Turkey's Second National Communication - In Progress

Introduction

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

Turkey 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) development gap between the eastern and southeastern provinces and the rest of the country.

To view progress on Turkey's SNC click here.

Project Details

Turkey 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, Turkey 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 Turkey compared to other countries in Europe and CIS. Landslides and floods have accounted for 25% and 10%, respectively, of Turkey’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.

Turkey’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 Turkey (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, Turkey 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.

Source: MDGF-1680: Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change. Accessed on 23 July, 2010 at: http://sdnhq.undp.org/opas/en/proposals/suitable/176

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 Turkey 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?

Turkey, 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 Turkey was removed from Annex II of the Convention (Decision 26/CP.7) and Turkey remained as an Annex I Party of the UNFCCC, in a position that is different than other Annex I countries. Turkey 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, Turkey 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 Turkey 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 Turkey; 
9. Preparation of the SNC of Turkey 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 Turkey and will help into taking them into account in the process of national planning and policy. 

How will Turkey 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 Turkey 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 Turkey’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 Turkey and will help into taking them into account in the process of national planning and policy.

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Government of Turkey
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Project Status: 
Under Implementation
Location: 
Urban
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000

Key Results and Outputs

  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

Monitoring and Evaluation

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts

UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
UNDP
Dr. Öznur Oğuz Kuntasal
Project Manager
UNDP
Umut Oğur
Project Support Associate