Given the country’s exposure to extreme weather events such as earthquakes, droughts and flooding and the importance of agriculture to the population, adaptation to climate change will be a key priority for Azerbaijan for many years to come. The country’s Third National Communication to the UNFCCC (2015) indicates that adaptation measures will focus on the areas of agriculture, water supply, forestry, coastal communities, human health and tourism.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors
  • Cultivation of drought- and salt-resistant crops and winter wheat.
  • Roll-out of modern irrigation methods and technology, as well as drainage systems and artificial rainwater reservoirs.
  • Planting of forest belts to combat water and wind erosion, together with improved mapping of eroded areas.
  • Restoration of traditional vineyards and tea plantations.
  • Greater facilitation of the agricultural economy, including government assistance programs, improved food storage facilities and setting up small rural enterprises for perishable foods.
  • Planting forests in arid regions and flood-prone areas, in particular using drought-resistant species.
  • Planting of fast-growing trees on commercial farms to meet demand for forestry products.
  • Preventative measures to reduce illegal logging, forest fires, and the proliferation of diseases and pests.
  • Construction of chemical fire stations to prevent forest fires.
  • Improved data collection on forests, including better inventories and knowledge of phytosanitary circumstances.
  • Policy changes, including designation of areas for sustainable forest recreation and setting up protected areas of forest.
  • Increased use of non-standard water resources, including rainwater, purified seawater, underground water and recycled water from industry.
  • Better regulation of water use during seasons of low precipitation.
  • Savings in water use via more modern irrigation techniques.
  • Restoring forest cover in areas that are prone to flooding.
  • Building hydroelectric power plants on mountain rivers and irrigation canals.
  • Improved meteorological systems to provide early warning of extreme weather events.
  • Better urban design, taking into account the need for green areas, the potential for heat waves, and urban heat island effects.
  • Improvements to ventilation systems in buildings and on public transport.
  • Programs to improve public awareness of how to react to the changing climate and how to treat sunstroke victims, together with improved identification of at-risk groups by social services.
  • Programs to improve public awareness of the risks of malaria.
  • Malaria prevention measures (including international cooperation within the region), and better prediction of and response to malaria outbreaks.
  • Identification of areas likely to be affected by potential rise in the level of the Caspian Sea.
  • Restrictions on major construction projects in coastal areas of high risk of sea level rise.
  • Potential resettlement away from high-risk coastal areas.
  • Construction of a series of local protection structures against sea level rise.
  • Improved meteorological systems to provide early warning of extreme weather events.
  • Location of tourism facilities to minimize risk from floods, landslides, droughts, forest fires and sea level changes.
Gaps and Needs
  • Lack of clarity persists on the effects of climate change on the level of the Caspian Sea.
  • There is a similar lack of consensus on the trend and forecast for average precipitation levels in Azerbaijan, and the regional variability within the country.
  • There is a lack of sufficiently detailed data on the proportion of the Azeri population that is reliant on farming and the potential effects of climate change on their livelihoods
  • Whereas regulations and policies on climate change areas have been well structured, they have not been implemented effectively due to a lack of resources, knowledge and/or capacity (World Bank, 2012).