Concrete steps for climate change adaptation

01 Dec 2010

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Projects that are being implemented within the framework of the Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in the Seyhan River Basin Grants Programme came together in a meeting organized in Ankara.

New Horizons - Through the Final Grantees Meeting that was held on 9-11 November 2010; the process of establishing and implementing the grants programme in the Seyhan River Basin, the results of the pilot projects and experiences gained were shared with the participants. The meeting was attended by almost 75 people including the representatives of various ministries as well as the beneficiaries of the grants programme in Kayseri, Niğde and Adana.

In his speech, Alper Acar, Regional Project Coordinator of the UN Joint Programme stated that the Seyhan River Basin is like an open laboratory due to its rich biodiversity and that the socio-economic structure, climate change adaptation capacity, livelihoods and agricultural practices of the basin vary depending on the geographical diversity. Acar indicated that the programme was established with a scaling approach and a spatial viewpoint and that the grants programme is a model demonstrating the climate change adaptation approach at the basin level. Moreover Acar also added that existing studies carried out in the Seyhan River Basin were benefitted from during the establishment phase of the grants programme and that in order to enhance and complement these studies, other studies such as a Stakeholder Analysis, a Livelihood Analysis and an Ecosystems Analysis in the basin were carried out. These analyses contributed to the formulation of a solid grants programme that would meet local needs.

In order to bring together various expertises from several institutions at the basin scale, a systems approach was applied. Using this approach, themes to be financed under the grants programme were identified which are Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Quality, Public Health, Disaster Risk Management, Natural Resources Management, Infrastructure and Basin and Coastal Areas Management.

In the context of the Grants Programme 18 pioneer pilot projects each of them aiming to enhance adaptive capacity and ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals that are threatened with changing climatic conditions were supported under the headings of water and natural resource management, increasing agricultural productivity, food security, identifying disaster risks, forestry, use of alternative irrigation techniques, fisheries, animal husbandry, conservation of ecosystem services, sea level rise, public health and raising awareness. A total of approximately 2 million US dollars were distributed as grants to 18 projects of which 12 are in Adana, 4 are in Kayseri and 2 are in Niğde.

Through this initiative while scientific and technical studies were outreached to the public, an opportunity for local communities to take initial measures in regions where climate change risks will be felt more gravely in the near future was created.

The Grants Programme implemented under the context of the UN Joint Programme on Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change aimed to enhance climate change adaptation capacity in the basin while contributing to the identification of regional adaptation priorities. It is envisaged that the experiences gained through the grants programme will also contribute to the development of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. 55 thousand people making up approximately 2,5 per cent of the total population of the basin were reached through the Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change in the Seyhan River Basin Grants Programme. Diverse target groups were informed on the impacts of climate change, the potential damages to livelihoods and adaptation measures that can be taken and their knowledge and awareness were enhanced on the possible risks they may encounter in the coming decades.

The impact of climate change on animal husbandry was presented using an econometric model for the first time. Modern irrigation systems were installed for demonstration purposes in more than two thousand decares of land. Moreover a water-powered pump, a climate station, an ultrasonic flow meter, two flow monitoring stations and an aflatoxine laboratory were established in the basin in the context of the projects that were supported. Adaptation to climate change was integrated into a wetland management plan for the first time. The impacts of climate change to forest lands were studied and adaptation results that can be included into forest management plans were achieved. Through the projections that were realized, knowledge on how water resources, forests, ecosystem services and animal husbandry in the basin will be affected in the future was obtained.

The UN Joint Programme on Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change aims to enhance capacity for managing climate change risks that can threaten the development of Turkey’s rural and coastal areas. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the leading executive institution responsible for the technical components of the Joint Programme. The Joint Programme is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as other relevant ministries are providing technical support for the implementation of the programme. The Joint Programme is being financially supported by the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) transferred to the United Nations by the Government of Spain.

Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change UN Joint programme was launched under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and UNDP in 2008 to facilitate Turkey’s adaptation to the effects of climate change, combat these effects, mitigate uncertainties and vulnerabilities and establish necessary strategies. Funded by the Government of Spain’s Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund, the Joint Programme comprises of objectives and activities in the Seyhan River Basin to support climate change adaptation efforts at the local level. Other UN Agencies in the programme are UNIDO, FAO and UNEP.

Article written by Joint Programme Communications Expert Deniz Tapan.