EECCA countries gather to discuss coordinated action towards disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation

19 July 2016, Chisinau, Moldova: Government ministers and delegates from 16 countries across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA) attended a workshop to share their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and to address regional climate change challenges. For these countries, the trans-boundary nature of climate change gives particular urgency for establishing a coordinated approach towards disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts.

In the region, the impacts of climate change – such as increased droughts or increasingly severe extreme weather events – threaten to undermine decades of development gains and put at risk the positive gains to eradicate poverty. (A recent report cites that the number of people in the region living in poverty fell from more than 46 million in 2001 to about 5 million in 2013 - with the middle class swelling from about 33 million people to 90 million.)

For protecting these economic gains establishing coherence in adapting to climate change is vital. Due to the high vulnerability and the relatively small size of most EECCA countries, coupled with an extensive shared history, it is both effective and economically prudent for the countries to co-operate in the areas of civil protection, disaster preparedness and prevention, and climate change adaptation.

Ms Dafina Gercheva, UN resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova, noted that, “[o]ur region has one of the most carbon intensive economies - accounting for 12% of the global greenhouse gas emission and 10% of the world’s energy demand but only 5% of the world’s GDP.  Our ability to transition to a low carbon economy, together with adequate adaptation measures to reduce climate vulnerabilities, enhance ecosystems’ resilience and strengthen capacities to manage climate risks at local level remain some of the key priorities.”

The workshop, organised by the joint UNDP-UNEP National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Moldova, UNDP Regional Hub for Europe and CIS and the Moldova NAP Support project, allowed delegates to share national experiences, working to identify medium- and long-term climate adaptation needs and to mainstream these needs into national development planning processes and strategies.

“Climate adaptation actions in the region are showing already progress and increased resilience: whether we are talking about forest ecosystem resilience in Armenia; rehabilitated vulnerable coast areas in Albania; local development plans prioritizing measures that respond to floods, drought, landslides in Macedonia and Moldova; measures that address water supply in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan; drought management in pastureland and farming systems in Kyrgyzstan or prevention of land degradation and landslides in Tajikistan- results obtained so far at local levels are promising,” remarked Ms Gerceva.

Since 2013 the Government of Moldova with UNDP has been implementing a project “Supporting Moldova’s National Climate Change Adaptation Planning Process” (Moldova NAP Support project) funded by the Government of Austria through the Austrian Development Agency. The project has supported institutional and policy frameworks and capacities for medium to long-term gender-sensitive adaptation planning in Moldova and piloted adaptation interventions in priority sectors. Through a comprehensive participatory consultative process, the project delivered a draft national inter-agency coordination mechanism/national adaptation framework, along with a monitoring and evaluation framework; sectoral NAPs for forestry and health sectors; recommendations for mainstreaming adaptation into the transport and energy sectoral plans; and a number of guidelines and tools to support the NAP process.

“Developing the sectoral Action Plans for mitigation and adaptation to climate changes has a crucial importance for Moldova because it helps the country to improve the quality of climate mitigations, the sustainability of adaptation measures, and strengthen the country’s institutional capacities to face and mitigate the climate change and climate variability impacts,” noted Mr. Constantin Mihailescu, representative of the Austrian Development Agency.

The NAP-GSP is assisting countries to identify technical, institutional and financial needs to integrate climate change adaptation into ongoing medium- and long-term national planning and budgeting. The NAP-GSP is providing specific country-level support, building on ongoing and complementary adaptation initiatives, working with partner agencies and in association with national governments. Working with the respective governments, UNDP and UNEP are supporting efforts to put in place the institutional and policy changes that are needed for lasting change.

Contact Information: Esther Lake, Knowledge Management Specialist, UNDP-GEF / UNEP NAP-GSP – esther.lake@undp.org

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Last Updated: 25 Nov 2016