Climate change adaptation

Villages in Uzbekistan adapting to climate change
A village in Uzbekistan adapts to climate change, and raises incomes

Countries in the region are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Average temperatures have increased by 0.5 degrees Celsius in the South to 1.6 degrees in the North (Siberia) and overall increases of 1.6 – 2.6 degrees are expected by the middle of the century.

Summer heat waves are expected to claim more lives than will be saved by warmer winters. Water availability is expected to decrease dramatically in South East Europe. In the Russian Arctic, permafrost has already started melting, putting infrastructure and buildings at risk of collapsing. Coastal towns in Georgia, Russia and Ukraine are at risk from rising levels of water in the Black Sea.

Central Asia’s semi-arid and arid climate will likely experience further aridification, affecting food production and availability of water resources.

There is concern that water shortages may prove to be the main impediment to the development of Central Asian countries both under current conditions (around 50 percent of water used for irrigation is lost to inefficient irrigation technologies) and in the future (increasingly due to decreasing availability of snowpack and glaciers).

Glaciers are highly sensitive to temperature increases, and in the last fifty years glaciers in Central Asia are estimated to have shrunk by 25 percent. They are expected to shrink by another 25 percent over the next 20 years. Current glacier melting poses an increased threat of flooding in the short term and reduced water resources in the long term.

What we do

UNDP works with national partners to support adaption to climate change, and reduce climate related risks to vulnerable communities and key economic services. This includes:

  • Responding to the risks of climate change
  • Identifying and capitalizing on opportunities from climate change
  • Developing national strategies and action plans to adapt to climate change
  • Assisting governments to access and use dedicated climate funds for implementing priority adaptation initiatives

Some results so far

Plans to protect forests and manage protected areas in Albania and Armenia included adaptation measures that were identified through climate risk and vulnerability assessments.

In Armenia 55 hectares of juniper and oak forests are being restored, helping to preserve the forest’s complex ecosystem and its long term resilience to anticipated climate aridification.

Albania started to rehabilitate 5,000 square metres of degraded sand dunes along the Drini Mati delta on the Adriatic coast. The area is critical for buffering the vulnerable coast from sea surges and long term rising sea levels.

Communities in Armenia, Moldova and FYR Macedonia are responding to local level climate related risks such as floods, drought, landslides and hail - prioritizing and carrying out activities, and including them in local development plans.

Countries in Central Asia are addressing risks posed by current climate variability and future climate change. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are addressing issues of long term water stress, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are focusing on drought management in pastureland and farming systems, and Tajikistan is working to prevent land degradation, floods and landslides.

The glaciers of Central Asia: A disappearing resource

 


Safeguarding the Drini Mati River Delta, Albania

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