Climate Change Adaptation in the News

October 2017

October 2017

Enhancing sustainability and climate resilience: UNDP and Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Commission sign new project aimed at enhancing sustainability and climate resilience

Kuensel Bhutan

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Yesterday in Bhutan, UNDP and the Gross National Happiness Commission yesterday signed a Least Developed Countries Fund-financed project, 'Enhancing Sustainability and Climate Resilience of Forest and Agriculture Landscape and Community Livelihood in Bhutan'. The six-year project until 2023 will focus on creating climate-resilient livelihoods for the communities, effective corridors and improving institutional capacity at national, sub-national and local levels to manage forest and agricultural landscapes sustainably.

 

Read Article

Improving Renewable Energy Power Systems in Samoa

Samoa Planet

Tuesday 31 October 2017

October 31st 2017, Apia – As officials gather in Bonn for the annual COP climate talks, the Government of Samoa and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today officially launched a multi-million dollar project (dubbed “IMPRESS” - “Improving the Performance and Reliability of Renewable Energy Power System in Samoa”) to enhance sustainable and cost-effective energy production in the Small Island Developing State. The project is set to support national efforts towards achieving 100% renewable energy electricity generation by 2025, while also contributing to improved energy for everyday Samoans.
 

Read Article

Somalia: Over 45,000 People to Have Greater Access to Clean Water in Baidoa

Somali Update

Monday 30 October 2017

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is partnering with the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Government of Somalia, to provide greater access to sustainable clean water for over 45,000 drought-affected internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Baidoa, in the South West State of Somalia. The project is part of ongoing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities and drought response work being carried out by IOM and UNDP in the area. Somalia’s 2017 Gu (April–June) rainy season was significantly below average, creating severe drought across all regions. Baidoa town has been one of the areas most badly affected by drought and the town currently holds one of the highest numbers of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Somalia, with over 243,000 people having migrated to the area since November 2016, according to data released as of September 2017, from the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster and IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). Absorption capacities in Baidoa have already been severely overstretched, hugely increasing the demand for life-saving services and leading to the deterioration of living conditions in the IDP settlements and host communities.

Read Article

UNDP Commends Jamaica for Work on Climate Change Mitigation

Prensa Latina

Monday 30 October 2017

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is lauding the Jamaican government for the significant work in creating an enabling environment for climate change adaptation and mitigation on the island. UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Elsie Laurence-Chounoune recalled that Jamaica has been a significant contributor to the Caribbean and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) negotiating team and has 'boldly, clearly and relentlessly brought the peculiar issues of SIDS to the climate change negotiating table at successive COPs' She said in Kingston that the island is strongly positioned to advocate for an effective outcome that could support the achievement of Caribbean objectives during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Jamaica's Ministry of Economic Growth and Employment Creation Daryl Vaz revealed that the government of his country is aware that climate change has far-reaching implications for the future of the island in terms of its impact on employment, infrastructure and investments. It also damages the country's natural resources, economy and sustainable development goals. Vaz pointed to a study done by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC), which estimates that by 2050, cumulative losses due to degradation of marine ecosystems, storm damage and other factors may average as much as $366 million USD per year. Jamaica became the 142nd country to ratify the Paris Agreement on March 30, 2017.

Read Article

Nepal - Integrating gender in climate risk assessment and adaptation planning

ReliefWeb

Monday 30 October 2017

A three-day workshop on integrating gender in climate risk assessment and adaptation planning at the local level was held in Kathmandu, Nepal this October as part of the activities of the UNDP-FAO Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans Programme (NAP-Ag). The NAP-Ag Programme is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The event was organized by FAO-Nepal, in collaboration with UNDP and FAO NAP-Ag global team members.

The training sought to strengthen the capacity of the Nepal’s NAP-Ag Project Technical Task-force (PTT) and contractors to integrate gender analysis methods and tools in climate risk assessment and adaptation planning in the agriculture sector. It also sought to strengthen the gender and adaptation capacity of participating government officials in terms of monitoring and evaluating the NAP-Ag project, and more importantly in terms of their adaptation work over the longer term.

Read Article

Sowing the seeds of sustainability in Eritrea

UNDP Medium

Monday 30 October 2017

In Eritrea, a small country in the Horn of Africa, land rehabilitation combats erosion and desertification, and helps restore agricultural productivity. The central highlands region of Eritrea, a densely populated agro-ecological zone, is largely considered as the ‘breadbasket’ of the country, and is the focus of the government’s current and future investments in food security. But the breadbasket has, over the years, been growing ever-emptier. Despite the relatively fertile soils, agricultural productivity had progressively declined as a result of increasing population pressure, unsustainable land and water use, and the effects of climate change (less rain, falling in shorter and more intense rainy seasons and resulting in increased run-off).

Read Article

What will the $65m USD Vaisigano Flood Management project do?

Samoa Planet

Sunday 29 October 2017

Inception workshop in Apia, Samoa, brings together key stakeholders for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Government of Samoa-funded project 'Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience for the Vaisigano River Catchment' . The US$65 million project aims to flood-proof key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment area and upgrade drainage systems in downstream areas.

Read Article

In the business of building resilience

UNDP Blog

Thursday 26 October 2017

As frequently volatile storms, floods and droughts indicate, the impact of both climate change and natural hazard risks is growing. Addressing these challenges, and ensuring that countries are able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), requires strong partnerships and more investment from the private sector in risk-informed, sustainable development.

Yet, understanding the role of the private sector within the development sphere is a continual challenge. It is not always clear how to combine sustainable, risk-informed development with a commercial agenda. This lack of clarity played out during a recent meeting with Portek, an international port operating company, at a public/private sector conference in Geneva. During the meeting, we discussed ways to overcome the perceived dichotomy of contributing to the SDGs while ensuring Portek maintained a profitable business model.

To meet both objectives, I suggested that Portek could diversify its investment portfolio by supporting port operations in countries that are highly prone to natural hazards, or it could conclude an agreement with a national government to conduct surge response support activities at a port in the event of a disaster. An approach such as this would allow Portek to generate a profit while contributing to risk-informed development.

Bridging this divide between private sector interest in meeting the SDGs and the reality that corporations need to sustain profitable businesses, is exactly where UNDP’s role comes in to play. UNDP has the ability to build partnerships between the UN, the private sector, national governments and other international agencies.

These partnerships can harness capital and expertise from the private sector to find solutions to development challenges in a way that is both feasible for the private sector and appropriate for each country’s national context. A recent analysis highlighted in the report, UNDP and the Private Sector, shows how the private sector is engaged in supporting countries with expertise, capital, innovation and technology.

Read Article

Social Vulnerability Assessment Tools for Climate Change and DRR Programming - A Guide to Practitioners, September 2017

ReliefWeb

Thursday 26 October 2017

The aim of this Guide is to first and foremost serve as a user friendly knowledge product on Social Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) approaches and tools. This Guide provides information about on-going and future planning and programming in the areas of climate change adaptation (CCA), climate risk management (CRM) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). As such, it is primarily designed for CCA and DRR practitioners in national governments, local level authorities dealing with DRR/CCA, professional community and development organizations (including UNDP Country Offices and projects) involved in the planning, design and/or implementation of CCA and DRR projects. Thus, the Guide aims to improve the quality of CCA and DRR project development and implementation through enhanced initiation, targeting and increased effectiveness of future interventions. This guide should be taken only as an outline and a proposal that can assist project managers -DRR and CCA practitioners in developing social vulnerability studies dealing with climate change and disasters in specific countries.

Read Article

Fiji Pre-COP Urges Progress on Paris Agreement Implementation Guidelines, Grand Coalition for Climate Action

IISD

Wednesday 25 October 2017

In preparation for the UN Climate Change Conference in November, the Fijian Presidency of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC convened the 2017 Ministerial Dialogue, known as the “Pre-COP.” During the event, country leaders achieved greater clarity on COP 23 deliverables, including resilience building, adaptation finance and the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue. Countries discussed the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement on climate change to be finalized in 2018, including completing a robust framework for reporting on climate action and finance, and stressed the need for a global Grand Coalition of action between all levels of government, business and civil society. Among key deliverables for COP 23, taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November 2017, they stressed the need to highlight progress on reaching the US$100 billion that developed countries agreed to provide to developing countries on an annual basis by 2020; and for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to underpin investment plans that attract sufficient finance, including from the private sector. Another major deliverable highlighted by participants was to provide the design for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue “on where the world stands, where it wants to be and how it will jointly get there to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals.” In light of recent extreme weather events, countries also underscored the need for urgent action on loss and damage, and the importance of a strong gender dimension in building resilience.

Read Article

Organizations recognized for work to conserve, restore environment

St. Kitts Nevis Observer

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Nearly 30 organizations in St. Kitts and Nevis will be recognized for their contributions in promoting a sustainable environment during a ceremony on Nov. 4 at the St. Kitts Eco Park. The 28 groups were awarded a total of US$1.36 million under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Small Grants Programme (SGP) since the programme’s implementation in 2013. The SGP provides funding of up to US$50,000 directly to local communities to support projects in GEF priority areas. To date, it has approved grants for 30 projects on St. Kitts and Nevis in the areas of recycling; agroprocessing using solar energy; climate smart agriculture (shade house establishment and water for agriculture); turtle conservation; biodiversity conservation; flood mitigation; land degradation; capacity development for youth in renewable energy management, and public awareness programmes using the performing arts. “Grantees comprising community groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) engage in projects aimed at conserving and restoring the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods,” said Ilis Watts, Small Grants Programme St. Kitts-Nevis (SGP SKN) national coordinator. “The Small Grants Programme, through the work of these organizations, ably demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.”

Read Article

Samoa kicks off climate adaptation project to benefit 1 in 3 citizens facing flood risk

PreventionWeb

Wednesday 25 October 2017

In the lead up to COP climate talks in Bonn, the launch of a Green Climate Fund-financed US$65 million project in Samoa signals strong global support for climate-resilient development in Small Island Developing States.

Read Article

Sheltered Shores: Penrhyn Community in Paradise Protects Coastline & Turtles

Exposure

Wednesday 25 October 2017

At the frontlines of sea level rise and experiencing more intense tropical storms, the Cook Islands is focused on strengthening resilience to the impacts of climate change. Under a programme with support from the Adaptation Fund and UNDP, a student-led project is bringing together community members to protect a threatened species close to the hearts of Cook Islanders: sea turtles.

Read Article

The Government of Saint Lucia turns its Focus to Fisheries and Climate Change

St. Lucia Times

Tuesday 24 October 2017

The Government of Saint Lucia is hosting a series of sessions to facilitate discussions aimed at taking action to address climate change, specifically in the fisheries sector. The Government is currently developing a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change, including sectoral adaptation strategies and investment plans in specific sectors. Ms. Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel of the Department of Sustainable Development says: “We have been working with Government agencies and other stakeholders in the water sector, as well as the agriculture sector to develop Sectoral Adaptation Strategies and Actions Plans (SASAPs) in these sectors. We are now doing the same for the fisheries sector, recognising that agriculture and fisheries, together, are the sectors that speak to food security for the country. Water, agriculture and fisheries were decided upon as priority sectors for the development of these plans in May of this year by a wide range of stakeholders, noting that the intention is to develop SASAPs in all other key sectors, incrementally, as funding becomes available, that is, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning; Natural Resource Management, including coastal, marine, terrestrial biodiversity; Formal Education; and Health.” The sessions currently underway for the fisheries sector, include a technical workshop with the Department of Fisheries on Friday, October 20; focus group sessions with fisher folk on Sunday, October 22 (south) and Monday, October 23 (north); culminating in a broad-based consultation for the sector on Tuesday, October 25, from 9:00 a.m. at the Finance Administrative Centre, Pointe Seraphine, Castries. Support for Saint Lucia’s NAP process is through the kind assistance of the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP)/ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Adaptation Plan Global Network (NAP-GN)/International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Read Article

Enhancing the integration of gender into Zambia’s climate change responses

ReliefWeb

Tuesday 24 October 2017

As part of the ongoing work to address gender issues in the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans for the agriculture sector in Zambia, FAO Zambia, in collaboration with UNDP Zambia, organized a four-day workshop in Siavonga, Zambia from 18 to 21 September 2017. The workshop was funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) as part of the activities of the Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans programme (NAP-Ag). Amongst the 22 participants that contributed actively in the training through sharing personal experiences and working together were staff of national ministries. These included staff of the Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Gender; Ministry of National Development Planning; and Ministry of Transport and Communications. In addition, attendees from the University of Zambia and the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute contributed their research-oriented perspectives.

Read Article

Real-time weather forecasts are helping Zambian women farmers win their battle against the impact of climate change

Zambian Eye

Monday 23 October 2017

According to statistics, two-thirds of the labour force in Zambia is engaged in agriculture, 78 percent of whom are women farmers. Agriculture accounts for 20 percent of the country’s GDP, and the output feeds over half of its population of nearly 14 million people. In recent years, extreme weather conditions such as severe dry spells and floods have hit hard on Zambia’s rain-fed farmland, posing serious threats to the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers. Women bear the greatest burden of these erratic changes in weather patterns, as they are the mainstay of agricultural production. Despite the incessant droughts and floods, Zambian women farmers are determined not to be beaten by the impact of climate change. There are some success stories where women farmers are leading the way and are finding potential ways to fight climate change – either through the formation of women’s multipurpose cooperatives or women’s self-help groups to lift themselves out of poverty.

Read Article

Safety Drill Prepares Solomon Islands Schools for Tsunamis

ReliefWeb

Monday 23 October 2017

The first tsunami drill at schools in the Solomon Islands mobilized nearly 400 students and teachers, testing the schools’ emergency management plans and newly constructed evacuation routes. The tsunami evacuation drill was held in two schools - Titiana Community High School and Babanga Primary school, in the tsunami-prone Western Province. It was supported by the government of Solomon Islands and Japan, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). “During the 2007 Tsunami, 52 children and adults lost their lives. We did not know what a tsunami was or what to do. We are grateful for support of the Government of Japan and UNDP to help our communities and children to be better prepared for the future,” said Honorable George Lilo, member of the Provincial Assembly. ­­­­­­­ The school tsunami preparedness project is backed by the Western Province Education Authority, the Seismology Division of MMERE and ­­­­the NDMO, SI Meteorological Services, Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management & Meteorology. Using images taken from the drones and stories gathered from the communities, the agencies banded together to collect data, and conduct a tsunami risk assessment. They also produced tsunami hazard maps, and identified evacuation routes and safe areas. The work resulted in the creation of new emergency evacuation plans, and construction of evacuation routes. It was recommended that schools set up internal siren systems to support early warning, build emergency exit doors, and display tsunami evacuation guides around the perimeter of the schools’ campus to ensure safe evacuation. “Our children have a lot to learn about being safe and being able to fend for themselves when threats exist. Children are “agents of change”, they will carry the safety message to their parents, friends, and entire community,” said Mr. Loti Yates, Director of the National Disaster Management Office. UNDP Country Manager in the Solomon Island, Ms Azusa Kubota, thanked the Government of Japan for supporting the island communities, and partnering with UNDP. “Globally, schools have been identified as an ideal venue for raising awareness on disaster risk reduction and strengthening preparedness amongst students, families and communities. It is wonderful to see not only school children and teachers, but also community members coming together to be part of today’s exercise,” said Ms. Azusa Kubota of UNDP. With support from the government of Japan, UNDP is organizing 90 tsunami evacuation drills in 18 countries across Asia and the Pacific. The regional project “Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunami” is active in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

Read Article

Campesinos colombianos reciben espaldarazo de US$35 millones del Fondo Verde del Clima

El Espectador Colombia

Monday 23 October 2017

La cancillería de Colombia anunciño que en la 18ª reunión de la Junta del Fondo Verde para el Clima – FVC, Colombia logró que esa entidad le aprobara el proyecto “Scaling up climate resilient water management practices for vulnerable communities in La Mojana”, un proyecto que viene ejecutando el Ministerio de Ambiente con el PNUD Colombia desde 2010, que busca mejorar la adaptación al cambio climático de las comunidades en la Depresión Momposina. El proyecto, que se centrará en que las comunidades mejoren su gestión del agua, tiene un costo de US$117 millones, de los cuales, $38,5 millones son recursos no reembolsables del FVC. La forma como el dinero llegará a las comunidades será a través del Fondo de Adaptación y de las diversas entidades territoriales donde tiene presencia el proyecto. El proyecto es bastate ambicioso. De acuerdo con la cancillería, se ejecutará en los próximos ocho años, y cerca de 400.000 personas de las cuencas de los ríos Magdalena, Cauca y San Jorge se verán beneficiadas por el mismo. El Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) será el encargado de ejecutar los recursos. Hasta el momento, el proyecto ya ha creado 1.300 huertas comunitarias que, a su vez, son resilientes al cambio climático. Las comunidades locales en los municipios de Ayapel, San Marcos y San Benito Abad han implementado prácticas agroecológicas resilientes al cambio climático.

Read Article

As wild weather worsens, forecasting in Malawi gets a $16 million makeover

Thomson Reuters

Thursday 19 October 2017

In a bid to help farmers cope with more extreme weather, Malawi has launched a $16 million effort to update weather stations and provide more accurate forecasts, officials say. Backed with $12 million from the international Green Climate Fund and $4 million from Malawi’s government, the push will pay for installation of automated weather stations in 21 districts around the country and new software to turn data collected into more accurate short-term weather and longer-term climate forecasts. The changes are expected to improve the accuracy of Malawi’s forecasts by 80 percent, and allow real-time monitoring of rainfall, which could help improve early warning alerts, said Clement Chinthu Phiri, Malawi’s commissioner for disaster management affairs. The funding will also help better train forecasters, including in how to issue reports that are easier for farmers to understand and use, and pay for creation of a mobile phone app to provide forecasts in local languages. Up to now, Malawi has suffered from a lack of weather data and too few people trained “to operate and maintain climate information and early warning systems” said Mphanda Kabwazi, a disaster risk expert with the U.N. Development Programme, one of the backers of the Malawi initiative. The country has focused more on relief and rehabilitation after weather-related disasters, from floods to droughts, rather than preparing for them, she said. The lack of good information has hurt efforts to adapt to changing conditions as a result of climate change, and has handicapped efforts to provide effectively early warnings about disaster risks, she said. Under the improved forecasting system, however, easier-to-use information should flow to farmers, fishermen and other potential users through everything from community radio stations to social media platforms, Kabwazi said. Malawi has suffered worsening problems with droughts and flooding in recent years. In 2015 floods killed over 100 people and displaced 300,000, and recent droughts worsened by the El Nino phenomenon have handicapped government pushes to improve food security and increase agricultural production. The new M-CLIMES effort will be led by Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), with support from agencies focused on climate change and meteorology, water resources, fisheries, and agricultural extension, as well as backing from the National Small Holder Farmers Association.

Read Article

Pakistan’s new climate strategy hailed as a game changer

Gulf News

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Pakistan has unveiled a strategy called ‘Climate Change Financing Framework’ (CCFF) to mainstream climate change into planning and budget systems. This strategy will make the country’s existing climate change policy more effective, guide future climate action and help access global climate funds, officials said. Pakistan is the fourth country after Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh to adopt the comprehensive climate change financing approach. The Government of Pakistan together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released two key documents to improve how climate change can be integrated into its budget and public financial management. Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan formally launched the Report in Islamabad on Monday. “This framework [is a] milestone in bringing climate change in mainstream of planning and finance system that can help in effectively addressing climate change challenges” the minister said. The budgeting of climate change is formally now part of Pakistan’s budget policy. “There is more need to create awareness on climate change issue since we are living under glaciers and have serious threats.” Pakistan is among the top ten countries most affected by climate change although our contribution in carbon emission is only 0.08 per cent, he added. ‘Will reduce risks’ The country director of UNDP Pakistan, Ignacio Artaza, congratulated Pakistan in successfully developing the financing framework. “Effective implementation of CCFF will reduce risks and the economic, social and human costs of climate change to Pakistan,” he said. Pakistan ranks seventh among the most affected countries by climate change according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2017. The South Asian country has witnessed catastrophic floods, heatwaves, droughts in the last few years. “Pakistan is among the top ten countries globally affected by climate change”, which is why climate financing initiative will prove an important tool in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, said Neil Buhne, UNDP Resident Representative. Hailing Pakistan’s accomplishment on launching the landmark climate initiative, Buhne said: “CCFFs have been developed, with UNDP support and assistance from the United Kingdom and Sweden, in Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Pakistan to budget and plan better to adapt to climate change.” The Climate Change Financing Framework provides a strategic framework that reviews financing gaps and outlines key governance, planning and budget system reforms. It provides a road map to integrate climate change by linking policy frameworks with budgeting, and ensuring transparent allocations and effective use of public resources. The second report, known as Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR), provides an overview of the landscape of current climate policy and budget spending in the country. The Report results found that Pakistan’s climate expenditure compares well with other countries with the four provinces and the Federal Government spending a national average of around 8 per cent of total expenditures on activities related to climate change. “This is a considerable achievement as Pakistan is one of very few countries that have undertaken CPEIRs that comprehensively cover all provinces as well as the federal level” noted Neil Buhne.

Read Article

Climate change fighters in Zambia

UNDP

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Real-time weather forecasts help rural women farmers win their battle against the impact of climate change. Grace Milimo, 36, provides living testimony of women farmers who tackle climate change head-on and flourish. While fellow farmers in various parts of the country despair over plummeting yields caused by erratic rains and regular dry spells, she manages to produce “bumper” harvests and uses the surplus crops to protect her family against food insecurity and pay for her children’s education. Living in one of the driest region of Zambia, the Southern Province, Grace has had to deal with harvest loss more than once. This made it hard for her to make ends meet in the past. These days, she is equipped with new skills thanks to a Climate Information and Early Warning Systems project run by the Zambia Meteorological Department in partnership with UNDP and funded by the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund. Bumper harvests help protect families against food insecurity and provide extra revenue. Collecting data, saving lives According to statistics, two-thirds of the labor force in Zambia is engaged in agriculture, 78 percent of whom are women farmers. Agriculture accounts for 20 % of the country’s GDP, and feeds over half of the population. But extreme weather conditions such as severe dry spells and floods have hit hard on Zambia’s rain-fed farmland. To help smallholder farmers be better prepared for climate shocks, the projects gives them access to regular weather forecasts and agriculture advisories to help them adjust their crops to the weather. More than 68 automated weather stations and 40 manual stations have already been installed across the country. Meteorological assistants are trained to collect rainfall data and provide early warnings to vulnerable communities. These stations also act as early warning systems for extreme weather events, enabling farmers to shelter their animals and protect their income and families. The Met Department is now considering providing rudimentary meteorological training to rural farming cooperatives across the country. Finding common ground Tissa Mwale Adamson, 38, who leads a group of 86 women farmers in the drought-prone district of Mambwe in Zambia’s Eastern Province says even barriers such as illiteracy cannot prevent them from using their newly found skills. Some of her friends who cannot read the text messages let their children or people from the village to read it and interpret for them in their local language. The project is using mobile phones and solar powered radios to enable farmers get weather forecasts while on the move. They may not understand the science of climate change, she says, but they have first-hand experience of its effects. Combining the traditional knowledge of predicting the weather with scientific forecasts, the project has succeeded in engaging farmers in making key decisions for the coming season. “The district recorded 18,900 metric tonnes of maize for the 2016–2017 farming season compared with 9,508 metric tonnes of maize recorded during the previous season,” says Kaputo Kennedy, the Mambwe District Agricultural Coordinator. This record harvest is expected to reduce poaching and illegal logging which are common occurrences in the district. One village at a time The battle against climate change is being waged by Zambian women farmers not only in the Western and Eastern Provinces, but also in the Western Province. Patricia Musweu (right) is growing drought resistant crops. Patricia Musweu, 59, lives in the Sesheke District, where women farmers bear the brunt of erratic weather patterns. She has been encouraging women in her community to form women’s self-help groups or join farming cooperatives as a way to lift themselves out of poverty. The cooperatives also help their members generate income and get employment in many ways — through direct involvement in cooperative farming, livestock and cattle rearing; or enabling members to sell their surplus produce. A sense of ownership Even though they constitute 51 percent of a nearly 14 million strong population, women have few land tenure rights especially in rural areas. They also have little experience asserting themselves in a social context due to the gender imbalances in land access, ownership and control. As a result of the project, women farmers are gradually becoming breadwinners and paving the way towards more involvement in decision-making in their household and at work. Text and photos: Moses Zangar Jr / UNDP Zambia

Read Article

Climate Change Is Threatening Food Security and Nutrition Around the Globe—but Some Solutions Are Making an Impact

Alternet

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Investing in climate change adaptation is imperative to ensure food security in vulnerable communities. 1.5 billion people worldwide live in smallholder households, which account for 80 percent of food production in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these smallholder farmers are in developing countries, and 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in these countries is made up of women. Smallholder farmers are dependent on agricultural production for both subsistence and income generation. In many cases, they rely on rainfall to irrigate their crops, with limited access to reliable water sources such as wells, pumps or irrigation systems. They do not have insurance to cover failed crops, or money to buy advanced fertilizers or nutrients to improve the health of their soil. Most importantly, they often do not have the knowledge and information to prepare for unpredictable climate changes, which increasingly threaten these households and their crop yields, as well as their food security and well-being. Food production is directly impacted by climate change. Changing temperatures, unpredictable rainfall patterns, shorter and more erratic growing seasons, and an increased frequency of extreme events like droughts and floods all directly affect productivity of traditional crops, livestock and fisheries. Food security is not just about production. It is as much about the quality and diversity of food available, how it can be accessed by different sections of the society, its nutritional value, and the consistency with which nutritious food is available and accessible on a long-term basis. A drop in productivity caused by erratic weather events means that there is less food available. This in turn impacts the accessibility of food, especially for the vulnerable sections of the population who are affected by the resulting increase in prices of food and reduced income due to lower crop yields. Similarly, climate change threatens other resources such as water, for irrigation and for domestic purposes, which directly affects the nutritional quality of food. Finally, increasingly unpredictable weather events and the repercussions of extreme events take a toll on the regular and consistent availability of nutritious food, especially for vulnerable households. All of these factors contribute to undermining global food security, particularly in developing countries. The global community has committed to Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. To reach this goal, we must consider climate-related impacts to each of the above mentioned aspects of food security, and continue to design and implement resilient solutions, at scale.

Read Article

Ecosystem-based DRR and Ecosystem-based Adaptation Exhibition

UNDP

Monday 16 October 2017

The Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ (GmbH) and United Nations Development Programme in Tajikistan cooperate to raise awareness on Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Ecosystem-based Climate Change Adaptation approaches to reduce disaster risks in Tajikistan An exhibition of eco-system based disaster risk reduction (EcoDRR) and eco-system based adaptation to climate change (EbA) projects implemented in Tajikistan was held in Dushanbe on 13 October 2017. The exhibition took place on the UN General Assembly-designated International Day of Disaster Reduction, a day established to call global attention to the need to reduce the threat of disasters before they occur and reduce the impact of disasters on lives, the economy and society. The exhibition was supported by Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German federal enterprise for international cooperation) and UNDP in Tajikistan as part of week-long events calling attention to the use of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (EcoDRR) and ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (EbA). During the course of the week a stocktaking of EcoDRR and EbA in Tajikistan was conducted, a Round Table discussion of the challenges and opportunities for EcoDRR and EbA was held, and four half-day and one full day courses were held on different aspects of using ecosystems to address climate-related and other hazards in Tajikistan.

Read Article

Caribbean, Japan youth confront climate issues

Loop Jamaica

Monday 16 October 2017

Caribbean and Japan youth have put forward their recommendations for climate-smart actions for the region following two days of intense dialogue between October 10-11, 2017 at the third staging of the Youth Climate Change Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Held under the theme, “Our Climate, Our Voice, Our Change - Advancing Partnerships for Global Impact”, the two-day event saw over 600 participants from over 60 high schools and youth organizations from Jamaica and the region propose solutions to combat climate change. The conference opened with a youth Conference of the Parties with nine youth delegations from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Japan presenting country reports and recommending youth led actions to climate change. Youth draft statement on climate change The recommendations which have been collated into a youth statement, ranged from research, capacity building, youth activism, policy and legal/regulatory framework needs, included: incentivising programmes to promote youth interest and involvement, particularly through educational opportunities; youth involvement in ongoing respective country research as required by the UNFCCC; active participation of youth in policy decision making, establishment of youth arm in ministries with specific responsibility for climate change, developing a social audit toolkit to assess the social and ethical performance of initiatives in tackling climate change; advocating that infrastructure and building codes mandate the use of sustainable and renewable sources of energy, such as the use of solar power, wind power, and geothermal power, with tax exemptions for those who comply, and mandatory fines for those that do not comply, by the year 2020. (This applies to new infrastructure built or commissioned after 2020). Other activities at the conference included community and policy level advocacy trainings which benefitted some 60 attendees on day one. The conference also included an all-day exhibition and visual and performing arts competitions. St. Lucia and Japan were among the international winners, with the former finishing second and third in the poetry competition and Japan finishing third in the poster competition. May Day High School copped the coveted champion school award for top participation across several competitions. “It is conferences like this one that equip young people with the facts they need to champion the cause of combating climate change. After both days, I left empowered and inspired to be a part of the change the world needs to see. I believe I speak on behalf of all youth delegates when I say it was a fulfilling experience and we are now ready to vehemently put forth our proposals to our governments and Heads of State”, said Shanielle Allen of Glenmuir High School and member of the Jamaica delegation in her reflection of the proceedings. Following the conference, two delegates, Michael Morgan of Campion College, Jamaica and Ashred Norris from Dominica have been selected to represent their respective countries in youth-related events at COP 23 in Germany this November. The conference is a joint initiative between the USAID-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) Project and the Government of Jamaica.

Read Article

Empowering local communities to change the future of migration

UNDP Blog

Monday 16 October 2017

In the drylands of northern Ethiopia, climate change is a formidable foe to the communities who make their home across the rugged landscape. In one such community, known as Abrha Weatsbha, the intertwined effects of desertification, soil degradation and persistent drought brought residents to the brink of resettlement. No longer able to provide from the land, this rural community faced increasingly bleak prospects. The story of Abrha Weatsbha echoes the stories of many communities around the world. In the face of climate change, declining soil fertility, and lack of income diversification, migration has become the only option for many individuals and families to meet their basic needs. In 2015, there were 244 million international migrants, representing an increase of 40 percent since 2000, according to FAO. A large share of the migrants was from rural areas. What does it take to change this trend? Although we often think of political instability as at the core of migration, this is only part of the story. Poverty, food insecurity, environmental degradation, climate change and socioeconomic inequality are all key drivers of migration. On 16 October, we celebrate World Food Day, with the theme Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development. This year’s theme for World Food Day shines a light on the interlinked root causes of migration. It enables us to open a conversation about what can be done to address these root causes in order to ensure that migration is a choice, not a necessity. Let’s return to the story of Abrha Weatsbha in Ethiopia. When resettlement and migration seemed like the only option, the Abrha Weatsbha community took an innovative approach to facilitate local development and enhance food security. Their strategies include reforestation, constructing water catchments and wells, planting high-value and drought-resistant crops and trees and promoting apiculture as an alternative livelihood strategy. These tactics have changed the lives of the local population. For the average community well user, food self-sufficiency is now possible for over nine months of the year; for 27 percent, food self-sufficiency is possible year-round.

Read Article

Connecting islands, weathering storms

UNDP

Friday 13 October 2017

In an era of smartphones and social networks, connecting with family and friends has become an integral part of everyday life for many people. However, in many other places such as Tuvalu, a remote Pacific island country, distance remains an unyieldingly defining element of life.  Under the project “Securing Marine-based Coastal Livelihoods from Climate-Induced Disasters in Tuvalu”  —  financed by the Least Developed Countries Fund — Tuvalu is now equipped with multiple, independent communication lines, Equally importantly, virtually every household in the country can access public information on a 24/7 basis thanks to solar-powered radios and strengthened radio operations. 
 

Read Article

Disaster risk reduction and sustainable development, two sides of the same coin

ReliefWeb

Friday 13 October 2017

Climate-driven extreme weather events are on the rise and often impacting vulnerable communities least equipped to deal with them. On International Day for Disaster Reduction, Regional Technical Specialist for UNDP, Mariana Simões reflects on the links between climate change, disasters, and development – and how investment in adaptation can help save lives and protect development gains. With recent extreme weather events, we all bear witness to the likely impacts of climate change. The strength of the hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean, and the wet season-related flooding and mudslides in Bangladesh and Sierra Leone, are all in line with what we should expect with climate change. While extreme events are not new, their increased frequency and intensity have become the new normal, with corresponding impacts on lives, livelihoods and assets. Worldwide losses from natural disasters are estimated at US$100 billion annually. In 2016, losses were estimated at US$175 billion, 70% of which were attributed to meteorological, hydrological and climatological events. 2017 losses may surpass these figures, with estimates for Hurricane Harvey alone exceeding US$100 billion.

Read Article

LDCs Call for Higher Climate Ambition by All Countries

IISD

Tuesday 10 October 2017

The Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group issued the ‘Addis Ababa LDC Ministerial Communiqué on Climate Change,’ outlining the Group’s priorities for the UN Climate Change Conference, scheduled to take place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November 2017. In the Communiqué, LDC Ministers and Heads of Delegation, inter alia, emphasize that global climate action “must be fair and equitable to advance the interests and aspirations of poor and vulnerable countries and peoples.” They highlight the need for support to enable the LDCs’ delivery and implementation of climate commitments reflected in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other climate plans, in order to ensure equitable and effective global transition to a zero-carbon society. The LDCs express concern over the gap between the level of ambition needed to reach the long-term goal of pursuing efforts to limit global warming to below 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and the current level of ambition, projected to result in an increase of at least 2.8°C by 2100, even with the full implementation of current emission reduction pledges and commitments. They highlight adaptation and loss and damage as “crucial components” of the global response to climate change, and express readiness to formulate National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) by 2020, with support from developed countries and international partners... UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner underscored that, while all countries are seeking new ways to address shocks from crises, economic stagnation, inequality and poverty, they begin their “journey” towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from different starting points.

Read Article

Myanmar working to preserve eco-system in coastal areas, improve water management

Xinhua News

Monday 9 October 2017

As part of its environment protection efforts, Myanmar, a signatory of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, is taking measures targeting the conservation of the eco-system in coastal areas and striving to improve water resources management in the country. Myanmar's coastal areas of Tanintharyi, Ayeyawaddy and Rakhine are abundant with coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds, mud flats, estuaries and sand dunes, playing an important role in environmental diversity and the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. However, part of the mangroves are being damaged by locals, who clear the areas for prawn breeding, fishing, mining, waste disposal and oil spilling, while the rainforests in Tanintharyi are also found to be damaged. There are over 500,000 hectares of mangroves across the country in Myanmar, but the number is declining as many of the plants were cut down to be used as firewood, or to give way to fish farms. To curb the degradation of the eco-system, forest reserves are being established in coastal areas of the southeast Asian country.

Read Article

Information Brief - Harnessing Green Climate Fund Resources for Nepal, July 2017

ReliefWeb

Friday 6 October 2017

Translating climate priorities into results requires adequate and sustained financing. Green Climate Fund (GCF), established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 enables countries like Nepal to implement mid and long-term climate change priorities.

GCF aspires to support countries to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity against mounting climate risks. To access resource from GCF, Nepal needs to identify and prioritize cross-sectoral strategic investment priorities based on national needs. The engagement of all relevant national stakeholders in setting up priority climate actions is essential in the GCF process.

The document was prepared by Government of Nepal, Ministry of Finance with support from UNDP, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUD), and provides information on national climate finance pathway in Nepal, linking national priorities to GCF impact areas and related issues.

Read Article

Green fund approves $31.4 mln UNDP project to protect Egypt's Delta from climate change

Ahram Online

Wednesday 4 October 2017

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved on Sunday a $31.4 million United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project to protect Egypt's Nile Delta from rising sea levels due to climate change, the UNDP said in a press statement. The project titled “Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation in the North Coast of Egypt” will be implemented by the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation over seven years. The GCF is a global fund that offers support to developing countries to deal with the challenge of climate change. The approval for the project came during the GCF's 18th board meeting in Cairo from Saturday to Monday.

Read Article

Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation in the North Coast of Egypt

Dredging Today

Wednesday 4 October 2017

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) 18th Board meeting, convened in Cairo, has approved the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Project entitled “Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation in the North Coast of Egypt” to be implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. With a total budget of $31.4 million over seven years, the project aims to protect the densely populated low-lying lands in the Nile Delta, the home of 25% of the Egyptian population, which have been identified as highly vulnerable to climate change induced Sea-Level Rise (SLR). The SLR will have a direct and critical impact on Egypt’s infrastructure and development along the low coastal lands.

Read Article

Initiatives Enhance Adaptation in the MENA Region

IISD

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Recent adaptation efforts reported in this Update sought to reduce climate vulnerability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A regional climate change adaptation conference discussed region-specific case studies focused on green sectors, extreme climate events, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and adaptation across various sectors, while a workshop helped integrate climate change adaptation in development planning in Morocco... A workshop, held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 17-20 April 2017, sought to help the country to: formulate and implement its National Adaptation Plan (NAP); reduce its vulnerability to climate change and integrate climate change adaptation into ongoing development planning processes; and build more inclusive and effective initiatives through including the gender dimension. Co-hosted by GIZ, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the workshop contributed to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to SDG 13 (climate action), it helped advance SDGs 7 (affordable and clean energy), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 10 (reduced inequalities), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnership for the Goals).

Read Article

What Is the Green Climate Fund and How Much Does the U.S. Actually Pay?

New York Times

Wednesday 4 October 2017

In announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, President Trump also said the United States would stop contributing to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations program that he claimed could eventually cost the country “billions and billions and billions” of dollars.... Industrialized countries have voluntarily pledged $10.3 billion since 2013 to help poorer nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the effects of climate change. The United States has pledged by far the most — $3 billion, twice that of the second-largest pledger, Japan. But on a per-capita basis, many other countries have offered more than the United States. Swedes, for example, will contribute nearly $60 each. Among the latest projects: development of irrigation and groundwater replenishment systems in northeastern India, where climate change has made monsoon rains less reliable; a hydropower plant in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific to eliminate diesel generators; and restoration and protection of Ugandan wetlands that are used by subsistence farmers.

 

Read Article

Green Climate Fund approves project to strengthen climate-resilient water management practices for vulnerable communities in Colombia

ReliefWeb

Tuesday 3 October 2017

US$117 million from Colombia’s Adaptation Fund, including a US$38 million grant from the Green Climate Fund will benefit more than 400,000 people vulnerable to climate change Colombia, October 2, 2017 - The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved a project to “Scale Up Climate Resilient Water Management Practices for Vulnerable Communities in La Mojana, Colombia.“ The project's actions are aimed at benefiting more than 400,000 people who will participate in strengthening water management, early warning systems and creating livelihoods resilient to climate change. The US$117 million project will be implemented by Colombia’s Adaptation Fund, among other national organizations, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project adds a US$38.4 million grant from the Green Climate Fund to US$61.8 million in co-financing from Colombia’s Adaptation Fund and US$17 million from local entities. "The effects of climate change on La Mojana are severe. The income of its inhabitants is being affected by the loss of crops as well as by large-scale changes to their ecosystems, which translate into increased flood risks and prolonged periods of drought that are putting the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers at risk," said the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Luis Gilberto Murillo.

Read Article

Climate Adaptation Finance Update: GCF Adaptation Projects Get Underway

IISD

Tuesday 3 October 2017

The GCF approved US$31.4 million for a project to enhance climate change adaptation in the North Coast and Nile Delta regions in Egypt over the period of seven years. Supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the project, inter alia, aims to protect the densely populated low-lying lands in the Nile Delta, home to 25% of the Egyptian population, which have been identified as highly vulnerable to climate change induced sea-level rise. 

In news on multilaterally-funded climate-resilient infrastructure projects, the UNDP and Tuvalu launched the ‘Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project,’ which will focus on building roads, schools, hospitals and government buildings, as well as related human capacity. The seven-year project is being financed by US$36 million from the GCF and US$2.9 million from the Government of Tuvalu.

Read Article

Climate change: could sustainable agriculture be the silver bullet we are looking for?

Thomson Reuters

Monday 2 October 2017

By Magdy Martínez-Solimán. As world leaders convened at the UN’s annual General Assembly last week, amidst the backdrop of New York’s Climate Week, the message was clear: we must act now and we must act together to tackle climate change. It’s inspiring rhetoric but what exactly does this mean in practice? When we, the global community, are confronted with mounting and seemingly overwhelming challenges in the face of climate change, it’s often difficult to know what to tackle first. Where should we focus our efforts? Protecting the forests, the lungs of our Earth? What about the increasing scarcity of fresh water, waning food security, air pollution, reducing poverty, disaster preparedness in the face of more ferocious storms? The list goes on. However, there is a more holistic way to tackle these issues and it starts with agriculture. Many of these challenges can be considered symptoms of a broader, and frankly unsustainable, global agriculture economy which, until recently, we have been reluctant to collectively confront. Agriculture in the 21st century is fundamental; it’s essential to our very existence. Today, the commercial production of agricultural commodities is a dominant economic force in many national and developing rural economies. Worldwide, the livelihoods of 2.5 billion people depend on agriculture.

Read Article

Human action is a major factor in the degradation of the environment – Alhaji Alhassan

Ghana News Agency

Monday 2 October 2017

Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, Upper West Regional Minister, has said human action has led to the degradation of the environment and the perennial drying of rivers and streams in our communities. Alhaji Alhassan said this during a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) workshop held in Wa on the development of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Plan for the Black Volta Basin. He said the Black Volta Basin which covers most of the Upper West Region was no exception from the abuse, adding that the basin had typically suffered extreme conditions of drought and floods. The Regional Minister said it was refreshing that the Water Resources Commission (WRC) seeks to develop an IWRM Plan for the Black Volta Basin. “I wish to suggest that in the process of developing the IPRM Plan, conscious efforts should be made to link the IWRM Plan with others such as the National Medium-Term Development Planning Framework, the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan as well as embrace the Sustainable Development Goals and targets”, he said... The workshop was organised by the WRC in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Adaptation Fund Project dubbed “Increased Resilience to Climate change in Northern Ghana through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods”.

Read Article

ONU dona US$38,5 millones para mitigar efectos del cambio climático en La Mojana

RCN Radio

Monday 2 October 2017

El Fondo Verde del Clima, creado por las Naciones Unidas para apoyar a los países en desarrollo en la adaptación y mitigación del cambio climático, aprobó una donación de US$38,5 millones (aproximadamente $113.000 millones) para fortalecer la capacidad de adaptación de las comunidades de La Mojana, en Sucre, Córdoba y Bolívar, ante inundaciones y sequías. Dicho aval se dio durante la edición 18 de la Junta Directiva del Fondo Verde del Clima, realizada en el Cairo (Egipto). Los recursos se ejecutarán durante los próximos ocho años, es decir, hasta el año 2025. “El valor total del proyecto asciende a US$117,2 millones, por lo que los recursos restantes se financiarán así: US$61,7 millones del provendrán del Fondo de Adaptación y US$17 millones de entidades locales”, señalaron voceros de Planeación Nacional.

Read Article