The Republic of Armenia signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on June 13, 1992 and ratified it as a non-Annex I country on May 14, 1993.
In 1996, the UNDP/GEF funded project "Armenia - Country Study on Climate Change" was launched in order to support Armenia in capacity building and developing its First National Communication. The ultimate objective of this project was building capacity in Armenia to fulfil the country's commitments to the UNFCCC and respond to the objectives of the Convention on a sustained basis. Within the framework of the implementation of Phase I of the mentioned project, Armenia's First National Communication was developed and presented in Buenos Aires in 1998, at the fourth Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC.
The First National Communication incorporates: the inventory of greenhouse gases (GHG) for 1990, projection of GHG emissions till 2010, climate change forecast scenarios for Armenia, and possible impacts of these changes on the country's economy, water resources, ecosystems and health of population. The Communication also incorporates materials on information provision, systematic observations in Armenia as well as a number of studies pertaining to the latter.
In 1997, the Climate Change Informational Center was established aiming at provision of the information on ongoing and envisaged environmental projects targeted to climate change mitigation, as well as development and dissemination of publications and awareness rising materials.
After completion of the First National Communication, Armenia received additional funding from UNDP/GEF for incorporating a Technology Needs Assessment in Priority Areas. The elaborated report also provides the outcomes of a self-assessment of national needs for GHG abatement and adaptation technologies and prioritised them under a set of evaluation criteria agreed by experts and stakeholders consulted. After selection of key technologies, a package of project proposals, addressing each selected technology option was developed.
In 2002 GEF has supported also the regional project aimed at national capacity building for development of GHG inventories. This project targets 12 countries from Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States (NIS), including Armenia. By strengthening the institutional capacity to prepare inventories and establishing a trained, sustainable inventory team, the project will help countries to reduce uncertainties and improve the quality of inventories for subsequent NC. This, in turn, will allow countries to improve national strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
On December 26, 2002, the National Assembly of Armenia ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which made the Armenia the 108th Party to join the Protocol. Thus, Armenia has met one of the main requirements for participation in Clean Development Mechanism. It is important to mention that Armenia, as a non-Annex I country, does not have any quantitative obligations regarding greenhouse gases emissions reduction or limitation.
In 2003-2004 the UNDP/GEF funded project - "Armenia - National Capacity Self-Assessment for Global Environmental Management (NCSA)" started. The objective of the project was to determine the priority needs, and plan of the activities and measures for developing Armenia's capacity to meet its commitments to the global environmental management. The project was focused on capacity related issues that are common across the UN environmental conventions, including needs associated with strengthening institutional mechanisms, environmental assessment, monitoring and research, improving the dialogue, information exchange and co-operation amongst all stakeholders. As an outcome of the project, the national NCSA Action Plan for 2004-2008 has been developed and approved by the Governmental Decree.
In 2004 the EU funded "Technical Assistance to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova with Respect to their Global Climate Change Commitments" regional project started. The overall objective of this three-year project was to assist participant countries in building institutional and technical capacity for participation to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. The regional project assumed the following: (a) capacity building for hosting CDM projects in the beneficiary countries, including assistance in forming the institutional infrastructure required to support CDM projects and development of a portfolio of CDM projects, which fits into the sustainable development strategy of the beneficiary country; (b) awareness raising among key policy-makers, the business community and the general public on the issues related to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto protocol, and on the development opportunities and issues with respect to CDM and GHG mitigation; (c) local capacity development in GHG emission forecast modeling and assessment of sectoral GHG mitigation potentials and options and (d) assistance to the beneficiary countries in developing their national climate change strategies, including mitigation and adaptation measures.
The project outcomes include: (i) organization of a series of local and international awareness raising seminars on Kyoto Protocol and CDM for representatives of key ministries, project partners, private companies and NGOs; (ii) development and update of the CDM project pipeline; (iii) development of CDM Manual for Armenia; (iv) development and maintenance of the project website (www.cdm.nature-ic.am) which serves as a channel for dissemination of project materials and CDM related information; (v) development of a draft procedure of CDM project submission and approval; (vi) development of baseline study for grid-connected small renewable projects and three CDM project design documents. In addition, the Project Armenian office supported the MoNP in evaluation of CDM project proposals and design documents and maintaining other administrative functions regarding the CDM, thus, contributing to effective operation of the DNA in Armenia.
Provision of assistance to the MoNP has been continued by the UNDP/GEF "Enabling Activities for the Preparation of Armenia’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC" project since 2007. In particular, the Project has been assisting the MoNP in executing its function as CDM DNA, which includes technical and administrative assistance to the DNA, communication with project proponents and potential investors, organization of awareness raisins seminars and public hearings with participation of key stakeholders and environmental NGOs, assessment of CDM project activities submitted for endorsement or approval, elaboration of analytical papers regarding CDM developments, identification and promotion of GHG mitigation projects as well as development of sub-legislative draft acts.
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