This Strategic Framework presents the results of a project to improve the integrated management of water resources using the basin approach in the climate change context. The Project addressed the increased risks of dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena and facilitated the development of transboundary cooperation between the NRB countries.The following principal results were obtained in the course of the project’s implementation:
- The current state of the water resources of the Neman River Basin (quantitative aspects) was assessed, based on an analysis of the impact of economic activities on these resources;
- Changes in existing climatic characteristics and runoff over the past 50 years were analyzed;
- Climate change scenarios were elaborated and climate change/runoff forecasts were made up to 2050 ;
- An overall assessment of the current water quality of surface waters in the NRB was made, based on the agreed assessment system (Belarus – Lithuania);
- Estimations and forecasts of the impact of future climate change on the surface water quality were made at the highest level of generalization;
- Hydrometeorological and hydrochemical monitoring systems were analyzed and proposals were developed to optimize these systems for climate change monitoring;
- A common information platform (online database) was developed, containing data on water resources management and adaptation to climate change for the NRB countries;
- Consultations were held to discuss the Project’s outcomes and strategies for the NRB countries (Belarus, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation), with the involvement of representatives of the UNECE, environmental management bodies, international and national experts, water users concerned, and also mass media and the public.
The Strategic Framework also includes a list of main potential measures developed, based on an assessment of the possible impacts of climate change on various types of natural resources and industries within the context of their relation to the severity of the impact on water resources. The damage and risks of climatic variability can be reduced and positive effects of this variability may be derived, provided that these measures are competently developed and implemented in a timely manner through specific activities and projects.