MSME key to community climate resilience
26 April 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh: Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are vital to employment and livelihoods in the developing world. This sector is also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. MSMEs can also provide significant opportunities for enhancing community-based climate change resilience.
At the 10th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA10) in Dhaka, UNDP presented a plenary session on resilience and the private sector. The session highlighted the potential of MSMEs in developing community-based resilience, as well as the current limited capacity of MSMEs to assess climate change risks and opportunities. The increasingly critical role of MSMEs in developing and selling climate resilient products and services for vulnerable communities was discussed.
The interactive session alternated between case studies and small group discussions, illustrating how a focus on MSMEs can lead to strengthened community resilience.
MSMEs and CBA
Recognising the importance of MSMEs in CBA is the first step towards enhancing support for MSMEs, and creating an environment which allows MSMEs to develop. Encouraging MSMEs to adopt ecological and energy-efficient production packaging and marketing, whilst providing support for MSMEs to access financial systems, will allow communities to become more resilient. Building the capacity of MSMEs will inevitably increase resilience to climate shocks, whilst harnessing new opportunities.
Case study: EzyStove energy efficient stoves, Namibia
A shortage of fuel for cooking is one of the many problems faced by people in Namibia. Inefficient cooking stoves can lead to local sources of firewood becoming depleted, whilst burning excessive wood in homes exposes families to potentially deadly smoke. More fuel-efficient cooking stoves which are both affordable and easy to use can prevent forest depletion, and produce less smoke contamination.
The GEF Small Grants Programme in association with UNDP and Australian Aid developed a project to introduce Ezy energy efficient cooking stoves in Namibia. Community-based self-help groups (SHGs) were identified as entry points into communities, whilst MSMEs were involved to share and learn from the project.
The project showed that engagement with SHG and MSMEs were essential in delivering CBA energy efficient stoves, and to encourage MSMEs to better appreciate the potential of building community resilience through energy-efficient enterprises.