National Adaptation Plans in Armenia

Project Overview

With financing from the Green Climate Fund, the "National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning in Armenia" project will support the Government of Armenia to develop a national plan for climate change adaptation through an iterative process focused on strengthening foundational capacities to ensure that they are institutionalized for long-term sustainability. The project aims to address existing barriers, support the prioritization of climate change adaptation investments in priority sectors including water resources, agriculture, energy, health, tourism and human settlement, and increase the identification of finance options.

With the development of a NAP process, Armenia will lay the groundwork for the systemic and iterative identification of medium- and long-term risks, establish adaptation priorities and build out specific activities that ensure no one is left behind in the country’s work to reach its goals outlined through the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the NAP process will contribute to the formulation of corresponding national climate-responsive indicators and targets.

The main beneficiaries of the project are the Inter-Agency Coordination Council, the State Hydro-Meteorological and Monitoring Service (Hydromet) of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Nature Protection, and stakeholders from key priority sectors – including water resources, agriculture, energy, health, tourism and human settlements – identified in the 2015 Nationally Determined Contribution.

In parallel to this project, Armenia has submitted a request for Green Climate Fund Readiness and Preparatory Support for an 18-month project. With the Readiness and Preparatory Support project, the Government of Armenia seeks to strengthen the National Designated Authority (NDA) to the GCF and establish a foundation for the development of a strategic framework for engagement with GCF, including the preparation of concept notes within the country programme.


 

*The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations or UNDP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Expected Outcomes

Output 1 - Gaps assessed and national mandate, strategy and steering mechanism established

Output 2 - Climate evidence and knowledge-base for the compilation of a NAP strengthened

Output 3 - NAP implementation facilitated

Output 4 - Mechanisms for Reporting, Monitoring and Review of NAPs and adaptation progress in place

Output 5 - Funding strategy for the NAP and CCA formulated

Project Details

Source of Funds

Green Climate Fund

Key Implementers

National Governments
Non-Governmental Organizations
Private Sector Partners
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funding Amounts

US$2,999,593

Project Partners

Republic of Armenia Ministry of Emergency Situations
Green Climate Fund

Introduction

With financing from the Green Climate Fund, the "National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning in Armenia" project will support the Government of Armenia to develop a national plan for climate change adaptation through an iterative process focused on strengthening foundational capacities to ensure that they are institutionalized for long-term sustainability. The project aims to address existing barriers, support the prioritization of climate change adaptation investments in priority sectors including water resources, agriculture, energy, health, tourism and human settlement, and increase the identification of finance options.

With the development of a NAP process, Armenia will lay the groundwork for the systemic and iterative identification of medium- and long-term risks, establish adaptation priorities and build out specific activities that ensure no one is left behind in the country’s work to reach its goals outlined through the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the NAP process will contribute to the formulation of corresponding national climate-responsive indicators and targets.

The main beneficiaries of the project are the Inter-Agency Coordination Council, the State Hydro-Meteorological and Monitoring Service (Hydromet) of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Nature Protection, and stakeholders from key priority sectors – including water resources, agriculture, energy, health, tourism and human settlements – identified in the 2015 Nationally Determined Contribution.

In parallel to this project, Armenia has submitted a request for Green Climate Fund Readiness and Preparatory Support for an 18-month project. With the Readiness and Preparatory Support project, the Government of Armenia seeks to strengthen the National Designated Authority (NDA) to the GCF and establish a foundation for the development of a strategic framework for engagement with GCF, including the preparation of concept notes within the country programme.


 

Project Details

The Government of Armenia launched its national stakeholder’s consultations for the national adaptation plan (NAP) process in June 2016. A preliminary action plan for NAP implementation was formulated during the stocktaking exercise and approved by the representatives of key sectors and the Ministry of Nature Protection. The government sees the NAP process as a key step to achieving the adaptation objectives of its 2015 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Currently, there is no comprehensive framework for adaptation in Armenia, though the NDC and the National Communications provide a preliminary assessment of adaptation priorities. To address this gap, the project aims to support Armenia with developing a national plan for climate change adaptation (CCA).

The NAP will address the main challenges to the integration of climate change adaptation into national, sectorial and local government planning and budgeting, as identified in the 2016 stakeholders’ consultations and the NAP Stocktaking report. The focus is on strengthening foundational capacities for adaptation and on ensuring that they are institutionalized for long-term sustainability (beyond the life of the project). It is expected that at least two NAP iterations will be required for a complete and comprehensive mainstreaming of CCA into the national development framework and into the development plans of all sectors.

By targeting priority sectors identified in the 2015 NDC (natural resources, water, agriculture, energy, health, tourism and human settlement) and ensuring multi-level capacity across administrative levels, the project enables the mainstreaming of adaptation planning into central and local planning. By improving existing risk and vulnerability analyses to produce policy-relevant and actionable risk assessments, the project strengthens both the evidence base for decision-making and the ability to effectively use the available information to identify, assess and prioritize adaptation options. The introduction of technical methodological tools ensures that the use of pro-active adaptation measures will increase within sectors, propelling demand for additional CCA investments, and enabling the formulation of climate responsive and actionable financing strategies for furthering implementation of the Paris Agreement and the effective scaling up of our climate change adaptation actions.

Context

Armenia, a small, landlocked country in the Caucasus region, is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the Europe and Central Asia region. The country was ranked 85 out of 188 in the UNDP 2015 Human Development Index. It is heavily reliant on agriculture. A third of the population is rural (36.7%), and it is estimated that 35% of Armenia’s total population (3.27 million) lives under the national poverty line. Poverty is exacerbated by an unemployment rate of 28.6%. When combined with Armenia’s history of droughts, soil erosion and natural disasters, rural low-income communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to heightened water insecurity, increased health risks, reduced agricultural productivity and increased incidences of extreme events.

Climate change impacts are already evident in Armenia. Between 1935 and 2012, annual mean temperature increased by more than 1°C, while annual precipitation decreased by close to 10%. The decrease in precipitation has not been spatially uniform, with the northeastern and central regions becoming more arid, and the southern and northwestern areas, including the Lake Sevan basin, experiencing increased precipitation. These climate trends place Armenia’s water resources under severe threat. The spatial and seasonal distribution of water resources in Armenia is extremely uneven. River flows are expected to decrease by 6.7% (by 2030), 14.5% (by 2070), and 24.4% (by 2100) compared to the 1961–1990 baseline period. In addition, expected ecosystem changes include a 21% decrease in the alpine zone area and a vertical shift of 100–150 m; a 30% expansion of semi-desert and desert areas; a 4% expansion of the steppe belt and a concurrent vertical shift by 150–200 m. By 2030, vertical movement of the forest belt by 100–200 m is also expected with significant negative impact on tree and plant species, reducing the environmental services provision of natural ecosystems. The 1935–2012 period experienced a significant increase in the frequency and intensity of hazardous hydro-meteorological phenomena, such as extreme frost, extreme heat, heavy rainfall and hailstorms. Analysis of recent landslides shows an increase in climate driven events, such as mudflows. More than 4% of the country – in 2,500 discrete areas – has been identified as highly-vulnerable to climate driven events. In 2010, floods caused 45 rock falls. Although more limited in the territory, avalanches also endanger a significant number of settlements and communication routes. The damage caused by these extreme events (i.e., hail, frost, strong winds, heavy rainfalls, floods, droughts, heat waves) is also contributing to the generation, and escalation, of hazardous incidences, such as landslides, avalanches, forest wildfires, rock falls and infectious disease outbreaks. Agriculture is greatly at risk and these events have already increased crop losses by 10–15%.

NDCs and NAPs

Recognizing that reducing Armenia’s vulnerability to climate change requires greater investments and greater integration of CCA and disaster risk reduction (DRR). In 2016, the government began discussing the NAP process by conducting national consultations and undertaking a rapid stocktaking exercise. The stocktaking provides a qualitative assessment of the institutional framework and capacities relevant to the NAP process. The NAP is fully aligned with the adaptation component of the NDC, and is seen as one key in establishing a constructive feedback loop between Armenia’s national and international decision-making on climate change.

The project aims to address the current barriers to prioritized national investment in CCA, and to increase the availability of finance for the implementation of the priority actions identified in the national strategic framework. With the development of a NAP process, Armenia will lay the groundwork for systemic and iterative identification of medium- and long-term risks, CCA priorities and specific activities that promote climate adaptive and resilient growth in its key sectors. In the pivot away from ad-hoc, project-based approaches to a more coherent and strategic CCA approach that is integrated with implementation of the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Armenia can realize a long-term paradigm shift towards reducing the climate risks it faces.

If the establishment of a national strategic framework (i.e., NAP process) is achieved and the technical capacity in the national institutions is built up, then demand for climate adaptive “products” will increase within sectors, driving the broadening of CCA activities across the country. This highlights CCAs unique position as both an ongoing process and an intermediate, normative, target that can help counter institutional tendencies towards inaction due to the high levels of uncertainty that accompany the expected needs from climate change impacts. By building the evidence base for (demonstration of) effective action, this project will ensure that transformative, longer-term outcomes can be achieved through mobilization of prioritized project-based financing.

Baseline Situation 

Knowledge on climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and initial assessment of adaptation priorities in Armenia results from work conducted as part of the First (1998), Second (2010) and Third National Communications (2015) to the UNFCCC. While sector specific and regional studies and projects provide important information on climate modelling, impact analysis, vulnerabilities and potential adaptation measures; studies and associated data collection processes remain fragmentary, limited and uncoordinated. The Inter-Agency Coordination Council, whose membership includes 14 ministries and two key agencies, lacks clear mandates and responsibilities; and its representatives have limited knowledge of climate change and its impacts. This limits its efficacy and effectiveness as a coordinating body. To date, where adaptation has occurred, it has occurred ad-hoc on a project base, without cross-sectorial coordination. It has been limited in scale and scope without linkages to national priorities. Moreover, dedicated actions for reducing vulnerabilities are still sporadic. 

The sectorial agencies and local governments have limited dedicated capacity and lack tools and frameworks to integrate adaptation into policies and strategies. At the same time, climate related monitoring and evaluation (M&E), for both adaptation and mitigation, is embryonic. 

 CCA has gained importance within the NDC, which established the national climate priorities and priority sectors for adaptation; and with the National Communication that provided an initial assessment of adaptation needs. However, further integration of adaptation planning is needed. As such, the NAP is part of the systemic integration of adaptation into development planning to address climate risks more cohesively in the NDC, SDGs and Sendai Action Plan. The NAP process will provide added value and assist in addressing these limitations.

Stakeholder Consultations

The Government of Armenia sees the NAP process as key to achieving the adaptation objectives of its 2015 NDC. The NAP is also seen as one of the mechanisms for achieving the commitments of the NDC, and establishing a constructive feedback loop between national and international decision-making on climate change. The Ministry of Nature Protection launched national stakeholder consultations for the NAP process in June 2016. As part of this process, a preliminary framework was envisioned based on the identified objectives of the NDC. During the UNDP-led NAP support mission and the country-based stocktaking exercise, key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Nature Protection, Hydromet, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of the Emergency Situations, were consulted and interviewed, and a preliminary roadmap for NAP implementation was formulated and approved by representative of the key sectors and the Ministry of Nature Protection.

As an integral part of the NAP process a stakeholder communication and engagement plan, including a gender action plan, will be formulated to ensure that a wide range of stakeholders will be consulted and engaged at all stages of the NAP. Outreach and engagement activities will include sensitization, consultations and training workshops, and they will be tailored to reflect the needs of stakeholders to ensure that they can successfully implement the activities being undertaken. In general, engagement activities will focus on increasing stakeholder ownership and on increasing awareness and knowledge of climate adaptation’s role in addressing climate change impacts to sustain long-term engagement. Stakeholders will represent government institutions, financial and technical partners, international and national non-governmental organizations and local civil society. NGOs and CBOs, such as Green Lane, Khazer, Ecolur, ICare and OxYGen, will be integral to the participatory process. The role and involvement of the private sector will also be enhanced with targeted activities.

Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Republic of Armenia Ministry of Emergency Situations
Green Climate Fund
Project Status: 
Source of Funds Approval/Endorsement
Location: 
Urban
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$2,999,593

Key Results and Outputs

Output 1: Gaps assessed and national mandate, strategy and steering mechanism established

This output will address weaknesses in CCA coordination mechanisms, cross-sectorial engagement, and limited and compartmentalized technical skills in regard to adaptation planning and climate change in general. It will also aim to develop a long-term approach to capacity development that addresses both institutional capacity needs and individual skill development. 

Sub-outcome 1.1: Define the institutional arrangements for the NAP process

It is envisioned that Armenia’s NAP will be spearheaded by a multi-sectorial coordinating mechanism – the InterAgency Coordination Council, whose membership includes 14 ministries and two key agencies, and the Ministry of Nature Protection, building on Armenia’s 2015 NDC commitments to integrate planning for CCA into national and sectorial development objectives. This includes development of a NAP Conceptual Note (per Government Decision 49-8 of 2016). This will activate the necessary lower administrative level climate change adaptation and coordination mechanisms to initiate medium and long-term adaptation

Sub-outcome 1.2: Identity and systemize available information on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and assess gaps

As Armenia moves towards adopting a more holistic approach to adaptation and towards its integration into medium- and long-term planning, it is crucial that it rely on a strong evidence base, including the best available climate and socio-economic information, to strengthen appraisal of adaptation options, and ensure that the lessons learnt and the impacts of past initiatives are integrated into the NAP process.

This Sub-outcome will establish a coordinated knowledge base for CCA and for developing the NAP, and will focus on compiling and synthesizing available climate risks and vulnerability assessments at sectorial, subnational and national levels, assessing and filling gaps, analyzing past and on-going adaptation initiatives and identifying future adaptation options. This will include a review of available climate data, which serves as the basis for all climate-related initiatives, to improve understanding of the baseline situation, strengthen justification for CCA interventions and improve decision-making capacity. A thorough review of the available information within relevant ministries and the priority sectors (water resources, agriculture, energy, health, tourism and human settlements) is necessary as the existing data and analysis are fragmented and incomplete. 

Output 2: Climate evidence and knowledge-base for the compilation of a NAP strengthened

As Armenia moves towards adopting a more holistic approach to adaptation and towards its integration into medium and long-term planning, it is crucial that it rely on a strong evidence base, including the best available climate and socio-economic information to strengthen appraisal of adaptation options, and ensure that the lessons learnt and the impacts of past initiatives are integrated into the NAP process. This will include improved understanding of the baseline situation, strengthening justification for CCA interventions and improved decision-making capacity. 

Sub-outcome 2.1: Improve access to and use of climate data

This Sub-outcome will establish a coordinated knowledge base for CCA and for developing the NAP, and will focus on synthesizing and updating available climate risks and vulnerability assessments, on filling gaps, and on improved access to and use of the available climate data and its related analysis

Sub-outcome 2.2: Identify and address capacity gaps and weaknesses to ensure local ownership of the NAP process

This Sub-outcome focuses establishing the foundation for integration of CCA into national and sectorial process through the increased CCA technical capacity, training, and the development of tools, methodologies and guidelines. These will sensitize and assist sectorial technical planners in improving understanding of CCA and its implications to sectorial action. Ensuring availability of capacity and technical skills to address the challenge of climate related analysis and interventions is a key component of ensuring that the NAP becomes an established and iterative process. Activities under this sub-outcome will focus on implementation of trainings that are focused on climate vulnerability assessment methodologies and socio-economic valuation tools (cost-benefit analysis, damage-loss, etc.). These will be developed and tested for technical planners from different sectors at national and sub-national organizations. It will also focus on identifying and implementing opportunities to mainstream gender sensitive CCA tools, methodologies, and trainings into relevant ministerial and local policies and practices to ensure cumulative improvements in national CCA activities.

Output 3: NAP implementation facilitated

Despite the recognized threat climate change poses to the country’s development, and its identification in the NDC, CCA is an emerging issue in Armenia. CCA is considered a sectorial issue that needs to be further integrated into sectorial development planning and budgeting, and further aligned with national priorities. The NAP process deals with the full integration of climate change concerns and climate risks into planning, budgeting and decision-making processes in all relevant sectors and at all administrative levels. NAP implementation will be relatively limited in this first NAP cycle as it is expected that at least two NAP cycles will be required for complete and comprehensive mainstreaming. This Output reinforces the foundations for CCA planning through the NAP framework.

Sub-outcome 3.1: Enhance the national capacity for adaptation planning

This Sub-outcome will focus on training and building awareness to improve integration of best practices and adaptation interventions into sectorial activities based on country-driven experiences, to ensure the usefulness of climate related information in the planning process. In the medium and long-term, improved methodological rigor in sectorial and local plans will support an improved evidence-base for climate-sensitive budgeting and will further synergies for future NAP cycles and national development plans:

Sub-outcome 3.2: Develop a national adaptation implementation strategy

The main goal of this Sub-outcome is to identify an evidence-based prioritized pipeline of strategic CCA interventions and appraise their feasibility for medium- and long-term implementation. Activities under this Sub-outcome will focus on identifying and prioritizing medium and long-term adaptation options, and on the development of a strong link between CCA and national development goals through the identified adaptation projects. This will complement capacity building to strengthen risk management and broaden the efficacy of decision support systems.

Sub-outcome 3.3: Compile and communicate the National Adaptation Plan

This activity focuses on support for NAP mainstreaming with a communication and outreach strategy to sensitize policy makers and all stakeholders, including the general public, on the importance of adaptation and to ensure that advocacy climate adaptation becomes a national priority. It will also ensure that awareness, once raised, is sustained. The communication and outreach strategy will be supported with an actionable engagement plan and a gender action plan. In addition, this Sub-outcome will help organize regular (e.g., annual) stakeholder (local, sectorial, national, private, public) thematic consultations and workshops to raise awareness on threats and opportunities related to climate change and the NAP process in particular. Knowledge management and outreach products will also be created as part of this effort.

Output 4: Mechanisms for Reporting, Monitoring and Review of NAPs and adaptation progress in place

This Output will contribute to essential functions 9 and 10 of the NAP process: “Facilitating and monitoring, review and updating of adaptation plans over time, to ensure progress and effectiveness of adaptation efforts and to demonstrate how gaps are being addressed” and “Coordinating reports and outreach on the NAP process to stakeholders nationally and internationally on progress to the Convention.” It would also go beyond the NAP, to include monitoring of adaptation interventions in the wider national development context.

Activity 4.1: Enhance capacity to monitor the NAP process and adaptation progress

The availability of up-to-date information has a significant impact on the ability to make informed and effective CCA decisions. At present, there is no harmonized data collection and distribution platform for CCA, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are limited. Specific, climate-focused M&E, for both adaptation and mitigation, is needed. This Sub-outcome will complement on-going capacity building and M&E activities under existing projects and initiatives, with a focus on the development of a gender-sensitive CCA M&E system. It will also set up a system that, based on progress made under the first NAP cycle (2018 – 2021), will allow Armenia to iteratively update the NAP over time, thus contributing to essential adaptation planning functions and help develop the activities for the second NAP cycle.

Output 5: Funding strategy for the NAP and CCA formulated

The NAP will serve as an investment framework and as a means of attracting domestic and international funding for adaptation activities, from public and private sources. To ensure the sustainability of the NAP process and Armenia’s on-going CCA efforts, it is critical to set up systems that will allow the NAP, and CCA in general, to be updated and funded over time, while continuing to support capacity building and inter-sectorial collaboration. Under this Output, the Sub-outcomes focus on determining the long-term financial needs to support gender sensitive adaptation while concurrently building climate-responsive budget planning capacity, and on identifying financing sources and opportunities to enhance access to climate finance by national actors and local authorities. 

Sub-outcome 5.1: Establish a financing strategy for an iterative NAP process

This Sub-outcome will focus on improving financing options for short-and medium-term implementation of priority CCA measures, on the promotion of sustainable adaptation outcomes in the medium- and long-term and on opportunities to enhance access to climate finance by national actors and local authorities. Sound investment proposals, that include a requisite base of feasibility studies, social and environment impact assessments and inclusive consultations, in particular of women and other vulnerable groups, will also be necessary to achieve the prioritized adaptation outcomes and to promote quality investments.

Sub-outcome 5.2: Identify and recommend policy options for scaling up financing for adaptation, including through public-private partnerships

Activities under this Sub-outcome will support increased private sector engagement in local CCA funding and complement ongoing capacity building to strengthen risk management and broaden the efficacy of decision support systems. Sound investment proposals that include a requisite base of feasibility studies, social and environment impact assessments and inclusive consultations, in particular of women and other vulnerable groups, will also be necessary to achieve the prioritized adaptation outcomes and to promote quality investments.

Programme Meetings and Workshops

> Highlights from the Inception Workshop of Armenia's project to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning 

Inception Workshop Agenda

February 13, 2019 - A UNDP-GCF project inception workshop took place in Ani hotel in Yerevan to present the main objectives and planned activities, as well as consult with national partners and international organizations supporting Armenia in meeting its sustainable development objectives.