Research on Tenerife Island, Spain reveals three potential pathways to resilience

A participatory scenario-building process for small island resilience was recently carried out for Tenerife Island in the Canary Islands of Spain.

In-depth interviews, questionnaires and focus groups were carried out to engage the stakeholders and local citizens in the exploration of future scenarios for resilience in Tenerife.

The scenarios revealed three potential pathways for 2040. The first scenario prolongs the current business-as-usual situation where the island may be defined as highly vulnerable to external shocks, especially due to its high external dependency on food and energy production, as well as the need for energy allocated to water desalination. The second scenario relies on an active local community that encourages increasing rates of local food production and a 100 % renewable energy system such that desalination may no longer depend on fossil fuels.

The third scenario depicts a pathway where several active groups of people engage in building resilience without the umbrella of local governments, due to politicians who are no longer seen as part of the solution, but part of the problem. Now, collaborative community networks in bio-agriculture, fog-water collection, and cooperative-based renewable energy production become increasingly important. Findings show that resilience is understood as the reinforcement of the nexus between water-energy-food sovereignty that might imply a change in the local economic model such that poverty can be reduced and climatic shocks can be buffered.

Panorama of Teide National Park on Tenerife by Berthold Werner via Wikipedia.

Download full “Scenarios for Resilience” report (PDF).

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