Adapting to Climate Change

Project description

Title: Energy and Climate Fund
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Palestinian territories
Lead executing agency: Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)
Overall term: 2014 to 2018

Palestinian territories: Irrigation channel in the Wadi Qelt, east of Jericho © GIZ


Climate change is causing the seasonal distribution of rainfall in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank to shift. At the same time, rising average temperatures are increasing the demand for water, particularly for agriculture. Since agriculture is a mainstay of economic development in the region, climate change is taking a particularly heavy toll on the Palestinian people. It is also putting extra pressure on the natural fresh water resources that are accessible to Palestinians in the West Bank and which are already overexploited.

In the 1970s, the Palestinians began to cover part of their rising demand for water by purchasing water from Israel. The provisions of the 1995 Oslo II Accord, however, preclude any unilateral increase by Palestinian water consumers in the volume of water transferred to them under their water rights. Instead, they envisage the development of non-conventional water resources (such as purified wastewater). In order to fully exploit all feasible options, those working in the agriculture sector will need to have sufficient organisational skills and technical know-how.

To date, problems in adapting to climate change have come about due to:

  • inadequate information and lack of access to technical innovations,
  • the increased uncertainty of decision-making in businesses as a result of administrative restrictions, especially in zones controlled either in part or entirely by Israel (Areas B and C), and
  • a lack of integrated resource management at the operational, municipal and community level.


Palestinians working in the agriculture sector have improved their water and land resource management in order to adapt to climate change.

Palestinian territories: Consultation among farmers near Hebron © GIZ


The measure supports Palestinians working in the agriculture sector in regions that can expect to see increased use of non-conventional water resources.

It promotes the establishment of registered agricultural cooperatives to formally represent farmers' interests in water distribution processes.

Support is also provided for innovation and maintenance measures aimed at enhancing existing irrigation infrastructure and thereby increasing agricultural productivity.

The measure has three fields of activity:

  1. Organisational development and process advice to establish agricultural cooperatives
  2. Technical support for these agricultural cooperatives as part of pilot projects aimed at improving the shared irrigation infrastructure
  3. Advising and raising awareness among water consumers about dealing with non-conventional water resources
Palestinian territories: Agricultural area north of Nablus © GIZ

The key topics that these advisory and awareness-raising services focus on include proper handling and use of non-potable water, adapting irrigation techniques to suit local water resource situations, and efficiently combining the use of water and land resources.