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Last update:May 06, 2019

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy
  • Being developed
National Adaptation Plans
  • Being developed
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
  • Completed
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
CC IVA portals and platforms
  • Being developed
  • Established
Monitoring, indicators, methodologies
  • Established
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted
The draft National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) and the draft National Action Plan (NAP) are based on the Air Protection Act (OG 130/11, 47/14, 61/17 i 118/18). They cover the period up to 2040, with a view to 2070, and are based on the results of climate modelling carried out for these two time-periods. Following consultations with key stakeholders in July 2017, the draft NAS document was finalised (White Paper) to include conclusions from e-consultations held in October 2017. Until the NAS and NAP are adopted, the 6th and 7th National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (submitted in 2014 and May 2018, respectively) formally set the overarching framework and preconditions for activities aiming at adaptation to climate change. These are primarily related to the upgrading and completion of a climate change monitoring and forecasting system, the strengthening of applied research for adaptation measures, and the building of awareness and capacities.

Adaptation Strategies

The draft National Adaptation Strategy and the draft National Action Plan have been developed within a project funded through the EU Transition facility. The project lasted from May 2016 to November 2017, and the official drafts of both documents were finalised and presented to the public in November 2017. The draft documents are in the process of undergoing a strategic environmental assessment (SEA), including a public hearing and public consultation, and collection and addressing of comments. The NAP, covering a five-year period, was drafted in November 2017, in parallel with the draft NAS. The draft NAP has been prepared for the first five-year period (2019-2023).

The draft NAP and draft NAS focus on eight key sectors and two cross-sectoral thematic areas that have been identified as the most vulnerable to climate impacts: hydrology, water and marine resources; agriculture; forestry; biodiversity; spatial planning and coastal zone management; tourism; energy; fisheries; risk management; and health. In addition, they include two supra-sectoral measures: strengthening capacities for applied research in the area of climate modelling, analysis and interpretation, and the development of impact indicators for vulnerable sectors. The national legal framework (Air Protection Act) foresees the adoption of a NAP by the Croatian Government. The majority of counties and towns are in the process of developing a programme for air and ozone layer protection and climate mitigation and adaptation required by the Air Protection Act, or have adopted one (e.g., Zagreb County, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Zadar County, Osijek-Baranja County, Krapina-Zagorje County, Sisak-Moslavina County, City of Dubrovnik, City of Karlovac, City of Zadar, Varaždin County, City of Vinkovci etc.)

Under its obligations to the Covenant of Mayors, the City of Zagreb is developing a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), with expected adoption in 2019. The plan identifies 37 adaptation measures in following sectors: construction, transport, energy, water management, spatial planning and land management, environment and biodiversity, health, civil protection and disaster management, economy and tourism.

The Water Management Plan of the Croatian Waters foresees an analysis of climate change impacts on flood risks and an update of the programme of measures with climate adaptation measures. Climate impacts on the water regime were considered qualitatively during the preparation of the 2016-2021 River Basin Management Plan (RBMP). However, the methodology for assessing the climate impacts on water regime changes has not yet been adopted. The RBMP specifies that all planning documents in the water sector shall be aligned with the NAS. The Flood Risk Management Plan for the 2016-2021 planning period (part of the RBMP) contains a measure of the analysis of the climate impact on the concepts of protection from adverse effects of water and flood risk management, and a revision of the programme of measures is intended to include measures for climate adaptation.

The Coastal Plan for Sibenik-Knin County was developed through the project Integration of Climatic Variability and Change into National Strategies to Implement the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean.

Implementation means

In the context of human resources, there are ongoing actions on capacity building, mainly related to one-off projects for participation. Preparation of education and training materials on climate adaptation concepts and practices, as well as further training, are envisaged by several draft NAS measures in all 10 vulnerable sectors. The Ministry of Environment and Energy plans to implement climate change resilience and climate adaptation schemes at the national and local level to create the preconditions for implementing the NAS and NAP, funded through EU funds.

The recently finalised project "Capacity Building of the Ministry of Environment and Energy for Climate Change Adaptation and Preparation of the Draft Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change" produced an assessment of capacity building needs for addressing climate adaptation at all governance levels and among key public and private stakeholders across 10 vulnerable sectors.

The draft NAS defines the following major areas for capacity building: increasing human, material and financial resources for the implementation of planned adaptation measures, especially through EU funds. 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, the framework and preconditions for the adaptation activities will be determined in accordance with the 6th and 7th National Communications to the UNFCCC. In addition, the Operational Programme (under the same thematic objective) provides funding for activities related to disaster risk management in accordance with the Disaster Risk Assessment for the Republic of Croatia (DRA is further elaborated in the Assessment section - Impacts and Vulnerability Assessment).

The Plan for the Use of Financial Resources from the Sale of Emission Units by Auction in the Republic of Croatia by 2020 (OG 19/2018) was adopted in February 2018. The funds are managed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund and are partly used for the financing of climate change adaptation activities (applied research and development related to climate change adaptation, co-financing of the national component within accepted EU projects, as well as co-financing of adaptation priority measures in vulnerable sectors). In the draft NAS, from 2019 until 2023, ESI funds are the main planned funding sources for climate change adaptation measures and activities. The national component within the ESI fund, and regulatory and administrative activities serving as preparatory actions for defining the framework of operations, analyses, studies, and legal framework will be financed by the state budget.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

No reports on adaptation have been published as the NAS and NAP have yet to be adopted. According to the Air Protection Act (OG 130/11, 47/14, 61/17 i 118/18), reports on the implementation of adaptation measures are to be submitted to the European Commission in line with Article 15 of EU Regulation No. 525/2013. For this purpose central, regional and national authorities, as well as other public authorities with competencies in climate adaptation (related to meteorology, environmental protection, agriculture, fishery, forestry, water management, energy, protection of human health, etc.), have an obligation to submit reports to the Ministry of Environment and Energy on their activities related to adaptation to climate change. Upon adoption of the NAS and NAP, reporting on the implementation of the NAS will follow formats and deadlines for reporting under EU legislation.

Schedule and planned review/revision

First planned revision of the NAP will be after its period expires in 2023. Revisions of the NAS will depend on the information generated by the implementation monitoring system.

The Croatian Disaster Risk Reduction Platform (CDRRP) is a country-level coordination mechanism led by the State Directorate for Protection and Rescue, organised in working groups according to 11 major risk groups identified in the Disaster Risk Assessment for the Republic of Croatia. One or more relevant sectoral institutions lead each working group. The Ministry of Environment and Energy is a member in the CDRRP Committee and the Risk Assessment Working Group. At the national level, the impact of climate change on disaster risk has been addressed in developing the National Disaster Risk Assessment, which serves as a good practice example of a process where all stakeholders were actively involved and tasked to undertake risk reduction under their competence. The Platform serves as an active body for developing a disaster risk reduction strategy, which will include adaptation of risk assessment and intervention plans to account for current and projected climate extremes.

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

Disaster risk reduction has been addressed through three measures in the draft NAS:

  1. mapping of water sources outside the public water supply system,
  2. multi-sectoral risk assessment for various threat / risk scenarios associated with climate change, and
  3. expansion of the Croatian Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to include climate change-related indicators for the development of an early warning system.

The NAP covers a five-year period and was drafted in November 2017, in parallel with the draft NAS. The draft NAP has been prepared for the first five-year period (2019-2023). The draft NAP and draft NAS focus on eight key sectors and two cross-sectoral thematic areas identified as most vulnerable to climate impacts: hydrology, water and marine resources; agriculture; forestry; biodiversity; spatial planning and coastal zone management; tourism; energy; fisheries; risk management; and health. In addition, they include two supra-sectoral measures: strengthening capacities for applied research in the area of climate modelling, analysis, and interpretation, and the development of impact indicators for vulnerable sectors.
 

Observations and projections

The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ) is a national institution for meteorology and hydrology that has been carrying out meteorological observations for operational needs since 1851. There is a need to modernise the existing climate observation and prediction system, namely by improving the quality and availability of meteorological data (including climatological and hydrological data) and infrastructure that will allow for a better understanding of climate change, and as a result enable the development of more adequate adaptation policy measures. The modernisation of the meteorological network will be conducted under the METMONIC project, which is financed under the Operational Programme - Competitiveness and Cohesion and will last from 2017 until 2021. The modernisation of meteorological observation network includes the introduction of automated meteorological systems at the 34 main meteorological stations, 139 climatological stations, 264 rainfall stations, 6 weather radars, 2 high-altitude weather stations, and 5 marine stations.

Meteorological data are available for extreme weather events with climate change relevance, such as heatwaves, floods, strong winds and thunderstorms causing forest fires, and snow and ice. Furthermore, there are data on related health impacts and infrastructural damage costs, all with varying degrees of detail. Data on heatwaves and their impacts have been systematically monitored since 1983 by the Public Health Institute (ZZJZ), but only for the Zagreb City area. Data on floods are available from Croatian Waters for the early 20th century onward for the entire country, and data on forest fires is available from 1981 onward (State Directorate for Protection and Rescue - DUZS). DHMZ provides climate monitoring data on extreme weather events (systematically covering the period from 1961 onward) and cooperates with DUZS and other sectoral institutions to provide warnings for citizens and set up precautionary, protection and rescue measures, including transboundary actions and data exchange for cases of floods and fires.

The Ministry of Finance monitors and analyses the data on natural disasters in coordination with the State Commission for the Assessment of Natural Disasters (OG 105/2016, 65/2017, 16/2018, 92/2018). In accordance with the Methodology for Assessing Damage from Elementary Disasters (OG 96/98), a common web tool, the Register of Damages from Elemental Disasters, was created for the purpose of continuous monitoring and data analysis on natural disasters in Croatia. The registry contains information on the type of damage, the time of the natural disaster, the types of users and the area affected.

Improvement of data integration, inventorying and monitoring of climate-related environmental indicators has been included among the priority measures in the draft NAS. Within the project of the draft NAS and draft NAP development, in addition to the historical climate simulation for the period 1971-2000, scenarios and projections have been produced for Croatia. In these scenarios, the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service considered geographical specificities using the regional climate model RegCM based on the forecasts for the future climate in two periods, 2011-2040 and 2041-2070, using the IPCC AR5 scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The spatial integration domain covered the wider Europe area (Euro-CORDEX) combined with marginal conditions from four global climate models (GCM, Cm5, EC-Earth, MPI-ESM, HadGEM2). Climate simulations until the end of the century were done with a 50 km horizontal resolution. For climatological parameters with higher spatial variability (precipitation, snow cover, wind, etc.) or depending on the different characteristics of small spatial scales (orography, land-sea contrast), a finer horizontal resolution of 12.5 km is planned after the NAS adoption.

Croatian institutions that maintain the observation systems in the climate segments of the atmosphere, sea, land and biodiversity are: the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service, the Institute for Medical Research, the Public Health Institute, the Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries, the Croatian Hydrographic Institute - sea level monitoring along the eastern Adriatic coast, the "Ruder Boskovic" Institute, the "Andrija Mohorovicic" Geophysical Institute, the Croatian Forest Research Institute, the Croatian Geological Survey, and Croatian Waters - monitoring of water status in accordance with the Water Framework Directive. Apart from those listed, numerous institutions and sectors of the economy run their own systematic or sporadic observations.

Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

A comprehensive assessment of climate impacts and vulnerabilities was carried out as part of the NAS development process in May 2017, using the climate projections until 2040 and 2070. Eight key sectors and two cross-sectoral thematic areas have been selected for vulnerability analysis for which the climate impacts were described in the framework of the NAS drafting process: hydrology; water and marine resources; agriculture; forestry; fisheries; biodiversity; energy; tourism; health; spatial planning and coastal areas management; and disaster risk management.

A vulnerability assessment was based on modelling results from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathway RCP4.5 medium scenario and regional climate model RegCM, as well as previous research on climate impacts and adaptation in Croatia per sector, including environmental, social and economic impacts, impacts on infrastructure (buildings, transport, energy) and transboundary climate change risks. Projections and assessment results provided insights on climate impacts per sector, as well as impact interactions between different sectors, and possible responses to the challenges were identified.

Vulnerable sectors are also defined in the 6th and 7th National Communication to the UNFCCC. The Disaster Risk Assessment for the Republic of Croatia was adopted in November 2015. Three questions were addressed within the risk assessment:

  1. How does climate change affect risks?
  2. What is the expected timeframe for the effects?
  3. What are the reference documents supporting the conclusions?

Eleven risks were 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. Climate change is an important factor in the risk analysis. It is treated as a driver for events (such as drought, extreme temperatures, extreme precipitations, soil salinization and floods), as it can affect either the intensity or frequency of the event. In addition to an analysis of threats, the calculation includes an analysis of the vulnerability of society to disasters.

A risk and vulnerability assessment was also conducted  for the human health sector for heatwaves. The Protocol on Procedure and Recommendations for Protection from Heat was adopted in July 2017 with the goal to reduce risk to individuals and institutions during heat waves by implementing necessary preparedness and response procedures at the national and local levels. A heatwave alert system has been established for the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia and is active in the period from May to October. During that period, DHMZ constantly monitors the temperature and, in the case of a 70% chance that the temperature will exceed the threshold (about 35°C, depending on the region), informs the Ministry of Health and the Croatian Institute for Public Health (HZJZ) on the occurrence of a heatwave, which then forwards the alert.

Some information on transboundary risk is provided for the relevant sectors in the May 2017 vulnerability assessment, including hydrology and water resources, forestry (forest fires), biodiversity and energy. The draft NAP addresses transboundary risk through one measure in the water sector: “Development of international cooperation in the implementation of monitoring of the state of the inter-state watercourses and the Adriatic Sea with the aim of sustainable management and protection,” in terms of project cooperation and knowledge exchange, within existing international processes/commissions and bilateral cooperation with neighbouring countries. Transboundary cooperation in terms of climate adaptation is present but limited to river basin management issues in the context of international river commissions for the Sava and Danube Rivers, especially on floods. Croatia also takes part in the implementation of two macro-regional strategies (the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSAIR; and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, EUSDR). It is furthermore participating in regional cooperation projects, such as DriDanube - Drought Risk in the Danube Region project, to address various climate-related challenges shared across the region, through research, knowledge transfer, capacity building and awareness activities.

Research

Scientific research is financed through the Croatian Science Foundation. The financing of climate related research and development activities is, amongst others, defined within the Plan for the Use of Financial Resources from the Sale of Emission Units by Auction in the Republic of Croatia. In the period from 2015 until 2016, adaptation research projects in agriculture were financed under the Programme for the Promotion of Research and Development Activities in the Area of Climate Change. The new Plan for the Use of Financial Resources from the Sale of Emission Units by Auction in the Republic of Croatia by 2020 (OG 19/2018) was adopted in 2018.

Research projects of the Croatian Science Foundation can be found online in the foundation's project database. DHMZ is participating in the project "Drought Risk in the Danube Region - DriDanube," financed by the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme. The main objective of DriDanube project is to increase the capacity of the Danube region to manage drought related risks. The project aims at helping all stakeholders involved in drought management to become more efficient during drought emergency response and to better prepare for the next drought. The Public Institution Brijuni National Park is participating in the project "Guiding Mediterranean MPAs through the Climate Change Era: Building Resilience and Adaptation MPA-ADAPT," financed by the Interreg MED Programme. The main project objective is to develop collaborative and site-specific adaptation plans for Marine Protected Areas that enhance their resilience to climate change impacts. The Ruder Boskovic Institute is participating in the project "Ecological Response of Northern Adriatic to Climatic Changes and Anthropogenic Impact - EcoRENA." The aim of the project is to understand the northern Adriatic response to climatic changes. Within the the draft NAS and draft NAP development project, the document "An Overview of Current Research and Activities Related to the Impact of Climate Change and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Republic of Croatia" was developed and is available on the Climate Change Adaptation website.

Monitoring progress

Currently, most of the reporting activities in the field of climate change are related to greenhouse gas data collection and the monitoring of climate impacts on species and habitats. These activities will need to expand and a database will need to be created based on the indicators proposed for monitoring the individual measures and activities listed in the draft NAS and draft NAP. Eighty-one indicators have been proposed for monitoring adaptation measures in the priority sectors. There are an additional 15 climate indicators, most of which are already included in the National List of Indicators prepared by the former Croatian Agency for the Environment and Energy (now part of the Ministry of Environment and Energy). The Environmental Protection Act (OG 80/13, 153/13, 78/15, 12/18, 118/18) and the Regulation on the Environmental Information System define the legal basis of the list. The Committee for Inter-Sectoral Coordination for Policies and Measures For Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change will monitor the implementation of the NAP at its sessions, review reports and propose measures to remove obstacles and improve implementation.

    Governance

    The responsibility for 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 NAS in coordination with respective sectoral ministries. The Committee for Inter-Sectoral Coordination for Policies and Measures For Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change was established in September 2018 by the Croatian Government, with the task to coordinate the policy, monitor and evaluate implementation of policies and measures, etc. It consists of two groups: the coordination group (minister and assistant ministers) and technical group (representatives from ministries, scientific and other institutions dealing with climate change and adaptation issues). The new technical group has yet to be designated. At regional and local levels, adaptation is addressed through participation in European projects and initiatives, such as the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, in which 13 Croatian towns and municipalities are signatories with adaptation commitments (Buzet, Daruvar, Klostar Podravski, Labin, Orahovica, Pazin, Pitomaca, Porec, Preko, Pula, Rovinj, Vodnjan and Zagreb).

    Knowledge

    Two websites provide resources and information on climate adaptation issues: the Climate Change Adaptation website contains resources prepared within the NAS development project, and the MEE website contains general information on adaptation policy issues and adaptation activities in Croatia and internationally. Climate data is available on the Meteorological and Hydrological Service website. Within the process of NAS development, an initial conference and 11 workshops for stakeholders were held. A project with the thematic objective "Promotion of Climate Change Adaptation, Risk Prevention and Management" is planned to be financed under the Operational Programme - Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020.

    International dimensions

    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) on the topic of climate adaptation in Croatia. The EIT Climate KIC Croatia Hub was established in April 2018 and is composed of different organisations: the Zagreb Innovation Centre, North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency, University of Zagreb (University Technology Transfer Office and Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering), Terra Hub, Green Energy Cooperative, ZEZ, Mreza znanja d.o.o. and Impact Hub Zagreb. The aim of the consortium is to promote and set-up a climate-conscious economy through a systematic ecosystem change involving all layers of society. The City of Koprivnica participated in the regional OrientGate project (2012-2015) that created a partnership in 13 countries to network and exchange data on the impacts of climate variability and climate change on water regimes, forests and agro-ecosystems. The Meteorological and Hydrological Service was the second Croatian partner on the project. The aim of the project was to coordinate climate adaptation efforts in SEE countries by building a lasting partnership between communities that produce knowledge and experimental studies, and the communities that apply that knowledge. 

     

    Ministry of Environment and Energy

    Directorate for Climate Activities, Sustainable Development and Protection of Air and Soil and from Light Pollution

    Tonka Zaper

    Senior Expert Advisor

    Radnicka cest 08 10 000, Zagreb, Croatia

    Tel. (+38) 513 7172 249

    Mail tonka.zaper@mzoe.hr 

    Website https://www.mzoe.hr/ 

     

    [Disclaimer]
    The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 525/2013) and updates by the EEA member countries