1.6 million inhabitants. The tourist numbers have almost doubled within the last 10 years and with a hotspot in beach resorts during summer season. Just like in many other coastal areas climate change poses a challenge for the German Baltic Sea coast. Potential impacts can have a significant effect on coastal municipalities, especially the tourism sector. Not only will the tourist experience be influenced, but also the tourism infrastructure along the coast. In cooperation with a regional tourism association, EUCC-Germany started to promote climate change adaptation in coastal communities and to integrate adaptation measures into the concept of sustainable tourism. With changing conditions due to climate change the tourism industry needs to adapt in order to ensure sustainable tourism development for the future. Climate change provides possible opportunities for the tourism sector, such as an extension of the tourism season (7 to 38 additional summer days more) and an increase in tourist numbers due to a more pleasant climate compared to inland or other European summer destinations such as the Mediterranean region, but it also poses potential risks: • Increase of extreme weather events, such as flooding, heatwaves, intense rainfall and storms • Increased occurrence of microorganisms (blue-green algae blooms; possible rise in pathogens, such as vibrio) • Beach loss caused by erosion and cliff abrasion • Capacity overload of infrastructure and nature The aim of the project “KliWaKom” (Communication of climate change in coastal communities: is to analyze the demands for adaptation, to develop short- and long-term measures, and to implement first educational measures (e.g. GIS maps of local climate change impacts, information material). The knowledge and experience gained within this process provides guidelines on how to develop and implement further measures throughout the region. Involving a range of different actors will help to establish a long-term network for communication of climate change. Possible tasks of an intern could include field and desk research as well as the development of climate change adaptation and communication measures for the local tourism industry and tourists. EUCC-Germany offers its interns self-responsible, interesting work on a lighthouse project in a dedicated team and an insight view into the work of a non-governmental organization (NGO).
• Student in the field of climate change, tourism, environmental management, marine resources, communication (or another relevant field of study) • Interest on climate change impacts on coastal areas and adaptation measures • Ability to work in a team • Good communication and soft skills • Basic German language skills are beneficial (but not necessary)
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Reference Number: RP-48031