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Last update:Nov 19, 2019

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy
  • Adopted
National Adaptation Plan
  • Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments 
  • Completed
Research programmes
  • Completed
  • Currently being undertaken
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate Projections and Services
  • Established
CC IVA portals and platforms
  • Established
  • Established
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art.15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

Adaptation Strategies

The Government of Estonia adopted National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) and Action Plan (NAP) on climate change adaptation in April 2017. A process for drawing up a NAS started in 2014 and is supervised by the Ministry of the Environment (MoE). The main objective of the NAS is to increase the readiness and capacity of the state, the regional and local level to adapt to the effects of climate change. The NAS sets eight subgoals based on the priority sectors of the economic and administrative structure in the Republic of Estonia (independently and partially also combined):

  1. Health and rescue capability.
  2. Land use and planning, including coastal areas, other areas with a risk of flooding, areas with a risk of landslides, land improvement, towns.
  3. Natural environment, including biodiversity, land ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems and environment, marine ecosystems and environment, ecosystem services.
  4. Bioeconomy, including agriculture, forestry, fishing industry, hunting, tourism, peat production.
  5. Economy, including insurance, banking, employment, entrepreneurship and industry.
  6. Society, awareness and cooperation, including awareness, education and science, international relations and cooperation.
  7. Infrastructure and buildings, including transport and infrastructure of transport, technical support systems, buildings.
  8. Energy and security of supply, including energy independence, security, resources, efficiency, and heat and electricity production.

Implementation means

The NAP includes the specific activities and their costs for four years, presented based on the years and the responsible authorities. The NAP will be prepared based on the state budget strategy. After the approval of the state budget strategy and the state budget, the NAP will be specified if necessary. The working group of the NAS with the chair of the MoE discusses the NAP once a year before presenting it to the Government of the Republic for approval, monitors the NAP, gives recommendations for changing the NAS and if necessary, solves the open issues related to the NAS.

The cost estimation for the implementation of NAS for 2017-2030 is EUR 43 745 000. The implementation of the measures and the activities takes into consideration the objectives and means of development plans from other fields, including the following:

  • Estonian Rural Development Plan for 2014-2020,
  • Operational Programme for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for 2014-2020 and
  • Operational Programme for Cohesion Policy Funds 2014-2020.

Many activities related to adaptation together with their budget are also reflected in the implementation plans of the development plans of many other fields, such as

  • Nature Conservation Development plan until 2020,
  • Estonian Forestry Development Plan until 2020,
  • Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020,
  • National Transport Development Plan 2014-2020,
  • Development Plan for the Energy Sector until 2030.

The cost of the NAP for 2017-2020 is EUR 6 700 000, whereas the state budget expenditure form EUR 3 310 000 and the support from the environmental programme of the Environmental Investment Centre and foreign sources is EUR 3 390 000 euros. Financing of the activities from the state budget is ensured within the cost limits of the implementing agencies in the financial strategy of the budget strategy.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

MoE has the overall responsibility of the development of NAS. Responsible authorities also include the Ministry of Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Research and other ministries. The task of each responsible ministry is to coordinate the activities of the NAP which belong to their area of responsibility. Among other things ensures the necessary application for funding to the state budget planning process and mediates the information related to adaptation when preparing overviews and reports. The MoE organises the annual reporting of the NAP and coordinates the exchange of adaptation-related information between the ministries.

Schedule and planned review/revision

As of 2018, the Ministry of the Environment shall annually present to the Government of Republic an overview about the execution of the development plan and the achievement of its objectives by 1 March, making also the proposals about amending or changing the development plan if necessary. The Ministry of the Environment will start drafting the NAS for new implementation period (2021+) in the second half of 2019.

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

Drafting of the NAS was coordinated by the MoE, and EERC in cooperation with the ESTEA, the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, the Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre, and the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection. The NAS describes the most important problems in the area of adaptation to climate change and analysed vulnerability, the impacts of climate change in this century, and the potential adaptation measures based on the future climate change scenarios in Estonia drawn up by the ESTEA in eight priority areas:

  1. health and rescue capability;
  2. land use and planning;
  3. natural environment;
  4. bioeconomy;
  5. economy;
  6. society, awareness, and cooperation;
  7. infrastructure and buildings;
  8. energy and security of supply.

The first stage included the collection and analysis of available information on key sectors listed above. Were possible, the information was collected and presented in the form of spatial data. Forecasts and analyses of the society were mainly based on national statistics. In the sectoral vulnerability analysis, climate-related factors were discussed in the context of regional variability, which formed the basis for thorough sectoral analyses of the impacts of climate change. Vulnerability assessment, climate change impacts and adaptation measures described for priority areas are based on results outlined in the Estonian development plan for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Synopsis of important climate change impacts in Estonia until 2100:

  • the spread of new pathogens and increasing health disorders;
  • increasing flooding risk and pressure for building relocation;
  • changes in hydrological cycle and vegetation and the spread of alien species;
  • unfrozen and waterlogged forest land in the winter and new plant pests;
  • transient effects of global trends on the economy;
  • immigration from global migration;
  • additional requirements on infrastructure and building durability;
  • changes in seasonal energy consumption.

Adaptation measures applied in the (above mentioned) priority sectors

  • 1.1. Development of information, monitoring, and support systems and drawing up of action plans to increase the efficiency of the management of the health risks arising from climate change and the management of the health risks
  • 1.2. Increasing of rescue capability
  • 2.1. Increasing awareness of the impacts and risks of climate change on land use, urban organisation and planning, development of planning methods for areas at risk, and adjustment of the legal framework
  • 2.2. Management of the flood hazard and development of green areas and green areas in cities to manage climate risks
  • 3.1. Preservation of biodiversity in changing weather conditions
  • 3.2. Prevention of the entry of invasive foreign species into nature, and the eradication and control of such species in the changing climate
  • 3.3. Ensuring the favourable condition of biotas and the variety of landscapes, and organising nature conservation in the changing climate
  • 3.4. Ensuring the stability, favourable condition, functions, resources, and variety of terrestrial ecosystems and habitats in the changing climate
  • 3.5. Monitoring the condition of surface water, structure of the composition of biota, the external and internal loads of substances arising from changes in temperature and the hydrologic regime and minimising climate risks
  • 3.6. Minimising the negative impacts of climate change to achieve a good condition of the marine environment and preservation of biological diversity
  • 3.7. Ensuring the sufficient extent and sufficient quality of the ecosystem services, which are important from the socio-economic perspective, taking into consideration climate-related risks
  • 4.1. Ensuring food supplies in the changing climate through the development of land improvement systems, increasing the competitiveness of agriculture, and through the creation and transfer of knowledge
  • 4.2. Ensuring the productivity and viability of forests, and the diverse and efficient use of forests in the changing climate
  • 4.3. Ensuring the sustainability of the fisheries resources and the welfare of the people who earn their living from the fisheries sector in the changing climate
  • 4.4. Diversification of tourism and increasing the satisfaction of visitors
  • 5.1. Management of household risks accompanying climate change
  • 5.2. Supporting the entrepreneurship, which takes the impacts of climate change into consideration
  • 6.1. Increasing the efficiency of risk management and ensuring the ability of the employees of state and local government authorities to manage the risks accompanying climate change
  • 6.2. Supporting the adaptation to climate change of preschool education institutions, general educational institutions and hobby schools, environmental education centres and vocational educational institutions to the impacts of climate change
  • 6.3. Ensuring the availability of up-to-date and thorough information about the impacts of climate change, incl. the transferred impacts of global climate change on Estonia
  • 6.4. Participation in international cooperation for management of the impacts of climate change and adaptation to the impacts as well as in the development of a strong international climate policy
  • 7.1. Ensuring safe traffic, delivery of goods, and access to vital services in changing weather conditions
  • 7.2. Ensuring the durability and energy-efficiency of buildings and a comfortable indoor climate for people in changing weather conditions
  • 8.1. Ensuring the availability of renewable energy resources and energy and heating supply to the consumers in changing climate conditions

Mainstreaming of adaptation

MoE started to implement NAS/NAP in the end of 2018, when Minister of the Environment signed on 29 November 2018 the regulation No 883 "The use of EU ETS 2013-2020 auctioning revenues for implementing climate policy goals in pilot-projects in 2019-2020".

Observations and Projections

The area of activity of the ESTEA is

  • the execution of the national environmental monitoring programme,
  • the organisation of national and international environmental data exchange,
  • the collection and analysis of data,
  • provision of evaluations of environmental status and
  • provision of weather forecasts, warnings and necessary related monitoring data as a vital service.

The ESTEA also ensures the working order of monitoring networks and the maintenance and renewal of monitoring stations, tools and devices. In 2014, the ESTEA published the results of the analysis Estonia's future climate scenarios 2100. The ESTEA's future climate modelling project presented the changes in air temperature, precipitation and some other meteorological indicators during the periods of 2041-2070 and 2071-2100 by using climate models to compare the climate of normals of 1971-2000 with respective modelled indicators. In this analysis, the 30-year average changes of future periods were calculated for months and seasons.

Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

The climate change impacts and vulnerability assessment in the basic research of the NAS described below are mainly based on the risk assessment methods of the IPCC and on the relevant scientific sources, which connect climate change, exceptional weather conditions, and extremities of the climate with the developments of the society. The assessment methods connect factors based on climate, the environment, and human activity/existence, which are expressed in the impacts of climate change. The assessment and management of risks is also covered, with several non-climatological factors having a relatively important role. Thereat, equal attention should be paid to natural and anthropogenic climate changes, as well as socio-economic processes.

Vulnerability depends on exposure, sensitivity, and the ability to adapt; thereat,

  • exposure means the manner, extent, and frequency of the system coming into contact with climate factors;
  • sensitivity means the extent to which climate stressors have an impact on the observed system; and
  • ability to adapt means the potential of the system to adapt to climate change.

Sensitivity comprises people, the assets created by people, such as buildings and infrastructure, biological species and ecosystems. The contact, or also exposure and sensitivity together determine the potential impacts of climate change on the system. The ability to adapt describes the potential of a region or a country to cope with the impacts of climate change. All of the above-mentioned factors together determine the vulnerability to climate change.

Four comprehensive studies and analyses (basic research of the NAS) were conducted. These studies and analyses determined the impact of climate change on priority areas and the adaptation measures which need to be taken in the short term until 2030 and which are a part of a long-term vision until the year 2100. The research divided between four research organizations who covered different priority sectors:

  • Estonian University of Life Sciences conducted research on priority sectors "Natural environment" and "Bioeconomy";
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Tallinn centre conducted research on priority sectors "Buildings and infrastructure" and "Energetics and energy supply systems";
  • University of Tartu conducted research on priority sectors "Spatial planning and land use" and "Human health and rescue preparedness";
  • Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) in the University of Tartu conducted research on priority sectors "Economy" and "Society, awareness and co-operation".


Research related to climate and climate change has been carried out by

  • the Estonian Environment Agency (ESTEA),
  • the Tartu Observatory,
  • the Department of Geography of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences of the University of Tartu,
  • the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of the Institute of Physics of the University of Tartu,
  • the Estonian Marine Institute of the University of Tartu,
  • the Centre for Applied Social Sciences of the University of Tartu,
  • the Estonian University of Life Sciences,
  • the Institute of Ecology of the Tallinn University,
  • the Department of Marine Systems of the Tallinn University of Technology,
  • the Centre for Nonlinear Studies of the Institute of Cybernetics of the Tallinn University of Technology,
  • the Geological Survey of Estonia,
  • the Baltic Environmental Forum,
  • the Tallinn Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute and
  • the Estonian Environmental Research Centre (EERC).

In 2016-2019, the ESTEA will be carrying out the project "The Development of Meteorological and Hydrological Monitoring for Evaluating or Forecasting Climate Change" (SEME) with the aim of increasing the capability of responding to emergencies caused by climate change and extensive pollution as well as increasing the proportion of the renewed monitoring network.

In 2015, the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Life Sciences started the project "Modelling of the metabolism and food web structure of Estonian lakes". The aim of the project is to model the possible impact of climate change on the metabolic state of Estonian lakes and the carbon fluxes of lakes. The representative sample includes 11 lakes which make up 95% of the Estonian inland water volume.

The Tartu-Tõravere station is included in the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) from 1999. Through the BSRN network, the data from the station is used by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the Global Energy and Water Exchange Project (GEWEX), the GCOS and the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW).

The Copernicus programme is an extensive environmental and safety monitoring programme initiated by the EU in cooperation with the European Space Agency and other partners. Within the framework of the programme, six Sentinel-series mission satellites are put to work and corresponding databases are created.

Estonia is a member of the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO). The objective of the GEO is to create a Global Earth Observation System of System (GEOSS) for ensuring the sustainable development of humankind to improve the health and safety of humankind and to protect the global environment. It is therefore necessary to systematically understand the changing nature of the Earth's climate, oceans, land and ecosystems as well as to know how to evaluate the effect of anthropogenic as well as natural factors on humankind. The collection and analysis of such data is however only possible through international cooperation, as data needs to be collected for the whole Earth, it must comply with specific quality requirements and must be comparable. Estonia's participation in GEO's activities is coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research and MoE.

The EcolChange Centre of Excellence is a synergistic network of expertise for developing global and local scenarios for terrestrial ecosystems in the context of global change, from molecular to biome-level responses.

Researchers of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Adaptation ENVIRON studied the adaptation of plants and ecosystems to environmental and biological stressors with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the responses of the ecosystems in the temperate climate zone to global climate change. The project period was 2011-2015.

Monitoring progress

As of 2018, the Ministry of the Environment shall annually present to the Government of Republic an overview about the execution of the NAS and the achievement of its objectives by 1 March, making also the proposals about amending or changing the development plan if necessary.



The process of the NAS/NAP preparation was coordinated by the EERC and supervised by the Climate Department of the MoE. The MoE is also responsible for implementing and monitoring the NAS/NAP. The EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 supported the project "Elaboration of Estonia's Draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan" and in the frame of EEA Financial Mechanism, project promotor EERC was hired in March 2014. However, the overall responsibility for developing (and later implementing) adaptation strategy and action plan relied on the MoE. The development of NAS was promoted and followed up by a broad-based adaptation steering committee. The steering committee was responsible for decisions on adaptation strategy development, assisted and coordinated the development of a NAS/NAP, led the adaptation process, discussed over the needs and expectations of developing NAS etc. The steering committee covered representatives of all concerned government authorities, associations and organizations (27 members in total) including:

  • Ministry of Environment,
  • Ministry of Agriculture,
  • Ministry of Social Affairs,
  • Ministry of Finance,
  • Ministry of the Interior,
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications,
  • Ministry of Education and Science,
  • Government Office,
  • Rescue Authority,
  • Estonian Association of Municipalities,
  • Association of Estonian Cities,
  • Estonian Science Agency,
  • Estonian Academy of Sciences,
  • Estonian Fund for Nature.


In the process of developing adaptation policy in Estonia, stakeholders from national governmental bodies as well as the scientific research communities have been consulted. Some information has also been collected from regional level governmental stakeholders. According to open call conditions (EEA Financial Mechanism) all institutes carried out adaptation research at sectorial level was organized two public awareness events during the research period (January 2015-October 2015). These events were aimed to raise adaptation awareness in all eight priority sectors. These seminars were open for all stakeholders (civil society, NGOs, science institutions, private sector etc).

Project coordinator (EERC) organized also two seminars/public discussions during the EEA Financial Mechanism project period for elaboration of NAS and NAP. These seminars were open for all stakeholders (civil society, NGOs, science institutions, private sector etc) and were aimed to raise awareness in a broad field of adaptation matters.

International dimensions

Transboundary cooperation had taken place in many levels. In the frame of EEA Financial Mechanism project "Elaboration of Estonia's Draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan", bilateral cooperation contracts were signed between EERC and Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (donor country). The aim of the bilateral contract was to transfer Norwegian know-how on climate change adaptation to Estonia (and vice versa) and gave us a consultation (for example review of the projection on climate change scenarios compiled by Estonian experts). Further, research groups who compose sectorial adaptation analysis had partners from EEA Financial Mechanism donor countries: Agricultural University of Iceland, Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR).

Ministry of the Environment

Maris Arro

Senior Officer

Narva mnt 7a 15172 Tallinn Estonia

Tel. +3726262986





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