Climate Change Adaptation in the Canelones, Montevideo and San Jose Regions of Uruguay (TACC)

Project Overview

The Down to Earth: Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) is part of a partnership between the United Nations and sub-national governments for fostering climate friendly development at the sub-national level. This partnership is a collaborative effort involving UNDP, UNEP and eight associations of regions.

UNDP provides support to the three departments of the Metropolitan Region of Uruguay and several national institutions in developing its first Integrated Territorial Climate Plan. The Region comprises the departments of Montevideo (capital city), Canelones and San José, where almost two thirds of the national population live. The Territorial Approach to Climate Change pilot project aims to support capacity building of national and regional authorities and other key stakeholders in order to integrate climate change into territorial planning and programming, thereby developing a sub-national level Low Emissions Climate Change Resilience Development Strategy (LECRDS). The purpose of the project is also to identify risks and opportunities related to climate change, collectively building appropriate responses and accessing different sources of financing for climate change. 

Click here for more information on the Overall TACC Project.

Project Details

The Down to Earth: Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) project aims to assist regional and local governments in developing countries in:

  • Developing integrated climate change strategies and action plans to assess development options that are robust enough to withstand different future climatic conditions.
  • Strengthening capacity of sub‐national authorities to integrate climate change into sustainable development planning and programming.
  • Identifying no regrets/negative costs/low‐cost adaptation and mitigation measures that promote long‐ term sustainability and poverty reduction.
  • Enhancing the capacity of regional and local government to enact regulatory measures, as well as to take advantage of new sources of environmental finance, to implement these no regrets/negative cost/low‐cost options.
Signature Programmes: 
Level of intervention: 
Key collaborators: 
Primary beneficiaries: 
The beneficiaries of the Down to Earth TACC project are sub‐national authorities who seek technical assistance in understanding and responding to climate change.
Implementing agencies & partnering organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Government of Canelones
Government of Montevideo
Government of San Jose
University of the Republic, Uruguay
Province of Québec
Project status: 
Under Implementation
Funding Source: 
Financing amount: 
USD $690,000 [Basque Government USD 40.000, ART-GOLD Trust Fund USD 400.000 and Province of Québec USD 250.000]

Key Results and Outputs

Summary of results: The project started in the three departments of Montevideo, San Jose and Canelones, in the second semester of 2009. The TACC project in Uruguay is well advanced in the fourth step of the establishment of a sub-national LECDRS. Inter-institutional arrangements and local working groups have been created. GHG emissions inventory, impact maps and downscaled climate modeling have been developed. Participatory identification and prioritization of adaptation and mitigation options is finished. Cost-benefit analysis is underway. Two adaptation and local development projects have been designed: one currently under implementation (EU funds, EUR 330.000) and another project proposal for early actions to access additional sources of funding has been pre-selected (EU funds, EUR 275.000). The establishment of the LECDRS is expected to be completed by 2012 subject to the availability of funds.

Main activities to date:

Step 1: Develop a multi-stakeholders planning process

The project started with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the three sub-national level Governments and four Ministries, which provide an inter-institutional framework from its outset. The establishment and consolidation of the multi-stakeholders working groups for each local government took place during the first two years of the project. In particular, the Coordination Climate Change Committee for Montevideo was formalized by a resolution from the government in September 2010. Representative from 6 key directorates were officially assigned by the Governor to participate and lead this committee to support the establishment of the local LECDRS. At the local level, key representatives from private sector and civil society were also engaged in the the multi-stakeholders planning process, such as rural associations, transport and energy companies, environmental and social NGOs, and research institutions focused on climate, energy and agriculture. Almost 30 workshops have been successfully completed during 2010 for diagnosis, capacity-building, identification and prioritization of actions, involving the participation of 700 experts and representatives. The working groups have identified strategic lines, specific actions and projects to be included in the work plans.

Step 2: Prepare Climate Change Profiles and Vulnerability Scenarios.

The development of the metropolitan GHG Emission Inventory was successfully completed at the beginning of the Project, with ICLEI support. The results show that the main source of GHG emissions is the burning of fossil fuel in Montevideo, which significantly differs from the main source at the national level, which comes from agriculture. The Project also benefited by the downscaling of Global Climate Models (the two extremes: BAU and global cooperation towards sustainable development) to high temporal (3 hours) and spatial (5km) resolutions based on historical data, precipitation and temperature for three periods of time, provided by CLIMSAT, and by the analysis of these data performed by climatologists from the University of the Republic. Impact maps for the assessment of the present and future vulnerability were built with a participatory methodology as an indirect mechanism to identify vulnerable areas to climate change in the territory. These maps have been classified according to coastal, rural and urban zones.

Step 3: Identify Strategic Options Leading to Low Emissions Climate –Resilient Development Trajectories.

Measures to be included in the metropolitan and departmental action plans have been participatory identified in the local working groups, with orientation given by renowned national and foreign experts. These groups have identified more than 500 measures which differ significantly in terms of sectors, timing and resources needed. This group of actions has been systematized according to strategic lines, programmes and projects of short, medium and long term. Based on this systematization, and the economic and legal prefeasibility studies currently underway, the working groups are completing the final phase of prioritization.

Step 4: Identify Policies and Financing options to implement priority Climate Change Actions.

The Integrated Territorial Climate Plan will serve as a framework to access different sources of financing, such as national and departmental budgets, bilateral and multilateral funds, and/or funding from the private sector. Departmental Governments are already assigning, even before the plan is finalized, resources to implement a group of early actions identified during the process, such as strengthening water supply for small rural producers facing drought forecasts. Additionally, two adaptation and local development projects have been submitted for international financing. The first relates to sustainable family dairy production; the second to native species nurseries managed by rural women and young population. The former is currently under implementation; the latter has been pre-selected and is awaiting final approval.

Step 5: Prepare Low Emission Climate Resilient Development Roadmap.

The design and consultation phase for the development of the LECDRS is expected to be completed by 2012. In the final year, the focus will shift to implementation of additional early actions activities and drafting of project profiles and documents to access other sources of financing.

Reports and Publications


Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) 2012 Update

Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) 2011 Update

Assessments and Background Documents

Uruguay- Second National Communication 2004 Spanish

Uruguay- Second National Communication 2004 English (Executive Summary)


Donor Proposal 2010-2011

TACC Uruguay Project Document: October 2011

Quarterly Updates

Progress Report - TACC Uruguay, October 2011


Reis Lopez Rello
UNDP Regional Technical Advisor
Federico Ferla
Country Office Focal Point