Public Health

Taxonomy Term List

Building Resilience of Health Systems in Pacific Island LDCs to Climate Change

The Pacific Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are among the countries most vulnerable to climate variability and change.  A common problem is the triple burden of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, exacerbated by health impacts of climate change that causes high rates of morbidity and mortality.  

Working in Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, the project, Building Resilience of Health Systems in Pacific Island LDCs to Climate Change, this UNDP and World Health Organization supported project will provide overall adaptation benefits through adjusting health systems and associated capacities of health professionals to incorporate climate risks and resilience into health practices. Coupled with enhancing the operation of information and early warning services, and the effectiveness of disease control practices, these efforts will serve to reduce climate-induced disruptions in the function of primary health care facilities. It is expected that these in turn will reduce the occurrence and intensity of climate-sensitive disease outbreaks and their associated effects on communities and individuals. 

The revision of health strategies will not only help to build national capacities for analyzing climate-induced risks to health and identifying adaptive preventive and curative measures, but it will also support review of operational aspects, such as institutional structures and capacities,  financial and budgetary planning processes for their implementation. The programmatic approach to address barriers of tackling burdens of communicable and non-communicable diseases, will build climate resilience in vulnerable populations and communities, and in the health systems in LDCs, to better manage the health risks of climate variability and change.

 

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Thematic Area: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (159.25781246428 -8.2223638578622)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Communities living in Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$17.2 million (GEF LDCF grant)
Co-Financing Total: 
US$76 million (co-financing)
Project Details: 


Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Expected Outcomes:

  • 1. Governance of health system and institutional capacities strengthened by mainstreaming climate-related risk and resilience aspects into health policy frameworks
  • 2. Capacities of health system institutions and personnel strengthened in managing health information and weather/climate early warning systems
  • 3. Improved coverage and quality of health services addressing climate-related diseases, and reduced climate-induced disruptions in the function of health care facilities
  • 4. Enhanced south-south cooperation fostering knowledge exchange, the provision of technical assistance and scientific advisory, and the integration of national health policy frames and related adaptation plans with ongoing NAP-related processes
Monitoring & Evaluation: 


Contacts: 
UNDP
Reis Lopez Rello
Regional Technical Advisor
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 
Programme Meetings and Workshops: 


News and Updates: 


Information in French / Informations en français: 


Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Outcome 1. Governance of health system and institutional capacities strengthened by mainstreaming climate-related risk and resilience aspects into health policy frameworks

Outcome 2. Capacities of health system institutions and personnel strengthened in managing health information and weather/climate early warning systems

Outcome 3. Improved coverage and quality of health services addressing climate-related diseases, and reduced climate-induced disruptions in the function of health care facilities

Outcome 4. Enhanced south-south cooperation fostering knowledge exchange, the provision of technical assistance and scientific advisory, and the integration of national health policy frames and related adaptation plans with ongoing NAP-related processes

Civil Society Engagement: 


Building Resilience of Health Systems in Asian Least Developed Countries to Climate Change

Climate change brings with it serious risks to public health, particularly in Asia.  While heat waves are expected to increase morbidity and mortality in vulnerable groups, altered rain patterns and water flows will impact crop production and thus increase malnutrition.  At the same time, changes in air and water temperatures, as well as increased incidence of extreme events, will affect transmission of infections diseases.  Those in low-lying coastal zones and flood plains are particularly at risk. 

The problems are exacerbated in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), where adaptive capacity and economic vulnerability limit adequate preparation for the impacts of climate change on health. 

The Building Resilience of Health Systems in Asian Least Developed Countries to Climate Change project will support Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste by:

  • strengthening institutional capacity to integrate climate risks and adaptation into health sector planning
  • improving surveillance and/or early warning systems for effective decision-making
  • enhancing health sector service delivery
  • supporting regional cooperation and knowledge sharing to promote up-scaling and replication of best practices
  • and integrating health into the National Adaptation Plan process

This project will be implemented in partnership with the World Health Organization and is funded by the Least Developed Countries Fund.

Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Thematic Area: 
Funding Source: 
Project Details: 
In Asia, the least developed countries (LDCs) of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Nepal, and Timor-Leste, have limited technical capacity of health care systems and personnel to effectively integrate climate-related risks into policy, planning, and regulatory frames, and into interventions to control the burden of climate-sensitive health outcomes. 
 
Existing climate early warning systems managed by national meteorological organizations lack systematic coverage of observational data from regions and areas of the countries with high risks of climate-sensitive health outcomes. 
 
Climate information services are not adequately tailored to the needs of public health professionals.  
 
Primary health care facilities are ill-equipped to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and climate events, lacking information and cost-effective methods and technologies to provide adequate water and sanitiation services during extreme events. 
 
Recognizing these challenges, the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) of the above-mentioned countries prioritize adaptation to the health risks of climate variability and change. 
 
Designed in consultation with stakeholders, this project will increase the adaptive capacity of national health systems and institutions, and sub-level actors, to respond to and manage long-term climate-sensitive health risks, through the following complementary outcomes: 
 
• Outcome 1: Institutional capacities are strengthened to effectively integrate climate risks and adaptation options in health sector planning and implementation 
• Outcome 2: Effective decision-making for health interventions is enabled through generation of information and improved surveillance and/or early warning systems
• Outcome 3: Climate resilience is enhanced in health service delivery
• Outcome 4.1: Enhanced regional cooperation and knowledge exchange for promoting scale-up and replication of interventions 
• Outcome 4.2: HNAP are effectively integrated into ongoing NAP processes 
 
The regional approach of the project will ensure partnerships across countries are developed and the regional-level systematization of lessons and best practices are documented and assessed to develop technical guidelines, manuals and tool-kits – thereby ensuring that these can be replicated and scaled-up across the region. 
 
Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
The objective of this project is to increase the adaptive capacity of national health systems and institutions, and sub-national level actors, to respond to and manage long-term climate-sensitive health risks in six Asian Least Developed Countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste).
 
This will be achieved through interventions and policy-level actions, under five outcomes. The project will be overseen by UNDP with project components implemented by the World Health Organization and UNDP, in cooperation with Ministries of Health.
 
Outcome 1: Institutional capacities are strengthened to effectively integrate climate risks and adaptation options in health sector planning and implementation
 
• 1.1 Integrated health national adaptation plan (H-NAP) is designed/updated to achieve the national health adaptation goals
• 1.2 Standard operating procedures developed for managing climate-sensitive health outcomes
• 1.3 Capacity building to support the implementation of standard operating procedures
 
Outcome 2: Effective decision-making for health interventions is enabled through generation of information and improved surveillance and/or early warning systems   
 
• Output 2.1 Vulnerability assessment conducted for future health burdens considering development and climate change 
• Output 2.2 Integrated surveillance system strengthened of climate-sensitive health outcomes
• Output 2.3 Early warning system and response strengthened 
 
Outcome 3: Climate resilience is enhanced in health service delivery 
 
• Output 3.1 Health care infrastructure strengthened to the impacts of climate change
• Output 3.2 Capacity of health personnel improved to identify and treat to climate-sensitive health issues 
• Output 3.3 Climate-sensitive disease control/water programmes strengthened
 
Outcome 4.1: Enhanced regional cooperation and knowledge exchange for promoting scale-up and replication of interventions
 
• Activity 4.1.1 Regional experiences synthesized and shared among countries in the region and across different regions;
• Activity 4.1.2 Definition of normative aspects related to climate-resilient health systems by developing regional-level guidelines, manuals, and other relevant technical documents (e.g. climate-resilient health care facilities (CR-HCFs) and climate resilient Water Safety Plans (CR-WSPs), as required by countries;
• Activity 4.1.3 Regional capacity-building events for different topics (on policy, science and implementation of interventions) and conferences;
• Activity 4.1.4 Systematization of regional experiences and promotion of North-South and South-South cooperation and knowledge exchange (which may include virtual communities of practice and platforms)
 
Outcome 4.2: Health National Adaptation Processes are effectively integrated into ongoing National Adaptation Plan processes
 
• Activity 4.2.1 Training and technical support for Ministries of Health to conduct economic analyses to inform integration of health into adaptation planning and budgeting.
• Activity 4.2.2 Training and tech support for designing/developing bankable projects to secure public or other finance
 
Monitoring & Evaluation: 
The project will be monitored through the following M&E activities:
 
Project start
 
A Project Inception Workshop will be held within the first two months of project start after the project document has been signed by all relevant parties.
 
The inception Workshop addresses a number of key issues including:
• Re-orienting project stakeholders to the project strategy and discussing any changes in the overall context that influence project strategy and implementation;
• Discussing the roles and responsibilities of the project team, including reporting and communication lines and conflict resolution mechanisms; 
• Reviewing the project results framework and finalizing the indicators, means of verification and monitoring plan; 
• Discussing reporting, monitoring and evaluation roles and finalizing the M&E budget; identifying national/regional institutes to be involved in project-level M&E; discussing the role of the GEF OFP in M&E;
• Updating and reviewing responsibilities for monitoring the various project plans and strategies, including the risk log; knowledge management strategy, and other relevant strategies;
• Reviewing financial reporting procedures and mandatory requirements, and agreeing on the arrangements for audits 
• Planing and scheduling Project Board meeting and finalizing first year annual work plan
 
An Inception Workshop report is a key reference document and must be prepared and shared with participants to formalize various agreements and plans decided during the meeting. 
 
Quarterly reports
 
Project Progress Reports (PPR) quarterly reports will be assembled based on the information recorded and monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. The risk log will be regularly updated.
 
Annually reports
 
An annual Project Implementation Report (PIR) will prepared to monitor progress made since project start, and in particular for the previous reporting period (July to June). The PIR submitted to the GEF will be shared with the Project Board. UNDP-GEF and WHO will coordinate the input of the GEF OFP and other stakeholders to the PIR as appropriate.  The quality rating of the previous year’s PIR will be used to inform the preparation of subsequent PIR. Portfolio level indicators (i.e. GEF focal area tracking tools) are used by most focal areas on an annual basis as well. 
 
Periodic Monitoring through site visits will be conducted, based on the agreed schedule in the Project Inception Report and Annual Work Plan to assess first-hand project progress. A Field Visit Report/BTOR will be prepared and circulated no less than one month after the visit to the project team and Project Board members.
 
Mid-term evaluation of project cycle
 
An independent Mid-Term Evaluation of the project will be conducted after completion of the first two years. The Mid-Term Evaluation will determine progress being made toward the achievement of outcomes and will identify course correction if needed.  It will focus on the effectiveness, efficiency and timeliness of project implementation; will highlight issues requiring decisions and actions; and will present initial lessons learned about project design, implementation and management.  Findings of this review will be incorporated as recommendations for enhanced implementation during the final half of the project’s term.  
 
End of project evaluation
 
An independent terminal evaluation (TE) will take place upon completion of all major project ouputs and activities.  The terminal evaluation process will begin three months before operational closure of the project allowing the evaluation mission to proceed while the project team to reach conclusions on key aspects such as project sustainability.  The project manager will remain on contract until the TE report and management response have been finalized.  The terms of reference, the evaluation process and the final TE report will follow the standard templates and guidance prepared by UNDP IEO for GEF-financed projects available at the UNDP Evaluation Resource Center.  As noted in this guidance, the evaluation will be “independent, impartial and rigorous”.  The consultants that will be hired to undertake the assignment will be independent from organizations involved in designing, executing or advising on the project to be evaluated.  The GEF Operational Focal Point and other stakeholders will be involved and consulted during the terminal evaluation process.  Additional quality assurance support is available from the UNDP-GEF Directorate.  The final TE report will be cleared by the UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisor, and will be approved by the Project Board.  The TE report will be publicly available in English and the corresponding management response to the UNDP Evaluation Resource Centre (ERC).  Once uploaded to the ERC, the UNDP IEO will undertake a quality assessment and validate the findings and ratings in the TE report, and rate the quality of the TE report.  The UNDP IEO assessment report will be sent to the GEF IEO along with the project terminal evaluation report.   
 
Project Terminal Report
 
The project’s terminal PIR along with the terminal evaluation (TE) report and corresponding management response will serve as the final project report package.  The final project report package shall be discussed with the Project Board during an end-of-project review meeting to discuss lessons learned and opportunities for scaling up.
 
Learning and knowledge sharing
 
Results from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums. The project will identify and participate, as relevant and appropriate, in scientific, policy-based and/or any other networks, which may be of benefit to project.  The project will identify, analyze, and share lessons learned that might be beneficial in the design and implementation of similar future projects and disseminate these lessons widely.  There will be continuous information exchange between this project and other projects of similar focus in the same countries, region and globally.
 
A detailed plan for disseminating results will be developed within the first 2 months of project implementation, in consultation with relevant parties including the project management unit of UNDP’s Adaptation Learning Mechanism.
 
There will be a two-way flow of information between this project and other projects of a similar focus. This will be supported by knowledge management activities in Outcome 4.1, including the development and sharing of case studies, national and regional seminars/workshops and exchange visits, and information exchange via a project website and national/regional level workshops. 
 
Auditing
 
The project will be audited according to UNDP Financial Regulations and Rules and applicable audit policies for agency-implemented projects.
 
Contacts: 
UNDP
Ms. Mariana Simoes
Regional Technical Advisor, Climate Adaptation
Ms. Mari Tomova
Regional Technical Advisor, Climate Adaptation
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

The objective of this project is to increase the adaptive capacity of national health systems and institutions, and sub-national level actors, to respond to and manage long-term climate-sensitive health risks in six Asian Least Developed Countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste).

Project Dates: 
2018 to 2022

Marshall Islands' Second National Communication

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

The major impacts that climate change is projected to have in the Marshall Islands are sea level rise and associated shoreline erosion. This observation reflects the low-lying nature of the atolls the form the country; its highest point of land is found on the island of Likiep and extends 10 meters above sea level. In  its  Initial  National  Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released in 2000, the Marshall Islands identified the following sectors as being particularly vulnerable to climate change: water resources, coastal resources, agriculture resources, marine resources (including fisheries) and human health.
 
To view progress on the Marshall Islands' SNC visit: http://unfccc.int/national_reports/non-annex_i_natcom/submitted_natcom/i...
Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (171.380921969 7.09096710419)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000
Project Details: 

Overall, the most appropriate and effective adaptation measures and strategies are most likely to be those that will be beneficial even in the absence of climate and sea-level change. Such measures and strategies could be considered as “no regrets” adaptation options. Therefore, in the first instance, the capacity of the Marshall Islands to adapt to the effects of climate and sea-level change will largely be determined by its ability to address on-going environmental, social and economic problems. Adaptation includes three main types of activities. First, there are adaptive actions that include activities targeted at specific sectors where climate change effects have been identified. Second, another group of adaptive measures are equally important and include general policies and actions by government to address some of the social driving forces of environmental problems which will heighten vulnerability to climate change effects. Third, it is also important to increase the capabilities of the Marshall Islands to effectively implement adaptations.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are located off the northeast coast of New Zealand, scattered in an archipelago consisting of two roughly parallel island chains. There are twenty nine atolls and five reefs without lagoons which are made up of about 1,225 islands and 870 reef systems. Twenty-two of the atolls and four of the islands are inhabited. The atolls extend about 700 miles (1130km) north to south, and about 800 miles (1290km) east to west. While some of the islands are several kilometers long they rarely exceed a few hundred meters in width and are often considerably narrower. Land elevations are very low, with a mean height above sea level of only two meters (7 feet). The combination of small land areas and low land elevations contributes to the ecological vulnerability in the Republic. There is concern that any change in sea-level could seriously upset the fragile balance between the land and the sea. The RMI consist of fragments of Islands or low Lying Atoll Courtesy of MIVA.  Isolated by ocean, the Republic is more than 2,000 miles (3230km) from the nearest trading centers, Honolulu and Tokyo. Geographically, the RMI’s nearest neighbors are Kiribati to the south and the Federated States of Micronesia to the west. The Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) encompasses over 750,000 square miles (1.2 million sq km) of the Central Pacific.  Subsistence agriculture and fishing are the country’s main industry; the tourism industry makes a noteworthy contribution along with development funds from the United States.  

Adaptation Needs and Priorities
 
The major impacts that climate change is projected to have in the Marshall Islands are sea level rise and associated shoreline erosion (EPA, 2000). This observation reflects the low-lying nature of the atolls the form the country; its highest point of land is found on the island of Likiep and extends 10 meters above sea level (CIA, 2011).  In  its  Initial  National  Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released in 2000, the Marshall Islands identified the following sectors as being particularly vulnerable to climate change: water resources, coastal resources, agriculture resources, marine resources (including fisheries) and human health (EPA, 2000). To address these vulnerabilities, the Marshall Islands identified the following actions (EPA, 2000): 
 
  • Institutional  strengthening, such as by ensuring that governmental departments  are adequately structured and equipped with appropriate skills and tools, and are capable of delivering an integrated response to the challenges arising from climate change and accelerated sea level rise.
  • Project management and operational training for all stakeholders involved in climate change programs and the implementation of adaptation projects. 
  • Accurate documentation of baseline conditions from which to measure climate induced changes to the shorelines, reef and island ecosystem and affected settlements and communities.
  • Research capacity needs to be strengthened by ensuring adequate  support at the professional and technical levels, and by providing financial support  for baseline bio-physical and socioeconomic environmental research, monitoring changes to environmental conditions and implementing adaptation measures. 
  • Appropriate systems are needed for spatial and other data generated through vulnerability assessments, monitoring programs, 
    integrated coastal zone management planning and the implementation of adaptation projects.
  • Confidence and capacity building programs are needed for government departments, members of local councils and nongovernment organizations.
  • Community awareness and education programs.
  • Proactive participation in international forums and meetings are needed with the aim of continuing to keep the issues confronting small island states, when they are responding to climate change.
 
National Level Policies and Strategic Documents
 
The  Initial National Communication (2000) of the Marshall Islands reviews the national activities that have been taking place in the Marshall Islands, including vulnerability and adaptation case study and participation in the Pacific Islands Climate Change Assistance Program (PICCAP). There is a brief outline of the future and immediate adaptation needs of the country, followed by a possible list of policy actions that could help the Marshall Islands adapt to climate change in some key areas (EPA, 2000):
 
  • Land Use and Planning: amendment of land use planning policies to include adaptations to climate change.
  • Environment and Natural Resources: amendment of environmental and natural policies to include adaptations to climate change.
  • Natural Hazard Management: amendment of natural hazard management policies to include adaptations to climate change.
  • Administration and Management: initiation of administrative arrangements and management policies to deal with the core sectoral concerns in terms of water resources, coastal resources, agricultural resources, marine resources and human health.
  • Human Health: Development of a comprehensive suite of human health policies to address water borne diseases and other sicknesses that are related to climate-induced change.
  • Solid and Liquid Waste Management: Provide broad management policies for domestic solid waste and discharges of liquid effluent including consideration of a strategy to convert solid domestic and some industrial wastes to saleable energy.
  • Foreign Affairs: Enhancement of foreign policy frameworks. 
  • Center of Excellence: establish a Centre of Excellence to expand the role of the Marshall  Islands in the international as well as national issues of climate change.
  • Technology Exchange: technology exchange policies to address applied research and monitoring (information management).

More recently Marshall Islands developed the RMI Climate Change Roadmap 2010 as a national framework for their climate change and sustainable development  efforts.  With respect to  adaptation,  actions identified by  the Marshall Islands Government  included: the implementation of a Micronesia Challenge and Reimaanlok Action Plan; planning and interventions to address vulnerability in food security, public health and other social development areas; and protection and maintenance of key infrastructure and resources through planning and inter-agency coordination (FSF, 2010).  

Current Adaptation Action

As noted, the Marshall Islands previously participated in the PICCAP, which was initiated in 1995. Funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented through the United Nations Development Programme, PICCAP was executed by the Secretariat to Pacific Regional Environmental Program in 10 Pacific Island countries (Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) (Plume, 2002).
At present, the Marshall Islands appears to be participating in a low number of adaptation projects relative to other countries in the Pacific region; and all are being undertaken as part of broader, multi-country initiatives. These projects are attending needs related to agriculture, forestry, tourism, gender and policy and planning. Most projects emphasize capacity building, training and policy and planning. Funding for these projects is being provided by  the Asian Development Bank (ADB),  the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), and the governments of Canada and Germany.
 
Proposed Adaptation Action
 
Proposed adaptation actions within the Marshall Islands were not identified through this review.  
 
References:

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

Potential Adaptation Measures:

Agriculture and Food Security

  • Switch to different cultivars
  • Develop new crops

Water Resources

  • Increase water supply, e.g. by using groundwater, building reservoirs, improving or stabilizing watershed management, desalination
  • Decrease water demands, e.g. by increasing efficiency, reducing water losses, water recycling, changing irrigation practices

Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems

  • Develop planning/new investment requirements
  • Protect, including building sea walls, and beach nourishment
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
UNDP
Emma Mario
Country Officer
Government of Marshall Islands
Kaminaga Kaminaga
Project Coordinator
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

Lao PDR's Second National Communication - In Progress

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

Lao PDR faces significant threats from climate change, in part because 75 per cent of its population depends on natural resources for their livelihood. The government has expressed concern regarding the impacts of climate change on flooding and rainfall patterns, which are said to be increasing and becoming erratic. Floods and droughts historically have significantly impacted Lao PDR’s agriculture, forestry, water resources, health and economic growth. As such, these sectors have also been identified as priority areas for adaptation. Additional concerns are: a lack of capacity and knowledge with respect to climate modeling; a lack of scientific data on climate effects and potential impacts; low levels of public awareness; and a weak institutional setup that acts as a barrier to adaptation. Financial and capacity constraints are highlighted as major barriers to climate change action.

To view progress on Lao PDR's SNC click here.

Photos: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (102.606842066 17.9630285285)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000
Project Details: 

Lao People's Democratic Republic is located in the Indochina Peninsular (Mekong Region), bordered by China to the North, Vietnam to the East, Cambodia to the South, and Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) to the West and Northwest respectively with population of just over 6.4 million (CIA, 2011). Lao PDR had a ranking of 122 of 169 on the human development index in 2010 (UNDP, 2010), putting it near the bottom of the list of countries that have achieved a medium level of human development. The country’s per capital annual income in 2010 was approximately US$986 (USDS, 2010). The country’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture, representing 30 per cent of GDP and employing approximately 75 per cent of the country’s population.

The country’s climate is tropical and monsoonal, characterized by a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from November to April (USDS, 2010).  In order to adapt to climate change a few projects based on assessed priority levels are in place including the project to strengthen the capacity if the national disaster management committees and the project to strengthen capacity of village forestry volunteers in forest planting, caring and management techniques as well as the use of village forests. Lao People's Democratic Republic has a total land area of approximately 236,800 km², 80 percent of which is mountainous. Mountains are found in the Northern region, the Annamite Chain (forming most of the eastern border of the country), and in the South, posing a significant natural buffer to storms that occur in the region. However, the remaining 20 percent of the country comprises mostly flat floodplains along the Mekong River. The lowest altitude of Lao People's Democratic Republic is 200 meters and highest is 2,880 meters. Lao People's Democratic Republic has a tropical climate, which is influenced by the southeast monsoon which causes significant rainfall and high humidity. The climate is divided into two distinct seasons: rainy season, or monsoon, from May to mid-October, followed by a dry season from mid-October to April. The average annual rainfall is about 1,300 – 3,000 mm. Average temperatures in the northern and eastern mountainous areas and the plateaus are 20°C , and in the plains 25-27°C.

Adaptation Needs and Priorities:

Lao PDR faces significant threats from climate change, in part because 75 per cent of its population depends on natural resources for their livelihood. The government has expressed concern regarding the impacts of climate change on flooding and rainfall patterns, which are said to be increasing and becoming erratic. Floods and droughts historically have significantly impacted Lao PDR’s agriculture, forestry, water resources, health and economic growth. As such, these sectors have also been identified as priority areas for adaptation (Sengchandala, 2010). Additional concerns are: a lack of capacity and knowledge with respect to climate modeling; a lack of scientific data on climate effects and potential impacts; low levels of public awareness; and a weak institutional setup that acts as a barrier to adaptation. Financial and capacity constraints are highlighted as major barriers to climate change action (DoE, 2000).


Knowledge of climate change issues has progressed over the past decade, but the barriers to implementation still largely remain. Capacity building at all levels of government would greatly support improved awareness and help generate accurate information and data on climate change and appropriate adaptation strategies in the country.

National Level Action:

Lao PDR submitted its First National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November 2000. This document identifies raising awareness as one of the initial areas of focus for the country; the actual term “adaptation” only appears twice in the entire document, and is primarily referenced in relation to the need for a vulnerability and impact assessment of climate change risk. Subsequently, in 2008, Lao PDR established a National Steering Committee on Climate Change and a National Climate Change Office (Sengchandala, 2010). It also prepared a National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) that was submitted to the UNFCCC in May 2009. It is currently developing its Second National Communication with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In March 2010, Lao PDR approved a National Strategy on Climate Change (NSCC). This framework document identifies seven priority areas for adaptation and mitigation: agriculture and food security; forestry and land use change; water resources; energy and transport; industry; urban development; and public health (Sengchandala, 2010). The NAPA forms a central component of the NSCC. An overarching goal of the NSCC was to ensure that climate change was streamlined into Lao’s Seventh National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2011-2015). The NAPA, NSCC and current Development Plan have greatly strengthened the policy framework for climate change work in Lao PDR and have served to build awareness of the issue at least among senior government officials in the country. Despite this progress, a weak institutional setup is still seen as significant barriers to adaptation. In particular, a lack of coordination between the UNFCCC National Focal Point, the Water Resource and Environment Administration and other line Ministries limits integration of climate change adaptation policies into sector strategies.

Current Adaptation Action:

Lao PDR is benefitting from a number of adaptation projects, with a smaller number of national projects compared to multi-country projects underway in the country. Its level of activity, though, is low compared to other East and Southeast Asian developing countries. National projects are primarily focused on water, agriculture and disaster risk management, and are funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Nordic Development Fund and UNDP. Regional projects active in Lao PDR also are primarily focused on addressing adaptation concerns in the water and agriculture sectors, but also address disaster risk management and the provision of climate information services. These regionally focused projects are funded by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Assessment:

While climate change is characterized as a high priority in Lao PDR, it appears that capacity is lacking for effective implementation. This observation is reflected in the fact that the country’s highest adaptation priority is simply education and capacity building. Strides have been made in improving this capacity through the development of a NAPA and NSCC, supported by the LDCF.

Ongoing adaptation initiatives within the country are addressing many of the adaptation priorities identified by the country. There is a considerable amount of work occurring with the water and agriculture sectors, at both the regional and national level, as well as within the area of policy formulation and risk reduction. Gaps in Lao PDR’s climate change activities include a dearth of initiatives within the forestry sector, which has been identified as a top adaptation priority for the country. Forestry initiative may exist within the country under the banner of mitigation projects, and it is possible that these projects would entail adaptation co-benefits. Additional gaps in current programming include energy and transport, urban areas, public health and gender. In addition, it appears that the country has a lack of climate change expertise or accurate data. Going forward, Lao PDR could greatly benefit from the sharing and internal development of scientific and technical capacity for climate change generally and adaptation specifically.

References:

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

The government’s main goals for climate change activities in the future are:

  • increase public awareness activities on climate change
  • implement a GHG mitigation plan
  • regularly monitor and control climate change activities, for example data collection on temperature, rainfall, water flow, etc; and
  • cooperate with international agencies on climate change activities and related issues

Climate change is a new concept in the Lao PDR. The understanding of this subject–the science, mitigation aspects, impacts and adaptations, and its relevance to Lao PDR’s economy – are mainly restricted to a few institutions and individuals. The Lao National GHG Inventory Project is the first exposure of policy makers and technical persons to the climate change issues. Though this project has built limited capacity, a much wider dissemination of this issue and capacity building would be required before the country is in a position to have a stated or fully considered national perspective on policies and measures to respond to climate change.

However, climate change activities in the Lao PDR have been growing since its participation at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since then, interactions with IPCC and participation at COP (conference of the parties), including the above-mentioned project, have encouraged limited national consultations and activities relevant to the UN FCCC. These consultations and activities, while not constituting stated government policy, give indications of national thought on issues relating to climate change. Lao PDR is signatory to the FCCC, and ratified the Convention on 5 January 1995.

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
UNDP
Vichit Sayavongkhamdy
Country Officer
Government of Laos PDR
Syamphone Sengchandala
Project Coordinator
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

Kiribati's Second National Communication - In Progress

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

The combination of its geographic location and economic situation makes Kiribati one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Global temperature increase affects coral growth and sea level. In Kiribati, coastal erosion, sea water from storm surges inundating the land, extensive sea spray, and coral bleaching are being observed, impacts consistent with what to expect from climate change. These changes are adversely affecting the people’s livelihood. Climate change, through its impacts of sea level rise, are leading to coastal erosion, and more frequent and damaging storm surges which are expected to increasingly reduce vital agricultural productivity of crops such as pandanus varieties and coconut.

To view progress on Kiribati's SNC click here.

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-157.491720548 1.85633100549)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000
Project Details: 

Kiribati is situated in the Central Pacific Ocean and consists of 33 atolls with a total land area of about 800 sq km. The atolls have a maximum height of 3 to 4 m above mean sea level and support an estimated population of about 95,000 people.  Most people live a subsistence lifestyle, as the country is amongst the poorest and least developed countries in the world - having only a few natural resources, the main industries are tourism and the exports of Copra and fish. The combination of its geographic location and economic situation makes Kiribati one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

Global temperature increase affects coral growth and sea level. It is known that the heat content of the oceans has increased, and this could mean increase in internal energy (turbidity enhancement) of the oceans and/or increase in sea level. In Kiribati, coastal erosion, sea water from storm surges inundating the land, extensive sea spray, and coral bleaching are being observed - quite consistent with what to expect from climate change. These changes are adversely affecting the people’s livelihood. Climate change through its impacts of sea level rise leading to coastal erosion, and more frequent and damaging storm surges bounding on the edges of the land will reduce agricultural productivity such as of pandanus varieties, and coconut.

Adaptation Needs and Priorities

The Kiribati Government’s Initial National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change released in 1999 describes the vulnerabilities of the country, with a focus on the potential adverse impacts of sea level rise. The impacts include brackish water invasions, coastal erosion and reduced groundwater quality and quantity. Throughout the document, there in an emphasis on the melding of traditional practices in agriculture and extreme weather event preparation. This report includes a list of projects planned by the Kiribati government to address is adaptation needs, including (MESD, 1999):
 
  • Establishment of a climate change and sea level monitoring center.
  • Formation of an integrated coastal zone management plan.
  • Public awareness programming.
  • Education and training program.
  • Research and information dissemination.
  • Technology transfers program.
  • Water supplies program.
  • Alternative energy source program.

In its National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), Kiribati builds upon these observations to identify nine key areas in which adaptation action is required. These nine key areas (as detailed in Table 3) include implementation in the areas of (MELAD, 2007):

  • Freshwater–A water resources adaptation project; and a well improvement project to improve public health;
  • Coastal zones–A coastal zone management program for adaptation; 
  • Risk reduction and monitoring–A strengthening of climate change information and monitoring program; upgrading of coastal defenses and causeways; and upgrading of meteorological services;
  • Marine resources–Coral monitoring, restoration and stock enhancement; and
  • Agriculture–Agricultural food crops development.
 
National Level Policies and Strategic Documents
 
The prominent documents of the Government of Kiribati that document is adaptation needs, priorities and action plans are its  Initial National Communication and its NAPA, the latter of which was released in 2007. As well, Kiribati has initiated efforts to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into its development processes through the Kiribati Adaptation Program, adoption of a Climate Change Adaptation Policy Note and a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy released in 2005. This strategy identifies eight priority areas for action: (1) integration of climate change adaptation into national planning and institutional capacity; (2) use of external financial and technical assistance; (3) population and resettlement; (4) government and services; (5) freshwater resources and supply systems; (6) coastal structures, land use and agricultural production; (7) marine resources; and (8) survivability and self-reliance
(Government of Kiribati, 2005).
 
As well, the Kiribati Development Plan (2008–2011) recognizes the potential adverse consequences of climate change for national development. In addition, Kiribati’s National Water Resource Policy completed in 2008 integrates consideration of the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change (KAP, n.d.).
 
Current Adaptation Action
 
The moderate number of adaptation projects, relative to other Pacific Island developing countries, are underway in Kiribati, most of which seek to build local capacity. The projects mainly focus on several sectors, namely: coastal zone management, water, meteorology, forestry and fisheries. Notably, Kiribati has hosted the Kiribati Adaptation Program since 2003. This program has progressively support understanding of climate change impacts, development of adaptation measures and the integration of adaptation into policy and planning. In its third phase, this initiative is supporting implementation of actions identified in Kiribati’s NAPA.
 
Proposed Adaptation Action
 
Within its NAPA, Kiribati identified nine priority projects for implementation. Some of these planned actions are now being supported through the project “Increasing Resilience to Climate Variability and Hazards” financed by the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). 
 
References:

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

Potential Adaptation Measures:

Agriculture and Food Security

  • Educational & outreach activities to change management practices to those suited to climate change
  • Switch to different cultivars

Water Resources

  • Decrease water demands, e.g. by increasing efficiency, reducing water losses, water recycling, changing irrigation practices
  • Improve or develop water management

Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems

  • Develop Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Protect, including building sea walls, and beach nourishment
  • Research/monitor the coastal ecosystem
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
UNDP
Emma Mario
Country Officer
Government of Kiribati
Riibeta Abeta
Project Coordinator
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

India's Second National Communication - May 2012

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

India has reasons to be concerned about the impacts of climate change. Its large population depends on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture and forestry for livelihoods. Any adverse impact on water availability due to recession of glaciers, decrease in rainfall and increased flooding in certain pockets would threaten food security, cause die back of natural ecosystems including species that sustain the livelihoods of rural households, and adversely impact the coastal system due to sea level rise and increased frequency of extreme events. In addition to these impacts, achievement of vital national development goals related to other systems such as habitats, health, energy demand, and infrastructure investments would be adversely affected.

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (77.2176155392 28.609503704)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
3,850,000
Co-Financing Total: 
3,500,000
Project Details: 

India, situated below the Himalayas and lying in the sub tropical terrain, is adorned with a largely diverse topography, climate and biosphere, spanning a geographic area of 3.28 million km2. Occupying almost 2.3% of the world’s land area, it is the 7th largest country in the world but holds nearly 18% of the world’s population. This puts the nation under great stress to ably maintain a sustainable development pathway and to harness its resources efficiently. India shelters over 1.21 billion people representing various socio-cultural groups that collectively make up the world’s largest democracy.

India has reasons to be concerned about the impacts of climate change. Its large population depends on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture and forestry for livelihoods. Any adverse impact on water availability due to recession of glaciers, decrease in rainfall and increased flooding in certain pockets would threaten food security, cause die back of natural ecosystems including species that sustain the livelihoods of rural households, and adversely impact the coastal system due to sea level rise and increased frequency of extreme events. In addition to these impacts, achievement of vital national development goals related to other systems such as habitats, health, energy demand, and infrastructure investments would be adversely affected. India’s land surface may be classified as (a) the Great Mountain Wall of the North; (b) the Northern Plains; (c) the Great Southern Peninsular Plateau; (d) the Coastal Plains; and (e) the Islands. India’s unique geography produces a spectrum of climates yielding a wealth of biological and cultural diversity. Land areas in the north have a continental climate with high summer temperatures with cold winters when temperatures may go below freezing.

In contrast are the coastal regions of the country where the temperature is more even throughout the year and rains are more frequent. There is large variation in the amounts of rainfall received in different parts of the country. Average annual rainfall is less than 13 cm in the Thar desert, while at Cherrapunji in the North- East it is as high as 1080 cm. The different climate regimes of the country vary from humid in the North- East (about 180 days rainfall in a year) to arid in Rajasthan (20 days rainfall in a year). A semi-arid belt in the peninsular region extends in the area between the humid west coast and the central and eastern parts of the country. The most important feature of India’s climate is the season of concentrated rain called the “monsoon”. The Southwest (SW) monsoon (May - September) is the most important feature of the Indian climate.

India is a land with many rivers. The twelve major rivers spread over a catchment area of 252.8 million hectares (Mha) cover more than 75 per cent of the total area of the country. Rivers in India are classified as Himalayan, Peninsular, Coastal, and Inlanddrainage basin rivers. The land use pattern is influenced by diverse factors such as population density, urbanization, industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, irrigation demands, and natural calamities like floods and droughts. Despite stresses, the area under forests has increased in recent years due to proactive reforestation and afforestation programmes of the Government of India. Presently 23 per cent of the total land area is under forest and tree cover, while 44 per cent is net sown area. The remaining one-third is roughly equally distributed between fallow land, non-agricultural land, and barren land. The following section is found in the Meister Consultants Group study: *Floating Houses and Mosquito Nets: Emerging Climate Change Adaptation Strategies Around the World.

Strategy and Actors

India was an early adopter of the climate change adaptation and awareness strategies. It has also fostered the debate on global warming in international politics. For instance, during the conference of the signatory states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Delhi in 2002, India pushed for a joint declaration on the significance of global warming. The Indian report to the UNFCCC also emphasizes the need to assess vulnerabilities and to plan adaptation measures. In June 2008, India’s prime minister published the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which encompasses both climate protection and adaptation. 191 The plan defines eight priorities as National Missions: solar energy; energy efficiency; sustainable housing; water; preservation of ecosystem in the Himalayas; reforestation; sustainable agriculture; and strategic knowledge management. The responsible ministries are currently working on detailed implementation plans for these eight sectors. Adaptation measures are an important part of this integrated climate strategy. The first two areas (solar energy and energy efficiency) are mainly focused on climate protection, while the others include adaptation components, especially in the cases of agriculture and of knowledge management. What follows is a summary of the adaptation goals. This summary shows that the Indian government has already set strategic adaptation priorities. However, detailed planning and implementation of the measures is only just beginning.

Adaptation Needs and Priorities
 
India’s geography is highly diverse, comprising the Himalayan mountain range, coastal plains, and the Great  Peninsular Plateau. This diverse topography produces a spectrum of climates over the subcontinent. The northern part of the country experiences a continental climate with extreme summer heat and very cool winters; in contrast, the coastal areas of the country experience year-round warm temperatures and frequent precipitation (MEF, 2004). Rainfall across the country is highly variable, and the country experiences four distinct seasons, described in relation to the monsoon: (a) winter: December to February; (b) pre-monsoon or summer: March to May; (c) southwest monsoon: June to September; and (d) post-monsoon or northeast monsoon: October and November (MEF, 2004). 
 
The anticipated future impacts of climate change, identified by the Government of India (GOI) in its Initial National Communication and further elaborated in the SNC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) include:
 
  • Decreased snow cover, affecting snow-fed and glacial systems such as the Ganges and Brahmaputra; 70 per cent of the summer flow of the Ganges comes from snowmelt;
  • Erratic monsoons with serious effects on rain-fed agriculture, peninsular rivers, water and power supply;
  • Decline in wheat production by 4-5 million tonnes with as little as a 1ºC rise in temperature;
  • Rising sea levels causing displacement along one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world and threatening freshwater sources and mangrove ecosystems;
  • Increased frequency and intensity of floods; increased vulnerability of people in coastal, arid and semi-arid zones of the country; and
  • Over 50 per cent of India’s forests are likely to experience a shift in forest types, adversely impacting associated biodiversity and regional climate dynamics, as well as livelihoods based on forest products.
For the more than 800 million Indians who live in rural areas and depend on climate-sensitive sectors for their livelihoods—agriculture, forests and fisheries—the future looks alarming with the prospect of declining crop yields, degraded lands, water shortages and ill health. According to a 2008 report commissioned by the European Parliament, “[t]he majority of the vulnerable population of India is poorly equipped to cope effectively with the adversities of climate change due to low capabilities, weak institutional mechanisms and lack of access to adequate resources” (Kumar, 2008).
 
National Level Policies and Strategic Documents
 
India has been an active and influential global player in the climate change arena from the beginning of the debate. However, domestically, India  only started to commission concrete actions on climate change very recently. It completed its Initial National Communication in 2004 and is presently working on its Second National Communication. It formed the high-level Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change in June 2007, which was immediately directed to: (a) prepare a coordinated response to issues relating to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) at the national level; (b) provide oversight for formulation of action plans in the area of assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change; and (c) periodically monitor key policy decisions. An Expert Committee on the Impact of Climate Change has also been set up. It will assess climate change impacts and provide advice on the research activities needed to strengthen efforts to address climate change.
 
On June 30, 2008, India launched its National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. Emphasizing the overriding priority of maintaining high economic growth rates to raise living standards, the plan “identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively.” The Action  Plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through to 2017: Solar Energy; Enhanced Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Habitat; Water; Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system; Green India; Sustainable Agriculture; and Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. Most of these missions have strong adaptation imperatives.
 
Ministries with lead responsibility for each of the missions have been directed to develop objectives, implementation strategies, timelines, and monitoring and evaluation criteria that will be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. The Council will also be responsible for periodically reviewing and reporting on each mission’s progress. To be able to quantify progress, appropriate indicators and methodologies will be developed to assess both avoided emissions and adaptation benefits. In addition, the Central Government has recently requested the State Governments to prepare State level Adaptation Action Plans on Climate Change consistent with the objectives of NAPCC.
 
Based on India’s National Communication, NAPCC and available literature, India’s most vulnerable sectors to the effects of climate change are water, agriculture, forests, natural ecosystems, coastal zones, health, and energy and infrastructure.
 
Current Adaptation Action
 
India’s new generation of climate change adaptation projects as per the NAPCC directives and missions are mostly in development at the moment. However, a number of adaptation focused projects have been launched recently with donor-support or concessional loans. Donors of these projects include the Asian Development Bank, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Rockefeller Foundation,  Swiss Development Corporation (SDC),  Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), World Bank, World Wildlife Fund, United States Agency for International Development (USAID),  and Australia’s Centre for International Agricultural Research. The majority of these projects are focused on policy formulation and integration, water, and agriculture, with a smaller number focused on coastal zones, forestry, land and nature. The areas of meteorology, gender, infrastructure, health, and energy only have one ongoing adaptation action. 
 
Additional adaptation projects may be financed through the Climate and Development Fund, which  was established by the  United Kingdom  to provide a flexible source of funding (US$0.66 million) to support shared priorities of  the United Kingdom and India between 2008 and 2013. While new plans and programs for adaptation are being developed, many completed or on-going programs (especially water, coastal, agriculture, forests and disaster management sector programs) have strong adaptation components.  In 2007, for instance, there were 22 programs in crop management, 19 in drought proofing, 19 in health, six in risk finance, six in disease control,12 in forestry and 30-odd in poverty alleviation in India—all supported by the central and/or state governments. The Government therefore has claimed that India is already spending over two per cent of its GDP on various programs that also support adaptation.
 
Proposed Adaptation Action
 
Of the various adaptation initiatives that are being developed in India, two have been presented to the SCCF for funding. It also notes programs being developed by SDC.
 
References
  • Kumar, R. (2008). Climate Change and India: Impacts, policy responses and a framework for EU-India cooperation. European Parliament report no. IP/A/CLIM/NT/2007-10, PE 400.991.
  • Mehra, M. (2009). India Starts to Take on Climate Change. State of the World 2009. Washington DC: Worldwatch Institute.

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

Identification of specific research themes related to adaptation and mitigation aspects:

Forests:

Our present state of knowledge on the relationship between climate and plant performance is grossly inadequate for the purpose of modeling future climate change impacts. Research in the following areas is thus a key prerequisite for coming up with robust adaptation strategies.

1. Ecological research on plant and animal species and communities in relation to climate variability and change: Keeping in view the sensitivity of plant and animal species to climate variability and change, the ecological studies of plant and animal species, plant–animal interactions, and community in relation to climate variability and change are required to be carried out.

2. Dynamic vegetation modeling of climate change impacts on forest ecosystems, biodiversity and adaptation: The few studies so far conducted in India are largely based on equilibrium models, which assume that one forest type is replaced by another forest type under changing climate. The varying climate tolerances of different plant species and the transient phase response of plant species subjected to climate change are not analyzed. There is a need to adapt the existing dynamic vegetation models for application to the diverse tropical forest types in order to analyze the implications of climate change at species level. The ultimate goal is to develop adaptation strategies and practices to reduce vulnerability of forests to climate change. The modeling effort should incorporate adaptation.

3. Impact of climate change on mitigation potential, carbon sinks, and adaptation: India has a large afforestation programme, and it is important to understand the likely impacts of climate change to ensure sustainable management of forests and flow of timber, industrial wood, and non-timber products and conservation of biodiversity. There is a need to analyze the climate impacts using dynamic vegetation models and developing adaptation strategies.

4. Mitigation potential assessment: There is also a need to develop a database on biomass growth rates and soil carbon accumulation rates in forests and plantation systems in different agro-ecological zones of India. This data is required for a realistic assessment of the mitigation potential of the forest sector in India.

Agriculture

Agriculture is a key sector in India, as a vast population base of the country still lives in rural areas and depends for its food and livelihoods requirement on agriculture. The agriculture sector is hugely dependent on climate parameters such as rainfall and temperature, and therefore, a significant amount of the country’s resource needs to be expended in identifying appropriate adaptation strategies for the agriculture sector, so as to ensure food security for the nation as well livelihoods security for its vast population. Some adaptation strategies are listed below, which would require considerable research resources in the future.

Conservation Agriculture (Efficient use of resources):

Resource conserving technologies involving zero or minimum tillage with direct seeding, permanent or semi-permanent residue cover, and crop rotations have the potential to improve the efficiency of use of natural resources, including water, air, fossil fuel, and soil. Among other things, the efficiencies gained include less land and time needed to produce the required staple cereals and allowing farmers to diversify crops and cropping patterns or pursue other gainful activities. The technologies can improve the sustainability of the cropping system by conserving the resource base and higher input use efficiency and also mitigating GHG emission.

Change in crop management: Crop management, such as short, medium, and long duration variety; change in sowing time, which includes early as well as late sowing relative to current sowing time; increasing the seed replacement rate by the farmers; and change in irrigation patterns and fertilizer application for increased input use efficiency, should be pursued.

Crop diversification: Diversification of crop and livestock varieties, including the replacement of plant types, cultivars, hybrids, and animal breeds with new varieties intended for higher drought or heat tolerance, has been advocated as having the potential to increase productivity in the face of temperature and moisture stresses. Diversity in seed genetic structure and composition has been recognized as an effective defense against disease and pest outbreak and climate hazards. Moreover, the demand for high value foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, eggs, and fish is increasing because of growing income and urbanization. This is reducing the demand for traditional rice and wheat. Diversification from rice–wheat to high value commodities will increase income and result in reduced water and fertilizer use. However, there is a need to quantify the impacts of crop diversification on income, employment, soil health, water use, and GHG emission. The most significant problem to overcome is that diversification is costly in terms of the income opportunities that farmers forego, that is, switching crop varieties can be expensive, and making crop diversification typically less profitable than specialization. Moreover, traditions can often be difficult to overcome and will dictate local practices.

Adjusting cropping season: Adjustment of planting dates to minimize the effect of temperature increase- induced spikelet sterility can be used to reduce yield instability, by avoiding having the flowering period to coincide with the hottest period. Adaptation measures to reduce the negative effects of increased climatic variability as normally experienced in arid and semi-arid tropics may include changing the cropping calendar to take advantage of the wet period and avoiding extreme weather events (for example, typhoons and storms) during the growing season. Cropping systems may have to change to include growing suitable cultivars (to counteract compression of crop development), increasing crop intensities (that is, the number of successive crop produced per unit area per year) or planting different types of crops. Farmers will have to adapt to changing hydrological regimes by changing crops.

Augmenting production and income: Production can be enhanced by improved crop management, improved adverse climate tolerant varieties, improved seed sector, using technology dissemination mechanisms, making available capital and information, which are the key reasons for yield gaps. Watershed management programme can yield multiple benefits. Such strategies could be very useful in future climatic stress conditions. Income can be increased from agricultural enterprises by suitable actions such as accelerated evolution of location- specific fertilizer practices, improved fertilizer supply and distribution system, improved water and fertilizer use.

Early warning system and crop insurance: Improved risk management can be carried out through early warning system and crop insurance policies that encourage crop insurance and can provide protection to the farmers if their farm production is reduced due to natural calamities. In view of these climatic changes and the uncertainties in future agricultural technologies and trade scenarios, it will be very useful to have an early warning system of environmental changes and their spatial and temporal magnitude. Such a system could help in determining the potential food-insecure areas and communities, given the type of risk. Modern tools of information technology could greatly facilitate this.

Water management: In situ soil–water management, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions, where crop growth is severely limited by water deficit even if nutrient availability is adequate, is important for enhancing productivity and organic carbon content of soil. Water harvesting techniques and micro catchments are extremely beneficial in increasing biomass production in arid climates. Waste water and solid waste in agriculture should be recycled as freshwater supplies are limited and water has competing uses, and it would become even more constrained in changed global climate. Industrial and sewage waste water, once properly treated, can also be a source of nutrients for crops. Since water serves multiple uses and users, effective inter-departmental coordination in the government is needed to develop the location- specific framework of sustainable water management and optimum recycling of water.

Post-harvest management: Harvest and post-harvest management should be carried out for minimizing the losses due to extreme climatic events or mean climate change conditions. Providing community-based post- harvest storage spaces at village level can help the farmer to save the produce from exposure to any climate related extreme event. Research efforts are required to design the storage structures and efficient processes for changed climate scenarios.

Harnessing the indigenous technical knowledge of farmers: Farmers in South Asia, often poor and marginal, are experimenting with the climatic variability for centuries. There is a wealth of knowledge for a range of measures that can help in developing technologies to overcome climate vulnerabilities. There is a need to harness this knowledge and fine-tune it to suit the modern needs.

Agriculture has the potential to cost-effectively mitigate GHGs through changes in agricultural technologies and management practices. Mitigation of GHG emission from agriculture can be achieved by sequestering carbon in soil and reducing methane and N2O emissions from soil through change in land use management. Changing crop mixes to include more plants that are perennial or have deep root systems increases the amount of carbon stored in the soil. Cultivation systems that leave residues and reduce tillage, especially deep tillage, encourage the build- up of soil carbon. Shifting land use from annual crops to perennial crops, pasture, and agro-forestry increase both above- and below-ground carbon stocks. Changes in crop genetics and the management of irrigation, fertilizer use, and soils can reduce both N2O and methane emissions. Such options are not only important for global warming mitigation but also for improving soil fertility.

Sequestration of C in agricultural soil: Mitigation of CO2 emission from agriculture can be achieved by increasing carbon sequestration in soil through application of organic manure, change in soil management, and restoration of soil carbon on degraded land. Soil management practices such as reduced tillage, manuring, residue incorporation, improving soil biodiversity, micro-aggregation, and mulching can play an important role in sequestering carbon in soil. Sequestration of carbon in soil is not only important for global warming mitigation but also for improving soil fertility.

Mitigating methane emission from rice fields:

The strategies for mitigating methane emission from rice cultivation could be altering water management, particularly promoting mid-season aeration by short- term drainage; improving organic matter management by promoting aerobic degradation through composting or incorporating it into soil during off-season drained period; use of rice cultivars with few unproductive tillers, high root oxidative activity, and high harvest index; and application of fermented manure like biogas slurry in place of unfermented farmyard manure. Direct-seeding of rice (DSR) could be a potential option for reducing methane emission. Methane is emitted from soil when it is continuously submerged as in case of conventional puddled transplanted rice. However, the DSR crop does not require continuous soil submergence, thereby reducing or totally eliminating methane emission when it is grown as an aerobic crop. As the DSR reduces methane emission drastically it has considerable potential (about 75%) to reduce the global warming potential (GWP) compared to conventional puddled transplanted rice.

Efficient manure management using biogas plant for global warming mitigation: Biogas technology, besides supplying energy and manure, provides an excellent opportunity for mitigating GHG emission and reducing global warming through substituting firewood for cooking, kerosene for lighting and cooking, and chemical fertilizers. The global warming mitigation potential of a family-size biogas plant is about 10 t CO2 eq/year.

Mitigating N2O emission: The most efficient management practices to reduce N2O emission are site-specific nutrient management and use of nitrification inhibitors such as nitrapyrin and dicyandiamide. There are some plant-derived organics such as neem oil, neem cake, and karanja seed extract, which can also act as nitrification inhibitors.

Livestock Sector 

The livestock sector is one of the significant contributors to GHG emissions in India. Large uncertainties exist in the livestock enteric methane emission estimates due to variations in livestock breeds, body weights, growth, feed quality and resources and their digestibility, milk production, and emission coefficients.

Livestock species of India are well-adapted breeds, and prospects for these animal species to adapt to increased air temperature through traditional breeding and genetic modifications appear to be promising. More research on possible adaptation of these species to elevated CO2 is needed. The loss in milk yield of these adapted species has been observed to be small due to rise in temperature, suggesting that adapted species will more consistently yield produce under climate change scenarios in tropical latitudes than in temperate latitudes.

Livestock production with scientific management practices will reduce production losses. Livestock management and proper housing under tropical conditions will help in abating extreme productivity losses.The livestock producer awareness of livestock threshold for physiological stress can help in the adaptation of livestock to climate change and reducing losses due to temperature variability and rise due to climate change. Impacts of climate change on livestock after adaptation are estimated to result in small percentage changes in income; these changes tend to be positive for a moderate global warming, especially when the effects of temperature rise are taken into account. The effectiveness of adaptation in ameliorating the economic impacts of climate change on livestock across India will depend on local or on regional resource endowments.

A review of various adaptation strategies needs to be carried out to estimate future requirements of livestock (species and breeds) to assess the impact of climate change. There should be a scientific development of impacts inventory for different livestock species based on quantitative modelling outputs and qualitative assessments. Assessment of the impacts in monetary values for policy decisions making, use of multipurpose adapted livestock species and breeds to minimize impacts, and superior breeds with higher productivity (meat, milk, wool or draught) may be encouraged only for commercial use, and a livestock mix at farm level has to be made available to our farmers. Farmers need to be educated about the consequences of climate change and options. Preventive methods for diseases and vector spread may be taken. Use of suitable animal management practices (some strategies and the related description is given in Table 7.5) to reduce negative impact on yield and production by short-term and long-term strategic planning is to be formulated and executed at grassroot level.

Mitigating methane emissions from livestock production system: Methane production from livestock, either directly through the livestock production system or indirectly through changes in the biodiversity, has significantly contributed to the GHG flux emanating from India. Livestock production can also result in emissions of N2O. However, there are ways through which GHG emissions can be reduced from livestock through various kinds of management and technical strategies, which would at the same time enhance production efficiency and result in lower emissions per unit of milk or meat produced.

There are a number of options that exist to assist in minimizing the effect of heat stress on livestock. The two primary options are making some ration adjustments and altering the environment that the animals live in. Mitigation of methane production from ruminants has both long- term environmental and short-term economic benefits. Manipulations in rumen through different possible options are beneficial to reduce the methane production by decreasing the fermentation of organic matter in the rumen, shifting the site of digestion from the rumen to the intestine, diverting H+ for more propionic acid production, and inhibiting the activity of methanogens.

In addition to the enteric fermentation contribution of methane from ruminants, one of the major GHG emission contributions from livestock production is from forage or feed crop production and related land use. Proper pasture management through rotational grazing is the most cost-effective way to mitigate GHG emissions from feed crop production. Animal grazing on pasture also helps reduce emissions. Introducing grass species and legumes into grazing lands can enhance carbon storage in soils. Improving the management of animal waste products through different mechanisms, such as the use of covered storage facilities, is also important. The level of GHG emissions from manure (methane, N2O, and methane from liquid manure) depends on the temperature and duration of storage. Long-term storage at high temperatures results in higher GHG emissions. In the case of ruminants, pasture grazing is an efficient way to reduce methane emission from manure because storage is not necessary.

Agriculture contributes to about 17.6% of the total GHG emissions of the country (MoEF, 2010). Considering the growing demand for food in the near future and the need for ensuring food and nutritional security of the nation, the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation (DAC) proposes an emphasis on growth in food production rather than on mitigating GHG emissions from the agriculture sector. However, apart from the two broad areas proposed for further research in mitigation of climate change i.e. emission from rice fields and N2O emission due to nutrient management; there is a need to develop research themes that have more focus on mitigating GHG emissions from the livestock sector (According to MoEF, 2010; out of the total GHG emissions from the agriculture sector, a majority share i.e. 63.6% is contributed by livestock).

Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation

The six critical priorities of the Indian planning process are as follows:

1. Economic security

2. Energy security

3. Environmental security

4. Water security

5. Food security

6. Provision of shelter and health for all

Climate change would impact all of these in varying degrees. Linking of these priority concerns with climate change policies is the key to harmonizing sustainable development and climate change actions. Research has been initiated under the SNC process to assess potential impacts of climate change on some of these concerns, such as Indian agriculture, water resources, forestry, coastal zones, natural ecosystems, human health, industry, and infrastructure, including construction of consistent climate change scenarios for India and assessment of extreme events using existing models and expertise. The work involves assimilation of existing research work, identification of vulnerable sectors and areas, and a few specific case studies for each sector. Lack of data and national databases, resource scarcity, unavailability of sub-regional and sectoral impact assessment scenarios, lack of modelling efforts and trained manpower, and limited national and regional networking of institutes and researchers are some of the constraints highlighted. The key conclusions that emerged from these assessments are as follows:

First, during the current century, under plausible global emissions scenarios, the climate over the Indian sub- continent would be significantly altered, with regional variations in temperature and precipitation as well as in the distribution of the extreme climatic events like hurricanes.

Second, this would be a century of development for India, accompanied by rising incomes, stabilized population (by the later half of the century), integration with global markets, and enhanced social-infrastructure. The effects of this would be increased energy consumption on the one hand and enhanced mitigative and adaptive capacity on the other.

Third, climate change would impact the key sectors of the Indian economy, and in the absence of adaptation strategies, could cause significant damage. The water, agriculture, and forest sectors would experience direct impacts. In these sectors, understanding the regional variability of climate change across different agro-climatic zones would be the key to develop the response strategies. The ecosystems would experience direct stress from the altered climate. The impacts would vary across species and regions. Thus, it is important to identify the vulnerable species, examine their migration capabilities, and develop strategies to enhance resilience and survival.

Fourth, the direct and indirect effects of climate change on health are vital. While the temperature rise and increased precipitation may exacerbate the vector-borne diseases such as malaria and its spread to newer areas, such as higher altitudes in Himalayan mountains; the rising incomes, medical inventions, and increased supply of social infrastructure would cause benign effects that would mitigate the health impacts.

Fifth, the human activities as well as natural processes along the long coastline of India are especially vulnerable to changes in climatic parameters and secondary effects like the rising sea level and increased hurricane activities. Globalization processes are already adding environmental stresses in coastal regions, as trade tends to concentrate economic activities and population in the coastal areas.

Finally, in summation, the impacts and vulnerability would be decided on the one hand by the extent of climate change and on the other by the pace and quality of development in the country. While a successful global climate regime could keep the concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere within dangerous limits, the quality of development would be the prime insurance at the national level to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change.

The key tasks to address vulnerability and adaptation may be viewed in the matrix of strategies and geographic hierarchy (Table 7.6). Climate change is a long-term issue, that is, the change in climatic parameters and their impacts would continue to exacerbate over decades and centuries.Therefore, the type and intensity of interventions would enhance with the expiry of time. Strategically, we therefore propose only the immediate, that is, near-term tasks to keep adjusting to the advancing knowledge of climate change and its impacts, emerging technologies, and emerging signals from the global policy regime.

In the short-run, that is, within a decade, the immediate tasks are to enhance capacity for scientific assessment, generate awareness among the stakeholders, and institutionalize learning processes. These tasks were effectively initiated within the process for preparing the INC. A network of research institutions exists in India, which houses excellent competences in different areas of assessment (like INCCA). In India, other organized stakeholders like the industry associations and NGOs are already participating in the climate change activities. The institutionalization of the existing research initiatives – first via coordinated networks and later via the creation of centres of excellence – would be a key task. The global assessments, especially by the IPCC, are pertinent inputs into the national assessment. Indian experts are contributing to the IPCC assessments over the past decade. Organizing a cell of experts, especially those participating in the current global assessments, and linking it with the government processes would enhance the Indian assessment, besides improving inputs from the country into the IPCC assessments. The Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) has been constituted to institutionalize the various aspects of climate change related research.

While major investments in adaptation technologies may wait, creating technology knowledge base would be essential to reduce transaction costs and transition time. In case of projects building long-life assets, such as infrastructure, including future climate change in the project impacts assessment would be critical. In the short run, building partnerships is another key task. Awareness among stakeholders is essential for this. In brief, the short- term tasks would focus on soft processes that involve capacity building for assessment, technological learning, partnerships among stakeholders, databases and models to support policy making, vertical-geographical integration of assessment, instituting policy-science interface between government and researchers, and initiating pilot work on economic instruments, such as insurance, for efficient implementation of response strategies.

The medium and long-run tasks would best get crafted with time. Though the specifics of these tasks and timetable of their implementation are uncertain, an a priori speculation of these tasks indicates that instituting measurement systems to assess the extent of impacts in critical sectors would be an important task.The involvement of local actors in developing and implementing adaptation response strategies is critical since the impacts by their very nature are sector- and locale-specific. A vital task would be to institute self-driven and efficient mechanisms under a global umbrella such as the insurance markets, and adequate funds for adaptation technology development and transfer to Non-Annex I countries.

In the final analysis, any new initiatives, institutions, and policies are executed through existing institutions and under prevailing conditions. The apparently perfect strategies designed to address a specific issue, such as climate change, would be implemented via markets, institutions, and organizations that are far from perfect in developing countries. The tasks delineated above, therefore, will have to be moderated and adapted to the realities of the prevailing national dynamics. In India, the present policy dynamics are imbued with reforms perspective. This offers positive opportunities for efficient execution of new initiatives. This notwithstanding, the vulnerability and adaptation strategies to deal with climate change have inherent implementation difficulties on three counts. First, efficient markets to deal with natural climate variability are weak. This is evident from the incomplete and inadequate insurance cover for crop failures and against hurricanes. Second, the insurance market to address the added variability from anthropogenic climate change operates over the distorted baseline of existing insurance market for natural climate variability. The incremental damages due to anthropogenic forcing on climate are difficult to isolate from the baseline climate variability. This makes it difficult to assess incremental damages as well as incremental cost of adaptation. Third, implementation and coordination failures are frequent in developing countries. The damages, therefore, may far exceed those feasible under an efficient system. Vulnerabilities, therefore, appear exaggerated compared to what they would be under an efficient market system or an effective public governance system. The National Action Plan on Climate Change has underscored the use of market mechanisms, wherever and whatever extent possible, in mitigating harmful impacts due to climate change.

The future poses added perception problems for vulnerability assessments. Sector specialists, who are generally scientists or domain experts, carry out most assessments. The scientific assessments make projections of impacts of climate change on specific sectors in a distant future, such as 100 years from now. However, the scientific assessments often fail to grasp the significantly altered social, political, and economic dynamics that would exist after 100 years, especially in developing countries. The scientific assessments thus err in assuming future climate to be operating in the present society. For instance, the impacts assessment

on agriculture miss the fact that farmers of distant future in India would be living in a country with high average annual per capita income and would operate their farming business in an interconnected world with significant global trade in agriculture commodities, having access to superior weather-resistant seeds and efficient cultivation practices. The country would be less likely to have food security as its prime concern, and farmers are unlikely to face starvation. Similarly, the residents of India then would have better access to health and sanitation services and improved medicines. The malaria would be less likely to spread under such conditions, unlike in the present society exposed to the future hot and humid climatic conditions. The key to valid vulnerability assessment would be to assess the future impacts of climatic changes in the context of the then prevailing socio-economic conditions through articulated and structured socio-economic scenarios.

These observations point to a vital nexus between development and climate change. Conventionally, the vulnerability assessments and search for adaptation solutions have been confined to climate change science and policy. The development is then viewed as exogenous to the assessment, at best offering some ancillary benefits. The climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessments conducted for India under the SNC project validate the alternate perspective that considers development as the key contributor of adaptive and mitigative capacities. This perspective shifts the search for adaptation solution away from climate change science and policy to the broader domain of development policies. The real baselines then emerge as the point of departure of the analysis rather than as barriers to achieving efficient solutions in the ideal domain. Development then emerges as the source of solutions for climate change and its impacts, rather than its root cause. The key lesson is that the national development priorities, driven along sustainable pathways, can be the drivers of benign environmental changes. Thus, the integration of well-crafted development and climate actions would not only benefit development, but shall also redress the climate change vulnerabilities in developing countries. The architecture of an effective climate change regime thus rests on the foundation of a robust development regime. If there is to be a reorientation of the energy and other sectors in developing countries to meet the climate change and sustainable development challenges, there is a wide agreement that technology will play a central role in this transformation.

India makes capital goods to the tune of INR 260,000 crores. This sector comprises Heavy Electrical Machinery, Earth Moving Machinery, Industrial Machinery, Engineering Sector and Machine Tools. The sector has a ‘multiplier’ effect on energy consumption. Energy efficient machinery will save MWs of energy during its lifecycle. Indian technologies for the manufacture of these machineries lag behind the international best designs from energy use perspective. The Indian industry needs technology, finance and standards in order to achieve global standards.

In the case of automobiles, emission norms have already been introduced and the study of manufacturing plan of electric mobility in the Department of Heavy Industry is underway. In Heavy Industrial and Electrical Machinery sector, Working Group on Capital Goods & Engineering Sector recommended the manufacture of machinery with new technology with certain percentage of value addition and import of brand new energy efficient machineries as against import of second hand machines by the Indian industry.

Technology Needs for Adaptation and Mitigation

Given that the technology needs of the developing countries in relation to climate challenges are diverse and that deployment often requires a range of activities (not only technical, but many others as well), the term “technology transfer” provides too narrow a perspective and framework for successfully leveraging technologies for meeting climate challenges. The agenda for moving ahead must be viewed with the understanding that the necessary elements must be appropriately tailored both to the specifics of the technology as well as national circumstances. At the same time, the importance of controlling GHGs “through the application of new technologies on terms that make such an application economically and socially beneficial” must also be recognized, as highlighted in the UNFCCC.

Framework for leveraging technology for meeting the climate challenge:

1. Financial assistance: In cases where the high cost is the barrier to the deployment of improved energy technologies that advance climate mitigation as well as the development agenda, industrialized countries will need to fund the incremental costs of these technologies. Such an approach has already been implemented by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). One possibility may be to develop a policy of graduated financial assistance, where a portion of the incremental costs would be covered by developed countries.

2. Technology deployment in Annex I countries: There is an urgent need to begin deploying improved energy technologies in industrialized countries. In the case of technologies in the pre-commercial or early deployment stage, enhancing deployment in industrialized countries could be the fastest route to cost reduction, as the benefits of “learning-by-doing” accumulate. While large-scale deployment is unlikely to take place in the absence of national climate mitigation policies, targeted policies aimed at key technologies need to be implemented sooner rather than later.

3. Joint technology development: This involves a cooperative technical programme that is driven by technology needs of developing countries rather than the technology agenda of industrialized countries. Such a programme would have elements that cover all aspects of technological development, from basic research to demonstration and early deployment, with the combination of activities for any specific technology being shaped by a nuanced understanding of the innovation gaps for that technology. In the case of mature, well-developed commercial technology such as supercritical power plants, this programme would involve refinement and adaptation of technologies to meet local conditions. In the case of emerging technologies such as fuel cells, the programme would involve some joint applied R&D, significant adaptation to local conditions, and even joint demonstration activities.

4. Knowledge sharing for enhancing deployment:

This is particularly important where non-economic barriers hinder the deployment of technology that otherwise make sense from the economic, climate and/ or Sustainable Development point of view. Sharing of experiences in industrialized or other developing countries and adopting policy approaches to overcome these barriers should be very helpful. At the same time, exploration of new and innovative mechanisms should also yield valuable results. Furthermore, analysis and development of appropriate policies and programmatic approaches, tailored to the needs of specific technologies and national circumstances, would be helpful. It also would be useful to explore alternative ways of enhancing and accelerating innovation such as innovation challenges/prizes, the creation of guaranteed markets, and IP-sharing approaches.

Capacity building in Non-Annex I countries: Since climate challenge is a long-term challenge, a case can be made that building local innovation capacity in developing countries will be critical for helping with adaptation, development of appropriate technologies, and effective deployment. This would not come about just from staffing a few high-tech laboratories, but also from training the next generation of technically competent people.Therefore, it is critical to strengthen local education and research institutions and ensure that they link up to international innovation activities.

Source: India's Second National Communication (May 2012)

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
UNDP
Lianchawii Chhakchhuak
Country Officer
Government of India
Dr. Subodh K. Sharma
Project Coordinator
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

Gabon's Second National Communication - November 2011

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

Key Vulnerabilities:

  • Agriculture/Food Security
  • Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems
  • Water Resources
  • Public Health
Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (9.46657056594 0.388951260412)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000
Project Details: 

Gabon is located on the western coast of southern Africa, straddling the Equator at latitudes of 4°S to 3°N. The coastal plains of Gabon continue around 300km inland, beyond which a number of mountain ranges rise. The climate is typically tropical, with high average temperatures year round (25 to 27°C in coastal lowlands, 22‐25°C inland) and a single wet season between October and May, when 200‐250mm of rainfall is received.

Source: University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment. Accessed on 23 November 2009 at: http://country-profiles.geog.ox.ac.uk/.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

Potential Adaptation Measures

Agriculture and Food Security

  • Educational & outreach activities to change management practices to those suited to climate change
  • Enhance irrigation efficiency and/or expand irrigation
  • Develop and introduce policy measures, including taxes, subsidies, facilitation of free market

Water Resources

  • Increase water supply, e.g. by using groundwater, building reservoirs, improving or stabilizing watershed management, desalination
  • Develop and introduce flood and drought monitoring and control system

Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems

  • Develop Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Develop planning/new investment requirements
  • Protect, including building sea walls, and beach nourishment
  • Research/monitor the coastal ecosystem
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
Government of Gabon
Rodrigue Aborou Otogo
Project Affiliate
Government of Gabon
Bernard Landry Panzou
Project Affiliate
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

El Salvador's Second National Communication - In Progress

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

Agriculture, water, coasts and forests have been identified as priority areas for adaptation in El Salvador. These areas have been identified through a series of key national documents including the country's First National Communication. Following the relase of El Salvador's First National Communication, assessments and adaptation strategies have been under development focusing on coasts, agriculture (particularly staple foods and coffee) and forests. More recently, El Salvador’s “Five-Year Development Plan” highlights agriculture, water management and ecosystems in the context of climate change adaptation. The Plan ultimately calls for the development of a national climate change policy, which is now forthcoming.

To view progress on El Salvador's SNC click here.

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-89.1888224236 13.6976116052)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000
Project Details: 

Lying along the Pacific Ocean and bordered by Guatemala and Honduras, the relatively small country of El Salvador is home to about six million people. El Salvador has an area of 20,740 km2, with important geographical and ecological variations. Approximately 86% of the national territory is ranked as subtropical humid forests, 8% as sub-tropical very humid forests and 4% as tropical humid forest land10. Annual average rainfall fluctuates between 1,525.8 mm and 2,127.2 mm, with an average of 1,823.6 mm. Annual average temperatures range between 24.2oC and 25.9oC, with an average of 24.8oC.

Geographically, the country is divided into three distinct regions: the southern coastal belt, the central valley and plateaus, and the northern mountains. Since its civil war ended in 1992, El Salvador’s economy has grown steadily, with per capita income reaching approximately US$7,300 in 2010 (CIA, 2011). The poverty rate has declined from 66 per cent in 1991 to 37.8 per cent in 2009 (USDS, 2011). While agriculture remains a significant portion of El Salvador’s economy (generating 11 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010), manufacturing (particularly textiles and apparel) and the services sector now generate 23 per cent and 58 per cent of GDP respectively (CIA, 2011). Remittances are also an important source of income (USDS, 2011).

El Salvador, through its government and particularly through the MARN, which is the entity accountable for coordinating the preparation and follow up of an environmental policy, would be committed to establish the mitigation and adaptation to climatic change strategies provided that these help to achieve national priorities and that they foster sustainable domestic development.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is currently working on a National Climate Change Plan that will include: i) the National Action Program on Adaptation (NAPA); ii) the National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in the context of the national development priorities; iii) science and technology for adaptation and mitigation; iv) national and local capacity building for adaptation and mitigation; and v) education, public awareness raising and participation of the relevant actors and sectors in the design and implementation of the national public policies related to climate change.

The Project on Capacity building for Stage II adaptation to climate change (Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama) was funded through the GEF Trust Fund and is implemented by UNDP. Central America, Mexico and Cuba serve as the pilot region for elaborating and applying an Adaptation Policy Framework for preparing adaptation strategies, policies and measures. The application of this framework demonstrated how policy for adaptation can be integrated into national sustainable development for at least three human systems: water resources, agriculture and human health. This demonstration project builds upon the Stage I vulnerability and adaptation assessments of the Initial National Communications of the eight participating countries of the region and will prepare them to move onto Stage III Adaptation. The outputs of the project, Stage II adaptation strategies are being used for preparing Second National Communications and to take steps to submit adaptation initiatives to the Special Climate Change Fund and to other financing mechanisms.

Adaptation Needs and Priorities

El Salvador has a relatively homogeneous climate. Nevertheless, climate hazards exist, and include droughts (which are noted to be increasing in length), floods and hurricanes (MARN, 2000). National temperatures have been increasing by approximately 0.35°C per decade; climate models project that temperatures will increase by 2.5° to 3.7°C by 2100. Projections are much less certain with regards to rainfall; the country has experienced a statistically insignificant reduction in rainfall in the past few decades, and projections range from declines of 36.6 per cent to increases of 11.1 per cent by the end of the century, according to the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) (MARN, 2000). Finally, the country’s coastal zones are expected to be affected by rising sea levels.

Agriculture, water, coasts and forests have been identified as priority areas for adaptation in El Salvador. These areas have been identified through a series of key national documents. In the country’s first (and so far only) National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), released in 2000, the vulnerability of the country’s coasts and agricultural sector were assessed (MARN, 2000). Guidelines for a national adaptation strategy were developed following the release of the First National Communication, and focused on coasts, agriculture (particularly staple foods and coffee) and forests. More recently, El Salvador’s “Five-Year Development Plan” highlights agriculture, water management and ecosystems in the context of climate change adaptation (El Salvador, 2010). The Plan calls for the development of a national climate change policy, which is now forthcoming.

Beyond government documentation, a 2007 report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) studied the vulnerability and adaptation needs of the rural population in the central coastal plains. More specific research on drought has included an analysis of national drought policies (Romano, 2003) and a “Policy and Action Plan on Living with Droughts in El Salvador” (FUNDE, 2003); both highlight the importance of droughts for El Salvador, particularly its agriculture sector. Priority areas for adaptation action are currently being reviewed as the government develops its national climate change policy and finalizes its Second National Communication.

No list of prioritized adaptation action exists in El Salvador. Nevertheless, some key actions have been identified, particularly for the agricultural sector, including: the generation and cultivation of new crop varieties; improved water supply and irrigation; soil plant coverage; early warning systems; harvest forecasts; food surveillance systems; farming investment; insurance schemes; research and development; economic policy measures to stimulate grain production; more sustainable agricultural practices; farm zoning programs; and institutions that promote human development and food security (MARN, 2000). No measures are suggested for coastal areas. UNDP and GEF (2007) also identify a set of adaptation measures related to rural livelihoods, with a focus on agriculture.

National Level Policies and Strategic Documents

El Salvador is a signatory to the UNFCCC, with the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources serving as the focal point for the process. The Ministry produced its First National Communication in 2000, and planned to publish its second in 2010, though it has yet to be released.

Climate change and adaptation are referred to in the “Environment and Risk Reduction Policy” section of El Salvador’s recent Five-Year Development Plan (El Salvador, 2010). The plan highlights the links between adaptation and ecosystems, water management and agriculture, and calls for the development of a national climate change policy to mainstream climate change into sectoral policies on health, agriculture, energy, transport, infrastructure, water management and waste.

El Salvador is a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the institutional framework for the integration of Central American states, and of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), a committee which brings together the environmental ministries of the SICA member states. Under the auspices of SICA and CCAD, a regional climate change strategy has recently been developed (CCAD and SICA, 2010). The strategy summarizes climate information and sectoral vulnerabilities, and proposes six strategic areas for action, including “Vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and change, and risk management.” Under this theme, nine strategic objectives (with over 150 measures) are listed: disaster risk reduction, agriculture and food security, forest ecosystems and biodiversity, water, health, coastal-marine systems, tourism, indigenous people and public infrastructure. The strategy’s other focal areas are: mitigation; capacity building; education, awareness raising, communication and participation; technology transfer; and international negotiations and management.

Current Adaptation Action

El Salvador has a moderate amount of adaptation action currently underway, which mostly focuses on regional capacity building and research programs on climate change adaptation. Agriculture, water and coastal areas, identified as key areas for adaptation, are reflected in current adaptation activities. However, many adaptation needs remain unaddressed, such as in the areas of human health, gender and ecosystem conservation. One project focused on providing safe drinking water in the region of Zacatecoluca involves the implementation of adaptation concrete measures. Outside of this project, the majority of adaptation activity in El Salvador involves capacity building, research and policy formation and integration.

Proposed Adaptation Action

Plans are in place to expand adaptation programming in El Salvador. Action has been proposed in the areas of sustainable natural resources management, food security and coastal zone management, to be funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as significant planned investments in strengthening infrastructure resilience in San Salvador. The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) is also preparing a program to support structural reform in the area of climate change and energy, although further details on the program have not yet been released.

Assessment

Overall, El Salvador has made progress in the area of adaptation, particularly in terms of research, capacities and political awareness. Agriculture, water, coasts and, to a lesser extent, forests and ecosystems are acknowledged as the key sectors for adaptation in El Salvador, and climate change is recognized as an important issue in the country’s development. At the policy level, it is expected that the soon-to-be-released Second National Communication and national climate change policy will further specify areas and actions that should be prioritized for adaptation. At the implementation level, current adaptation activities largely take place as part of regional or global projects and focus on capacity building and research. These projects are addressing needs in the priority sectors of agriculture, water and coasts. Among identified future adaptation actions, the focus is on food security, biodiversity and policy reform.

References:

  • Keller, Echeverría, Parry (2011) “Review of Current and Planned Adaptation Action: Central America and Mexico.” Adaptation Partnership / International Institute for Sustainable Development.
  • Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] (2011). El Salvador. The World Factbook. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/es.html. Last updated 25 April 2011.
  • Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo [CCAD] and Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana [SICA] (2010). Estrategia Regional de Cambio Climático. Documento Ejecutivo.
  • El Salvador (2010). Plan Quinqueñal de Desarrollo 2010–2014.
  • Fundación Nacional para el Desarrollo [FUNDE] (2003). Política y Plan de Acción de Convivencia con la Sequía en El Salvador.
  • Gavidia Medina (2001). Líneas Prioritarias de Acción para la Definición y Ejecución de una Estrategia de Adaptación al Cambio Climático en El Salvador.
  • Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales [MARN] (2000). First National Communication of the Republic of El Salvador. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/essential_background/library/items/3599.php?such=j&symbol=SLV/COM/1%20B#beg
  • Romano, L. (2003). Evaluación de las Políticas para Enfrentar la Sequía en El Salvador dentro del Marco del Desarrollo y la Transferencia de Tecnologías de Adaptación ante la Variabilidad y el Cambio Global del Clima.
  • United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] and Global Environment Facility [GEF] (2007). Vulnerabilidad y adaptación al cambio climático de los pobladores rurales de la planicie costera central de El Salvador.
  • United States Department for State [USDS] (2011). Background Note: El Salvador. Last updated 30 March 2011. Retrieved fromhttp://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2033.htm.
Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness

Potential Adaptation Measures

Agriculture and Food Security

  • Educational & outreach activities to change management practices to those suited to climate change
  • Switch to different cultivars
  • Improve and conserve soils
  • Develop new crops
  • Develop and introduce policy measures, including taxes, subsidies, facilitation of free market
  • Develop early warning systems and disaster preparedness

Water Resources

  • Increase water supply, e.g. by using groundwater, building reservoirs, improving or stabilizing watershed management, desalination
  • Decrease water demands, e.g. by increasing efficiency, reducing water losses, water recycling, changing irrigation practices
  • Improve or develop water management
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
Government of El Salvador
Francisco Soto Monterrosa
Project Affiliate
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

Dominca's Second National Communication - In Progress

The creation of a National Communication offers countries the opportunity to contribute with technically sound studies and information that can be used for designing mitigation and adaptation measures, and project proposals that can and will help increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Activities generally include: V&A assessments, Greenhouse Gas Inventory preparation, Mitigation Analysis or Education, and awareness raising activities. The ultimate goal is the integration of climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions.

While current adaptation programming in Dominica focuses on a number of different sectors (e.g., tourism, agriculture, gender), it most frequently addresses needs in the areas of coastal zone management and improving the capacity of government to create an enabling environment for adaptation. The majority of projects emphasize capacity building, research and knowledge sharing, and additional plans to implement adaptation measures on the ground. Dominca faces a number of challenges in maintaining fresh water supplies, protecting agricultural yields from fluctuating precipitation and saline intrusion, maintaining coastal habitats, and securing expanding populations from extreme weather hazards.

To view progress on Dominica's SNC click here.

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-61.3544933146 15.4801720165)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Through improved identification of national circumstances, government agencies and other actors will increase their abilities to insulate at risk urban and rural populations from the adverse effects of climate change.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
420,000
Co-Financing Total: 
410,000
Project Details: 

The Commonwealth of Dominica is located in the Caribbean Sea, and was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europe. Dominica is a mountainous volcanic island, with very rugged and steep terrain (John, Bellot and Parry, 2001). The island has rich biodiversity, a perennial river system, and extensive rainforests. 60% of the land area of the country is covered by vegetation, including scrub woodlands and lush tropical forest (John, Bellot and Parry, 2001). Dominica’s tropical maritime climate is influenced by the North East Trade Winds and its rugged topography results in micro-climate variability over small distances (John, Bellot and Parry, 2001). The country is located along the tropical Atlantic hurricane belt and has experienced approximately 15 extreme weather events since 1979.

Dominica’s population is approximately 72,000 people, 90% of whom live in coastal villages (John, Bellot and Parry, 2001; USDS, 2010). The country’s main economic sectors are rain-fed agriculture (with major crops including bananas, citrus and coconuts.), government services, banks and insurance, wholesale and retail trade, and transport (John, Bellot and Parry, 2001). Climate change is expected to impact on these sectors in three ways:

(a) Temperature Changes affecting range of species, water flow in watersheds, reduced food availability for wildlife and increased forest pests, disease and vulnerability to extreme climate events.

(b) The threat presented by sea level rise to the coastal habitats (e.g. coastal freshwater ponds, brackish water systems, mangroves and arable floodplains) is substantial.  Increasing pressure on forest reserves due to loss of coastal agricultural lands by salinization. Loss of coastal forests due to inundation and increasing storm events (e.g. mangroves and low lying tropical dry forests). Migration or loss of wildlife species from altered habitats.

c) There is also the potential for greater frequency and intensity of storms in the Caribbean leading to the risk of landfall. Terrestrial ecosystems are severely affected by tropical disasters.

Along side these effects, the coastal ecosystem faces additional stresses while the beaches also experience erosion and inundation. Elevated sea temperatures can also impair the coral reefs of Dominica through bleaching.  Studies done by the Fisheries Development Division in 1998, reported that approximately 15% of the coral showed sign of bleaching (Guiste 2000, personal communication). Moreover, as sea levels rise, there will be destruction of mangroves reducing the availability of fresh water for keeping the Salinity balance. Dominica's fresh water supply is also vulnerable to major hurricane impacts as water quality is affected through landslides, gully erosion and flooding.

As much of Dominica's important infrustructure is located along the coastline, close to the present sea level, this makes them vulnerable to flooding and storms. Furthermore, 90% of the population is dispersed among coastal villages, with the main population center, Roseau, locaded along the leeward coast. Most settlements have very little room for expansion except through hillside residential development, or density increases in already built up areas. As a result, population increase in certain districts is leading to the increasing emergence of hillside developments on the fringes of the existing towns and on small coastal headlands. These areas are highly susceptible to the ravages of extreme events such as hurricanes.

While it is difficult to quantify the impacts of climate change on Dominica's agriculture, banana - as the most significant crop in Dominica - is very sensitive to levels of precipitation. A stark contrast in optimal productivity is observed when the above average rainfall production is compared to drought production levels. There was a 17- 37% difference in the 1970's and a staggering 53-60% difference in the 1980's. In addition, crops such as vegetables are extremely sensitive to the fluctuations in precipitation. Excess rainfall tends to increase the incidence of pest and diseases leading to declining productivity, whilst drought conditions lead to reduced yields. Extreme events inflict damage directly on food systems through the destruction of crops and livestock and the erosion of farmlands.

Adaptation Needs and Priorities

The country experiences one of the highest levels of rainfall in the Caribbean, distributed among a drier season from December to April and a wetter season from June to November (John, Bellot and Parry, 2010). The country’s First National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) identifies the following sectors as being vulnerable in Dominica:

  • Forestry and terrestrial resources: Possible impacts of climate change on the country’s forest ecosystems include: an alteration in the range of species; reduced water flow; an increase in forest pests and disease; and reduced food availability for wildlife.
  • Coastal ecosystems: A rise in mean sea level could cause a loss of beach area; rising temperatures may damage coral reefs along with the island’s tourism sector and fishery; and increased mortality of mangrove forests.
  • Water resources: Depending on future changes in precipitation on the island, climate change could result in flooding, landslides, reduced water for domestic use, and saline invasion of drinking water.
  • Human settlements and infrastructure: Given that most of Dominica’s infrastructure is located in coastal areas, more frequent extreme weather events and sea level rise could adversely impact these human settlements.
  • Agriculture: Impacts could include: declines in the country’s main crop, bananas, which are very sensitive to changes in precipitation; losses due to extreme weather events such as cyclones; and changes in yield due to rising temperatures and variable precipitation.
  • Fisheries: The fisheries sector is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as a result of the expected consequences of rising sea temperatures on coral reefs.
  • Tourism: The impact of climate change on coastal zones, fisheries, and coral reefs could adversely affect this burgeoningindustry.

National Level Policies and Strategic Documents

In 2001, Dominica submitted its First National Communication to the UNFCCC, and is expected to complete its Second National Communication in the near future. Following its participation in the “Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change” (MACC) project Dominica also recently approved a national policy on climate change, although details regarding it are not immediately available (CIF, 2009). In addition to these measures, Dominica has established an Office of Disaster Management within the Ministry of Public Utilities that is responsible for overseeing the country’s risk reduction measures (UNDP, 2009).

Current Adaptation Action

In comparison to other Caribbean countries, Dominica is currently participating in a moderate number of regional and global adaptation projects. Dominica is one of six countries benefitting from pilot activities through the “Pilot Program for Climate Resilience,” a global initiative funded by the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund that aims to reduce countries’ vulnerability to climate change in key areas.

In addition to its participation in the recently completed MACC project, Dominica is also a participant in the “Special Program on Adaptation to Climate Change: Implementation of adaptation measures in coastal zones,” financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that addresses the impacts of climate change on natural resources in four Caribbean countries. As well it is one of the countries being studied through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility’s “Economics of Climate Adaptation Initiative,” a research program that aims to estimate the economic impacts of climate change and the costs of adaptation in the Caribbean.

While current adaptation programming in Dominica focuses on a number of different sectors (e.g., tourism, agriculture, gender), it most frequently addresses needs in the areas of coastal zone management and improving the capacity of government to create an enabling environment for adaptation. The majority of projects emphasize capacity building, research and knowledge sharing; about a third plan to implement adaptation measures on the ground.

Proposed Adaptation Action

Adaptation projects and program presently proposed for implementation in Dominica were not identified through this review.

Assessment

Dominica has addressed adaptation at the policy level through the preparation of a national climate change adaptation strategy (CIF, 2009), and through the “Economics of Climate Adaptation Initiative,” the MACC project, and the “Pilot Program for Climate Resilience,” appears to be engaged in further policy formation and integration efforts to address the impacts of climate change.

The country is also benefitting from participation in several adaptation projects that address the priority adaptation needs outlined in its National Communication. These needs include those related to coastal zones, agriculture, tourism, and risk reduction efforts. Gaps in current adaptation action appear to include a lack of activity within the socioeconomic sectors of human settlements and infrastructure, forestry and fisheries. However, it is possible that needs in these areas are being addressed through Dominica’s more development focused programming.

References:

  • Medeiros,Hove, Keller, Echeverría, Parry (2011) “Review of Current and Planned Adaptation Action: The Carribean.” Adaptation Partnership / International Institute for Sustainable Development.
  • Climate Investment Funds [CIF] (2009). Dominica Template: Acceptance offer to participate as a country pilot within the Caribbean Regional Program under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). Retrieved from http://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/sites/climateinvestmentfunds.o...
  • Homer, Floyd (2009). Developing Pilot Projects for Climate Change Adaptation in Dominica: Report on the Technical Forum on Climate Change - Special Programme for Adaptation to Climate Change Project (SPACC). Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Belmopan, Belize. Retrieved from http://200.32.211.67/M-Files/openfile.aspx?objtype=0&docid=2839
  • John, B.M., Bellot, A., and Parry, M. (eds.) (2001). Commonwealth of Dominica. Initial National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Roseau, Dominica: Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/essential_background/library/items/3599.php?rec=j&prir...
  • United Nations Development Program [UNDP] (2009). Country Assessment Report for the Commonwealth of Dominica: Enhancing gender visibility in disaster risk management and climate change in the Caribbean. Retrieved from http://www.undp.org.cu/crmi/docs/crmi-gttfcnadominica-bp-2009-en.pdf
Expected Key Results and Outputs: 
  • Sustainable development and the integration of climate change concerns into medium- and long-term planning
  • Inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases
  • Measures contributing to addressing climate change
  • Research and systematic observation
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation measures and response strategies
  • Education, training and public awareness
Monitoring & Evaluation: 

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

Parties to the Convention must submit national reports on implementation of the Convention to the Conference of the Parties (COP). The required contents of national communications and the timetable for their submission are different for Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. This is in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" enshrined in the Convention.

The core elements of the national communications for both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties are information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and details of the activities a Party has undertaken to implement the Convention. National communications usually contain information on national circumstances, vulnerability assessment, financial resources and transfer of technology, and education, training and public awareness.

Since 1994, governments have invested significant time and resources in the preparation, collection and validation of data on GHG emissions, and the COP has made determined efforts to improve the quality and consistency of the data, which are ensured by established guidelines for reporting. Non-Annex I Parties receive financial and technical assistance in preparing their national communications, facilitated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Yamil Bonduki
Coordinator, National Communications Support Programme (NCSP)
Collin Guiste
Project Affiliate
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 

Piloting Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health in Uzbekistan

 As part of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNDP, global project on public health adaptation to climate change, the "Piloting Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health in Uzbekistan" is working to pilot adaptation measures in Tashkent and Syrdarya provinces. These efforts are working to increase the adaptation capacity of health care system in the provinces to cope with climate induced diseases.

More specifically, the Uzbekistan project aims to reduce negative impacts of climatic drivers by equipping health care personnel and the wider population with essential tools and knowledge to prevent detrimental effects of climate on human health. Effective prevention will be monitored through the reduction of the risk of morbidity and mortality of acute intestinal, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases induced by climatic factors.

Uzbekistan is one of seven countries taking part in this Global Pilot. The seven countries, Barbados, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Jordan, Kenya and Uzbekistan, together represent four distinct environments (Highlands, Small Islands, Arid Countries and Urban environments) and their related health risks.

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Thematic Area: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (69.2552459245 41.3361191504)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
The greatest national benefit envisaged in the implementation of this program will be the enhanced awareness and capacity of health workers and the community at large. In specific, the project is focused on piloting adaptation measures in two provinces: Tashkent and Syr-Darya.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
550,000 USD
Project Details: 

The objective of this first global project on public health adaptation to climate change is to “increase adaptive capacity of national health system institutions, including field practitioners, to respond to climate-sensitive health risks”. This will contribute to the broader goal of ensuring that “Health sectors are able to cope with health risks resulting from climate change, including variability”.

Uzbekistan Project Objective

To pilot adaptation measures in Tashkent and Syrdarya provinces that will increase adaptation capacity of health care system in these provinces to cope with climate induced diseases.

Key Health Concerns and Vulnerability to Climate Change

Uzbekistan will have significant health affects caused by climate change and rising temperatures. Most of the health problems are related to water and its availability. Water Borne diseases play a major role in Uzbekistan's health issues. More than 30% of household's nationwide lack quality drinking water and over 1000 settlements have no potable water at all. The water quality is poor with microbial and chemical pollution due to insufficient infrastructure to treat waste water and purify drinking water. Bacterial pollution increases in warmer temperatures and is reflected in the number of cases of intestinal diseases during summer.

As an example, bacterial dysentery increases by a factor of 3 in the summer. Dust storms are a particular problem for Uzbekistan and water shortages and increasing aridity caused by climate change coupled with land degradation problems have aggravated the desertification processes. As a major consequence, this has resulted in an increased number of dust storm events. Excessive exposure to dust constitutes a major health risk for many parts of the country already. For instance, Karakalpakstan exceeds the maximum safe threshold of the concentration of total suspension particles (TSP) by more than a factor of 2.  Winds transport the sand particles for long distances extending the geographic boundaries affected by this phenomenon and over 5.5 million people have become increasingly affected by the dust storms.

Results and Learning

The project aims to reduce negative impacts of climatic drivers on health by equipping health care personnel and the wider population with essential tools and knowledge to prevent the detrimental effects of climate on human health. The effective prevention will be monitored through the reduction of the risk of morbidity and mortality of acute intestinal, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases induced by climatic factors. It will achieve this by addressing the following barriers:

  • Knowledge - Health care system personnel are not fully aware of the relationship between climate change and variability and health impacts. There has been no specific training of the personnel in regard to adaptation to climate change and mitigating its negative health impacts.
  • Capacity - The level of knowledge and skills to prevent diseases connected with climatic factors are also limited among the general population.
  • Monitoring and surveillance - The climate and health monitoring and surveillance systems are not conducted at the right geographical and temporal scale that would allow observations of trends and make advance forecasts to direct interventions against climate sensitive diseases.
  • Research - No mechanisms currently exist to give early warning to the health system and undertake preventive measures. No research is currently conducted to observe the trends and the health system does not have clearly developed indicators that would give a chance to react. Thus no early warning system has been developed. 
Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Expected Benefits

The most significant benefit expected from this project is the reduced number of acute intestinal, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that are induced by climate change. Other benefits include:

  • Improved general health of the national population and through this will contribute to the human development in Uzbekistan.
  • Increased knowledge and skills to monitor variations in climate and make preventive steps in order to minimize possible detrimental effects on human health.
  • The public will have enhanced knowledge on how to protect themselves against diseases that can be triggered by climate factors.
  • People would be equipped with the concrete instruments to cope with climate variability and change.
  • The Government will benefit from healthier and more economically active population and fewer social payments to disabled (sick) people.
Project Components:
  1. Climate change and health early warning and planning systems
  2. Institutional and technical capacity to manage climate change health risks
  3. Demonstration Measures to reduce vulnerability
  4. Regional Cooperation to address climate change health risks
Expected Outputs:

Outcome 1: An early warning system that provides reliable information on likely incidence of climate-sensitive health risks established

  1. Cooperation agreement on information flow sharing between governmental agencies is reached.
  2. Computer-based information system established to share climate change and health information to Government decision makers in the two pilot states.
  3. An early warning system of potential health impacts of climate events on vulnerable groups will be designed and tested.
  4. Contingency plans for health care system developed in the event of adverse climate variation.

Outcome 2: Skills and knowledge of health care personnel to cope with climate sensitive diseases enhanced and awareness of the population to take self-preventive measures for climate-induced diseases are increased

  1. Capacity building training programs for medical personnel and primary care workers on the relationship between diseases and climate developed and introduced.
  2. Increased awareness raising to the local population in the health risks associated with climate change and how to take self-preventive measures against climate sensitive diseases.

Outcome  3: Action plans to address climate sensitive diseases successfully implemented within the 2 study provinces

  1. Intervention plans for climate-sensitive health outcomes implemented within the study regions.
  2. Effectiveness of interventions will be monitored.

 

 

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

Project coordination

Project activities will be executed following established UNDP national execution modality (NEF). The Ministry of Health will act as the Executing Agency (EA) for the project and will be executing the project in cooperation with WHO and UNDP-GEF. The project will establish a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) which will consist of the Project Manager (PM), and an administrative/finance assistant. National consultants will be recruited upon necessity according to an established plan of activities developed by the PM.

Contacts: 
Natalia Sharipova
Ministry of Health
WHO
Dr Michel Louis Marie Tailhades
Head of WHO Country Office
UNDP
Pradeep Kurukulasuriya
UNDP Senior Technical Advisor on Climate Change Adaptation
WHO
Joy Guillemot
Public Health and Environment Department WHO
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Funding Source Short Code: 
sccf
Project Status: 
Display Photo: