As outlined in Armenia's National Commmunication (1998) climate change will cause significant negative consequences for the nature of Armenia. Thus, the application of measures and approaches, directed to the maximum reduction of these consequences and cease of the environmental degradation processes should become the important component of the strategy in responding to climate change.

Basic adaptation measures for the natural ecosystems of Armenia are the following:

  • Creation of optimal landscape-zone structure for the republic as a whole (increase of the forest share given the preservation of landscape diversity);
  • Gradual increase of forest cover area for 266500 ha by the year 2050, i.e. from present 11.2 % of territory up to 20.1 % through annual forest planting, including the area of protective woodland belt for 5300ha; making of a large-scale timber industry plantations of accelerated rotation; application of integrated system of forest protection from pests, illnesses, weeds, cuttings, cattle pasture, fires, etc.
  • Allocation of reserves and specially protected natural territories for the mitigation of general anthropogenic pressure on vulnerable ecosystems, including intrazonal coastal cenoses of desert and semi-desert zones, and also the Alpine communities for the realization of their own adaptability at forecasted climate change;
  • Introduction of endangered species, which are in proper (similar) biocenoses, which will be preserved in case of the probable climate change;
  • Preservation of genetic fund of the most vulnerable and valuable species by their maintenance and cultivation in artificial conditions, preservation of genetic material in seed banks, etc.

The Republic of Armenia is located in Southern Transcaucasus, on a joint of Caucasus with Forward Asia and occupies a small part of the extensive Armenian plateau. On the North and East Armenia borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan, on the West and South-East with Turkey and Iran accordingly. The Republic does not have access to sea. The Republic of Armenia has an area of 29800 km2, which is approximately equal to the territory of Belgium and Albania. The greatest extent from North-West to South-East is 360 km, and from West to East - 200km. The capital of the country is Yerevan.

Armenia is a typical mountainous country. About 90% of its territory is over 1000m above sea level, including 40% - over 2000m. Average height of territory makes 1830m, the highest - 4090m, the lowest - 350m.

Geographical situation of Armenia, complex mountain relief and high-altitude zoning of territory have caused unique variety of natural conditions and natural resources. The territory of Armenia is specific for strongly pronounced vertical alternation of six basic climate types - from dry subtropical up to severe Alpine, and temperature contrasts. In the low-lands the average air temperature in July and August reaches 24-26oC, and in the Alpine belt the temperature does not exceed 10oC. In January, depending on the height and peculiarities of the relief, the temperature varies within the bounds of 1-13oC. In Armenia the absolute maximum and minimum temperatures reach 41oC and -42oC.

In general, Armenia is distinguished by aridity - the average annual precipitation here reaches 570 mm. The significant part of the territory - over the 60% - receives less than 600 mm, 20 % - less 400mm, and on the bottom of the closed basins - only 200-300mm.

Armenia lays in the same geographic breadth as Spain, Italy and Greece, that is in a subtropical zone. Therefore one of the most characteristic features of its climate is intensity and abundance of solar radiation, which, accordingly, make 1.46 cal/cm2 and 2500 hours per year.

Related Content

NAP To Advance Medium And Long-Term Adaptation Planning In Armenia

Inception Workshop - Agenda



Ministry of Nature Protection

Date and Time

13 February, 2019, 9:30 – 16:00

Supporting Armenia to advance their NAP process

Country background, Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement

Armenia is a small landlocked country in the Caucasus region with a mostly mountainous terrain, fast flowing rivers and few forests. Its highland continental climate means it is subject to hot summers and cold winters. Agriculture is a core sector in Armenia, employing 44 percent of the working population, although its contribution to the economy is on the decline, with the services and industrial sectors growing instead. Climate change is already affecting Armenia, with an annual mean temperature increase of 1.03 °C and decrease in precipitation of 10 percent recorded during the period 1935 – 2012. Extreme weather events, including heavy rainfall and hailstorms, are increasing in frequency, and desertification and land degradation are set to worsen. Agricultural lands cover 69 percent of the territory and 80 percent of these lands are already being affected by climate change impacts, with decreasing crop yields projected in the future.
Although Armenia is in the final stages of transitioning from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic, it has developed an institutional framework that can facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Strategic Program of Prospective Development 2014-2025, the overarching development strategy, mentions the limitations that climate change will pose to economic growth. More specifically, the National Strategy on Disaster Risk Management (2017) integrates climate change and incorporates SDGs. 
These policies and strategies take a strong focus on mitigation, however, in Armenia’s INDC, which later became their First NDC, as they ratified the Paris Agreement in 2017, adaptation is given more weight. The NDC prioritises the following sectors as those most vulnerable to climate change and in need of adaptation interventions: natural ecosystems; human health; water resource management; agriculture, including fisheries and forests; energy; human settlements and infrastructure; and tourism. It identifies the foundation of its adaptation strategy to be the application of “an ecosystem-based approach to mitigation and adaptation actions, giving preference to balanced and combined actions”. Another key document, that reflects on the consequences of climate change scenarios, is the Third National Communication to the UNFCCC, submitted in 2015. The Fourth communication will be developed in 2019.

How has the NAP-GSP supported to date?


Conducted a mission to Armenia


Between 7 – 9 December, 2016, the NAP-GSP undertook a preliminary mission to identify Armenia’s strategic priorities regarding the NAP process. Through a stakeholder roundtable, qualitative interviews and extensive desk research, an assessment of relevant initiatives on climate mainstreaming and of the institutional framework and capacities relevant to the NAP process were conducted.


Production of a Stocktaking Report
Informed by the mission and the consultations with key stakeholders, a Stocktaking Report was produced. The report identified the most pressing weaknesses regarding climate change related risks and adaptation to be: (i) a lack of clear processes for updating risk information and for prioritising adaptation measures; (ii) a lack of awareness and capacity of sector ministries in terms of climate change and adaptation; and (iii) a lack of integration of climate-induced risks and adaptation into planning processes. The Stocktaking Report includes a roadmap for the NAP process to address these gaps.


Helped build capacity and  facilitated access to additional climate finance



Armenia submitted their Readiness and Preparatory Support Proposal to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in February 2016, and was one of the first countries to request GCF support for their NAP process. Click for details on the approved project - National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning in Armenia.


Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Funding Source: 
Display Photo: 
Project Dates: 
Sep 2015
Armenia submits thier Intend Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Paris Agreement
Jun 2016
Government delegation from Armenia attends the NAP-GSP Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asia Regional Workshop, Chisinau, Moldova
Dec 2016
A stakeholder roundtable is held to identify the strategic priorities for Armenia’s NAP process
Dec 2016
A Government Decree requests that a Concept of Ecosystem Approach to Climate Change Adaptation, and a NAP, are developed and submitted to government for approval
Dec 2016
Armenia begins drafting a Readiness proposal to submit to the GCF for potential funding to support the NAP process
Feb 2016
A Stocktaking Report and a preliminary roadmap for advancing the NAP process in Armenia is developed
Feb 2016
The Readiness and Preparatory Support Proposal is submitted to the GCF
Mar 2017
Armenia ratifies the Paris Agreement

National Adaptation Plans in focus: Lessons from Armenia

This briefing on the process to formulate and implement the National Adaptation Plan in Armenia considers firstly the country context and the climate change risks. The groundwork for supporting the NAP is considered, covering the policy, planning and budgetary framework, priority adaptation sectors in NDC, climate assessments, the implementation of adaptation actions and plans thus far. The briefing contains a timeline of the Armenian NAP process. Challenges, successes and opportunities are also discussed.

De-Risking and Scaling-Up Investment in Energy Efficient Building Retrofits - Armenia

The "De-Risking and Scaling-Up Investment in Energy Efficient Building Retrofits - Armenia" project will build the market for energy efficient building retrofits in Armenia, leading to sizeable energy savings and Green House Gas emission reductions (up to 5.8 million tons of Carbon Dioxide of direct and indirect emission savings over the 20-year equipment lifetimes). It will also lead to green job creation and energy poverty reduction. It will directly benefit over 200,000 people and will catalyse private and public sector investment of approximately US$100 million.

Through this project GCF will invest a US$14 million loan to make energy efficiency loans for building retrofits more affordable. The Municipality of Yerevan will add US$8 million in co-financing. In addition, GCF will provide US$6 million in technical assistance to remove market and policy barriers to building retrofits, with UNDP providing US$1.4 million and the Ministry of Nature Protection US$0.4 million co-funding. The technical assistance will seek to overcome lack of information and awareness about the benefits of retrofitting through the establishment of measurement, reporting and verification measures, the development of policy frameworks. The cost-effective combination of policy and financial de-risking instruments and targeted financial incentives will address market barriers and achieve a risk-return profile for EE building retrofits that can attract private investments.

Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
210,000 direct beneficiaries, 1700 jobs will be created, 1.4 million tons of carbon will be offset
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$20 million (GCF grant according to GCF website)
Co-Financing Total: 
US$9.8 million (US$8 million from Municipality of Yerevan, US$0.4 million from Ministry of Nature Protection, US$1.4 million from UNDP according to GCF website)
Project Details: 

Armenia is a small, poor, land-locked country in the heart of Eurasia, and is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Unsustainable energy use in buildings underpins Armenia’s closely intertwined development, security and climate-related challenges. Approximately 30% of Armenian households are energy-poor, where energy poverty (often called ‘fuel poverty’) is defined as households spending more than 10% of their budgets on energy. Some 45% of apartments in multi-family buildings have indoor temperatures in winter below 19°C (i.e. below established international standards for human occupancy). About 50% of energy use in buildings depends on imported fossil fuels, and 4% of CO2 emissions come from energy use in buildings. With this in mind, over 50% of energy can be saved via energy efficient retrofits

Improving energy efficiency (EE) in buildings has been assigned the highest priority in Armenia’s housing, energy and climate strategies, including the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), its Third National Communication to the UNFCCC and its UNFCCC Technology Needs Assessment.

UNDP will work with the Government, city administrations, the European Investment Bank, private sector stakeholders, ESCOs and local banks to deploy the most cost-effective combination of policy and financial de-risking instruments and targeted financial incentives to address market barriers and achieve a risk-return profile for energy efficient building retrofits that can attract private investments. The project builds on UNDP’s long experience supporting the Government of Armenia and on UNDP’s de-risking framework for low-carbon investment. It has the full backing of Armenia’s National Designated Authority (NDA) for the GCF, the UNFCCC National Focal Point, and the Municipality of Yerevan (home to one-third of Armenia’s population). The project is fully consistent with Armenia’s INDC.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Component 1 will establish building sector Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and knowledge management. One of the identified barriers is a lack of information and awareness: energy efficiency is not a major concern for most people in Armenia. There is a low level of awareness among building owners, real estate agencies and occupants about operational costs and potential energy- and money-saving opportunities. There is also a misinformed perception that full compliance with efficient building codes and energy-efficient buildings would be prohibitively expensive in Armenia. The market for EE products and services is immature. Robust MRV will build the investment case for energy efficiency retrofits and, together with the dissemination of information, will support the communication of the financial and development gains to be made from energy efficiency investments, thus improving information availability and awareness of the benefits of buildings with improved energy performance.

Component 2 will support national, sub-national and local authorities to adopt and implement an enabling policy framework for energy efficiency retrofits. This will remove a number of policy, legal and institutional barriers through supporting legal reform, the introduction and implementation of regulation, and the modernisation and enforcement of standards. Component 2 will also remove technical and capacity barriers by providing technical assistance to selected market players, such as building owners / managers / owner associations and local government.

Component 3 will provide access to affordable capital for energy efficiency retrofits. This will help remove financial barriers, such as the fact that home-owners and public sector entities lack the financial resources necessary to undertake EE building retrofits without loans and the reluctance of local commercial banks to provide loans for EE renovation.

Component 4 grants from the GCF will be offered as a temporary targeted incentive. They will be targeted and will address the needs of the most vulnerable households. The financial analysis shows that, for those earning less than the median household income of US$400 per month, building retrofits are not affordable. For middle- and higher-income households, grants are not needed from an affordability point of view, and will only be used at a low level to overcome early-mover barriers. The grants will support poor and vulnerable households to secure access to improved thermal comfort and cost / energy savings. Incentive grants for low-income households are also needed to unlock building-level investments, as these households might otherwise block building-level investment decisions in multi-apartment buildings.

Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Component 1: Establishment of building sector Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV): Robust MRV for the building sector established

Component 2: Policy de-risking: National, sub-national and local authorities adopt and implement an enabling policy framework for EE retrofits

Component 3: Financial de-risking: Access to affordable capital for EE retrofits provided

Component 4: Financial incentives: Affordability of EE retrofits for the most vulnerable households ensured through targeted financial incentives to building / apartment owners (directly or via private-sector ESCOs)


Building resilience through integrated climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction: experience of Armenia

A presentation by Simon Papyan, the Deputy Minister of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia, on the experience of building resilience through integrated climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Armenia.

Armenia's Assessment of Legal and Institutional Framework for Disaster Management and Disaster Risk Information Systems – September 2009

This study gives an overview of the current strengths, weaknesses, gaps and duplications in the legislative and institutional framework in the context of disaster risk reduction in Armenia. It details out the present structure and status of implementation of the various activities under this programme and has also enabled the availability of a strong disaster management database in the country. 

Capacity Building for Optimization of Information and Monitoring System in Armenia - Project Document (December 2007)

The project will strengthen Armenia's capacity for environmental information management in order to improve the reporting process to the Conventions, as well as to ensure national sustainable development through improved monitoring and information management for better environmental policy development. Environmental monitoring and information management is critical for understanding the current status and dynamic changes in the state of environment.