Reducing security risks in SEE

Podgorica hosts national training under ENVSEC Initiative

November 18, 2013 | By Maria Beatriz Rosell Perez

DSC04212_copyThe access and use of natural resources can trigger conflict between people within states and across sub-regions. However, natural resources can also provide a bridge for conflict prevention and peace building. Sometimes these are most profound entry points for cooperation.

One of the activities within the second phase of the ENVSEC Initiative is to build human and institutional capacities for vulnerability and impact assessment, as well as raising stakeholder and general public awareness of climate change and adaptation. In the last few years Montenegro has implemented projects combating climate change, and it has developed relevant documents on the topic of adaptation to climate change; nonetheless, there are still gaps concerning institutional and human capacities to conduct impact and vulnerability studies.

DSC04218_copyTaking these aspects into consideration within the framework of the ENVSEC Initiative activities, the REC organised a national training in Podgorica, Montenegro on November 4, 2013. The aim of this training, titled 'Vulnerability assessments addressing security risks connected to adaptation to climate change in Montenegro', was to build capacity to conduct impact assessments on climate change for local authorities, as well as for authorities of national parks that share borders with countries that could potentially represent a risk to Montenegro's security.

More than 20 participants assisted to the training, representing the following institutions: the City of Podgorica; the municipalities of Berane, Danilovgrad,  Herceg Novi, Kolasin, Kotor, Niksic, Pluzine, Pljevlja, Tivat and Zabljak; national park authorities from  Durmitor and Skadar lakes; representatives from the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, headed by the State Secretary of the Ministry; and representatives from the Institute for Hydrometeorology and Seismology of Montenegro, EPA-Montenegro, the University of Montenegro and University of Donja Gorica.

DSC04259_copyClimate change conditions and Montenegrin policies were presented at the beginning of the event, and an early warning system for extreme weather conditions was also introduced at this time. Another presentation during the first half of the event focused on influence of climate change on biodiversity and the response through local biodiversity actions plans.

The second half of the event comprised a training session about how to integrate climate change adaptation strategies into decision-making processes. Also discussed was stakeholder involvement by sector in the adaptation process within both a European and international context. The importance of vulnerability assessments as a central part of the adaptation process was pointed out during the session, and examples of how to assess vulnerability in various regions (Africa, Europe and Central America) were reviewed. The identification of feasible short-term and long-term adaptation measures were discussed, as were opportunities for Montenegro to access financial resources for climate change adaptation.

The national training and further activities of the project "Building capacities for comprehensive quantitative and qualitative vulnerability and adaptation assessment and raising awareness of stakeholders and population on climate change adaptation" fall under the  ENVSEC Second Phase of the Programme Transforming Environmental and Security Risks into Cooperation in the South East Europe. Financing for these efforts comes from the Austrian Development Agency.