In-depth Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change and Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Measures in the Carpathian Region (CarpathCC)

In-depth Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change and Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Measures in the Carpathian Region (CarpathCC)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

EC DG Environment, Directorate D: Water, Marine Environment and Chemicals

Overall project value

EUR 300,000

Date

December 2011 – December 2013

Beneficiary countries

Czech Republic | Hungary | Poland | Romania | Serbia | Slovakia

Number of staff

16

Preliminary assessments of potential climate change impacts in the Carpathian region identified key vulnerabilities as a lack of water due to increasing drought tendency; increasing frequency of heat waves; and changing flood patterns. To address these vulnerabilities requires infrastructure investments, ecosystem-based adaptation measures and actions leading to the greater resilience of societies.

The CarpathCC project aimed to assess the vulnerability of the Carpathian region (including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia) to climate change in combination with other anthropogenic pressures. Specific goals were to:

  • compile projections for floods, droughts and changes in snow cover;
  • estimate seasonal shifts in water balance as a consequence of precipitation, evaporation and hydrometeorological elements;
  • assess changes in the water-regulating capacity of ecosystems and the water-retention conditions of soils;
  • assess the potential impacts of climate change on the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Flood Directive, including the possibility to achieve good ecological status in river systems under climate-induced changes in temperature, water flow and water quantity;
  • assess the risk of landslides due to changing precipitation patterns and flood events; and
  • assess the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and related production systems, as well as adaptation measures in relation to the spatial and temporal distribution of water resources.

The project was divided into six modules, based on special requests (SR) issued by the European Commission:

  • Module SR1: In-depth study on the key climate change threats and impacts on water resources
  • Module SR2: In-depth study on the impacts of climate change threats on ecoystems
  • Module SR3: In-depth study on the impacts of climate change on ecosystem-based production systems
  • Module SR4: In-depth study on adaptation measures
  • Module SR5: Supporting stakeholder interaction
  • Module SR6: Integral vulnerability assessments in focal areas

As leader of the eight-member consortium implementing the project, the REC contributed in particular to Task 4, which involved:

  • reporting on trends and criteria related to the switch to climate-adjusted values for reference conditions in the assessment of the ecological quality of water bodies;
  • mapping and reporting on the most affected stretches of river;
  • compiling an assessment report on the implementation of the WFD and Floods Directive and providing recommendations regarding criteria and indicators, taking into consideration the impacts of climate change; and
  • organising stakeholder consultations on the feasibility of the proposed adaptation measures.

The REC also contributed to activities under other project tasks:

  • fine-tuning the scope and in-depth assessment in close cooperation with the Steering Committee and the EC-funded CARPIVIA project (Carpathian Integrated Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change and Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Measures);
  • estimating pan-Carpathian historical trends and projections for floods, droughts, heat waves and snow cover and compiling an inventory of information on water temperature increase and water levels in mountain lakes;
  • compiling Carpathian-wide projections of the seasonal and intra-annual changes in water balance and creating an inventory of potential climate change impacts on soil;
  • producing future landslide and mudflow maps for the Carpathian region; and
  • compiling an integrated assessment of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and ecosystem-related production systems and adaptation measures.

Full details of the project modules and activities can be found on the project website.

  • Assessment
  • Drafting of reports
  • Data collection