CLIMAPROOF - Enhancing Environmental Performance Through Climate Proofing of Infrastructure Investments in the Western Balkan Region from an EU integration perspective
The project aims to improve the capacities of the countries of the Western Balkans countries concerning climate proofing investments in the infrastructure sector. This shall be achieved through integration of EU best practices with regards to climate proofing and green infrastructure in the development of road infrastructure.
The implementation of this project will result in increased technical capacities of the relevant national authorities in the field of climate change adaptation, specifically climate proofing of road infrastructure, green infrastructure and evidence-based policy development in the field of climate change adaptation. Furthermore, it will result in raised awareness of the relevant government officials in the WB concerning climate change impacts on road infrastructure and of the specific needs of the infrastructure sectors for increased resilience, while including cross-cutting issues like public participation and gender equality.
Direct beneficiaries of this project include 200 trained individuals from the relevant countries, among them decision-makers and experts from relevant ministries and local governments as well as representatives from centers for emergency management and disaster risk reduction and the RCC. The 200 directly trained officials will then be requested to train 4 more colleagues through a peer-to-peer approach, which would result in 800 trained officials. Furthermore, 1,000 further stakeholders from international organizations, the private sector, research institutions and civil society organizations will benefit from access to information and improved participation in decision making. The indirect beneficiaries add up to more than 16 million people, which is an estimate of the number of road infrastructure users within the population of the Western Balkans region who will be able to benefit from a safer, more resilient and more reliable road infrastructure network.
The project results will be achieved through the development of a Regional strategy on climate resilient infrastructure, tailor-made training modules and development of guidelines, enhanced dialogue via regional communication tools as well as exchange of information, experiences and best practices via networking and training events. The project has the following components:
(1) Understanding the future climate and weather patterns in the target region: strengthening national capacities to understand climate change and climate change related risks in the region through improvement of the information base;
(2) Planning for the future climate and weather patterns in the target region: strengthening national capacities to integrate climate change projections and climate proofing and green infrastructure in infrastructure development on a regional and national level;
(3) Building infrastructure adapted to the future climate and weather patterns in the target region: creating an enabling environment for regional cooperation and investments in climate resilient infrastructure in the WB.
The countries of the WB are intensely exposed to the adverse impacts of climate change; the region is getting warmer and dryer, while the frequency and intensity of floods and droughts has increased over the last 50 years, causing enormous socio-economic and environmental damage such as increased forest fires, desertification, decreased agricultural output, sea level rise impacts on coastal erosion and water intrusion. Although the countries of the WB are very exposed to climate change they lack both the legal frameworks and technical capacities for the inclusion of adaptation concerns in infrastructure development, with disastrous consequences for the people, the environment and the economy. These consequences are particularly pronounced with regards to road infrastructure, an essential service with a high vulnerability to climate change and climate change related disasters.