The World Bank, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy (MAFWE) and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MEPP) are working together to address the potential impacts climate change may have on Macedonia’s agricultural sector. As part of the ongoing Program to Reduce the Vulnerability to Climate Change to Agricultural Systems in Europe and Central Asia a draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for Macedonia has been developed which assesses the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture throughout Macedonia. This document also provides a menu of adaptation options which can inform key policies, programs and investments to help increase the resiliency to climate change of the agricultural sector in Macedonia. As part of this program, a high-level National Dissemination and Consensus Building Conference was jointly hosted by the World Bank, MAFWE and MEPP on April 6, 2011 in Skopje to discuss the main findings from this draft report and to build further consensus around priority measures which can be taken to address climate change and agriculture in Macedonia
This high-level conference was attended by more than 70 participants from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, agricultural institutes, the World Bank, IFC, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, farmers and other key stakeholders. Opening remarks were given by Ljupcho Dimovski, Macedonian Minster for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, who praised the work the World Bank has been doing in the realm of agriculture and climate change and stressed the importance of this work in helping Macedonia cope with the impacts of a changing climate. During her opening remarks, Dina Umali-Deininger, Sector Manager for Agriculture and Rural Development in Sustainable Development Department for the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank, said: “Helping our client countries, including Macedonia, prepare for climate change is one of the World Bank’s regional and global priorities. This Conference is a great opportunity for the government and people of Macedonia to prioritize policies, programs and investments for implementation.”
This Conference is the latest step in the program to Reduce the Vulnerability to Climate Change in Macedonian Agricultural Systems, which officially started in Macedonia in May 2010. The World Bank, MAFWE and MEPP have worked closely together during this program and over the last year a National Awareness Raising and Consultation Workshop has been held, two Agriculture and Climate Change Country Notes for Macedonia have been produced, multiple farmer consultations have been conducted throughout the three agro-ecological zones (AEZs) in Macedonia and a draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options for Macedonian agricultural systems has been produced. This draft Impact Assessment and Menu of Adaptation Options was developed in partnership between national experts and farmers and a team of world-class experts from Europe and North America from the Industrial Economics Incorporated (IEc) consulting firm. The draft was discussed with key stakeholders at the national and local levels during the National Dissemination and Consensus Building Conference and key recommendations for policies, programs and investments are now being prioritized and finalized, in full cooperation with MAFWE.
The agricultural sector is extremely important for rural livelihoods in Macedonia, with more than 19 percent of the country’s population employed in agriculture and this sector accounting for 12 percent of GDP. Furthermore, agriculture is highly sensitive to climate, meaning that changes in temperatures or precipitation could have negative impacts on rural populations in Macedonia. Climate projections indicate that temperature may increases in Macedonia while precipitation is projected to become more variable, especially during the crucial summer months. These climatic variations can result in increased extreme climatic events such as floods and droughts with potential decreases in projected crop yields, particularly for such crops as grapes and apples. Projected impacts of climate change highlight the need to develop and implement actions which can increase the resilience of agricultural systems in Macedonia to climate risks in the short and long terms. This Program has worked to identify measures which can have immediate positive impacts on the agricultural systems in Macedonia while simultaneously adapting to future climate projections, creating “win-win” options and recommendations.
This program is being managed by the World Bank and supported by grants from the World Bank, the World Bank-Netherlands Partnership (BNPP), and the Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (TFESSD).