CC Adaptation in the Carpathians

Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Carpathian Mountains

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  • Project duration: November 2017 - January 2018
  • Project status:
    Finished

The “Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Carpathian Mountains” has analyzed any available national and sectoral policy or strategy, addressing the most pressing climate change related risks for the Carpathian Mountains. Therein the National Adaptation Strategies are the main policies for climate change adaptation. Furthermore, there are policies or strategies in force that integrate measures for climate change adaptation within the sectors of: water, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity and tourism. Although the already realized adaptation measures generate positive societal and socioeconomic effects, there are still gaps to cope with concerning the proposed impacts key hazards due to climate change. Policies have to be developed to prepare the adaptation to future changes. As the current policies are in general more suited to cope just with the currently existing conditions, they are often not appropriate to cope with the proposed consequences and impacts due to climate change. Concerning the EU-member states of the Carpathians, the progress of adaptation is similar, due to the European harmonization of laws and common European guidelines. This situation varies in the Ukraine and the EU applicant Serbia, where low financial capacities for adaptation measures reflects the current reality.

The Carpathian Mountains stretch across Central and Eastern Europe and play an important role in shaping the surrounding climate. Over the past decades, summer temperatures have increased in some parts by more than 2,4°C accompanied with a raising frequency and intensity of heat waves. Less warming is expected in higher altitudes and in the mountains. Furthermore, an increase in winter precipitation and changes in snow cover are predicted. On the regional level, periods with less precipitation amount in summer will result in lower river flows affecting frequent drought periods and water scarcity. Climate Change will also in the Carpathians impact the shortened snow seasons and the raise of the snow-line which threatens winter tourism, but prolongs the vegetation period. Earlier snowmelt reduces the supply of drinking water during summer, resulting in lower river discharge.
Frequent hazard like droughts increase the risk of wildfires and the vulnerability to pest diseases. The heavy rains from more intensive, short-duration precipitation will lead to increased risk of floods, erosion and landslides which affects livelihoods and settlements.
Thus, concerning these outlined consequences due to climate change impacts, this “Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Carpathian Mountains” represents a synthesis of adaptation measures on climate change for the Carpathians and their ability to indicate the vulnerabilities towards key climate hazards and risks. These findings assign the priorities that have to be addressed by the national adaptation policies to prevent from economic and livelihood losses, impaired ecosystem functioning and the loss of species. Furthermore, the report examines how the national and sectorial measures respond to these key risks. Thereof emerged for each Carpathian Country a list with the already considered national and sectoral adaptation measures in the Carpathians and the detected gaps not covered yet.

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UNEP Vienna

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