Climate Resilient Flood Management Practices in Georgia

Introduction

This project aims to make highly vulnerable communities and regions resilient to climate related hazards such as floods and flash floods. It takes an integrated and comprehensive approach by addressing critical gaps in land use policy and regulatory frameworks, which are fundamental to climate resilient flood management.

The Georgian Government's priorities for long term flood prevention and management will be implemented by directly involving local municipalities and populations. The project will enhance the capacity of all appropriate national agencies to deliver early warnings in a timely and effective manner. A balanced combination of policy, early warning, and concrete adaptation actions will allow Georgia to take steps toward ensuring long-term resilience for the most vulnerable communities in the Rioni River basin region.

Project snapshot: Georgia after the flood

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Project Details

Georgia is vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards, including floods, flash floods, earthquakes, droughts, landslides, avalanches, and mud flows. Catastrophic events with a 50% annual probability of occurrence threaten economic losses that exceed 20% of the country’s GDP. Floods, including flash floods, are the highest probability catastrophic events.
The Rioni River basin houses approximately 986,800 people and covers one-fifth of Georgia's total land area. Between 1842 and 2008, 111 incidents of flooding were recorded in the basin, incurring losses from $200,000 to $60 Million USD and the inundated area ranging from 4 to 200 square kilometres. The number of events per year has increased in the last decade, with 7 events occurring in 2005, 6 of which were categorised as "strong". The largest number of flood events has been recorded in 6 municipalities in the last 10 years: they are Oni, Tsageri, Lentekhi, Ambrolauri, Tskaltubo, and Samtredia. The project targets these 6 vulnerable municipalities for climate adaptation measures.
The underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change in the Rioni basin can be categorised into:

  • Physical Factors –direct manifestations of climate change;
  • Anthropogenic Factors – those related to the harmful ways in which humans have and continue to interact with the environment which has exacerbated vulnerability; and
  • Institutional Factors – related to the legislative/regulatory barriers placed by government and other institutions, as well as limited capacity (human and resources) to manage climate change vulnerability.

This project aims to develop resilience of highly vulnerable communities and regions to climate related hazards. Activities have been prioritised through consultation with local communities including heads of municipalities, NEA (National Environment Agency at the Ministry of Environment Protection) local staff responsible for management of the hydrometric network and national NEA and Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure (MRDI) staff responsible for the assessment of need (NEA) and implementation of flood protection measures in the catchment (MRDI). The project takes an integrated and comprehensive approach by addressing critical gaps in land use policy and regulatory framework, fundamental to climate resilient flood management. It will implement the Georgian Government’s priorities for effective and long term measures for flood prevention and management by direct involvement of local municipalities and populations residing in the highly exposed locations. Furthermore, it will enhance the capacity of all appropriate national agencies to deliver timely and effective early warnings. A balanced combination of policy, early warning and concrete adaptation actions will support Georgia in taking steps towards long-term resilience of its most vulnerable communities.

This project was approved and funded by the Adaptation Fund Board in December 2011, and is currently Under Implementation (as of June 2012).

Thematic Area: 
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Vulnerable Populations in the Rioni River basin.
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Georgia Ministry of the Environment
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Adaptation Fund
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Location: 
Rural
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$5,316,500 (amount requested and approved as of 2011-12-14)
Co-Financing Total: 
N/A

Key Results and Outputs

Component 1: Floodplain development policy introduced to improve long-term resilience to climate change induced flood/flash flood risks
Produce hazard and inundation maps (Output 1.1), use them to enhance land use regulations (Output 1.2) and building codes (Output 1.3), then train relevant authorities to utilize advanced climate risk management planning and flood prevention measures (Output 1.4). Design and implement community-based flood insurance scheme for highly-exposed villages in 6 municipalities (Output 1.5).

Component 2: Climate resilient flood management practices developed and implemented to reduce vulnerability of highly exposed communities
In Lnetekhi, Oni, Ambrolauri, Tskaltubo, Samtredia, and Tsageri municipalities, collaborate with local governments and populations to implement direct flood prevention and risk mitigation measures (Output 2.1), including community-based adaptation measures (Output 2.2) and floodplain seasonal production systems such as short season cropping and agroforestry (Output 2.3). Disseminate lessons learned and best practices (Output 2.4).

Component 3: Early warning system in place to improve preparedness and adaptive capacity of population
Improve access to historical observation data for use in policy formulation and planning (Output 3.1), conduct a multi-hazard risk assessment for Rioni river basin (Output 3.2), and train targeted staff in advanced methods of risk assessment and forecasting (Output 3.3). Procure and install equipment for increased monitoring and forecasting capabilities in the target basin (Output 3.4) and integrate information into a flood early warning system for government and public access (Output 3.5).

Reports and Publications

Multimedia

Georgia - The Story of Floods

UNDP and Adaptation Fund help Georgia introduce new approaches in flood management. 200 thousand residents of the Rioni basin, one of the most dangerous rivers in Georgia, are the main focus of this assistance.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) will be in accordance with established UNDP procedures and will be carried out by the Project team, verified by the Ministry of Environment, NEA and MRDI and the UNDP Country Office in Georgia. Dedicated support by the technical adaptation teams in the UNDP Regional Center for ECIS and UNDP New York will be provided on a regular basis. A comprehensive Results Framework of the project will defines execution indicators for project implementation as well as the respective means of verification. A Monitoring and Evaluation system for the project will be established based on these indicators and means of verification. Targeted M&E activities for the proposed project include the following:


A Project Inception Workshop will be conducted within two months of project start up with the full project team, relevant government counterparts and UNDP. The Inception Workshop is crucial to building ownership for the project results and to plan the first year annual work plan. A fundamental objective of the Inception Workshop will be to present the modalities of project implementation and execution, document mutual agreement for the proposed executive arrangements amongst stakeholders, and assist the project team to understand and take ownership of the project’s goals and objectives. Another key objective of the Inception Workshop is to introduce the project team which will support the project during its implementation. An Inception Workshop Report will be prepared and shared with participants to formalize various agreements decided during the meeting.

A UNDP risk log will be regularly updated in intervals of no less than every six months in which critical risks to the project have been identified. Quarterly Progress Reports will be prepared by the Project team and verified by the Project Board. Annual Project Reports will be prepared to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period. These annual reports include, but are not limited to, reporting on the following:
Progress made toward project objective and project outcomes - each with indicators, baseline data and end-of-project targets (cumulative);

  • Project outputs delivered per project Outcome (annual);
  • Lessons learned/good practices;
  • Annual expenditure reports;
  • Reporting on project risk management.

Government authorities, members of Project Board and UNDP staff will conduct regular field visits to project sites based on the agreed schedule in the project's Inception Report/Annual Work Plan to assess first hand project progress.


In terms of financial monitoring, the project team will provide UNDP with certified periodic financial statements, and with an annual audit of the financial statements relating to the status of funds according to the established procedures set out in the Programming and Finance manuals. The Audit will be conducted in accordance with UNDP Financial Regulations and Rules and applicable audit policies on UNDP projects by a legally recognized auditor of the Government, or by a commercial auditor engaged by the Government.
The project will undergo an independent Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) at the mid-point of project implementation, which will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and identify course correction if needed. It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management. Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project’s term. Final External Evaluation will be conducted 3 months before project closure.

Contacts

UNDP
Adriana Dinu
UNDP
Keti Chachibaia
Regional Technical Advisor