“Climate Change Risks, Vulnerabilities, Impacts, and Adaptation: Agriculture and Water sectors in Armenia”, a 3-day webinar was held from December 14-16. The event was organized by ICARE foundation with the support of the RA Ministry of Economy in the frame of UNDP-GCF Armenia’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project.
RA Deputy Minister of Economy Arman Khojoyan stressed the importance of jointly addressing challenges of climate change, planning and implementing adaptation measures, and welcomed the efforts aimed at the successful implementation of the NAP project.
“I am pleased to note that "The Strategy of the Main Directions Ensuring Economic Development in Agricultural Sector of the Republic of Armenia for 2020-2030" is based on 7 principles, one of which is adaptation to climate change, resilience, environmental sustainability. According to this principle, measures should be taken aimed at climate change awareness raising, adaptation, mitigation, sustainable use of resources, development of the agricultural sector should be ensured by applying the best practices of water and land resources management. This is the turning point where the strategy adopted by the government becomes a vital necessity. Indeed, challenges we face now are very serious and urgent, however, I believe that through joint efforts it will be possible to use our full potential and ensure tangible results. If years ago, when talking about climate change, we had to convince people that the issue of climate change was quite pressing and appropriate preventive measures and adaptation policy were necessary to be ready to face these changes, today climate change impacts are obvious, noticeable to all of us. In this regard, I thank you for such an active participation. I am convinced that this seminar and similar projects initiated in future will significantly contribute to the implementation of our common agricultural strategy," said Deputy Minister Khojoyan.
UNDP Climate Change Programme Coordinator Diana Harutyunyan emphasized the importance of the support and active participation of the Ministry of Economy in NAP project activities, especially in the context of agriculture sector being particularly vulnerable to climate change.
“The agricultural sector is indeed the most vulnerable to climate change, and I would like to thank you Mr. Khojoyan, for prioritizing and attending this event. Following the creation of the national adaptation plan and its final approval by the government, NAP project will as well support the process of delineating the issues included in the agriculture sector strategy, the development of a toolkit, and the implementation of that toolkit. About 90 percent of our communities are rural and the well-being of these communities depends on the income received from agricultural activities. Climate change has a greater impact on outdoor activities, particularly agriculture, and steps currently taken to support agriculture in Armenia definitely take into account the factor of climate change. Drip irrigation systems, anti-hail nets, greenhouses, the introduction of a more productive livestock culture, refrigeration systems, are inherently adaptive measures. One of the most important adaptation measures mentioned in all the instruments of the Climate Change Convention is the introduction of an insurance system.
In our country, unfortunately, this process is progressing slowly, there are complications, benefits this measure provides are not yet fully realized, but it seems to me that economies involved in the pilot phase will benefit from this system, and it will develop. I would like to note that agriculture sector is also prioritized in terms of providing financial support through climate financing instruments. In the frame of NAP project regional adaptation plans will be developed for 2 provinces, the number of provinces might be increased, if possible. In these regional adaption plans, great emphasis will be put on the methods of state support to these provinces, possible mechanisms for receiving support from international financial institutions will as well be addressed. Accurately formulated policy and properly shaped investment field will yield financing opportunities,” said Mrs. Harutyunyan, emphasizing, in the context of climate change, the importance of fully utilizing soil resources and maintaining their fertility, as means to boosting carbon sequestration.
Climate change challenges, vulnerabilities, risks, applicable adaptation measures in RA agriculture and water sectors, as well as identified institutional gaps and improvement proposals were presented and discussed with participants.
The event hosted over 100 stakeholders, including representatives of Ministries of Environment and Economy, Local self-government bodies, universities and international organizations.