20 August 2020

Results of the “Armenia assessment of agricultural sector vulnerability to climate change and climate change adaptation: legal and institutional framework” study were summarized during a webinar held on August 13. The assessment was implemented by “CARD Agroservice” in the frame of UNDP-GCF Armenia’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project.

Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Ms. Mihaela Stojkoska welcomed the participants of the event. She emphasized the importance of implementing adaptation measures in the agriculture sector for the overall resilience towards climate change challenges and sustainable economic growth of the country.

“The notion that around the globe agriculture is one of the fields that are most vulnerable to climate change is evident. Climate change influences this sector in many different ways. The changes in temperature and precipitation, as well as weather and climate extremes are influencing crop yields, livestock productivity, availability of water that we need for irrigation, processes of agricultural products and of course as well transportation and storage conditions. Overall value and supply chains in the agriculture practices are affected by climate change. When we remember that agriculture is one of the key sectors in Armenia’s economy and has strategic importance for the country’s GDP, safeguarding agriculture practices and adapting them to these climate change effects is, I dare say, at the level of national strategic priorities” Ms. Stojkoska mentioned in her speech.

The Deputy Minister of Environment Irina Ghaplanyan stressed the importance of NAP project and the guidelines indicated in studies carried out within its framework for the process of building resilience towards climate change and adapting to challenges it poses.

“When talking about climate change and its challenges for the agriculture sector, we need to continuously tackle the subject of food security, thus making vital climate change issues more tangible and perceptible to the public. We are facing very serious challenges, especially in the case of Armenia, where agriculture is seen as an important economic sector with great potential. We have a lot to do here to understand how we can adapt to climate change properly and effectively, both from the perspective of environmental protection and in terms of economic development. As you know, Armenia has unfortunately already registered a 1.3 degree rise in temperature: at the same time we see a 9 percent decrease in precipitation. In other words, Armenia is already facing a climate change crisis. In this light, the development of such documents, planned in the frame of NAP project, is essential as they will be reviewed not only by coordinators of agriculture field of the Ministry of Environment but the Government in general, as the sustainability and adaptability of agriculture sector are important in terms of food security and are considered a vital strategic issue for the Republic of Armenia” noted the Deputy Minister in her speech.

The webinar was attended as well by the Deputy Minister of Economy Arman Khojoyan, who stressed the importance of increasing adaptation to the effects of climate change in the agriculture sector. He also confirmed the interest of the Ministry towards Climate Smart Agriculture programs and approaches.

“It’s worth noting that no country, rich or poor, big or small, can avoid the irreversible consequences of the climate change. As Mrs. Ghaplanyan mentioned in her speech, our security, food safety and the stable future of next generations is endangered. However, we can still change the situation, because the problems that have arisen as a result of human activity can be solved through our collective efforts.

I am pleased to note that the 2020- 2030 strategy, summarizing major directions ensuring the economic development of the RA agricultural sector, is based on seven main principles, one of which is the climate change adaptation, resilience, and environmental stability. According to this principle, it is necessary to implement measures for climate change awareness raising and sustainable use of resources ensuring the development of the agricultural sector and applying best practices of water and land resources management. This is the turning point where the strategy adopted by the government becomes a vital necessity,” said the Deputy Minister in his speech.

During the webinar, the general outline of climate change challenges in Armenia’s agriculture sector, international benchmark of Climate Smart Agricultural policies and practices, as well as climate change risks, vulnerabilities, institutional gaps in crop production and animal husbandry and recommendation for improvement were also presented to the attention of the participants.

Around 40 stakeholders participated in the event including representatives of Ministries of Environment and Economy, state bodies, universities and international organizations.

Materials presented at the webinar can be found here.

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