Project Factsheet
Tools for » Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change
Project ID:00067151Description:MDGF-1680-E-TUR Env Climate
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Oct 2007
MDGF Environ Climate Chg
End Date*: 29 Feb 2012
Country: Turkey Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


Turkey is strongly affected by Climate Change (CC) but its first National Communication to the UNCFCCC (Framework Convention on Climate Change) was done only in 2007. Evidence of CC effects has been widely documented through climate modeling, showing drastic changes that will affect the country in many ways: decreased precipitation and increase in summer temperature, reduction of surface waters by some 35%, increase in the crop water demand by some 20%, coastal erosion and flooding, and increased frequency of natural disasters. Water stress is already apparent in many parts of Turkey, exacerbated by rising demand in many sectors, particularly agriculture. Faced with this scenario, implementation of highly effective water conservation initiatives across all sectors is required. Technological changes in irrigation and water distribution systems are also required. The Joint Programme aims at integrating Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into national, regional and local policies within the framework of Turkey’s future development targets. To do this and develop national strategies to address CCA and develop capacity for managing CC risks in rural and coastal development in the country, the programme is structured around three pillars:

  • policy level (enhance/develop national capacities for efficient CCA policies and develop new policies and strategies)
  • scientific level (enhance/develop capacities through the establishment of CCA tools using the best available technology and data, and ensuring that the information is available at all levels of the community)
  • at the implementation level (ensuring that capacity is enhanced/developed in order to actually undertake CCA implementation from local to central level, and monitor and evaluate processes from the socio-economic and environmental aspects).

This is supported by four specific outcomes that are in turn subdivided by 14 outputs.

One of the major results focused on outcome 3 that involved the implementation of 18 different pilot projects in the Seyhan River Basin, with quantified and qualitative results demonstrating the results achieved. At the policy level, the JP supported the drafting of the National CCA Strategy. The analysis of the strategy also led to a review of CCA in the existing legislation and recommendations for its inclusion across all sectors.


Outcome 1:

Climate change adaptation mainstreamed in Turkey’s development plans.

Outcome achievements:

  • The JP developed various proposals for governmental consideration in mainstreaming CCCA into the national development framework. For example, under article 6 of UNFCCC, UNEP and FAO developed a plan for education, training and public awareness to CC including participatory vulnerability analysis and other tools such as drought monitoring and climate data analysis.
  • In order to develop long-term knowledge of CCA in Turkish institutions, a training needs survey was used to develop a specific Certificate Programme on CCA policies with the Middle East Technical University, and has been carried out for two years in a row (2010-2011). The course was approved by the University Senate. At the primary school level, the Seyhan River Basin was selected as target area and a training kit for CCA of primary school students was developed, and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and by the Ministry of National Education, and further used to train teachers in selected schools from Adana, Kayseri and Nigde.
  • The Seyhan River Basin area was chosen for cleaner production initiatives with support from UNIDO, but it proved difficult to identify interested firms for this initiative. The training to firms was based on UNIDO methodology and training package. Sixty eight people were included in the first training, and a limited group of 25 attended the second training (theoretical and practical) that included grants for an amount of US$ 25,000 each to support the efficient implementation of six cleaner production efficient pilot projects focused on water use (with the collaboration of Eco-Efficiency Center in Germany).
  • The JP further had intended to create an Eco-Efficiency and cleaner production center, and a model and road map were set in March 2011. However given the changes in the national ministries the initiative will not be completed until after the end of the programme.
  • In order to raise public awareness the JP, in collaboration with the British Council, undertook a series of public awareness activities in 11 provinces targeting university students, academicians and NGOs.
  • An overview of the International Framework for CCA and the Regulatory Framework in Turkey has been prepared by UNEP and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, with the principal objective of making an assessment of Turkey’s existing institutional and legislative structure for adaptation to the effects of CC. This overview provides a general outline of futures steps that are recommended.
  • The draft National CCA Strategy was developed in a participatory manner, and endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and is in the agenda for approval by the Coordination Board of CC. An analysis of the Strategy was done and the analysis of CCA in national legislation has been completed and recommendations developed.
  • Another activity of the programme is the proposals made to government to amend policy and the development of appropriate policy tools for reducing vulnerability to CC – a package of policies, legislative, regulatory and other policy instruments were submitted to the government.
  • Extensive communication activities were carried out through films, video clips, websites, posters, exhibitions, newsletters and other information dissemination activities including the media leading to widespread dissemination on CCA. For example, the documentary film Journey to Seyhan River Basin was broadcasted on national TV and reached more than 2.5 million persons. All communication activities involved government, academia, NGOs, communities and schoolteachers and students.


Outcome 2:

Institutional capacity developed for managing climate-risks, including disasters.

Outcome achievements:

  • Technical capacity was developed for data management, analysis and interpretation, helping to improve the quality of drought and flood early warnings across the country. A detailed capacity development programme was developed and is being implemented. Improvement of various monitoring and forecasting software was done (drought monitoring, crop yield forecasting, etc.). The early warning response capacity was also improved through implementation of Early Warning Systems.
  • 45 experts were trained in climate modeling in Seyhan River Basin and 22 experts from central government institutions were trained in Ankara.
  • In terms of global modeling, three climate projections have been completed, and a CC information portal is functional. (
  • The JP teamed up with a Grant project of the State Hydraulic Works on a pilot project on flood early warning systems in the coastal town of Iskenderun, a flood-prone area.


Outcome 3:

Capacity for community-based adaptation in the Seyhan River Basin developed. 

Outcome achievements:

  • 18 different pilot projects aimed at introducing community-based adaptation principals and developing public-private partnership to mobilize resources for addressing CC were implemented across a range of sectors (agriculture, ecosystem services, coastal and marine management, public health, etc.).
  • The component included the disbursement of US$ 1.9 million and some 55,000 people (2.5% of the population of the River Basin) benefited and/or were contracted. Modern irrigation of 2,218 ha for demonstration purposes were set up, using a variety of vegetables/crops, and a series of CCA measures and responses for forestry, wetland management, animal husbandry and water resources were identified and some of them integrated into the corresponding plan (e.g. for the first time CCA integrated into the wetland management plan). The combined results of the 18 projects lead to a number of tangible benefits, in addition to improving local resilience to CC. As an example, water saving has been calculated at 784.550 cubic meters per year (22%), energy saving equivalent to 4.7 mio kWh/year of natural gas, a reduction of carbon dioxide of 978 tons/year, and an financial annual gain of US$ 1.36 million, with a payback time of some 3 months.
  • This component was subject to 252 man/days of field trip monitoring, as a different exercise from that of the JP monitoring and evaluation process.


Outcome 4:

Climate change adaptation mainstreamed into UN programming framework in Turkey.

Outcome achievements:

  • The revision of the UNDAF (UN Development Assistance Framework) with a coordinated approach to mainstreaming CC was undertaken and CCA has been incorporated in the UN Development Cooperation Strategy (UNDCS) 2011-2015.
  • Screening mechanism on CC with a gender approach was agreed upon and established among UNCT agencies, and each agency has identified a focal point to follow up on CCA mainstreaming into their programmes.


Best practices:

  • The community based adaptation programme (Outcome 3) has been acknowledged as a model for similar initiatives. The methodology was shared with seven development agencies, and it was adopted by the UNDP-Coca Cola global scale grants programme.


Lessons learned:

  • The most important M&E exercise of the JP has been that of outcome 3. This required 252 person/days of work, which was necessary in order to be able to capitalize on the pilot experiences.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Turkey or the lead agency for the programme.

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Halide Caylan, RC Officer; Telephone: 90 312 4541087; Email:
  • Esra Ulukan, Programme Finance Associate; Telephone: (90 312) 454 1121; Email:; Skype: esra.ulukan.undp
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