Strengthening the Climate Adaptation Capacities in the South Caucasus


The project will (i) facilitate the development of multi-hazard mapping and risk assessment methodology enabling 1.7 million inhabitants’ reduced exposure towards climate-induced hazards in Georgia; (ii) contribute to the safer livelihoods and infrastructure of 373’800 residents in ten municipalities by developing response and preparedness plans; and (iii) foster evidence-based policymaking and advocacy on climate adaptation, natural hazards and mountain development in the South Caucasus.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Caucasus
Climate change and environment
Education
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Tertiary education
10.11.2017 - 14.11.2023
CHF 7'100'000
Background Changes in climate patterns, including in their frequency, intensity and geographical spread, are becoming increasingly evident in the South Caucasus. Human casualties, damage to infrastructure and economic losses are increasing due to intensifying natural disasters, with the majority of them occurring in or close proximity to the mountainous regions, which cover a significant portion of the South Caucasus terrain. These disasters threaten not only mountain inhabitants and critical infrastructure there, but people living in the lowlands too. The governments of the three South Caucasus countries realise the need and importance of concerted actions in climate change adaptation (CCA) and integrated risk management (IRM) for sustainable development. However, human capacities and knowledge, as well as technical and financial resources available on the local, sub-national and central levels are not always adequate. Involvement of the academia and private sector is also downplayed in contributing to prevention, response and recovery measures.
Objectives The project’s goal is to reduce the population’s vulnerabilities towards climate-induced hazards and to foster regional cooperation on climate change adaptation challenges in the South Caucasus.
Target groups

In Armenia:

- National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

- Crisis Management State Academy

- American University

In Azerbaijan:

- National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

- State Oil and Industry University

- University of Architecture and Construction

In Georgia:

-373’800 residents in ten municipalities

-1.7 million inhabitants (indirect)

- Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture and its National Environmental Agency (NEA)

- Emergency Management Service (EMS) under the Prime-Minister’s Office

- Ilia State University (IliaUni)

 

Medium-term outcomes

- Outcome 1 (UNDP): The Georgian authorities have the financial, technical and human capacities to establish a nation-wide multihazard hydro-meteorological risk monitoring, modelling and forecasting. 

- Outcome 2 (UNDP): Vulnerable people, communities and regions in Georgia have increased resilience and face fewer risks from natural and climate change threats to their livelihoods.


- Outcome 3 (SC): Scientists and civil society organizations in the region support evidence-based policy-making and advocacy on issues of climate adaptation and sustainable mountain development.

 

Results

Expected results:  

Georgia:

- Standardized and institutionalized multi-hazard maps and risk profiles are expected to increase the risk resilience of 47% (i.e. 1.7 mln persons) of Georgia’s population.

- National-level multi-hazard risk maps and risk profiles are developed, standardised and ready for roll-out in Georgia supported by the adequate institutional and legal frameworks preliminarily put in place by the Government of Georgia.

- At least 50 representatives from the National Environmental Agency (NEA), Emergency Management Service (EMS) and partner universities’ undergraduate courses get trained in hazard mapping and risk profiling methodology in Georgia.

- 10 municipal level multi-hazard response and preparedness plans are prepared for Georgia’s major river basins with accompanying trainings for municipal employees.

Region:

- Two Caucasus Mountain Forums get organized in 2019 and 2021 alongside with annual regional Summer Schools on climate change adaptation, hazard mapping and DRR.

- Diverse education and scientific exchanges (e.g. shortterm courses, publications) on natural hazards, climate change and sustainable mountain development are implemented to support evidence-based research in the region.


Results from previous phases:  

- Missing data on climate change adaptation (CCA), DRR and hazard mapping were obtained by means of commissioning four studies in Georgia.

- Series of regional academic exchanges involving the governmental, development and civil society partners took place in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

- Working modalities with all the involved stakeholders (e.g. Green Climate Fund (GCF); consortium of the University of Geneva and NGO Sustainable Caucasus, represented by the Sustainable Caucasus (SC)) were clarified. Organization, steering and monitoring arrangements were established.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • United Nations Development Programme


Other partners
SDC will contribute to this regional project to be implemented by UNDP Georgia (for the outcomes 1&2) and NGO Sustainable Caucasus (for the regional outcome 3), represented by the consortium of the University of Geneva and NGO Sustainable Caucasus.
Coordination with other projects and actors The project will be coordinated with SDC’s rural development and local governance projects in Armenia and Georgia. The project’s Georgia’s component,  implemented by UNDP, is part of a larger endeavour, co-funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Government of Georgia.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   7'100'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   4'810'006
Project phases Phase 1 10.11.2017 - 14.11.2023   (Current phase)

Due to the complex mountainous terrain and harsh climate, the South Caucasus region has been long vulnerable to various natural hazards. This is further compounded by inadequate human capacities and knowledge, as well as a lack of technical and financial resources. Due to natural conditions and shortcomings in human response, these challenges will be further exacerbated by the impact of climate change, leading to changes in the water cycle (floods and droughts), soil degradation, and negative impacts on economic assets and infrastructure, resulting in further deterioration of livelihoods of people in critically affected areas.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

The project aims to reduce population’s vulnerabilities towards hazards caused by climate change and to foster regional cooperation and advocacy on critical issues for the Caucasus region, like climate change, biodiversity, forest resources, water, land use, natural hazards and spatial data infrastructure.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

UNDP and its governmental partners in Georgia are working to establish and institutionalize a national multi-hazard early warning system. The system will provide a comprehensive hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment, together with climate information, mapping methods and technologies. In addition, multi-hazard response and preparedness plans for Tbilisi, and for 10 most vulnerable municipalities will be elaborated.

The second component aims at the establishment of a regional scientific and civil society community of practice.

The project also encourages universities and academic institutions to develop applied research and facilitates the establishment of a science-policy hub in the region.

The project strengthens capacities for teaching and learning at universities.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Expected results on Georgia country level:

- Standardized and institutionalized multi-hazard maps and risk profiles are expected to increase the risk resilience of 47% (i.e. 1.7 million people) of Georgia’s population.

- National-level multi-hazard risk maps and risk profiles are developed, standardised and ready for roll-out in Georgia supported by the adequate institutional and legal frameworks preliminarily put in place by the Government of Georgia.

- At least 50 representatives from the National Environmental Agency (NEA), Emergency Management Service (EMS) and partner universities’ undergraduate courses get trained in hazard mapping and risk profiling methodology in Georgia.

- 11 municipal level multi-hazard response and preparedness plans are prepared for Georgia’s major river basins with accompanying trainings for municipal employees.

Expected results on South Caucasus regional level:

- Development and implementation of a Caucasus Regional Research Agenda 2020-2030 on Mountain Development and Climate Change

- Distance learning Disaster Risk Management and hazard mapping modules are introduced at the partner universities in Baku, Yerevan and Tbilisi.

- Two Caucasus Mountain Forums get organized.

- Diverse education and scientific exchanges on natural hazards, climate change and sustainable mountain development (SMD) are implemented to support evidence-based research in the region.