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									 Adaptation of various economic
 branches of Belarus to climate change
Mikhail Kalinin     Workshop “Water and Adaptation
                           to Climate Change: Joining
Efforts to                          Adapt”

                                          1-2 July 2008
                                              Amsterdam
Forecast climate change will influence the
various economic branches

    To reduce the negative effects and to reinforce the positive effects of the global
    climate changes to the environment, economy and human societies it is necessary to
    define:
   on what stage of the global climate change the humanity is,
   due to these changes what problems and in what period will face specific countries.
    Assessment of the scale of these changes to the environment, economy and societies,
   what efforts and by whom should be undertaken at present, in 1, 5, 20 years to
    minimize the negative and to reinforce the positive effects of climate change.

WHERE WE ARE       ?
   In 2002 Republic of Belarus has developed the First National Report “Assessment of
    potential impact of climatic changes in the Republic of Belarus and vulnerability of
    social and economic systems to climate change” according to Chapters 4 and 12 of
    the Framework of the UN Convention on climate change.
   The above document was developed on the background of the experts’ assessments.
Agriculture
Forecast of climate warming effect to agriculture
Adaptation of the agriculture
   The area of the agricultural land constitutes 57.4 % of the land resources (11923
    thousand ha). Agricultural land is 43,4%, arable land constitutes 26,7% of the total
    amount. For each resident of Belarus there are 0.9 ha of agricultural land, including
    0.6 ha of arable land.

   14 most dangerous types of weather phenomena were defined for Belarus
    agriculture which determine crop vulnerability due to the climate change – for
    spring barley it is from 1 to 38 % (20 % on the average), for spring wheat – 9 – 28%
    (15,9 % on the average), for potatoes –10 – 32% (16,4 % on the average ) and this
    tendency is in the eastern and south-eastern directions.
   Weather and climate parameters influence vegetation on different stages. The losses
    due to the negative weather effects can reach 50 – 70 % and in most cases they are
    determined by dry periods.
   Most dangerous weather phenomena in worm periods are frosts and droughts, in
    cold period – thaws, snow mould, severe frosts, ice crust, in early spring period –
    moisten of crops, frost return.
   Level of crop damage due to the climate change is minimum for potatoes (9,9 %)
    and spring barley (16,7 %), maximum for spring wheat (21,3 %) and flax (17,6 %).
   Climate output for general crop dispersion is: for the winter crops 22 – 38 % and
    for the spring crops from 35 to 81 %.

   In Belarus in the nearest time the response to the climate change will be made on
    each specific level.
Adaptation of the agriculture
Increase in duration and heat probability of vegetation period leads to the
    following positive effects:
     – usage of more fruitful sort of late ripeness crops and vegetables,
    – shifting in planting of the spring crops to earlier period. It will allow to use
    the amount of moisture in soil after snow melting and will lead to the earlier
    harvest time. Risk of May frost should be taken into account. In this connection
    crops should frost-steady,
   spreading the planting areas of the warm climate crops (cucumbers, tomatoes)
    to the north of the county ,
     – increase in the planting areas of the spring colza.

With the increase of the dry periods it is necessary:
    – to reinforce the activities related to the development of the new sorts of crops
    steady to the drought and to expand their usage,
   – to expand the regions with irrigated agriculture,
   – further development of the insurance systems against droughts,
   – effective use of extra protein in wheat which concentrates due to the drought
    periods,
   – to expand planting area of corn.
Forestry
Forecast of climate warming effect to forestry
    State forest fund lands constitutes 9 247,5 thousand ha, which makes 44,55
     % of the Belarus territory, out of this amount forest covers 7 851,1
     thousand ha (37,82 %).
Positive effects will result in:
 growth (not less then 10 %) of the current increment of the forest stands
     due to the increase in the active temperatures (up to 10 %), prolonged
     period of vegetation from 180 – 205 up to 195 – 230 days a year, as well as
     concentration of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (up to 50 % before
     2050),
 acceleration in the terms of maturation of seeds and fruits of woody
     plants, forest berries due to the earlier beginning of the vegetation period
     by 10 – 15 days.
 earlier thawing of soil which results in the earlier forest planting season by
     10-15 days.
    Forecast of climate warming effect to forestry–
    continued
    Negative effects will result in:
    Increase of the fire risk periods, increase of the potentialу fire risk forest
     areas and peat marches,
    Changes in the structure of the forest stands in connection of the prognostic
     areas of the main forest species (fir-tree, grey alder, hornbeam). The loss of
     the phytocenosis steadiness of the fir-tree, grey alder and increase of the
     positions of hornbeam, oak, pine-tree.
    General deterioration in vegetation of the forest stands due to the lowering in
     the ground water level in hydromorphic and semi-hydromorphic soils and
     growth of the intensity of transpiration and evaporation from the surface of
     the soils of all types.
  Adaptation in forestry

Complex of adaptation measures should include the following directions:
 planning-control and financial-economic: development of the strategies for
   the branch and task adaptation programmes to climate change, including
   economic assessment of adaptation losses in the branch and application for
   financial support from the state budget,
 organizational: implementation of the measures, set up in the adaptation
   strategies and programmes on all the levels – from the Ministry of Forestry
   to the specific enterprises. Amendments in the legislation. Protection
   measures. Programmes of rational forest planting. Preparation of the seed
   farms to the increase in silviculture.
Water resources
   Republic of Belarus has a large number of aquatic ecosystems including
    rivers (20,8 thousand), lakes (10,8 thousand), water storage reservoirs (153)
    and ponds (1,5 thousand).

   The total length of Belarusian rivers is 90.6 thousand km. They are within
    the catchment areas of the Black and Baltic Seas.
     Forecast of climate warming effect to water resources and
     water ecosystems
Negative effects to the water resources:
 The most dangerous – possible transformation in the hydrographs of the years
    with low water levels, especially when the prognosis volumes of the reduced
    annual run-off would take place in the period of summer-autumn mean water,
 decrease in the practical planned water supply of the water objects using surface
    water.
 Deterioration of the river water quality due to the lower rate of dilution of the
    sewage water and other sources of contamination,
 Under the lowering of the river and lake water levels the concentration of the
    radionuclides of 137Cs и 90Sr will take place in surface water in the river basins
    of Dniepr and Pripyat.
 Transformation in hydrobiological river regimes caused by the changes in level
    and speed of the rivers, increase in air temperature, and as a result deterioration
    in the oxygen regime, decrease in the strength of the process of natural
    purification.
 Reduction in water level and discharges during the base runoff period would
    adversely affect water withdrawal, the operation of the domestic water
    transport, recreation.
 Lowering in the levels of the underground water, especially in streamside.
Forecast of climate warming effect to water
resources and water ecosystems – continued
   Increasing “thermal load” on rivers and water reservoirs may accelerate
    eutrophication processes, thereby shifting the equilibrium in the species
    composition (in groups) of phytoplankton toward species (groups) with
    higher temperature optimum (for example, cyanobacteria) posing a
    substantial risk for drinking water quality.
Risk for floods:
 Under climate change the most hazardous riks is connected with flood. The
    analysis of data on 1845 and 1931 floods shows that more catastrophic
    floods and high water may form in Belarus in the future. This situation is
    possible with a higher anthropogenic burden on the watershed leading to
    substantial change of conditions of runoff formation in hydrological terms.
Risk for Hydropower Engineering and water transport:
 All operating HPP in the Belarusian power system are categorized as small-
    sized units for which firm capacity is defined by the December runoff of
    design probability not lower than 95 % in the year with low water. The
    firm capacity of Polotsk HPP being currently designed and categorized as
    medium-sized is accepted to be 80-85 % of the runoff probability.
    Currently, approximately an average of 4-6 % of the annual runoff account
    for each of 9 months of summer and fall-winter periods.
Water resources adaptation should include
   Reorganization and reorientation of the development strategies to the
    effectiveness of the current water resources.
   Broad introduction of water-preserve technologies in branches using much
    water (industry, agriculture, municipal water supply).
   Transformation of irrigation systems to the highly developed complexes ith
    optimum water discharge per output of products.
   Conversion to nonwaste water supply systems.
   Change in the tariffs.
   Possible artificial increase in the underground water stock.
Forecast of climate warming effect to
social and economic systems
   The change in climatic characteristics being observed will require updating
    parameters of the construction climatology and Construction Norms of
    Belarus
   Calculations have demonstrated that if mean annual air temperature rises
    from 0.5 0С to 3 0С, the heating period will reduce respectively by 6 days
    and 36.
   The reduction in heat loss and, hence, saving fuel with the temperature
    increase by 0.5 0С would be 3.5%, and with the temperature increase by 3
    0С – 15.3%..
   The total fuel saving with temperature rise by 0.5 0С would be 6.6%, and
    by 3 0С – 33.8%.
   Climate warming will allow people to spend more time in recreational
    zones (in forests, at the rivers, lakes, water reservoirs) and, thus, a higher
    anthropogenic burden on these ecosystems may be expected and, hence,
    lower water quality and aggravation of the epidemiological situation.
Pratical activities
   ecosystems (aquatic, forest, agricultural) should not be considered
    separately, as they are integrated in the nature. The state of environment
    mainly defines human health, that is why it is of critical importance to
    make integrated assessments of the climate impact on ecosystems, economy
    and community’s health. This would allow for not only selecting more
    beneficial adaptation actions at the national level, but also disseminating
    them to the intergovernmental (regional) levels.
   Adaptation strategies and task programmes to climate change should be
    developed for the various economic branches in the county.
   Certain changes should be included into the national legislation.

								
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