Центрально-Азиатский Институт прикладных Исследований Земли (ЦАИИЗ)

Центрально-Азиатский Институт прикладных Исследований Земли (ЦАИИЗ)
Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG)

Participation of the Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG) in the development of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP)

The Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG) is participating in the development of the National Adaptation Plan under the UNDP project "Vulnerability Assessment of Four Priority Sectors and Development of Sectoral Adaptation Plans at National and Provincial Levels".

To develop the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and sectoral adaptation plans, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic has identified four priority sectors and responsible institutions:

  1. Disaster and Emergency Management- Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic (MES KR)
  2. Healthcare - Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic (MoH KR)
  3. Biodiversity Conservation - Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology, and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic (MNRETS KR)
  4. Agriculture and Irrigation - Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic (MA KR)

Three climate-vulnerable areas have been identified for integrating adaptation measures into development plans: Osh, Batken, and Jalal-Abad regions.

During the preparation of the UNDP documentary film about the NAP development process, interviews were conducted with experts involved from CAIAG.

Below are excerpts from the interviews:

Alexander Temirbekov, expert on climate change and climate reporting: Global warming poses risks to the Sustainable Development Goals in the UN's Agenda 2030. For example, the first strategic goal is the widespread eradication of poverty in all its forms. Due to their vulnerability to climate change, it is primarily the impoverished segments of the population that suffer, thus delaying the achievement of this goal. Hence, the significance of studying climate changes and developing measures to adapt to these changes.

The scientific substantiation of the climate change is conducted by the Inter-agency Panel on Climate Change, which, in turn, is divided into three groups. The first group specifically deals with the scientific substantiation of ongoing processes.

In our country, the only body that deals with climate is Kyrgyzhydromet. It makes observations, but does not have the resources and human capacity to analyze these observations. In Kyrgyzstan, the main gap in our climate science is that there are only a few specialists in the country who can use global virtual models.

And this is our task to build up climatic, adaptive capacity to establish a system of observations of climate and its changes, not only to keep historical series, but also to model future development.

Bolot Moldobekov, Сo-Director of the Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences, and an expert on emergency situations:

The National Adaptation Plan of this scale, with international support, is being developed in the country for the first time. Prior to this, various sector-specific documents focused on climate change adaptation were adopted. For instance, the Ministry of Emergency Situations developed the Comprehensive Protection Concept for the Population and Territory of the Kyrgyz Republic from Emergencies for 2018-2030 and a plan for its implementation, which are directly related to the risk reduction, including natural disasters caused by the impacts of climate change.

What will the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) represent?

Bolot Moldobekov: The National Adaptation Plan is a strategic document. As part of the Paris Agreement, all countries that signed it committed to take adaptation measures to mitigate climate change, in accordance with the global adaptation goal formulated in it. Basically, today every country should have two main climate policy documents - adaptation and mitigation.

Each country has its own goals and objectives for sustainable development and national security. The National Adaptation Plan is one of these strategic documents. It will contain measures to ensure security and reduce economic risks from the negative impacts of climate change.

Alexander Temirbekov: The National Adaptation Plan actually serves multiple purposes. On one hand, it's a crucial document for national climate policy, and on the other, it's a kind of business plan under which a country can mobilize resources from international sources. But the starting point should be identifying the country's vulnerabilities, sectors, specific regions, settlements, households, and individuals in the face of climate change. Simultaneously, there's a need to increase the understanding of the issue and the tasks ahead of us.

Since the National Adaptation Plan functions as an investment document, residents of Osh, Batken, and Jalal-Abad regions, upon receiving Regional Adaptation Plans, will have the opportunity to prepare their local projects by referencing to this document, thereby increasing their chances of receiving climate finance. For example, through improved access to drinking water and sanitation or better health services.

Expert in Biodiversity Sector, Venara Surappayeva:

Biodiversity is a living thing, just like human beings. And if heat affects us, it also affects biodiversity. We know that biodiversity includes genetic, ecosystem and species diversity. Genetic diversity in nature is the gene pool of plants, animals, fungi, etc. Ecosystem diversity includes glaciers, grasslands, forests, water resources, etc. Species diversity - snow leopard, Tien Shan spruce, juniper, argali, etc.

Kyrgyzstan is a region with relatively little forested area; nevertheless, we can contribute to the global fight against climate change, but it requires the utmost attention to forest conservation.

Let us consider our spruce forests in Naryn and Issyk-Kul oblasts. Studies of the Research and Production Center for Forest Research named after P.A. Gan under the IB NAS KR show that there is a shift in the lower boundary of forests due to the increase in temperature. Roughly speaking, it's gotten too warm for the spruce at its current level, so it's moving upwards, but at the top, there are only rocks, no soil. The same situation is observed with junipers. In the lower zone, we have the Zeravshan juniper, in the middle - the semi-spherical juniper, and at the top - the Turkestan juniper. Currently, there's a shifting of the lower boundary of the Zeravshan juniper.

According to the Institute of Forestry, if the temperature rises by 1˚ Celsius, we might lose up to 3% of spruce forests and 20% of Zeravshan junipers. However, if the temperature rises by 4˚ Celsius, it could result in a loss of 40% of spruce forests and 80% of juniper forests.

The Biodiversity Sector Capacity Assessment showed that there are very few adaptation activities in strategic country documents and they need to be updated. For example, the Biodiversity Conservation Priorities are expiring and a new document should include an adaptation component.

Moreover, our legislation lacks provisions for conserving biodiversity through the lens of adapting to climate change.

Let's take our mountain industry, which is a priority for the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, and on this basis, it clears and alters the environment. Legislation must include provisions for this sector to implement adaptation measures for conserving biodiversity.

Expert in the Agriculture and Irrigation Sector, Natalya Kilyazova:

Global warming affects agriculture in several ways. Firstly, the rise in temperature leads to changes in climate zones, impacting the choice of agricultural crops for cultivation. Many plants have specific temperature requirements for normal growth, and climate change may limit opportunities for their cultivation.

Secondly, climate change impacts precipitation patterns. Increased or conversely, decreased precipitation levels can significantly affect agricultural lands. Insufficient rainfall leads to drought, resulting in complete crop loss. On the other hand, excessive rainfall can cause issues like flooding or soil erosion.

Thirdly, changes in temperature regimes can contribute to the proliferation of certain pests and the spread of diseases, which can lead to decreased crop yields.

Overall, climate change is having a major impact on agriculture, so resilience and adaptation to variable climatic conditions are becoming increasingly important for agricultural production.

- Will the National Adaptation Plan, currently being developed with UNDP support, help address this issue?

- Agriculture and irrigation have been singled out as one of the four priority sectors, which will undoubtedly improve agricultural policy in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Of great importance is the capacity assessment of the Agriculture and Irrigation sector conducted within the framework of the NAP development project, which made it possible to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the sector. Most importantly, the assessment showed that the sector has the potential to adapt to climate change, for example, in the category of long-term vision and planning it reaches 60%.

However, in general, the staff of ministries of agriculture are quite new and need more comprehensive training, taking time to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, experience and competencies to reliably plan and successfully implement adaptation.

Healthcare Sector Expert, Ainash Sharshenova:

Considering that over 90% of Kyrgyzstan's territory is comprised of mountains, climate hazards can impact the health of the population living in mountainous conditions.

The risks of cardiovascular and infectious diseases increase. If access to quality drinking water is disrupted by mudslides or landslides, it creates a favorable environment for bacteria, chemical and biological agents, which increases the risks of infectious, parasitic and non-infectious diseases.

With climate change, there may be cases of diseases that were not previously observed in our country or were not registered globally at such altitudes. Warming increases the level of geographical zoning, leading to diseases like tick-borne encephalitis, fevers, various infections. We're not just talking about infectious diseases but also non-infectious ones; the number of injuries and poisonings also increases.

According to research, the most vulnerable categories are the most exposed to climate risks - young children, pregnant women and lactating mothers, people in the older age groups of 65-70 years and older, people with chronic diseases or those who are frequently and long-term sick. Their immune systems are already weakened, and they will be the first to react to the adverse environmental conditions caused by climate change.

Today, health issues are included in national strategic documents and country programs. There are certain adaptation contributions of the Kyrgyz Republic, which, along with other six sectors, include health care. Currently, with the support of UNDP, a National Adaptation Plan is being developed for four priority sectors, one of which is healthcare.

The main goal of the healthcare sector's National Adaptation Plan is to reduce the impact of climate hazards on human health and develop measures that will contribute to mitigating these risks. Here, we've outlined three major directions. Firstly, to decrease the population's vulnerability to non-communicable diseases, which occupy leading positions among all illnesses. Secondly, to reduce the risks of infectious and parasitic diseases.

At the same time, there is a task to strengthen the healthcare service to provide timely services to the population. We need a healthcare system prepared for a changing climate, with corresponding infrastructure – hospitals, clinics, and outpatient facilities. In addition, we need human resources, availability of doctors and paramedical staff, which plays an important role in providing timely and quality medical services.

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