Climate change poses a profound threat to people and economic development the world over. The South Caucasus region is no exception. Due to the complex mountainous terrain and harsh climate, the region had to deal with various natural hazards and to develop new practices and livelihoods to adapt to changing environments. Recent national and international studies suggest that hazards will increase in frequency, intensity and geographical spread in future. Action now could reduce climate-related losses by 90 percent, experts say.
“This new initiative marks a transformational shift in our approach to climate hazards. It will directly benefit 1.7 million people living in the basins of Georgia’s 11 biggest rivers,” said Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. “Instead of responding to disasters that have already happened, we will proactively analyse the risks and set up early warning systems to protect people and livelihoods.”
The programme consists of two complementary projects funded by the GCF (USD 27 million) and the SDC (USD 5 million). The SDC-funded project aims to prepare the population for inevitable consequences of climatic change and to foster regional cooperation in the South Caucasus. Switzerland will bring to the project its best expertise including from its own collective experience, as well as lessons learnt accrued during the project’s inception phase and from earlier interventions of the Swiss humanitarian office.