Ministry of Emergency Situations and UNDP start a Flood Management Project

01 Aug 2012

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Baku - UNDP and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan Republic organized the Inception Workshop on August 1, 2012, at Qafqaz Point Hotel in Baku. It marked the first event in the framework of the new project on “Integrating Climate Change Risks into Water and Flood Management by Vulnerable Mountainous Communities in the Greater Caucasus Region.”

The purpose of the Inception Workshop was to validate project’s relevance to the national priorities, review the project strategy, and discuss any modifications necessary for the project to achieve its goals and objectives in the most effective and efficient manner.

Deputy Minister noted in his opening speech: "Floods can cause damage to physical property, destroy crop and livestock, and pose threat to human security. The Government has prioritized measures to reduce flood-related risks, and establishment of a new agency dealing with water problems to prevent emergencies, is an evidence  of this commitment"

“Many communities of the Greater Caucasus region of Azerbaijan, especially those in the mountainous areas, are at the risk of climate-induced flooding and water stress”, said Ms. Nato Alhazishvili, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, in her opening remarks. She went on saying that climate change is exacerbating flooding patterns and water stress and is challenging the coping capacities. “We hope that the new project will support proactive adaptation to the impacts of climate change and help reduce the vulnerability of these communities”, she concluded.

Ms. Keti Chachibaia, UNDP/GEF Adviser from Bratislava Regional Centre, noted that while Azerbaijan was not among the most vulnerable countries, its current legislative and policy frameworks for water management were not sufficiently flexible to address climate change or to modernize water and flood management. The project will work to address the management framework at the legislative and policy level, strengthen institutional capacity, and empower communities to actively participate in water and flood management.

During the workshop national experts delivered presentations on project objectives and activities, implementation arrangements and compliance with GEF requirements. Participating experts and representatives of relevant public agencies continued with lively discussions and tabled a number of proposals for change to ensure continued relevance of the project to the changing local circumstances.