Last update:10 Mar 2017

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy • Being developed
Action Plans • Being developed
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments - National (screening NAS) - Sectoral & Other (territorial) • Currently being undertaken
Research programs - National Programmes - Key research initiatives (added value) • Currently being undertaken
Climate Services / Met Office - Observation - Climate projections and services • Established
Web Portal(s) / Adaptation platform(s) (5a) • Online/Being developed
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies • Being developed
Training and education resources
National Communication to the UNFCCC • Last NatCom Submitted (2014)

In Croatia, the area of adaptation to climate change is regulated by the Air Protection Act (OG 130/11, 47/14) which prescribes development and adoption of the national adaptation strategy for the period up to 2040 with a view to 2070 and the Action Plan. Moreover, the Air Protection Act requires that for the purpose of assessing climate change impacts in recognized vulnerable sectors, climate models are be used as the basis for developing impact and vulnerability scenarios, as well as the assessment of adaptation measures. Modelling, assessing impacts and vulnerability, as well as adaptation measures shall be conducted by the central state administration bodies and other public authorities competent for activities related to meteorology, environmental protection, agriculture, fishery, forestry, water management, energy, spatial planning, nature protection, sea, tourism and protection of human health. Modelling, impact and vulnerability assessment for each sector shall be carried out for the period until 2040.

Sustainable development strategy (SDS) of the Republic of Croatia (OG 30/2009) recognizes adaptation to climate change as one of main preconditions for achieving the sustainability, as well as overall objectives of SDS.

Part of the 6th National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC) submitted in 2014, is dedicated to adaptation to climate change. It contains an overview of observed climate change in Croatia, describes climate change scenarios, provides an overview of the impacts and possible adaptation measures to climate change and the proposal for possible research by area. The sectors included in the report are hydrology and water resources, forestry, agriculture, biodiversity and natural terrestrial ecosystem, coast and coastal zone, marine ecosystems, fish resources, and human health.

Impact of climate change on certain sectors is also described in the last State of the Environment Report of the Republic of Croatia, 2014 (Chapters: Climate change, Air, Forestry, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Water resources management and Water quality, Adriatic Sea, Islands and coastline, Environment and Health).

The Protection and Rescue Act (Official Gazette 174/04, 79/07, 38/09 and 127/10) defines the protection and rescue tasks. One of the tasks is keeping the records for all sources of risk, identification of threats and assessment of the effects of all threats in the Croatian territory. The Republic of Croatia, as well as the local and regional authorities, has an obligation to prepare hazard assessments for all threats, including those caused by climate change. Based on these estimates, plans are made. The Risk Assessment for the Republic Croatia was adopted in November 2015 (pdf, hr). In this document, every disaster scenario contains a part describing the existing and possible future impacts of climate change on that risk. The document and its development process is a good example of CCA and DDR synergy in Croatia. 

The Water Act (OG 153/09, 130/11, 56/13 and 14/14) prescribes the obligation to consider climate change within the process of development of flood risk management plans and river basin management plan.

The National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) with the Adaptation plan is being developed within the project funded through the Transition facility. The project started in May 2016 and it will be completed in November 2017. According to the Air Protection Act, this Strategy will cover the period until 2040 with a view to 2070. It is been expected that the Strategy will be developed and prepared for adopted by the end of 2017. The Action Plan for the five-year period will be developed in parallel with NAS.

The plan for use of financial resources received from the sale of emission allowances through auctions in the Republic of Croatia for the period from 2014 to 2016 (OG 140/2014), was adopted in November 2014. The funds collected from the sale of emission allowances are paid into the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund. A part of collected funds was allocated for applied research and development related to climate change adaptation in line with the Programme for stimulating research and development activities in the area of climate change for the period 2015 – 2016.

Activities to promote adaptation to climate change are defined within the framework of the Operational Programme - Competitiveness and cohesion for the EU financial period 2014 – 2020 (thematic objective Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management). The funds will be used in accordance with the objectives and priorities identified within the framework of the future NAS. Until the adoption of the NAS, framework and preconditions for the climate change adaptation activities will be determined in accordance with the 6th National Communication to the UNFCCC. Also, the Operational programme (under the same thematic objective) envisages funding of activities related to the disaster risk management in accordance with the Disaster Risk Assessment (DRA is elaborated later on under chapter Assessment - b. Impacts & vulnerability assessment).

The Air Protection Act (OG 130/11, 47/14) recognizes sectors exposed to climate change impacts and prescribes the obligation of undertaking adaptation measures in those sectors. Vulnerable sectors are also defined in the 6th National Communication to the UNFCCC (2014).

Recognized vulnerable sectors are: hydrology and water resources; agriculture; forestry; biological diversity and natural inland ecosystems; biological diversity and marine ecosystems; coast and coastal area; tourism, and human health.
 

a. Observations and projections

The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ – Državni hidrometeorološki zavod) is a national institution for meteorology and hydrology and has been carrying out meteorological observations for operational needs since 1851.

There is a need for modernization of the existing climate observation and prediction system, namely improving the quality and availability of meteorological data (including climatological and hydrological data) and adequate infrastructure that will allow a better understanding of climate change and as a result enable adequate professional policy and taking appropriate measures for adaptation to climate change.

Modernization of meteorological observation network includes introduction of automated meteorological systems at 37 main meteorological stations, 104 climatological stations and 247 rainfall stations, 6 weather radars, 2 radio-sounding stations, 5 marine stations, 2 wind profilers, 2 micro-radiometers and 1 lidar. Financial resources of up to EUR 29 million are expected in the EU financial period 2014 – 2020 (85% from EU funds and 15% from the state budget) within the Operational Programme – Competitiveness and Cohesion. The implementation of the modernization of the meteorological observation network is planned in the period 2015 – 2022.

Also, modernization of more than 100 hydrological stations is foreseen.

Access to existing historical meteorological, hydrological and related data (i.e. the essential climate variables) should also be modernized, and security of their archiving should also be increased. Data on soil condition, sea level, water supplies and plants phenophases is crucial for the assessment of climate change impacts on the environment, and appropriate adaptation measures should be undertaken taking this data into account. More details can be found in 6th National Communication to the UNFCCC.

Within the project of the NAS development, additional climate modelling will be carried out. Climate simulations until 2040 and 2070 will be done at 50 km and 12.5 km horizontal resolution, using regional climate model (RegCM) and RCP4.5 scenario.

Croatian institutions that maintain the observation systems in the climate segments of atmosphere, sea and land, and biodiversity are:

  • Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service
  • Croatian Agency for Environment and Nature
  • Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy
  • Institute for Medical Research
  • Public Health Institute
  • Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries
  • Croatian Hydrographic Institute
  • "Ruđer Bošković" Institute
  • "Andrija Mohorovičić" Geophysical Institute
  • Croatian Forest Research Institute, and
  • Croatian Geological Survey

  
Apart from the listed institutions, numerous institutions and sectors of economy run their own systematic or sporadic observations.

Observations of the sea level:

 

b. Impacts & vulnerability assessment

Air Protection Act (OG 130/11, 47/14) recognizes sectors exposed to climate change impacts and prescribes the obligation of undertaking adaptation measures in those sectors.

The Risk Assessment for the Republic of Croatia was adopted in November 2015 (pdf, hr). In this document, climate change is treated as a driving force of other risks (such as drought, extreme temperatures, extreme precipitations, soil salinization, floods) and as important factor in the risk analysis. In addition to analysis of threats, calculation includes analysis of vulnerability of society to disasters. Eleven risks have been processed (earthquake, flood, plant diseases, animal diseases, soil salinization, drought, industrial accidents, open space fires, extreme temperatures, snow and ice, and epidemics and pandemics), nine of which are related to climate change (www.platforma.hr). The next step is the preparation of the Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. Adaptation to climate change will be significant part of this future Strategy, taking into consideration the existing historical data on damages.

Within the project "South East European Forum on Climate Change Adaptation (SEEFCCA)", implemented by the Croatian Red Cross, there is a report, indicating situation in some sectors, vulnerabilities and impacts, and also proposal of possible measures.

The Water Act (OG 153/09, 130/11, 56/13 and 14/14) prescribes the obligation to consider climate change within the process of development of flood risk management plans and River basin management plan. “Croatian Waters” prepared the assessment of the risk from floods, flood hazard maps, and flood risk maps (http://korp.voda.hr/). The assessment of the risk from floods includes assessments of potential adverse consequences of future floods on human health, environment, cultural heritage and economic activities, taking into account many components, including the impacts of climate change.

Risk and vulnerability assessment was conducted for human health in the form of the Protocol on procedures and recommendations for protection from the heat waves (pdf, hr) that was adopted in May 2016. Its goal is to reduce risk for individuals and institutions during the heat waves by implementing necessary preparedness and response procedures at the national and local level. System of heat wave alerts is set for the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia and it is active in the period from May to September. In that period Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ), constantly monitors the temperature and in the case of 70% chance that the temperature will exceed the threshold (about 35°C) it informs the Ministry of Health and the Croatian Institute for Public Health (CPHI) on the occurrence of a heat wave, which then forwards the alert.

A comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities will be carried out as part of the NAS development process.
 

c. Research

In the 6th National Communication to UNFCCC, there is a list of identified applied researches in vulnerable sectors that should be carried out in order to identify and better understand possible climate change effects and to find the best solutions.

Therefore, financing of applied research is planned through the Plan for use of financial resources received from the sale of emission allowances through auctions in the Republic of Croatia for the period from 2014 to 2016 (OG 140/2014) and the Operational Programme – Competitiveness and Cohesion (2014 - 2020).

Within the NAS development, the document containing overview of activities and research on climate change impacts and vulnerability in key sectors, will be prepared.
 

d. Monitoring progress

Central state administration bodies and other public authorities competent for activities related to meteorology, environmental protection, agriculture, fishery, forestry, water management, energy, physical planning, nature protection, sea, tourism and protection of human health have an obligation to submit reports to the Ministry responsible for environmental protection on their activities related to adaptation to climate change. 

Committee for inter-sectoral coordination for policies and measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change has a task to monitor and evaluate implementation and planning of policies and measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, provide opinions on planning and strategic documents, etc. 

In accordance with the provision of the Air Protection Act (OG 130/11, 47/14), a set of indicators will be developed for monitoring the implementation of the objectives and measures defined in the adaptation strategy and action plan.

a. Governance

The responsibility for the climate change policy in Croatia falls within the competence of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE). MEE is responsible for the development and implementation of the National strategy for adaptation to climate change.

In addition to this, Committee for inter-sectoral coordination for policies and measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change was established in September 2014 by the Croatian Government, with the task to coordinate this complex policy, monitor and evaluate implementation and planning of policies and measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, provide opinions on planning and strategic documents, etc. It consists of two groups: coordination (minister and assistant ministers) and technical group (representatives from ministries, scientific institutions, academia and other dealing with climate change and adaptation issues).

At regional and local level there are certain activities related to climate change adaptation.

The City of Zadar, was one of 21 cities across Europe that was selected for participation in the European Commission project ''EU Cities Adapt" (January 2012 – June 2013), during which Vision of climate change readiness and draft Action plan for adaptation to climate change were developed.

Three cities (Daruvar, Pitomača, Kloštar Podravski) joined the European Commission's Mayors Adapt initiative. Six Croatian municipalities (Buzet, Labin, Pazin, Poreč, Pula and Rovinj) that are participating in the LIFE SEC ADAPT project together with municipalities from Italy, Spain and Greece, signed the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. 

As a part of the preparation of the Plan on the social, economic and environmental aspects of the life and development of the City of Zagreb, an analysis of the anticipated climate change effects was carried out. After a thorough intersectoral analysis, which involved a large number of experts from different areas, a set of 47 measures was defined, with the goal to improve Zagreb's resilience to climate change. They include measures for protection against heat waves, measures for response to heat waves (buildings and green infrastructure), water management measures, measures for adaptation of transport infrastructure, measures for improvement of energy infrastructure and measures for mitigation of climate change effects on landslides.

Croatia participated in the project "Integration of Climate Variability and Change into National Strategies for Integrated Coastal Zone Management" funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which was implemented in Mediterranean countries. Croatia (along with Tunisia) was selected as a pilot area for two activities:

(1) The estimate of the possible costs of climate variability and change for the entire Croatian Adriatic coast, using the globally recognized DIVA methodology (Dynamic Integrated Vulnerability Assessment). The results obtained for the Croatian coast were applied to Šibenik-Knin County, taking into account local data, with special attention on local economy and possible costs in tourism, agriculture, health, infrastructure and possible costs of forest fires.

(2) Development of the Integrated coastal zone management plan (ICZM) with a special emphasis on climate variability and change, using the "Climagine" participatory method.

In April 2016, Integrated coastal zone management plan for the Šibenik-Knin county was adopted, as the first plan of this kind in Croatia.

Two partners from Croatia - City of Koprivnica and the Meteorological and Hydrological Service were included in the regional project ORIENTGATE (www.orientgateproject.org, July 2012 - December 2014), focused on the implementation of coordinated measures for adaptation to climate change in SE Europe. The project contributed to a better understanding of the effects of climate variability and climate change on water regime, forests and agricultural ecosystems. The main objective was networking and exchange of information about the latest findings in the field of climate and to communicate up-to-date climate knowledge for the benefit of policy makers, including urban planners, nature protection authorities, regional and local development agencies, and territorial and public works authorities.

The Croatian Red Cross has, within the IPA project SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation, initiated a process of forming a network of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) related to the issue of climate change adaptation in Croatia.
 

b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training

The Ministry of Environment and Energy was the partner in the project CroAdapt2 (July 2014 - November 2015), funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Regional Environmental Center - Office Croatia (REC HR) and Baltic Environmental Forum - Germany (BEF DE). The aim of the project was to provide support to the Ministry in the activities related to public awareness raising at local and regional level, in the context of the forthcoming development of climate change adaptation strategy. The Project resulted in a informative brochure, Guidelines for Croatian regional and local decision makers, and a website of the Ministry of Environment and Energy updated with information produced within this project (website, en).

Within the process of NAS development, the series of 10 workshops for experts in different sectors will be carried out (regarding climate modelling, using the results of modelling and scenarios for impact and vulnerability assessment, assessing measures, etc.). Another series of workshops is aimed to civil servants at national and local level and the public concerned.

Ministry of Environment and Energy

Directorate for climate activities, sustainable development and protection of soil, air and sea
Radnička cesta 80
10 000 Zagreb

Žana Počuča, Service for Sustainable Development (zana.pocuca@mzoip.hr)

Melita Zdilar, Service for Climate Activities and Ozone Layer Protection (melita.zdilar@mzoip.hr)

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