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Montenegro strengthens its capacity to develop a National Adaptation Plan with funding provided by the Green Climate Fund

Photo credit: Montenegro

UNDP and the Government of Montenegro are enhancing Montenegro’s capacity to integrate climate change risks into planning in a new project with financial support from the Green Climate Fund.

October 2021 – Montenegro is a geographically small south-eastern European country located at the junction of the Dinaric Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. While Montenegro’s land area is just under 14,000km² its geography is highly complex, with mountains, valleys, abundant natural forests, rivers, and a coastline. Montenegro is vulnerable to climate change because of projected declines in rain and winter snowfall, and because it is experiencing droughts, floods, heat waves and forest fires. These climate change vulnerabilities threaten the economic development gains that Montenegro has achieved since it became independent in 2006.

With the overarching objective of improving Montenegro’s institutional capacity for long term adaptation planning, UNDP has received funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme. The Enhancing Montenegro’s capacity to integrate climate change risks into planning project is designed to improve the coordination framework for adaptation and build the capacities of stakeholders at the national level. Once it has achieved this, the project will support the generation of improved information, including climate change vulnerability and risk assessments that will inform adaptation investments, and other projects, and programmes. The project will target four priority sectors: agriculture, water resources, tourism, and public health.

Improving climate information will be critical, because to take adaptation action, decision-makers need accurate information based on risk assessments, identified barriers to action and research into approaches that multiply the benefits of adaptation. “It will help us all put adaptation to climate change high on the national priority agenda, with the country better able to understand and prepare for future climate-induced challenges and opportunities” said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro. “This project is the first step in that direction as any delay in climate action will make it more challenging and costly to sustain countries’ current levels of well-being and prosperity,” Ms. Gasparikova added.  To implement adaptive actions in the long term, there needs to be new ways of doing business, new forms and sources of finance, and innovative approaches to governance. Adapting to climate change will also require participation from across society and the engagement of sectors not typically involved in environmental policymaking.

This project has started at a very timely moment. Around the time of the project’s inception workshop, in May 2021, Montenegro submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC. The NDC highlights the need for this project, noting that updating the mandate of Montenegro’s Working Group on Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change of the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) to effectively address adaptation issues, which are being supported by the project. This will “result in improved governing processes and institutional arrangements for oversight and coordination of adaptation related issues, as well as setting up the multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism that includes the private sector, as well as women and vulnerable groups.”

This project will support the government in the renewal of the NCSD and will enable it to enhance the capacity of the Working Group on Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change. This support will include developing the mandate, structure, priority areas, and stakeholders and members of the council. Moreover, the project will enable the government to benefit from the experience of other countries in the region that have formulated similar bodies.

Initial results are already emerging from the project as of October 2021. The government of Montenegro decided to house the secretariat of the renewed National Council for Sustainable Development in the Secretariat-General of the government, which gives the Council greater authority and enhances its ability to achieve greater coherence in aligning sector policies. This creates an opportunity and reinvigorated committment to move from the old, siloed approach to policy and development planning, towards a more integrated approach that balances different policies needs and includes a broader range of stakeholders.

  • SDG 13