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The World Bank will work with Government on a 2-year climate change and agriculture program

The World Bank, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, and the Ministry of Environment of Moldova have joined forces to reduce the vulnerability of Moldova's farmers to climate change. The two-year program will carry out in-depth analysis of the impacts of climate change on Moldovan agriculture, and identify practical adaptation options for the country.

The program will be managed by the World Bank and supported by about $350,000 in grants from the World Bank, the Bank-Netherlands Partnership, and the Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development. Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Moldova is already experiencing the effects of growing climate variability and change, with increasing seasonal temperatures, moisture deficits, and extreme events like drought, floods and frost. Furthermore, climate projections for the future predict a hotter, drier and more variable climate across most of the country.

These changes could significantly affect the livelihoods of Moldova's farmers, and highlight the need to begin developing and implementing actions to increase the resilience of agriculture to climate variability and change. Beyond reducing the risks of future productivity losses in one of the economy's key sectors, the program also furthers Moldova's EU integration objectives: a recent EU White Paper emphasizes the need to integrate adaptation into European policies and encourages the development of National Adaptation Strategies. With its resources, the World Bank also has the potential to finance adaptation investments.

As World Bank Country Manager for Moldova, Melanie Marlett, said: "Helping countries prepare for climate change is one of the World Bank's global priorities, and since agriculture in Moldova is so important and so vulnerable to climate change, we are going to support the Government and farmers here to develop a more resilient agriculture."

The program will officially start on October 28, 2009 with an Awareness Raising and Consultation Workshop to be held at the Leogrand Hotel in Chisinau. The aim of the workshop is to share information and experiences about the impacts of climate variability and change on crops, livestock and forests in Moldova. Workshop participants will also identify information and technology gaps that need to be overcome. During the coming months, the World Bank will provide technical support to Moldovan institutions to enhance their ability to integrate climate change adaptation into agricultural policies, programs, and investments.

This will be achieved through close collaboration between international and Moldovan experts. These could include, for example, improving hydro-meteorological services, investing in irrigation or water use efficiency, developing new crop varieties, and enhancing farmers' technical skills. One product of this program will be a menu of adaptation options tailored to the specific needs of Moldovan farmers. In addition, a Regional Knowledge Exchange workshop will be organized in collaboration with other countries to share experiences and results, and explore scope for greater regional collaboration on activities such as weather forecasting and early warning systems.


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