Climate Change in South Caucasus: Hazards and Solutions

Climate Change in South Caucasus: Hazards and Solutions


What impact can climate change have on the countries of the South Caucasus, and what strategies are being adopted by countries in the region to adapt to that change? These issues were discussed during the workshop on "The Needs and Opportunities for Adaptation to Climate Change in the South Caucasus" held in Tbilisi in late February. The workshop was attended by the representatives of civil society and journalists from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

Climate Change In Georgia

Presenting the situation in Georgia as a result of climate change, Green Alternative NGO representative Mariam Davidze mentioned that there is a lack of water in the eastern part of Georgia, whereas there is a high level of humidity, heavy rainfall, floods in the west. According to her, Georgia is in a very vulnerable position on the International Climate Index, ranking 101st out of 180 countries. According to her, Azerbaijan and Armenia are in a lower risk zone.

Climate Change Expert Medea Inashvili informed that in 2016 Georgia's greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 17 megatons, out of which carbon dioxide emissions makes up 9.47 megatons. Georgia plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2030.

 Impact of Climate Changes:

• Increase in the Black Sea level

• Heat waves

• Soil erosion, salination

• Desertification of semi-arid lands

• Forest degradation in Svaneti Region

• Flood intensification: increase in river level in Kakheti Region

• Glacier melt

• Wind intensification

A number of projects have been implemented and are still being implemented in Georgia with the financing of international organizations to adapt the country to climate changes.

Events planned for 2020 are as follows:

• Preparation of National Adaptation Plan

• Development of project documentation based on recommendations of irrigation system design

• Finalization of the design document on forests.

Climate Change in Armenia

Victoria Burnazyan, the expert of EcoLur Informational NGO, noted that Armenia's share in the "global basket" of greenhouse gas emissions makes up 0.014 percent.

In 2016, carbon dioxide emissions accounted to 10,283.94 gigagrams. Armenia has committed to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 633 million tonnes over 35 years.

Consequences of Climate Change in Armenia

• The temperature rise in Armenia is higher than the global average. Only from 1929 to 2016 did the average annual temperature rise by 1.23 degrees (compared to 1961-1990).

• A decrease in precipitation has been recorded in Armenia. Particularly in 1935-2016, it decreased by 9%.

• Over 77.4% of Armenia's territory faces the risk of desertification.

• In 1975-2016, the number of dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena has increased by 20%.

• Today, the forest area in the territory of Armenia is 7-10%, while the optimum forest area should be 20.1% for the climate change in Armenia.

Adaptation Avents in Armenia

The National Adaptation Program is being implemented with the support of the Green Climate Fund.

With the support of the Adaptation Fund, “Management of Closed Quarry Wastes and Floods in Artik Town”, "Increasing the Adaptation Potential of Communities and Ecosystems in Specially Protected Areas of Nature of Armenia", "Involving Future Leaders, Creating Digital Educational Module on Adaptavity Skill Issues for Young People and Best Experience" pilot projects have been implemented.

“Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts on Mountainous and Forest Ecosystems of Armenia” project has been implemented with the support of the Government of Armenia and Global Ecological Fund.

Climate Change in Azerbaijan

 As of 2017, greenhouse gas emissions in Azerbaijan made 44 million 72 thousand tons of carbon dioxide, 43 million 864 thousand tons of nitrous oxide and 44 million 90 thousand tons of methane. The country has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy, oil and gas industry, agriculture, waste management and transport by 35 % by 2030 as compared to 1990.

Problems arising from climate change in Azerbaijan:

• Increased risk of natural disasters (floods, landslides, hurricanes, drought, etc.)

• Reduction of agricultural productivity

• Sea level rise, coastal salinization, drinking water shortage, reduction in fish stocks and diversity

• Extreme heats

• Glacier melting and reduction in river flows

To prevent these negative consequences, Azerbaijan has taken a number of steps, including:

• Increasing the share of renewable energy sources,

 • Reducing losses in gas distribution systems,

• Increasing water use efficiency in all areas,

• Introducing, identifying additional water sources,

• Use of the hydrological cycle of water, including groundwater,

• Construction of small hydropower plants on mountain rivers,

• Construction of new reservoirs,

• Introducing new varieties of plants that can meet the requirements of biodiversity and climate change,

• Crop insurance,

 • Continuity and expansion of soil erosion and salination prevention measures,

 • Establishment of small processing plants in villages,


14:03 March 19, 2020


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