Expert on Climate Change Adaptation

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Tunis, , TN



Given the urgency and seriousness of climate change, the United Nations and Member States have established a new Green Climate Fund to make a significant contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change. GCF is now the world’s largest multilateral fund for action on climate change, and will contribute to the achievement of the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, through a series of large scale country investments around the world, the Fund will promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Rather than a stand-alone endeavor, the GCF will support actions that bring co-benefits for other development priorities such as disaster risk reduction, food and water security, and supporting risk-informed development pathways. Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction share the same objective: building resilience of communities and nations. It is necessary to tackle disaster risk reduction and climate change issues like drought and food/water insecurity together. GCF seeks to channel investments to vulnerable countries to manage risks and build resilience of development results. The nexus of climate change to disasters, drought and food/water security is critical in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. GCF seeks to forge the nexus between climate change, DRR and food/water security related targets, with several opportunities for high-impact investment in disaster risk reduction and more sustainable agriculture and water systems.

As noted by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change in the 5th Assessment Report (AR5), the Arab region faces some of the greatest risks from climate change. Tunisia is among the countries most exposed to climate change in the Mediterranean region with major climate risks including temperature increases, reduced precipitation, sea level rise, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. Several studies have indicated that due to its particular vulnerabilities, Tunisia will experience significant effects on water resources, agriculture, ecosystems, and the coastline, health and tourism sectors.

Tunisia is already experiencing water scarcity (450m3 per capita/year), and the situation is expected to be exacerbated further due to climate change. It will have serious negative consequences on agricultural productivity especially in low-lying coastal areas. Major economic infrastructure is located in the coastal shorelines, which is vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise. Sea Level Rise will also have further negative effects on the coastal water aquifers and tourism sector. Indeed, as per the coastal vulnerability study published in 2015, 44% of the coastal area in Tunisia is assessed to be vulnerable to highly vulnerable to sea level rise due to climate change.

Tunisia is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has laid out ambitious commitments in their NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) under the Paris Agreement. Indeed, Tunisia committed to decrease its carbon intensity by 41% by 2030 comparing to 2010. Tunisia has low Green House Gas (GHG) emissions with 0.07 percent share of global GHG emissions in 2010. Tunisia has also low emissions per capita and it would reach 3.4 tCO2eq per capita by 2030. Tunisia, as a Non-Annex I Party to the UNFCCC, has made significant efforts to mitigate its GHG emissions including through energy efficiency, and renewable energy in the electricity sector under the Tunisian Solar Plan (PST), which altogether will contribute to raise the share of renewable energies in electricity production to 14 per cent in 2020 and to 30 per cent in 2030.

In terms of adaptation, Tunisia remains highly vulnerable despite several measures that have been undertaken to adapt to climate change including through coastal resilience building measures. The additional adaptation finances required across various vulnerable sectors have been estimated to be about 2 billion dollars. UNDP has partnered with Tunisia on climate change action and NDC implementation road map, and with scaled up climate finance on the horizon via the GCF, UNDP and the Government of Tunisia seek to explore new programming on climate change adaptation that builds on previous and existing interventions including support through the GEF and SCCF, etc. So far UNDP has received official request to explore new programming on coastal adaptation interventions, including water and agriculture as two of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change and related DRR.

Study on coastal vulnerability to climate change conducted by APAL and UNDP in 2012 and an Atlas for coastal vulnerability was published in 2015

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