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The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine work together to adapt to climate change in the Dniester River Basin at meeting organized by OSCE and UNECE

Published: 13 December 2013

Kyiv, 13 December 2013 – A draft strategic framework and priorities for international cooperation in adaptation to changing climate conditions in the Dniester Basin are the focus of the eighth meeting of the Working Group on Flood Management and Climate Change Adaptation, organized under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), being held in Kyiv today. The meeting brings together representatives of the environmental ministries, water agencies and other authorities, as well as academia and civil society, from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

According to the newly released fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I, the Dniester Basin, shared by Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, as well as Central Europe in general, will be hit by climate change, with summer temperatures expected to rise by 2°C to 4°C by the end of the century. The most pessimistic scenarios predict a 20 per cent reduction in precipitation in summer. This confirms earlier studies carried out in the basin in the framework of the project “Reducing vulnerability to extreme floods and climate change in the Dniester River Basin”.

On the eve of the event a workshop was held in partnership with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation to discuss the performance of water resources management in view of the threat of future climate changes. A risk assessment of different sectors was also conducted. Flood management, ecosystems and agriculture/irrigation were identified as priority areas requiring adaptation at the transboundary level. Possible adaptation measures such as improvement of the monitoring system and data exchange between the two countries, ecosystem restoration as well as awareness-raising were earmarked as possible response measures.

Both events were organized within the framework of the project “Climate Change and Security in the Dniester River Basin” implemented by UNECE and OSCE. The project seeks to address climate change-related challenges in the Dniester River Basin by increasing the capacity of the riparian countries, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, to implement selected adaptation measures and to enhance transboundary cooperation. This should also contribute to the efforts of both countries to implement their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

This project is an integral part of the wider project, “Climate Change and Security in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus”, implemented by the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) Partner Organizations, OSCE, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNECE and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, with funding from the European Union and the Austrian Development Agency and under the overall lead of OSCE.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.unece.org/env/water/

Or contact: Sonja Koeppel, Dniester Project Focal Point, e-mail: sonja.koeppel@unece.org  

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