This project is designed to help the Government of Albania increase its capacity to address the country’s climate change vulnerabilities by supporting the development of a national plan for climate change adaptation. The support focuses on 1) strengthening the national mandate, strategy and steering mechanism for assessing and addressing capacity gaps (particularly in the priority sectors of tourism, urban development, agriculture, transport, and energy); 2) develop a NAP Strategy action plan and implementation plan, and 3) develop financing, monitoring and evaluation strategies to ensure that capacities and funding options are institutionalized for the long-term sustainability of adaptation planning beyond the life of the project.
With the financing from the Green Climate Fund, the project "Advancing Albania’s planning for medium and long-term adaptation through the development of a National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process" will support the Government of Albania to increase its capacity to address the country’s climate change vulnerabilities.
Albania’s primarily rural population is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, where extreme rain events frequently result in destructive flooding, while agricultural livelihoods and drinking water supplies are threatened during dry periods. As temperature rises, climate scenarios predict increased severity and frequency of these extreme wet and dry conditions, along with decreasing total annual rainfall. These changes place Albania’s population at risk and pose a threat among others to the hydropower and tourism industries.
To address these vulnerabilities, the Government of Albania launched its national adaptation plan (NAP) process in February 2015, with the support of GIZ and UNDP, through consultations with national stakeholders and a stocktaking exercise. A preliminary roadmap for the NAP implementation was formulated and validated by representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Environment as well as stakeholders from the Inter-ministerial Working Group on Climate Change (IMWGCC).
The analytical exercises highlighted the existing weaknesses and demonstrated the prevailing barriers to climate change adaptation (CCA) planning in Albania. The results confirmed that in order to adequately address climate change vulnerabilities, Albania must overcome information gaps, vulnerability assessments and climate adaptation planning capacity weaknesses, and a lack of awareness of CCA – both at the national and sub-national levels. In addition, climate change is not integrated into existing environmental and development policies, or their associated budget priorities, and financing appropriations for adaptation are absent.
The underlying challenge lies in the lack of comprehensive framework for adaptation in Albania. The National Communications provide a preliminary assessment of adaptation priorities and a national NAP Framework Document was developed as part of the NAP preparation and stocktaking process in 2016. To leverage these preliminary activities towards climate resilience, this readiness effort aims to address the weaknesses and barriers identified in the NAP Framework Document.
In September 2021, Albania submitted its National Adaptation Plan, including a comprehensive financing strategy to the UNFCCC.
The project aims at delivering the following results under the three main outcomes:
- Strengthen legal and institutional framework and mandate for climate change adaptation work at the national level;
- Upgrade stocktaking on climate vulnerabilities, adaptation opportunities and development needs and update vulnerability analyses;
- Address adaptation related capacity gaps at national and subnational levels;
- Establish long-term adaptation capacity development methodologies to ensure ongoing skills development and increased awareness of climate change adaptation;
- Formulate NAP Strategy action plan and the accompanying communications plan;
- Promote CCA integration into existing planning and budgeting and cross-sector coordination;
- Develop NAP implementation plan;
- Establish systems to monitor NAP process and adaptation progress;
- Identify options for securing and scaling up financing for adaptation; develop a financing plan.
Following the formal inception workshop in December 2021, together with stakeholders, the project has developed the list of criteria to be utilized for the selection of up to eight municipalities for the development of the climate change adaptation roadmaps as well as to identify the priority sectors for climate change analyses.
UNDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tirana Polytechnic University and Institute of Geosciences to facilitate the cooperation and collaboration in areas of common interest.
The project also supported the development of a new legal proposal to update the mission of the Institute of Geosciences to include climate change adaptation, as well as the operational manual for the Interministerial Working Group on Climate Change and a draft reporting format for the National Climate Change Committee.
Key results and outputs
Outcome 1: Institutional and capacity gaps assessed and addressed.
Outcome 2: NAP Strategy action plan finalized and implementation plan in place.
Outcome 3: Strategies for financing as well as for monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation in medium- to long-term established.