Enhancing Montenegro’s capacity to integrate climate change risks into planning

Project Overview

The project aims to improve Montenegro’s institutional capacity for long-term adaptation planning by strengthening its institutional coordination framework, expanding the technical capacities of those responsible and involved in adaptation planning, enhancing the evidence base required for effective decision-making, and developing a resource mobilization strategy. The project focuses on the national level and operates across four priority sectors—water resources, public health, agriculture, and tourism—aligned with existing government policies.

Project Details

The overarching objective of the project “Enhancing Montenegro’s capacity to integrate climate change risks into planning” is to improve the country’s institutional capacity for long-term adaptation planning. To achieve this, the project focuses on (1) improving the institutional coordination framework and increasing institutional capabilities, (2) increasing climate information and identifying potential adaptation measures, and (3) identifying financial requirements and resources to fund adaptation investments. 

The projected impacts of climate change in Montenegro include increased frequencies and intensities of floods and droughts, water scarcity, and intensification of erosion, sedimentation, snowmelt, sea level rise, as well as damage to water quality and ecosystems. To address climate change risks, the Government of Montenegro has taken several foundational steps to develop a long-term adaptation planning process that is anchored in the National Climate Change Strategy by 2030 and Montenegro’s National Communication. While these steps provide a starting point, several gaps were identified: (1) An underperforming coordination framework, (2) a lack of institutional capacity, (3) insufficient information, and (4) a lack of finance to fund adaptation investments, and (5) a private sector that has a low capacity to understand and respond to climate vulnerabilities and risks.

This project aims to establish a foundation for systematic and iterative adaptation planning in Montenegro by identifying climate risks and adaptation options. Focusing on four key sectors, the strategic approach aims to enhance resilience, facilitate access to international funding sources, and engage the private sector in providing financial resources. The project will also strengthen the awareness and capacities for adaptation planning of multiple stakeholder groups to create a better learning environment and iterative adaptation planning and action. The project is the first stage (Phase I) of what is intended to be a two-staged approach to utilizing Green Climate Fund support for adaptation planning. The second stage will build on Phase I, amongst others, by expanding the adaptation planning process to additional sectors, integrating the private sector further, and enhancing strategies for financing and tracking adaptation finance.

Project Results

Output 1.1: Institutional Capacity for Adaptation Planning Assessed and Enhanced

Capacity gap assessments have been conducted, focusing on key government stakeholders, the private sector, and civil society organizations.  An assessment of the capacity of institutions in terms of adaptation to climate change and green development was performed. 

The evaluation process included more than 300 actors, institutions at the national and local level, public and private companies, operating in various fields. The assessment aimed to determine the public sector’s ability to plan and implement climate change adaptation processes, while analysing the need for capacity building and training of staff. Within this research, the institutions were evaluated concerning seven elements defined by the Capacity Assessment Tool, specifically designed for the implementation of this activity in Montenegro. The results of the initial analysis indicated a general weak systemic coordination and cooperation climate change adaptation. Capacity assessments ranged from low to baseline, while strong capacities to respond to climate challenges were not identified for any of the assessed institutions. 

Moreover, collaboration with the Transition towards the low emissions and climate-resilient economy in the Western Balkans and Turkey (TRATOLOW) project and the GoM adaptation focal point was established, resulting in the drafting of a Gender and Climate Change Adaptation Training program. Furthermore, a concept for the Dialogue for Development seminar series was developed and a two-day training workshop on Monitoring and Indicators for Adaptation was conducted in collaboration with TRATOLOW. 

In 2023, efforts focused on further improving the gap assessment, developing online training modules, and sustaining the Dialogue for Development Seminar Series. Additionally, the project finalized the design of the Training Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology (IHSM) staff, initiating the subsequent training process.

Output 1.2: Institutional Coordination to Support Adaptation Planning Strengthened

In the realm of institutional coordination, the project supported the redesign of the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), resulting in the Government of Montenegro upgrading the NCSD as a unit in the Government in 2021. Activities in 2022 saw the operationalization of the NCSD, including key appointments and capacity-building initiatives. The project played a supportive role in amendments to the Law on Protection from the Negative Effects of Climate Change.

In a broader sense, the main task of the Council is to direct and monitor the implementation of policies that determine the country’s development direction and ensure the sustainability of these policies. The Council is a platform for sharing knowledge, expertise, information, and practical experience. In addition to the representatives of relevant institutions, business community and NGOs, the representatives of youth and the media are also members of the NCSD.

The new NCSD held its first constitutive session during the 36th meeting in December 2022. Legal advisory support was extended for further amendments to the Law on Protection from the Negative Effects of Climate Change. The project also aimed to finalize the formation of a working group for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and provide support for legislative changes and additions.

In 2023, the project formed a working group for climate change adaptation and continued providing support for legislative changes, reinforcing the legal framework for climate change adaptation.

Output 2.1: Gender-specific climate change-Driven risks and vulnerabilities in priority sectors identified, broad goals, and potential adaptation measures developed

The project has made significant strides in identifying gender-specific climate change-driven risks and vulnerabilities. In 2021, a company was selected to review and consolidate climate risk assessments, engaging in a consultation process and conducting stocktaking workshops.

In 2022, the project prepared initial drafts of climate risk assessments, conducted initial consultations, and initiated the selection process for lead international and local experts. Assessments for climate change-driven risks in priority sectors were finalized and activities progressed with a combined approach involving the lead writer of the NAP and local experts.

In 2023, a company was selected to expand on the prepared assessment and develop guiding materials for the Government of Montenegro (GoM). Additionally, efforts focussed on developing gender-sensitive adaptation goals, targets, and indicators.

Output 2.2: National Adaptation Planning Processes Established

In 2021, a company was selected to undertake a public awareness communications campaign. During this phase, the project participated in a national workshop on climate change and gender, presenting its work to a broader audience.In 2022, the project selected lead international and local experts, finalized the inception report, and outlined plans for a Gender Action Plan and Gender Communication Plan. 

Activities included ongoing coordination with the public awareness communications campaign and also focused on increasing awareness and participation in climate change adaptation, supporting events such as Green Schools Day 2022, the presentation of the Second Voluntary National Report (VNR) at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York, and the Green Montenegro International Film Fest (GMIFF).

In 2023, the project prepared the draft National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for public consultation.

Output 3.1: Mechanisms for Funding Adaptation Investments Identified

The project initiated the selection process and inception phase for activities related to identifying mechanisms for funding adaptation investments in 2022. This involved the development of Terms of Reference (ToR) and subsequent selection processes, which were further developed in 2023.

Output 3.2: Private Sector Engagement in Adaptation Strengthened

During 2022, the project developed Terms of Reference (ToR) for activities related to strengthening private sector engagement in adaptation. The inception phase for these activities was initiated, and implementation of the selection process to further enhance private-sector engagement was developed in 2023. 


Level of intervention: 
Key collaborators: 
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations: 
Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism in Montenegro
Project status: 
Under Implementation
Funding source: 
Financing amount: 
US$ 1,721,932

Key Results and Outputs

Outcome 1: Adaptation planning governance, institutional coordination, and technical capacity strengthened;

Outcome 2An enhanced evidence base for designing gender-sensitive adaptation solutions;

Outcome 3An adaptation finance mobilization strategy developed.