CFE for successful adaptation in Georgia
Climate change is one of the most significant contemporary problems for the environment and socioeconomic development worldwide. The geographical location and natural conditions of Georgia – a small country with a complex mountainous landscape, a significant Black Sea coastal zone and semi-arid areas in the Southeast – predetermine the country’s substantial vulnerability to climate change. A higher frequency of natural hazards and other changes occurring during recent decades, such as increasing temperatures, increased frequency of droughts and hail storms, etc., are the observable signs of climate change.
Almost all climatic zones are represented on Georgia’s territory. Such diversity is predetermined by the country’s geographic location between the Black and Caspian seas with complex mountainous terrain. The Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains are the main climate-determining factors in Georgia. The Caucasus prevents the penetration of cold air masses from the north, while the Black Sea causes a distribution of moderate temperatures and large amounts of precipitation. In West Georgia, the climate is humid subtropical, within which seven climate zones and several subzones are identified, depending on their distance from the sea and orography. East Georgia is a moderately humid subtropical area, with nine climate zones, while in South Georgia, the climate is a transitional zone ranging from moderately humid to a dry climate of the mountainous areas, where five climate zones are to be found. Due to these natural variations, the consequences of climate change significantly differ in the regions of Georgia.
Thus, it was not unexpected that through the Climate Forum East II project the main adaptation activities to climate change were spread all over the Georgia. The project, which started in early 2015 enable Georgian Climate Forum Network members to participate in small grant activities and implement small scale adaptation projects in West and East Georgia, particularly in Kakheti, Racha and Ajara.
The main organizations implementing small scale adaptation projects were: EcoVision, Women in Business and WWF-Caucasus. Ecovision implemented six projects, two in each community: Khelvachauri, Dedophlistskaro and Ambrolauri. The main topic of the projects were: installation of energy efficient stoves in kindergartens and awareness raising activities on disaster preparedness for target communities.
The local NGO Women in Business had an opportunity to implement adaptation projects in Ambrolauri with support of WWF-Caucasus. The expert support of the WWF-Caucasus was crucial as the main topic of the project were on biodiversity. The projects: support bee keeping and awareness raising on climate change risks for local biodiversity, were based and logical continuation of the local climate change adaptation plans that were elaborated particularly for biodiversity of Ambrolauri municipality. The plan itself is quite unique as it contains result of climate change future modeling that enables experts to predict what kind of impact can climate change has on the biodiversity of the target municipality.
And the last project that was implemented by Women in Business explains how to adapt to heat waves in urban setting, particularly in Batumi, which is popular touristic resort for summer time and it is crucial to have an initial plan for the city in order to adapt to the threat of the heat waves and avoid health related consequences during the summer.
Overall Climate Forum East II was quite successfully implemented in Georgia, and all small scale initiatives have been successfully accepted by the local government bodies with hope to the further continuation.
Picture on the top: Promoting bee-keeping and alternative livelihood, Ambrolauri
Pictures below: Energy efficient stoves for kindergartens, Dedophlistskaro; Promoting bee-keeping and alternative livelihood, Ambrolauri