- Policy & legal framework
- Information & assessments
- Sectors & actions
- Engaging stakeholders
Policy and legal framework
The Parliament (Seimas) of the Republic of Lithuania by the Decree No XI-2375 of 6 November 2012 adopted The Strategy for National Climate Change Management Policy for 2013 – 2050 (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy). This is an integrated Strategy, which covers both adaptation to climate change and climate change mitigation policies.
The purpose of the Strategy is to develop and implement the Lithuanian climate change management policy and set short-term (by 2020), indicative medium-term (by 2030 and 2040) and long-term (by 2050) climate change mitigation and adaptation goals and objectives. The Strategy consists of sections accordingly dedicated to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The strategic goal of Lithuania's climate change adaptation policy as determined by the Strategy is to reduce vulnerability of natural ecosystems and domestic economic sectors by implementing measures for maintaining and increasing their resilience to climate change and ensuring favourable conditions for social life and economic activities.
The implementation of the strategic goal of adaptation to climate change follows directions that also take in to account aspects that are relevant to climate change mitigation.
The short-term climate change adaptation goals and objectives as set by the Strategy are categorised by the following sectors: agriculture, soil; forestry, ecosystems, biodiversity, landscape; water resources; energy, transport, industry; and public health, and also include cross-sectoral goals and objectives.
In order to ensure the implementation of the goals and objectives of the Strategy the Interinstitutional Action Plan for the implementation of the goals and objectives for the period of 2013-2020 set forth the Strategy for National Climate Change Management Policy (hereinafter referred to as the Action Plan) was approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on 23 April 2013 and contains measures for the year 2013-2016. Following the Strategic planning methodology approved by the Government, the plan is prepared for the three years period and is updated annually by adding one more year.
In 2014 new Action Plan with measures for 2015-2017 was adopted by the Resolution No 833 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. It contains goals and objectives as set by the Strategy and establishes measures ensuring the implementation of these goals and objectives. Action Plan indicates what financial resources are dedicated for the implementation of the measures and defines the implementing institutions. Assessment criteria and values are also established in the Action Plan.
The implementation of the Strategy is funded from the funds of the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania, municipal budgets, EU and international organisations and other sources.
The development of the Lithuanian adaptation to climate change policy is closely related to the developments at the EU level. The update of the Strategy is preliminary planed prior to the 2020 after the approval of the EU 2030 climate and energy framework legislation.
Impact, vulnerability and adaptation information and assessments
a. Observations and projections
Air temperature observations in Lithuania started in 1770 in Vilnius University. More than 240 years of observations gives a good insight into natural and anthropogenic causes of climate variability.
The Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service under the Ministry of Environment (LHMS) is responsible for meteorological (including agrometeorological, aeronautical and marine) and hydrological observations and forecasts.
The website of LHMS contains information on climate change. Moreover, LHMS provides warnings on dangerous and catastrophic hydrometeorological phenomena, sudden weather changes, ozone layer depletion, etc.
Measures improving the observation of climate and ensuring the implementation of the Strategy are already planned and being implemented.
Climate projections for 21st century are based on outputs from numerical climate models in Lithuania. Having in mind that recent climate change is caused by human activities, future climate projections are made according to the scenarios of social-economic development. They reflect the human population, economic growth and the greenhouse gas emissions caused by this development. In Lithuania (Vilnius University) climate predictions are made by downscaling COSMO-CLM, HadCM3, ECHAM5 models output data.
Modelling of climate change projections scenarios for Lithuania and its regions was started to be conducted in 2014 and will be finalised in 2015.
b. Impacts & vulnerability assessments
By the agreement with the Ministry of Environment, the Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University carried out the study "The study of climate change impact to the land ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources, agriculture and forestry and human health and the strategic plan for the mitigation of consequences" (2007). This study is still one of the most important studies, which complexly investigates the impact of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources, agriculture and forestry and human health in Lithuania.
The priority sectors distinguished in the Strategy are based on the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Financial Instruments for Climate Change Management, analyses performed during the project carried out by the countries of the Baltic Sea Region to prepare the Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, principles set for the preparation of the EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and information gathered in this relation, also sectors indicated in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region 2009 and samples of climate change adaptation strategies of other countries, e.g. Denmark, Finland or Germany, and taking into account different level and relevance of current research in sectors.
National risk assessment was conducted from 2012 autumn until 2013 spring. The Fire and Rescue Department under the Ministry of Interior co-ordinated the performance of the Lithuanian national risk assessment. This assessment comprises the evaluation of all threats in Lithuania, including also the threats caused by climate change:
In 2014 risk assessment and vulnerability to climate change was evaluated in the sector of public health, cost-efficient measures and indicators were proposed. The study identifying the climate change threats to human health including the recommendations was conducted in Lithuania.
Sub-national level vulnerability studies are carried out in most cases as part of EU funded project such as "ASTRA. Developing Policies and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in the Baltic Sea" and "BaltCICA. Climate Change: Impacts, Costs and Adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region". More information about these projects is provided in Chaper 4 of this report. Other projects address issues according to natural borders (e.g. coastal areas, river banks) rather than administrative borders.
Climate risks/vulnerability assessments have taken transboundary risks into account where relevant, for instance within the framework of the Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
In 2015 a study identifying the vulnerability to climate change of the individual sectors, risk assessment and opportunities to adapt to climate change, the most efficient adaptation measures and evaluation indicators was accomplished. The study focuses on the following sectors: spatial planning, transport, energy, waste management, industry, agriculture, underground water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity, fisheries, forestry, tourism and others. The Study in Lithuanian language accessible via link: http://www.am.lt/VI/files/File/Klimato%20kaita/Klimato%20kaita_galutine%20ataskaita_2015_08_31.pdf
In the Republic of Lithuania research is carried out by research institutes and higher education institutions. According to the data of July 2012, Lithuania had 11 research institutes, 23 universities and 24 colleges. The majority of these institutions carry out studies under particular categories of research of climate change, such as climate change, factors, impact of and sensitivity to climate change, climate change adaptation and mitigation
The main research centres in the area of the adaptation to climate change are the Centre of the Marine Research of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, the Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Centre, the Lithuanian Geological Survey, Vilnius and Klaipeda Universities.
Other institutions related to research development in the area of the adaptation to climate change in Lithuania are the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (NLRCAF), Nature research centre and others.
In 2012 the Lithuanian Geological Survey developed the International project BaltCICA (duration 2009–2012). The BaltCICA project activities in Lithuania were carried out as two case studies of the Klaipeda district areas: the predicted impacts of climate change on groundwater were analysed and the potential effects of climate change on the Karkle beach was evaluated.
Since 2010 Vilnius University has published 32 different publications related to climate change. The department of Hydrology and Climatology at Vilnius University actively participates in research activities in relation to climate change. The most recent ones are related to research on climate fluctuations and quantitative and qualitative changes of Lithuanian water resources. Also it participated in BaltCICA project.
The Research Council of Lithuania also approved a list of National Research Programmes (hereinafter - NRP) in 2008: Future Energy; Chronic Non-infection Diseases; Lithuania's Eco-system: Climate change and Human factor; Safe and Healthy Food; State and the Nation: Heritage and identity. Climate change research is promoted under two NRPs: "Lithuanian Ecosystems: Climate Change and Human Impact" focusing on biological invasions, and "Future Energy" aimed at reducing anthropogenic factors causing climate change.
Among national integrated programmes, the programme "Sustainable Use of the Natural Environment" is most closely related to climate change research.
In June 2013 new NRPs were proposed by the Research Council of Lithuania. In relation to adaptation to climate change the NRP "Sustainability of agro, forest, water and ecosystems" is being carried out in the period of 2013-2021.
The researches related to the UNFCCC implementation issues are concentrated mostly on the Lithuanian climate analysis and projections. Climate change impact scenarios for different economy branches are prepared.
d. Monitoring progress
The implementation of this strategic goal of Lithuania's climate change adaptation policy will be assessed in relation to the achievement of special climate change adaptation goals in most sensitive domestic economic sectors, such as agriculture, forestry and protection of biodiversity, management of water resources, energy, transport, industry, public health, etc.
The assessment criteria directly related to climate change adaptation goals and objectives in 2020 have been set by the Strategy for the purpose of monitoring of the implementation of the national climate change management policy.
The progress of the implementation of the Strategy is evaluated by a set of criteria established in the Action Plan. The criteria used to measure progress are quantitative.
In addition, ministries and other governmental institutions are obliged to integrate the goals and objectives set out in the Strategy, to establish implementation measures and to ensure close inter-institutional cooperation while developing the strategies, their implementation plans and programmes of individual sectors of the economy.
State and municipal institutions provide the Ministry of Environment with the information about the progress by submitting annual activity reports. These institutions also report on planned measures that could be included in the Plan.
Every two years, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania prepares a report on the implementation of the Strategy to the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania.
The outcomes of the monitoring, reporting and evaluation scheme will feed into further development of the Action Plan and the update of the Strategy.
Priority sectors and adaptation action
Climate change studies show that the most vulnerable part of Lithuania is the Baltic Sea region therefore the implementation of adaptation measures in this region is highly relevant. Climate change will also affect other regions and sectors.
Short-term (by 2020) climate change adaptation goals and objectives are categorised by the following sectors: agriculture, soil; forestry, ecosystems, biodiversity, landscape; water resources; energy, transport, industry; and public health, and also include cross-sectoral goals and objectives.
Climate change adaptation goals and objectives in the Baltic Sea Region are integrated in cross-sectoral goals and objectives, also in the goals and objectives of such sectors as forestry, ecosystems, biodiversity, landscape and water resources.
The Action Plan includes the measures that ensure the implementation of cross-sectoral and short-term climate change adaptation goals and objectives. These measures mainly focus on the reducing the negative climate change impact on the different sectors, on the improving of the sustainability of the sectors and on improving management systems.
The Strategy also sets special indicative medium-term (by 2030 and 2040) and long-term (by 2050) climate change adaptation goals that include continuous monitoring and survey of the most vulnerable economic sectors and ensuring resilience of such sectors. The measures for attaining these goals and objectives will be planned in the course of the development of the Action Plan taking into account the developments at the EU and international policy level.
Adaptation to climate change is consistent part of the National civil protection system. The citizens are warned and informed about natural disasters, emergency situation and possible frets related to climate change thought the Public warning and information system.
There are also other initiatives and activities related to adaptation to climate change that are developed by the Ministry of Environment besides the Strategy:
- The preparation of the draft Guidelines for the expansion and development of the Lithuanian construction sector.
- The preparation of the draft Infrastructure Development Law.
F Flood risk
The preliminary flood risk assessment in the whole territory of Lithuania was carried out in 2010-2011, where the past events of major floods were analyzed, climate change impact on flooding was overviewed and the possibilities of the future rise to similar floods were considered.
In 2012-2014 the priority hazardous areas were identified and flood hazard and risk maps were prepared. Areas of flooded territory are set in the maps and the potential negative effects on human health, environment, cultural heritage and economic activity are assessed. Maps are used in the preparation of Flood risk management plans, which will set out the specific prevention and flood protection measures. Interactive flood hazard maps are available on the website of Lithuanian Environmental Protection Agency (in Lithuanian only) by the following link:
Interactive flood hazard maps and flood risk maps: http://potvyniai.aplinka.lt
Currently Ministry of Environment is in the drafting process of Flood risk management plans and prevention measures. Endorsement of Flood risk management plans and measures is planned for second half of 2015.
Local adaptation action is mainly matter of local authorities (municipalities) in certain areas, so risk assessments and crisis management plans have to be in place and be up-dated regularly in municipalities.
According to the vulnerability of flood area near the Baltic Sea, there is regional adaptation strategy - Flood Preparedness and Flood Relief for 2007-2015 program for Klaipėda and Tauragė, - which is approved by the Government Resolution.
Engaging stakeholders: participation & capacity building
The Lithuanian Ministry of Environment is the main coordinating institution responsible for development all of climate change mitigation and adaptation policy and its implementation, transposing the EU climate policy legislation and advising for other institutions on integrating climate policy objectives and concerns into sectors which are not under the responsibilities of the Ministry of Environment.
Other Ministries, municipal and other institutions within their remit are responsible for the mainstreaming of climate goals and objectives into sectoral strategies and programmes and implementing related activities in Lithuania.
The Strategy is developed by the Ministry of Environment. The implementation of the Strategy is carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Agriculture and municipal and other institutions within their remit. The implementation of the Strategy is coordinated by the Ministry of Environment.
In addition, the goals and objectives of the Strategy are implemented by planning documents for the country's specific economic sectors, such as the National Progress Programme, development programmes or short-term planning documents.
The Action Plans are prepared by the Ministry of Environment and endorsed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
State and municipal institutions engaged in the implementation of the Strategy provide the Ministry of Environment with information about the progress in implementing the Strategy and its Action Plan by submitting annual activity reports.
Every two years, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania accounts for the implementation of the Strategy to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania by preparing and presenting a report on the implementation of the Strategy.
The approaches applied for the implementation of the Strategy and its Action Plan ensure the horizontal as well as vertical coordination - Governmental and municipal institutions responsible for the implementation of the concrete measures are identified in the Action Plan.
Also horizontal and vertical coordination of the implementation of adaptation policy is ensured through the work of the National Climate Change Committee. The Committee consists of experts from government, municipal, science and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and has an advisory role. The main objective of the Committee is to advise on the development and implementation of the National climate change management policy. The Committee also has a role on promotion of the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and coordinates compliance with the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol and the EU legal acts related to the UNFCCC.
Stakeholders are also involved in the preparation of adaptation policies. Stakeholders have possibilities to review and to provide comments and proposals regarding the draft legal acts as they are made publically available during their preparation. In order to develop sectorial e. g. public health, agriculture, biodiversity, costal management, river basin management programs and select measures as well as indicators for the evaluation targeted working groups with stakeholders involved are being created.
The transboundary cooperation is invoked responding to the needs to address common challenges with relevant countries. Lithuanian non-governmental and academic institutions are also quite active in various regional projects being implemented in the area of adaptation to climate change. Lithuania has taken part in several transboundary projects, including Astra, Baltadapt, Baltcica, BalticClimate, Baltclim, RADOST. Lithuania has been active within the Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. In these projects the adaptation options to be applied at local level are analysed and elaborated.
b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training
In the Strategy the education and awareness raising are identified as a field related to formation of both policies – climate change mitigation and adaptation. Measures related to public awareness raising and education are foreseen in the Action Plan.
As the result of the implementation of the Action Plan is an establishment of a System on public conveyance about climate changes, its threats on public health. The system regulates a course for collection of information, analysis, and preparation of reports and organization of information provision. A concept of threats of climate change includes changes of solar radiation, heat, frost, development of bloodsucking pests and etc.
Climate-related information is available on the website of the Ministry of Environment and websites of other sectorial ministries, e. g. the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, etc. A special web portal on adaptation is to be developed in accordance with Action plan for the period of 2013-2020.
Ensuring a systematic gathering and dissemination of climate change information to various interest groups and the public is among the main objectives concerning adaptation defined in the Strategy.
There are no specific institutions or departments dedicated to ensuring the coordination between science and policy-makers. However, there are some examples of scientific institutions working closely with policy-makers on certain elements of climate adaptation policy. There is a significant margin for improvement in this area.
The society education and awareness rising in the field of environment protection and climate change is secured through periodically organized conferences, TV programs and radio discussions that advocate principles of sustainable development. Awareness and public discussions are directed towards both, rising of environmental self-consciousness among businesses companies and education of population. The main initiators of such activities are the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, educational institutions and NGOs.
The Public Information Division of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania plays an important role in the information dissemination and public involvement. Climate change legislation, announcements, up-to-date information and organized events are presented to the society on the website of the Ministry of Environment.
The following awareness raising materials, studies and guidelines are publically available:
Adaptation to Climate Change in Agricultural Sector: Lessons from Project "BalticClimate" (2012) http://www.zum.lt/documents/baltijos_klimatas/Klimato%20prisitaikymas_brosiura%20(A5)%2002-24.pdf (in Lithuanian)
"Climate Change in Klaipeda City and Region: Impact, Costs and Adaptation" (2011)
"How to Adapt to the Climate Change: Advice for Farmers" (European Regional Policy Institute, 2011) (in Lithuanian)
"Impact Analysis of Opportunities to Adapt to the Climate Change in Panevėžys Region" (2011) (in Lithuanian)
"Climate Change: Adaptation to its Impacts at the Lithuanian Seaside" (2007)
National Research Programme "Lithuanian Ecosystems: Climate Change and Men's Impact" is being carried out in the period of 2010-2014. Yearly reports of the programme are available in the website of The Research Council of Lithuania:
http://www.lmt.lt/lt/mkf/nmp/lek/lek-metines-ataskaitos.html (in Lithuanian)
National Research Programme "Sustainability of agro, forest, water and ecosystems" " will be carried out in the period of 2013-2021:
http://www.lmt.lt/lt/mkf/nmp/tvarumas.html (in Lithuanian)
|National adaptation strategy||Adopted|| |
|Action plans||Adopted, updated annually|| |
|Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments - National (screening NAS) - Sectoral & Other (territorial)||• Completed • Currently being improved|| |
|Research programs - National Programmes - Key research initiatives (added value)||Currently being undertaken|| |
|Climate Services / Met Office - Observation - Climate projections and services||• Established/Being constantly improved|| |
|Web Portal(s) / Adaptation platform(s)||• Being developed|| |
|Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies||• Being improved|
|Training and education resources||• Established/Being constantly improved|| |
|National Communication to the UNFCCC||• Last Nat Com Submitted (2014)|
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
A. Jaksto g. 4/9,
LT-01105 Vilnius, Lithuania
Phone number: +370 5 2663661
Fax: +370 5 2663663