United Nations Development Programme

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08.11.2011 Transition economies already face climate variability and must enhance their adaptive capacity, roundtable finds

MOSCOW, 8 November 2011Kori Udovicki, Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS , and Vladimir Sergeev, Director of the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, co-chaired the roundtable Specific features of adaptation to climate change in economies in transition under the International scientific conference Problems of Adaptation to Climate Change, PACC-2011.


Economies in transition are vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Countries are facing warmer temperatures, changes in rainfall and growing seasons, increased frequency and cost of natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, heat waves, forest fires, etc. Some areas are particularly vulnerable, e.g., the Russian Arctic or Central Asia (one of the worlds climate risk hot spots). Current funding for adaptation is inadequate in relation to the magnitude of problem.


One common feature of economies in transition is that they suffer an adaptation deficit primarily as a result of a combination of socio-economic factors and inefficient environmental management. In the near future, the regions vulnerability to non-climatic factors will prevent sectors like agriculture from taking advantage of the opportunities offered by climate change and will further intensify climate risks. However, importance of adaptation on the political agenda and funding available for adaptation action in the region are inadequate in relation to the magnitude of the problem.


Facing this challenge requires identification of alternative financing mechanisms and fundraising approaches. Capacity of most economies in transition to catalyse emerging sources of climate finance should be strengthened and lay the foundation for long-term investment in increase resilience to climate.


UNDP supports more than 140 countries in climate change adaptation, in partnership with the Global Environment Facility, the Adaptation Fund, bilateral programmes, and other funding sources. On adaptation alone, UNDP has leveraged more than $1 billion for developing countries to finance a range of activities. They are aimed at enhancing national and sub-national capacities to manage the impacts of climate change on development. This funding includes over $450 million in grants and co-financing of over $600 million.


UNDP has supported countries in the Europe and CIS region in accessing over $24 million of grant finance. We have also leveraged a further $25 million of co-financing for a number of initiatives that serve to identify key climate change vulnerabilities and implement measures to strengthen adaptive capacity. UNDP has invested over $5 million in the Central Asia Climate Risk Management Programme, which is designed to address issues of long-term water stress (in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), drought management in pastureland and farming systems (in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) and flash floods, soil erosion and landslides (in Tajikistan).


UNDP, engaging its expertise in environment, disaster risk reduction, poverty reduction, democratic governance, etc., stands ready to assist the economies in transition in advancing climate change adaptation and lay the foundation for long-term investment in increase resilience to climate change. While the Europe and CIS region faces numerous challenges, there is also great potential for a more sustainable future. We are actively supporting to countries in the Rio+20 process, for which the PACC-2011 conference and the round table can be a useful input.


ABOUT UNDP: UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. Please visit: www.undp.org.

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