Monitoring and climate change adaptation in agriculture

Oct 09, 2023

Copyright: Irida Haxhi

Agricultural practices have direct and indirect effects on soil, climate and air, biodiversity and water. The Implementation Action Plan for the Green Agenda for the Western Balkan highlights, among others, the need to establish baselines illustrating the relations between agriculture and the environment built on strong data and evidence.

Monitoring through the Agri-Environmental indicators helps to show policy progress and development in this pillar of the Green Agenda. EU4Green emphasizes the importance of Agri-Environmental Indicators (AEI) and supports the beneficiaries by exploring ways for filling data gaps, developing methodological improvements, proxy indicators as well as strengthen networking and institutional capacity building to improve the data situation.

At the EU4Green Workshop in Tirana representatives from Western Balkan Agricultural ministries and other agricultural and environmental institutions came together to discuss possible and necessary AEI developments and improvements to better track progress and efforts of the Green Agenda implementation, but also to serve other agri-environmental political purposes, like the evaluation of the rural development programs (IPARD programs) in the Western Balkan region.

Measures of sustainable water use and storage

Another pivotal topic of EU4Green and the workshop in Tirana is climate change adaptation in agriculture. Climate change poses significant risks to farming, including unpredictable weather patterns, increased pests and diseases, and changing water availability. Adapting to these challenges is not just beneficial but essential for the survival and sustainability of agriculture in the region. The focus of EU4Green in this field is supporting strategic approaches for strengthening the resilience of agricultural systems on the Western Balkans on the one hand and enhancing advisory on sustainable water use and storage measures in agriculture on the other hand. Addressing the first point, approaches and starting points for the Status analyses of Climate Change Adaption in Agriculture was presented by the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South Eastern Europe. As for the second point workshop participants discussed measures and a draft questionnaire for sustainable water use/storage in agriculture for agricultural advisory services and challenges of agriculture due to climate change.

Breakout sessions on both days enabled focused discussions on establishing a regional approach for the Western Balkans, but taking into account national circumstances and enhancing cooperation among different governance tiers.

Turning challenges into opportunities

Sustainable food systems and rural areas are a main topic of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. This comprehensive plan seeks to achieve environmental sustainability and socio-economic transformation.

The EU4Green project supports the Western Balkans in their transition towards green, modern, resource-efficient and resilient to environmental threats economies. Financed by the European Union and the Austrian government, the project is implemented by the Environment Agency Austria in collaboration with the governments, institutions, and EU Delegations in the Western Balkans, striving for a sustainable and prosperous future for the region.

Useful links :

Context – Agriculture – Eurostat (

Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe — European Environment Agency (