Climate Change and Security in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus

Climate Change and Security in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus

Source of funding

European Commission, Austrian Development Cooperation

Name of client/donor

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Overall project value

EUR 155,376


April 2013 – July 2016

Beneficiary countries

Eastern Europe | Central Asia | South Caucasus

Number of staff


The project was implemented by the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) under the overall coordination of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Activities built on the past and ongoing work of the OSCE and other ENVSEC partners (UNECE, UNEP, UNDP and the REC) in the field of climate change. The project was funded mainly by the European Union's Instrument for Stability and co-funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

The overall objective of the project was to support regional stability through transboundary cooperation on adaptation to the consequences of climate change. Specific goals were to:

  • enhance understanding and raise awareness of climate change as a security challenge and of the need for regional and transboundary cooperation on adaptation to climate change in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus; and
  • enhance the capacities of national and local stakeholders to anticipate, prevent and mitigate effectively and in a timely manner potential security risks resulting from climate change.

The project aimed to achieve the following four specific outcomes:

  • Participatory assessments of the security impacts of climate change produced for each region.
  • Information on the security impacts of climate change and required adaptation measures produced and disseminated in each region.
  • A pilot transboundary climate change adaptation strategy developed for the Dniester River basin and endorsed by the relevant authorities, together with an implementation plan.
  • Key stakeholders from all three regions trained on the security impacts of climate change, as well as on conflict prevention measures related to climate change adaptation.

Within the framework of the project the REC led the training component. The REC team was responsible for:

  • developing the training syllabus and materials;
  • conducting the training session; and
  • evaluating and reassessing the training.

The training materials summarised the results and outcomes of the other project activities and the methodologies are replicable in other regions and transboundary basins. The training materials were designed to motivate beneficiaries in the pilot basin and participating countries in the regions to use the outcomes of earlier activities as decision-making and long-term planning tools, considering the impacts of climate change, climate change hotspots and adaptation as security issues in the environmental, economic and social sense. One two-and-a-half-day training was organised for representatives from each of the three regions, including from the pilot basin. The target group comprised government officials at regional and national level, as well as civil society organisations. The training covered the following aspects:

  • the unified methodology for a regional climate risk assessment, including guidelines on how to identify adaptation security hotspots and how climate change related security issues can be prevented;
  • the preparation and implementation of an adaptation strategy, with a focus on sharing lessons learned and positive and negative experiences related to climate change and security issues and how vulnerable groups are affected; and
  • group work, consultations with experts and networking.

In addition to its leading role in the training component, the REC also contributed to the production of the three regional assessments of climate and security issues and hotspots in the framework of the project's assessment component. These assessments were carried out using a participatory approach involving government organisations, research institutes and civil society groups in national and regional consultations.

  • Assessment
  • Awareness raising
  • Capacity building
  • Cooperation
  • Training and knowledge transfer