The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is located in south-eastern Europe. Often referred to as “The Pearl of the Balkans,” Macedonia’s cultural heritage, combined with its beautiful natural landscape, makes it an attractive destination for tourists. The natural landscape, however, is sensitive to climate change. Some of the proposed adaptation measures include: introducing water-saving irrigation measures, soil and water conservation, genetic and plant breeding measures, and the introduction of climate change-resistant plant species.
Macedonia’s climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and autumns, and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall. Macedonia is an elevated plateau, consisting of mountains, deep basins and valleys. The Dinaric Alps extend down into the Macedonia. Macedonia also contains three major lakes and the River Vardar which divides the country. The alpine zone of Macedonia is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, attributable to the most intensive air temperature rise in the alpine and subalpine regions. Climate change is expected to alter the natural habitats for high mountain species, threatening the survival of some species such as the Sand Lizard and the Alpine Dunnock.
Macedonia’s economy is highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the Macedonian economy, accounting for 14 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006. Temperature increases and reductions in annual rainfall could adversely affect this sector. The yields of important crops such as winter wheat, grape, and alfalfa, for example, are expected to decrease as a result of climate impacts. Macedonia’s nature-based tourism is also particularly sensitive to the impacts of climate change. Furthermore, forestry in Macedonia is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, potentially causing significant economic damage.