Türkiye is highly vulnerable to climate change. As part of the southern belt of Mediterranean Europe, the country is already facing an observed warming trend in temperatures and a decreasing trend in precipitation. This is having a major negative effect on water availability for food production and rural development, further exacerbating the social and regional disparities in a country characterized by a wide (and widening) gap between the eastern and southeastern provinces and the rest of the country.
Apart from relatively frequent earthquakes, Türkiye is vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, increasing water stress in parts of the country, and land degradation. Economic losses from flooding and landslides as a proportion of GDP have historically been among the highest in Türkiye compared to other countries in Europe and CIS. Landslides and floods have accounted for 25% and 10%, respectively, of Türkiye’s natural disasters over the last 25 years. Increasing temperatures coupled with decreasing precipitation are leading to serious water stress, particularly in the southern and western parts of the country. This situation will be exacerbated by sharply rising demand, particularly from farmers. It is projected that nearly 20% of the surface water in some basins will be lost by 2030. The results of climate change will also seriously affect land use and land cover of the basins. Turkish shorelines, particularly in the Central and Eastern Black Sea, the Northern Aegean Sea, and Eastern Mediterranean, are negatively affected by coastal erosion and flooding. In the Mediterranean coastal zones, the demand for water is lowering the water table and leading to sea water intrusion in most coastal aquifers.
Türkiye’s Ninth Development Plan (2007-2013) highlights the critical importance of environmental issues, including climate change, cleaner production, waste management, and efficient and sustainable use of water and other natural resources. The National Rural Development strategy for Türkiye (2006) also prioritizes natural resources based rural development as key to overcoming rural and urban disparities. Consequently, UN support to the Turkish authorities on climate change issues through the proposed program will build on national efforts already underway. Like most EU candidate and accession countries, Türkiye recognizes the criticality of environment for the success of its reform agenda. UNDP has been asked specifically by the Government, largely through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and the EC to assist the country’s efforts in identifying priority areas for intervention and further investment, mainly in the areas of sustainable development and climate.
Timeline: October 2010 – October 2012
Corporate Thematic/Related Cross-Cutting Areas: Environment and Sustainable Development Programme.
UN/National Executing Agencies: The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization acting as the national focal point to the UNFCCC, will be the leading executing agency and responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the project.
UN/National/NGO Implementing Partners: UNDP is the GEF implementing agency for the project. UNDP’s role will be to provide technical guidance, promote participation, facilitation, ensuring coordination among relevant international donors/programs and establishment of new partnerships. The technical commission set up within the Coordinating Board on Climate Change (CBCC) that consists of working groups will contribute to the preparation of the national communication and will serve as project steering committee as well.
Short Summary of the Project: The overall objective of the project is to assist the Republic of Türkiye in implementation of obligations under UNFCCC by preparing its Second National Communication (SNC) as well as to strengthen its technical and institutional capacities to help the government fulfill its commitments to the Convention.
What has been the situation?
Türkiye, as a member of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), was included in Annex I and Annex II of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) together with the developed countries when it was adopted in 1992. At the Conference of Parties (COP) 7 in 2001, the name of Türkiye was removed from Annex II of the Convention (Decision 26/CP.7) and Türkiye remained as an Annex I Party of the UNFCCC, in a position that is different than other Annex I countries. Türkiye acceded to the UNFCCC as the 189th Part on 24 May 2004. Under the Convention, all Parties should report on the steps they are taking to implement the Convention.
Since its accession to the UNFCCC, Türkiye has undertaken several activities to comply with its commitments under the Convention; one of which was submission of the First National Communication (FNC) to the UNFCCC in 2007.
UNDP, within the framework of its mission in this Project, supports the process of preparation of this important National Strategy document, through providing coordination, facilitation and rapid access to international
expertise and information.
What is our mission?
The overall objective of the project is to assist the Republic of Türkiye in implementation of obligations under UNFCCC by preparing its Second National Communication (SNC) as well as to strengthen its technical and institutional capacities to help the government fulfill its commitments to the Convention.
How are we doing this?
The project will provide links between climate change studies through the SNC process to the wider national development agenda. The analysis will also combine necessary institutional framework in order to ensure consistency and sustainability of national communication process. To ensure stakeholders involvement and endorsement, the project will be implemented through multi-stakeholder consultations. This project is also aimed to cover the gaps that are identified during the UNFCCC In-Country Review of the First National Communication. The project will apply a ten-pronged approach to develop the SNC:
1. National Circumstances Reviewed and Updated;
2. GHG Inventory Information Reviewed and Updated
3. Policy and Measures Assessed and Analyzed (PaMs);
4. GHG Projections reviewed, updated and links are identified in terms of total PaMs effects (between 2010 and 2050);
5. Review and update vulnerability assessment, climate change impacts and adaptation measures, with more robust institutional and socio-economic impact assessment;
6. Review research and systematic observation completed in terms of climate change;
7. Financial Resources and Technology Transfer;
8. Review of national education, training and public awareness activities in Türkiye;
9. Preparation of the SNC of Türkiye and submission to the UNFCCC.
In addition, public awareness activities and stakeholder consultations will be approached as a cross-cutting issue in the different project components. Therefore, the preparation of the Second National Communication is expected to enhance general awareness and knowledge on climate change-related issues in Türkiye and will help into taking them into account in the process of national planning and policy.
How will Türkiye benefit?
Completion of the INC enhanced the capacity of institutions, raised professional level of experts and decision makers, and improved the management and organization of work in the area of climate change. The preparation of the SNC will further strengthen these capacities and will also provide opportunities for additional analysis and capacity building for Türkiye to participate in the post 2012 climate regime. Furthermore, technical, political, legislative, economic and institutional analysis of the relevant sectors will be completed and will provide the baseline information to develop Türkiye’s climate change road map for post 2012. In addition, the preparation of the Second National Communication is expected to enhance general awareness and knowledge on climate change-related issues in Türkiye and will help into taking them into account in the process of national planning and policy.