Municipalities Take Actions Against Climate Change

UNDP Albania

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024 - Local governments are stepping up their efforts in the fight against climate change as the final phase of consultation for eight Local Adaptation Plans (LAPs) commenced today in Elbasan. It will extend throughout April in Durrës, Kukës, Krujë, Fier, Vlorë, Gjirokastër, and Përmet.

This milestone comes after nearly two years of Local Adaptation Plan (LAP) development processes, under the ownership and facilitation of   Municipalities, engaging a total of 338 women and men. The objective is to raise awareness and understanding about the urgent need for climate adaptation in tackling the impacts of climate change, essential for sustaining the long-term development.

This initiative aligns with Albania's broader efforts, supported by the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process a project financed by the Green Climate Fund and implemented by UNDP Albania. The project aims to advance the country's medium and long-term adaptation strategies to combat the escalating impacts of climate change and facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into national development planning, decision-making processes, and budgeting.

Albania faces significant climate change challenges, with its primarily rural population highly susceptible to extreme weather events such as flooding and droughts. The severity and frequency of these events are expected to increase as temperatures continue to rise, posing threats to agricultural livelihoods, water supplies, and key industries like hydropower and tourism. Additionally, the country's coastal position places it at heightened risk, with floods, flash floods, and forest fires largely influenced by hydrological and meteorological conditions accounting for 90% of its hazards.

Despite ongoing socio-economic progress, Albania's exposure to climate hazards remains high, as evidenced by its 80th ranking in the ND-GAIN Country Index, reflecting both vulnerability and readiness.

In response, the Albanian Government launched its second national adaptation plan (NAP) process in 2021, prioritizing five sectors: tourism, urban development, agriculture, transport, and energy.

At the local level, between July 2022 to October 2023, capacity-building activities were conducted for the staff of the eight municipalities. These include technical assistance and guidance for collecting demographic, economic data, and analyzing climate information, developing climate scenarios, and conducting risk and vulnerability assessments based on facts and evidence.

These plans have identified adaptation measures, with a focus on strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework, enhancing technical and scientific capabilities, and executing bio-engineering interventions to alleviate natural hazards including flooding, erosion, wildfires, sea-level rise, droughts, among others.

An integral aspect of these efforts has been the integration of a gender perspective, promoting equitable participation and decision-making in adaptation strategies.

Local Climate Adaptation Plans (LAPs) have been instrumental in aligning local priorities with national objectives, empowering communities, and building resilience. These final consultations aim to finalize the draft plans, prioritize adaptation measures, and ensure stakeholder consensus on effective climate action.