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Activities and outcomes of the BaltCICA in Klaipeda city case study area

1. Pre-foresight


Klaipeda is third largest city in Lithuania, an ice-free port with approx. 185000 inhabitants. Due to Smeltale river high waters and sea level change Southern part of Klaipeda city is flooded almost every year.


Smeltale is a small costal river in western Lithuania. It falls into the Curonian lagoon (Klaipeda city port territory). Smeltale length is 20.9 km and mean annual runoff is ~1.5 m³/s. During heavy precipitation events runoff could reach 18-20 m³/s. River basin area – 124.1 km², it has 2 very different segments: rural (approx. 85% of total area) and urban (approx. 15%) parts. More than 70% of rural segment is occupied by arable lands, on the contrary, residential and industrial districts (70%) are predominant in urban part.


Floods in Smeltale river are mainly caused by high sea water level in Baltic sea and in Klaipeda channel. And the second reason is heavy precipitation (and sudden snow melt process) in Smeltale river basin. Usually we are dealing with mixture of both triggers in one time.

Process carried out in Klaipeda city case study areas consists of 4 main steps:


1. Building of scenarios (January 2009 – January 2010): assessment of consequences of climate change and visual presentation of assessment results.

2. Development of adaptation options (January 2010 – April 2010): based on the assessment of climate change impacts several adaptation options are identified and discussed with local stakeholders during scenario workshop, which leads to the short list of adaptation options selected for the appraisal procedure.

3. Appraisal of adaptation options (May 2010 – November 2010): feasibility study on selected adaptation options is prepared and discussed during the second seminar with local stakeholders, action plan for the implementation of most efficient adaptation measures is developed.

4. Implementation of adaptation measures (December 2010 – December 2011): based on the appraisal procedure and discussion with local stakeholders results political decision concerning implementation of concrete adaptation measures is taken and implementation process is initiated.

Actors involved in the process

Local stakeholders in Klaipeda city were invited to participate in the adaptation process by e-mail, personal telephone calls and local media. An article about the problem and possible solutions was published in local newspaper and representatives of local community took part in the meetings. Specialists of Klaipeda municipality related to the issue were invited personally.

No particular challenges were to invite local stakeholders, because the problem of flooding was already alarming issue in the city.


2. Data and inputs


Assessment of climate change impacts was carried out by Vilnius University Department of Hydrology and Climatology (Project partner). Comprehensive report assessing climate change impacts on Smeltale river hydrological regime and reviewing possible Smeltale river flooding mitigation and adaptation measures was prepared in Lithuanian language.

A short English version is available here.

In the next phase of project feasibility study of possible adaptation measures was prepared.
Adaptation measures were evaluated and possible adaptation costs were presented in this study.

Also survey for stakeholders about Cost-Benefit  Analysis and MultiCriteria  Descision analysis was prepared and distributed.


3. Information transmission


In order to transfer scientific knowledge to local stakeholders and decision-makers in clear and understandable way a summary of the comprehensive report was prepared and distributed to the local stakeholders together with invitation to the scenario workshop.

An article presenting the issue and inviting to join the seminar was published in local newspaper several days before the scenario workshop. This article helped to attract more local stakeholders to the process.

Participants of the scenario workshop were provided with summary of the climate change impact assessment report, maps of location, description of scenarios.

During preparation for the second scenario workshop feasibility study was send to local stakeholders and some members of local comunity.


4. Interaction


Two scenario workshops with local stakeholders from Klaipeda city case study area were organized in Klaipeda on April 16, 2010 and on 13 th of December 2010. The main purpose of first workshop was to discuss with local stakeholders the main reasons of floods in the Southern part of Klaipeda city, to talk about pros and cons of 3 possible scenarios (to keep it as it is, to protect ourselves or to adapt), to come up with a list of adaptation options selected for the appraisal procedure.

27 participants representing Klaipeda water company, schools, universities, local newspaper, national harbor directorate, Regional Environmental Protection Department, NGOs, representatives of house owners and small boats harbor, different departments of Klaipeda city municipality (Environmental, Landscape Architecture, Civil protection, Project management), City Council member attended the workshop.

One day event was divided into two phases – discussion of the reasons of floods and 3 scenarios (1) and suggestions for adaptation measures (2).


The  second workshop was organised to present the prepared feasibility study of  adaptation measures, to  discuss results of the feasibility study and to choose the most suitable measures. 21 participant from different organizations took part in this event.

Feasibility study of possible solutions and adaptation measures was discussed and evaluated. The best measure was chosen  as most  efficient  by stakeholders and it was passed for Klaipeda city municipality for future development.

A working group of city administration representatives responsible for implementation was formed in Klaipeda city municipality.


5. Output


So far BaltCICA project activities in Klaipeda city case study area contributed to the following outcomes:


1. List of local stakeholders;
2. Assessment of climate change impacts (Comprehensive report and its summary of the comprehensive report in Lithuanian language);
3. Article in local newspaper;
4. Scenario workshops with local stakeholders;
5. List of adaptation measures selected for appraisal procedure;
6. Agreement with local stakeholders on future activities (appraisal procedure, meetings, political decision, implementation).
7. Feasibility study of adaptation measures.
8. Working group of implementation.
9. Preliminary project results were announced in national magazines “Valstybė (The State)” and “Mokslas ir gyvenimas (Science and Life)”
10. Three scientific articles prepared and published, four presentations in international and national conferences.

BaltCICA objectives interact with other activities of Klaipeda city:  a detailed teritorial  planning process of the city is under development and solutions of  flooding problems should be included in this plan. In this way BaltCICA activities helps the city to solve the problems.

Next step: Initiation of the implementation process.

Fig. 1. Enlarge

Fig. 2. Flooded Southern part of Klaipeda city. Enlarge

Fig. 3.. Enlarge