Taxonomy Term List
Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana Through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods
The main objective of the "Increased Resilience to Climate Change in Northern Ghana Through the Management of Water Resources and Diversification of Livelihoods" programme is to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods to climate impacts and risks on water resources in the northern region of Ghana. The objective will be achieved through key results centered on the improvement of water access and also increase institutional capacity and coordination for integrated water management to support other uses of water resources especially for the diversification of livelihoods by rural communities.
The programme targets the three regions in the northern part of Ghana: the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. Compared to other regions of the country, these three northern regions have high degree of exposure to climate variability and change characterized by increasing temperatures and decreasing and erratic rainfall. These factors make the northern regions highly vulnerable to climate change and high priority regions for climate change adaptation.
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Water is recognized as a cross-cutting resource underlying the National Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy of the Republic of Ghana and the National Water Policy with direct linkages to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The lack of potable water caused by extreme climate events such as droughts and floods, increases the exposure of people, especially women and children, to water-borne and other hygiene-related diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera. Besides household wellbeing, water plays a central role in many industrial activities. For example, hydropower generation, transportation services, tourism and the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors all depend on water resources. Rainwater harvesting serves as the major source of surface water for many rural communities during the rainy season. There is high agreement between national and regional analyses that vulnerability, especially to droughts, has geographical patterns and socioeconomic associations.
The country experienced severe drought in 1983. Since the late 1990s, floods have been increasingly frequent in the northern regions. Floods affected more than 300,000 people in 1999, 630,000 in 2007/08 and 140,000 in 2010, causing deaths, damaging farmlands, and destroying livelihoods. This resulted in severe hunger, which affected the poor and reduced gross domestic product for that year.
The most severe flood occurred in 2007, during which 630,000 people were affected, through losses of life and displacement, and extensive infrastructural damage and loss of crops. This phenomenon demonstrates the potential impact of climate change on Ghana’s development.
Under a changing climate, poor farmers are finding it difficult to predict the timing of rainy seasons. Consequently, it is becoming difficult manage climate risks to crop production. Failure in crop production is one of the key factors undermining food security . The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (2009) found that 5% of the population or 1.2 million people are food insecure.
The bulk of the food insecure population is located in the northern regions: 34% in Upper West, 15% in Upper East, and 10% in Northern region. This is the equivalent of approximately 453,000 people. The three northern regions covered by this programme are the most vulnerable. Similarly, the adaptive capacity of these three regions is the lowest nationwide due to low socioeconomic development and the heavy dependence of local economies and livelihoods on rain-fed systems such as agriculture and forestry.
Decreasing annual rainfall and its increasingly erratic pattern, on the background of climate change, are adversely affecting rural livelihoods in northern Ghana and in particular agricultural and pastoral practices. Agriculture is a major driver of Ghana’s economy and employs close to 55 percent of the total labour force.
The proposed Programme will promote four types of adaptation intervention: 1. livelihood enhancement; 2. livelihood diversification; 3. ecosystem protection and enhancement; and 4. community-level water infrastructure planning. These approaches will build up financial, natural, physical and social capital of the communities. A conservative estimate gives a total of 60,000 people as direct beneficiaries of the project. The indirect number of beneficiaries comprise the entire population in the Volta River Basin, estimated to be 8.5 million as of 2010. The main indicator of vulnerability reduction will be changes in access to water and diversification of livelihood activities. Income generation will increase by 30 % in at least 50% of households in the communities.
The main adaptation benefits of the Programme are that it will be able to provide concrete inputs into water resource management planning in the northern region by ensuring that climate change concerns are taken into account. The Programme will be able to build and enhance the adaptive capacity of the ecological systems of water catchments to climate change, once the proposed measures are adopted and implemented.
This is expected to be the first showcase in the Ghana where climate concerns are taken into account and lessons learned will be replicated to other river basins of the country. The activities that will be implemented will include producing knowledge products that capture lessons learnt on management of water resources and diversification of livelihoods under climate change. The capacity to document traditional knowledge systems as well as methods for managing knowledge will be developed, as well as the engagement of community service organizations for knowledge transfer.
The main objective of the programme is to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods to climate impacts and risks on water resources in the northern region of Ghana. The objective will be achieved through key results centered on the improvement of water access and also increase institutional capacity and coordination for integrated water management to support other uses of water resources especially for the diversification of livelihoods by rural communities.
There are three components, each with the following outcomes that will be delivered by the programme:
COMPONENT 1: WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Outcome 1: Improved planning and management of water resources taking into account climate change impacts on surface and groundwater sources
COMPONENT 2: COMMUNITY LEVEL IMPLEMENTATION OF WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
Outcome 2: Climate resilient management of water resources by communities in Northern Ghana
COMPONENT 3: DIVERSIFICATION OF LIVELIHOODS OF RURAL COMMUNITIES
Outcome 3: Enhanced diversification of livelihoods of communities in northern Ghana
The Chiefs and people of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions have been urged to embrace the Adaptation Fund Project to help increase climate resilience and enhance sustainable land and water management in the areas. The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2001 to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MEST) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing the project in some selected communities in the north. Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made the call when the technical team of the Project undertook separates community visits to the beneficiary communities in the Upper East Region to engage them on the project implementation and to solicit for their support in the process.
Outcome 1 - Improved planning and management of water resources taking into account climate change impacts on surface and groundwater sources
Outcome 2 - Climate resilient management of water resources by communities in Northern Ghana
Outcome 3 - Enhanced diversification of livelihoods of communities in northern Ghana
The impacts of climate change, particularly sea-level rise and pronounced droughts have severe consequences on water and sanitation in the country.
The areas which are most vulnerable to sea-level rise are low-lying islands, atolls and flat deltaic regions at the mouth of larger rivers. Intrusion of salt water from rise in sea level has affected groundwater resources, especially freshwater aquifers (lens) in small atolls and low-lying islands that rely on rainfall or groundwater for their freshwater supply. Droughts have severely affected water supplies and have also damaged crops and livelihoods.
Likewise, climate-related impacts on the quality and quantity of water has a gender dimension; in the context of the ethnic tensions, the safety and security of women and girls are compromised as they need to travel further to collect water, also leading to less time for other activities.
This project (2014 - 2019) focused on improving the resilience of water resources to the impacts of climate change, in order to improve health, sanitation and quality of life, and sustain livelihoods in target vulnerable areas.
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Based on the LDCF resources requested and the scope of the climate change adaptation measures, the project will cover work in 6 pilot sites. On a national scale there are a number of benefits that this project will contribute to.
- More than 70% of the national population i.e. more than 360,000 people benefit from communal water systems and natural water sources and do not rely on government managed water supply systems. Many of these supply systems are dependent on water catchments and underground aquifers aquifers that are very sensitive to the hydrological cycle and its disturbances, most of which are related to climate change. Lessons from the project could be multiplied for the benefit of this population.
- Improvements to water supply will also result in more people having access to proper sanitation facilities, potentially reduce prevalence of disease and reduced costs to the people and to government’s social services
- UNDP estimates that water supply investment has an economic return of $4.4 to $1 while investment in sanitation has a return of $9.1 to $1. Some of the multiplier effects of investing in water and sanitation include; healthy workers, savings on medicines, bottled water not required, boost to agriculture and healthy tourists
- Increasing preparedness and enhancing resilience of the water sector to extreme events can potentially reduce the cost to government for disaster relief. Over the past few years flooding, king tides, excessive rainfall and storm surges have rendered rural locations and communities as disaster areas with the frequency of calls for disaster relief assistance from the national government reaching levels never before experienced in the country since it attained political independence in 1978
Outcome 1: Integrate water conservation and sustainable water resources management in all sectors and communities.
The outputs include: construction of village/community water tanks; construction of water reservoirs for institutional and residential areas; upgrading of existing reservoirs, protective structures/access roads; promote/build household rainwater harvesting; construction of strategic storage water reserve tank; engineered or “climate proofed” water reservoirs; develop and implement Water Use efficiency Plan; raise awareness for water conservation.
Outcome 2: Incorporate climate change adaptation strategies into the guidelines and criteria for design and construction of appropriate water infrastructure in vulnerable areas.
The outputs include: guidelines for development of water supply in rural areas developed; inventory of POPs and adequate storage and leakage prevention conducted; good practice guidance for pesticide storage and use, and application developed and used; drought and its effect on water distribution in rural areas assessed; rainwater harvesting technologies developed and used.
Outcome 3: Increased reliability and quality of water supply to all sectors and communities
The outputs include: capacity of water supply increased; water reticulation and distribution systems improved and where necessary constructed; arable land improved and rehabilitated; sustainable use of water on commercial agriculture land; build appropriate low-technology irrigation system for farmers; diversification food crops with a focus on high-yielding crop varieties promoted; promote water conservation and water use efficiency; prevent land-based pollution.
Outcome 4: Enhanced institutional and legal framework for water resources management
The outputs include: individual and institutional capacity for sustainable water management built and/or enhanced; water resources sector policy developed and implemented; water resources sector legislation developed and adopted; water sector plans and programmes developed and implemented.
Championed by the Government of the Solomon Islands through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE) Water Resources Division (WRD) in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), and other line ministries, SIWSAP activities are designed to ensure access to safe and affordable drinking water and increase reliability and quality of water supplies in targeted areas. Longer-term project measures are working to integrate climate-resilient water management in policy and development frameworks; encourage investments in cost-effective and adaptive water management technologies; and improve governance and knowledge management for climate change adaptation in the water sector at the local and national levels.
Human wellbeing and livelihoods cannot be sustained without healthy ecosystems. Mountain ecosystems are particularly important, in that they maintain rich ecological processes and provide essential goods and services, especially water, not only to mountain people, but also to downstream lowlands where demand from population centers, agriculture and industry is high. These ecosystems, however, face severe threats from unsustainable land use practices (overgrazing and non-conservation agriculture), illegal wood extraction, development of large-scale infrastructure (dams, roads) and unsustainable natural resource projects (hydrocarbons, mining).
Climate change further compounds these threats by increasing levels of exposure to droughts, floods (which in turn results in an increase in landslides) and changes in seasonality. These impacts both undermine the resilience of the mountain ecosystems and increase the vulnerability of the local mountain communities, whose livelihoods and wellbeing depend on their services. Mountain people tend to be among the world’s poorest and most marginalized populations. Not only do many share the disadvantages of rural poverty and ethnic or religious discrimination. They also face additional challenges to subsistence brought about by elevation, rough topography and severe climate.
Through the global Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EBA) in Mountains Programme, UNDP, UNEP and IUCN, with funding from the German Government, are using sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems, as part of an overall adaptation strategy, to reduce the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of select fragile mountain ecosystems and their local communities to climate change impacts. It is a global partnership that involve national and regional government agencies, civil society and local communities in three pilot countries: Uganda, Nepal and Peru.
Photos provided by: UNDP Peru, Carlos Diaz Huertas and Adriana Kato, UNDP Nepal, Tine Rossing, Andrea Egan, UNDP Uganda, Ed Barrows and James Leslie.
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The Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA) in Mountains Programme is a global partnership jointly implemented by UNDP, UNEP and IUCN from 2011-2015, with funding from the Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). While global in scope, Uganda, Nepal and Peru were selected as pilot countries, due to their significant vulnerability to climate change, coupled with their endowment of fragile mountain ecosystems upon which a multitude of communities and economic activities depend.
The overarching Programme goal is to strengthen capacities of the involved governments and local communities to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to the effects of climate change using EbA measures in targeted mountain ecosystems.
Expected programme results include:
- New and field tested methodologies and decision-making tools for EbA, including Vulnerability & Impact Assessments;
- Monitoring and Evaluation centered on ecosystem resilience; and
- Capacities and knowledge of all involved stakeholders (national, district and local level government, local communities and civil society organizations) will be enhanced for planning and implementing both early action “No Regrets” and longer-term EbA measures through pilot activities in target mountain ecosystems.
Based on evidence emerging from these processes, lessons will also be generated on how to use cost-benefit analyses to make an economic case for specific EbA measures. In close collaboration with key governments agencies, evidence and lessons will be generated on how to mainstream EbA into broader district and national policy and financing frameworks. These lessons can be scaled-up and shared as policy examples at regional and global levels beyond the three pilot countries. Overall, the resilience to climate change of targeted mountain ecosystems and their local custodians will be enhanced.
Outcome 1: Methodologies and tools for EbA decision making developed. The application of appropriate scientific methodologies and tools to assist decision makers on the effectiveness of the interventions is a critical ingredient of successful EbA approaches. In each pilot country, this outcome will finance a process that will assess, evaluate and develop appropriate methodologies for use in informing project adaptation actions. Additional results that will be generated include development of project baselines as well as comprehensive monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to monitor programme impacts. Indicators will be developed to specifically measure impacts related to ecosystem functioning and adaptive capacity.
Outcome 2: EbA methodologies and tools applied at ecosystem level. This outcome will finance the development of a capacity building approach that, in turn, will be used to apply the methodologies and tools developed under Outcome 1. In order to ensure sustainability in the use of the tools as well as ensuring that results from the programme are integrated in national processes, relevant stakeholders who were to be involved in the programme will be trained in the use and application of the tools.
Outcome 3: EbA pilot projects implemented in each pilot country and contributing towards ecosystem resilience and reduction of livelihood vulnerability in the face of climate change impacts. A number of EbA activities will be identified and selected for implementation based on the outputs of outcomes 1 and 2. In addition, 1) institutional roles and responsibilities for EbA will be agreed to by different stakeholders at all levels; 2) Institutional capacity of local governments and other key national institutions to plan, monitor and enforce EbA will be enhanced; 3) pilot projects focusing on water resources management and enhancement of soil conservation measures will be implemented; 4) market opportunities and access will be enhanced; and 5) lessons learned from pilot projects will be captured and disseminated.
Outcome 4: Business case for EbA at the local and national levels developed. To make an economic case for EbA, the project will identify and apply the best methods and practice for socio-economic evaluation of adaptation options. This will provide an economic justification for support from relevant government institutions for the use of EbA as a climate risk management strategy. To this end, i) an enabling environment for scaling-up EbA at national level will be created; and ii) information and capacities of key government stakeholders will be enhanced so as to integrate EBA into national development planning processes and climate change policies and strategies.
Outcome 5:New learning and knowledge on EbA generated. In early 2014, the scope of the Programme was expanded to include a new Learning and Knowledge Component. These new activities will strengthen learning about EbA at various levels namely 1) site level – i.e. the three pilot sites in Nor Yauyos-Cochas, Mount Elgon and Panchase – 2) country level (Peru, Uganda and Nepal), and 3) beyond (inter-country, regional and global levels). Systematization of generated information and learning wil be used by partners to generate new science, insights and messages that can influence policy and practice on EBA in mountain ecosystems and beyond. The application of methodologies and tools, combined with implementation of pilot activities, will enable the Programme to shorten the learning curve for local and national institutions, and fast-track the transfer of knowledge and experience in building ecosystem and social resilience to climate change.
As a Least Developed Country (LDC), Yemen is highly vulnerable to climate change-related impacts such as drought, extreme flooding, and sea level rise. These are serious concerns as Yemen's economy largely depends on its natural resources. In addition to having a predominantly semi-arid to arid climate, more than half the agriculture is rain-fed. Coupled with a rise in both droughts and floods, the Yemenis face an acute challenge in adapting to climate change induced stress on water resources.
Thus, the project titled “Adaptation to Climate Change through Integrated Water Harvesting Technologies in Yemen” aims to reintroduce traditional and innovative water harvesting techniques to improve water availability to rainfed farmers and pastoralists who are highly vulnerable to climate change.
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The project has three main components with the following associated outcomes –
- Development of policies for traditional and innovative water harvesting systems including development of GIS-based rainfall-runoff models (Output 1.1); integration of water harvesting regulations into the water laws of Yemen (Output 1.2) and; formulation of long term, climate resilient water plans that include integrated water harvesting (Output 1.3)
- Development of on-ground measures for water harvesting and rehabilitation of traditional water harvesting structures. This component includes the reintroduction of five traditional water harvesting technologies (Output 2.1); introduction of fog harvesting technology (Output 2.2); training of community members on construction and maintenance of water harvesting technologies (Output 2.3); establishment of integrated groundwater recharge systems (Output 2.4) and supplementary irrigation (Output 2.5) and; design and deployment of awareness raising programmes to promote socio-economic benefits of water harvesting (Output 2.6).
- Development of decentralised and community led water management systems including customer-oriented water distribution and seasonal rationing services for communal harvested water (Output 3.1); capacity building to support a range of water harvesting technology designs and maintenance requirements (Output 3.2) and; introduction of incentives, such as concessional micro-loans, community grants, employment guarantee (Output 3.3).
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A country housing the largest number of displaced population, Sudan faces additional stress as a result of climate change. In particular, the increasingly unreliable nature of rainfall, together with its concentration into short growing seasons, heightens the vulnerability of Sudan’s rain-fed agricultural systems.
This UNDP-supported, LDCF funded project, Climate Risk Finance for Sustainable and Climate Resilient Rain-fed Farming and Pastoral Systems in Sudan, therefore aims to create an enabling environment for climate risk management of smallholder farmers and pastoralists in rain-fed areas. This will include the establishment of an effective climate observation infrastructure to enable climate change resilient decision-making in local communities. At the same time, the project will also create a regulatory framework to develop and deliver micro credit and climate risk insurance services.
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The project has three main components with associated outcomes –
- Creation of the institutional framework and capacity for sustainable climate observation and early warning including rainfall modelling and simulations for three target states Kassala, N Kordofan, Gedarif (Outcome 1.1); installation of 3 solar powered automated weather stations for purposes of drought forecasting and early warning (Outcome 1.2); training the staff of Sudan Meteorological Authority and Remote Sensing Authority on climate observation, risk analysis, forecasting and early warning (Outcome 1.3) and; improved communication protocols and mechanisms to provide timely and accurate weather and climate risk forecasts to farmers and pastoralists (Outcome 1.4).
- Design and deployment of weather index-based insurance to address residual risk and promote long term adaptation including a comparative analysis and feasibility assessment of different business models for index-based insurance (Outcome 2.1); design and establishment of a risk transfer product for smallholder farmers and pastoralists who depend on rain-fed farming systems (Outcome 2.2); delivery of insurance literacy programme/awareness campaign to small businesses, community-based organisations, local farmers and pastoral communities (Outcome 2.3) and; assessment and rescommendations for the legal and regulatory framework for risk transfer in target states (Outcome 2.4)
- Provision of financial services for farmers and pastoralists to increase adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods including the analysis of legal and regulatory framework to increase the co-provision of microcredit and microinsurance services (Outcome 3.1); development of community adaptation plans enabling the provision of MFI credit packages (Outcome 3.2); design of at least 3 micro-credit products to increase resilience of farming and pastoral practices as prioritised in local adaptation plans (Outcome 3.3) and; desing of a flexible seasonal and annual repayment programme for pastoral mobility and income cycles of local farmers (Outcome 3.4).
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Reducing vulnerability of natural resource dependent livelihoods in Boucles du Mouhoun Forest Corridor and Mare d’Oursi Wetlands Basin in Burkina Faso
With more than 70% of the population live on less than $2 per day, Burkina Faso’s economy is heavily dependent on natural resources. In the riparian areas of the Boucles du Mouhoun Forest Corridor (BdM) and the Mare d’Oursi Wetlands Basin (MdO) approximately 150,000 people are directly dependent on natural assets such water, pasture, forests and fertile soil for a living. The project aims to increase the adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability of the riparian population through timely dissemination of risk information and strengthening of physical, natural and social assets in the two regions.
The project has three major components with the following expected outcomes –
Component 1 aims at establishing a knowledge support platform on climate change impacts and risks – under this a geo-based climatic, agro-ecological and hydrological information system (Outcome 1.1) will be operational by the end of year 1; approx. 30 national and provincial planners, plus 235 local commune leaders and 50 staff from NGOs/CSOs will be trained on the use and interpretation of analyses from the established information system (Outcome 1.2)
Component 2 deals with the vulnerability reduction and strengthening of resilience in the management of natural and social assets in the project area – this includes cost-effective rewetting and replanting/ protection of indigenous grasses and herbaceous vegetation resilient to significant climatic variance (Outcome 2.1); ensuring flood and erosion control through a “surgical” and climate anticipatory approach (Outcome 2.2); protection of gazetted forests against climate induced bushfire (Outcome 2.3); establishment of an equitable and climate resilient plan for the use of pasture and water resources (Outcome 2.4); demonstration of polyculture and adaptive agro-ecological production systems in communal lands (Outcome 2.5) and; training of local commune leaders and resource users in climate adaptive and anticipatory management of natural and social assets (Outcome 2.6).
Component 3 aims at mainstreaming Climate change adaptation into local and regional development planning and finance. This will be achieved through – integration of climate risk management and climate resilient landscape management into the management (or master) plans of the project area (Outcome 3.1); incorporation of climate resilient poly-culture model into relevant forestry, agricultural and livestock management strategies, plans and investments (Outcome 3.2) and; establishment of wide collaboration frameworks for learning and sharing climate change concerns and options (Outcome 3.3).
With one of the highest rates of disaster occurrences in Latin America, Colombia experiences on average 2.97 disasters per year - floods and landslides accounted for a third of these between 1970-1999. The increasing intensity of these events has consequently pushed back advances in social development, leading to increased inequality and poverty. This UNDP-supported project, “Reducing risk and vulnerability to climate change in the region of La Depresión Momposina in Colombia,” focuses on the municipalities of Ayapel, San Marcos and San Benito Abad to reduce the vulnerabilities of communities and wetlands to climate-related flooding and drought risks.
The Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Program for Development Fund resources Kyoto Protocol are running the 'Reducing Risk and Vulnerability against Climate Change in the Region of the Depression Momposina in Colombia' project. This project seeks to reduce the vulnerability of communities to the risks of flooding and drought associated with climate change and increase the resilience of ecosystems in this region. Its main activities focus on the municipalities of Ayapel in Córdoba, San Marcos and San Benito Abad, Sucre. This initiative has been implemented in association with Local Climate Change Consolidation Platform, made up of community leaders and local institutions.
As part of the efforts to strengthen the platforms, a theoretical workshop - 'Sharing knowledge on agro-ecological production practices adapted to the effects of climate change with a focus on risk management and environmental disasters' was conducted, where 33 promoters from 11 communities in the municipalities where the project develops participated.
The workshop was aimed at strengthening the capacity of rural communities that are part of the associative platforms, which requires a knowledge sharing on agro-ecological practices. These included the use of native seeds for planting and establishment of crops of vegetables, fruit, timber, medicinal, aromatic and ornamental; use of (plant and animal) local resources to manage pests, diseases and animal feeding. Theme agrochemicals decrease was also implemented in the establishment of crops, crop rotation and staggered plantings, hedges management and crop management, among others.
The project objective is to reduce the vulnerability of communities and of wetlands in the region of La Depresion Momposina to flooding and drought risks associated with climate change and variability. To achieve this objective the project will include the following four components:
- The existing hydroclimatological and environmental information system (HEIS) is strengthened and used by local- and regional-level stakeholders, reducing their exposure to the impacts of climate change.
- Wetlands and their hydrology in the target area are rehabilitated as a means of reducing risk to flooding and drought associated with climate change and variability.
- Increased adaptive capacity of local communities in three targeted municipalities through the introduction of agroecological practices that help reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
- Institutional and policy capacity strengthened for mainstreaming climate risk management and adaptation measures into planning and decision-making processes.
Reducing Risk and Vulnerability to Climate Change in Colombia - 20th December 2018
UNDP Colombia, April 6, 2018: The hanging gardens of Colombia
UNDP Colombia, January 11, 2017: Huertas familiares contra el cambio climático en la Mojana
The UNDP-supported and GEF-LDCF funded project, Strengthening Livelihood Resilience & Managing Disaster Risks for Afghan communities, focuses on delivering tangible socio-economic benefits by investing in and restoring ecological infrastructure such as rangelands. Rangelands are vital to the Afghan economy since they support livestock production and related industries and provide natural products such as fruits and nuts. With the enhanced resilience of ecosystems, climate change induced changes and extreme events are likely to be more gradual and less severe than under a ‘business as usual’ scenario. This will help reduce livelihood losses from severe climate events. Finally, investments in small-scale rural infrastructure such as water management and irrigation will contribute to higher food security and poverty reduction for those currently operating on rain fed land.
In the long-term, strengthening the resilience of Afghan communities to climate change will require a step change in current practices. To begin with, a greater level of awareness and a more robust knowledge base of climate change impacts are required. Policy and planning must fully incorporate climate risks, particularly in the District Development Plans and Community Development Plans. Restoring the depleted natural resource base and managing it in a more sustainable manner is a fundamental component of building resilience. Moving beyond subsistence agriculture to food and income security, along with a shift toward more diverse and less vulnerable livelihoods, is also essential. Finally, large-scale investments in climate-resilient infrastructure such as storage reservoirs and more efficient irrigation systems are another important pre-condition.
While Afghanistan has made measurable progress in human development over the past six years, it remains one of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world. It ranked 172 in UNDP’s Human Development Report 2011. The Global Adaptation Index ranks it as the most vulnerable country in the world, taking into account the country’s exposure, sensitivity and ability to cope with climate related hazards. Climate change scenarios for Afghanistan suggest temperature increases of up to 4°C by the 2060s (from 1970-1999 averages), and a corresponding decrease in rainfall. The biophysical effects of climate change are expected to be significant; droughts are likely to be the norm by 2030 leading to associated dynamics of desertification and land degradation. Coping with the impacts of climate change is a major challenge for development in Afghanistan given that its negative effects are likely to be most severely felt by the poor and marginalized due to their high dependence on natural resources and limited capacity to cope with the impacts of climate variability and extremes.
Afghanistan has a predominately dry continental climate with wide extremes of temperature. High mountain ranges characterize much of the topography; a quarter of the country’s land sits at more than 2,500m above sea level. While annual precipitation exceeds 1,000mm in the upper mountains of the northwest, it is less than 400 mm over 75 percent of the country and virtually all of the cultivable land. The cultivable area of Afghanistan is estimated to be 7.7 million ha, representing about 12 percent of the country’s area. Approximately 42 percent is intensively or intermittently irrigated. The importance of irrigated agriculture cannot be overstated, since it is the mainstay of food security and income for the majority of the rural population, accounting for more than 70 percent of total crop production. The 2008 State of the Environment report makes it clear that water is the country’s most critical natural resource and key to the health and well-being of the Afghan people.
The main climatic hazards identified in the NAPA are periodic droughts, floods due to untimely and heavy rainfall, flooding due to the thawing of snow and ice, and increasing temperatures (see Table 1). There is a discernible trend that these events are occurring more regularly and are more intense in nature. There have been severe flood or drought events in 8 out of the past 11 years. In fact, the period 1998-2006 marked the longest and most severe drought in Afghanistan’s known climatic history. At the same time, flood risk is also increasing as rainfall patterns have become more erratic. Areas that traditionally receive 250 mm of rain over a period of six months are now receiving that amount of rainfall during the course of only one or two months, with a devastating effect on agriculture and livelihoods. Unless action is taken to strengthen the resilience of Afghan communities and reduce disaster risk, climate change impacts will jeopardize development gains and could push an even greater number of Afghans into poverty.
- 1.1 Mainstreamed adaptation in broader development frameworks at country level and in targeted vulnerable areas
- 1.2 Reduced vulnerability to climate change in development sectors
- 1.3 Diversified and strengthened livelihoods and sources of income for vulnerable people in targeted areas
- 2.3 Strengthened awareness and ownership of adaptation and climate risk reduction processes at local level
Climate change risk and variability integrated into local planning and budgeting processes
Climate change scenarios developed for the agriculture sector in selected provinces
Trained at least 250 provincial MAIL officials, farmers and pastoralists on climate risk information and appropriate response measures
10 climate sensitive Community Development Plans formulated
Rural income and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable communities enhanced and diversified
At least 100 women trained on alternative livelihoods to farming (e.g. embroidery and carpet weaving)
Business development training in handicrafts and small-scale manufacturing provided to 20 rural entrepreneurs and 10 SMEs
2,000 hectares of degraded rangelands planted with stress resistant seedling varieties
Productive infrastructure improvements
Small-scale storage reservoirs (less than 20m high) built in selected river sub-basins in 10 communities
Micro-water harvesting techniques introduced in 10 communities
20 karezes and canals improved and rehabilitated to reduce water losses
At least 20 check dams, contour bunds and other facilities built to conserve water and enhance groundwater recharge
 A kareze is an underground canal system that taps aquifers by gravity through a series of subsurface tunnels. It often extends for many kilometers before surfacing to provide water for drinking and irrigation.
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'Reasons to Bee Cheerful: Raising Incomes, and Letting Bees Do the Work', UNDP Aghanistan, October 17, 2018. Under its livelihoods component, the Climate Change Adaptation Project provided beehives, beekeeping tools and jars for honey, and, crucially, a 12-day training that gave beneficiaries the necessary skills to maintain a beekeeping business.
'High Water Everywhere', UNDP Afghanistan, May 28, 2018. Flood waters are among the most destructive of natural hazards; they can rise with incredible rapidity, and be a serious risk to life, as well as causing immense damage to property, crops, and livelihoods. Shade Bara’s situation makes it prone to flooding. To address the problem, the project constructed an 1120-meter protection wall to protect 40 hectares of land and property from heavy flooding.
'Windows of Happiness', UNDP Aghanistan, October 15, 2017. Under its livelihoods component, the project provided beneficiaries with a greenhouse, seeds for vegetables, as well as the necessary training to become a successful small-scale farmer.
Lao PDR is one of the poorest countries in the world and according to IPCC findings particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Low productive agriculture, poor infrastructure development and according low-levels of service delivery jointly contribute to low adaptive capacity of livelihood systems, which are already affected by impacts deriving from existing climate variability. Stresses on livelihoods will further increase due to expected climate change.
The project Effective Governance for Small-scale Rural Infrastructure and Disaster Preparedness in a Changing Climate (2013-2017) is working to ensure that the genuine needs of communities vulnerable to climate variability and change are fully reflected in local planning and budget processes, so that the development prospects are secured in face of increasing climate risks. Barriers to remove include weaknesses in climate change analysis and planning at sub-national level, financial constraints in resourcing the additional costs of building greater redundancy into rural infrastructure, a silo approach to local planning whereby ecosystem functions and services are not taken into account, and the limited incentives that exist to encourage local officials and decision makers to address climate-related risks.
With the support of the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Government of Lao PDR is addressing the barriers through three components:
Capacity-building measures for climate sensitive planning targeting sub-district, district and provincial decision makers and planners will demonstrate the features and advantages of integrated ecosystems management and climate resilient physical infrastructure solutions.
Socially inclusive tools of project identification will ensure that the different vulnerabilities of target populations in a changing climate are tackled and climate-sensitive district budgets are elaborated and their execution monitored. This newly acquired expertise will facilitate the delivery of grants to implement climate resilient small scale infrastructure, benefitting 50,000 people, linked to the well-established UNDP/UNCDF supported block grant mechanisms (District Development Fund). This will further strengthen local governance and administrative systems for better planning, budgeting and implementation services.
Environmental sustainability and project integration will be achieved through measures to protect ecosystem functions in the immediate vicinity of physical infrastructure covering 60,000 hectares, enhancing capacities to regulate water flows and ensuring greater financial viability and social impact overall.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is amongst the poorest and Least Developed Countries (LDC) in Asia and in the World. The UNDP Human Development Report 2011 ranked Lao PDR at 138 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) in terms of comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of other countries worldwide. A major factor contributing to this high ranking is that more than 80% of Lao PDR’s population depend on natural resources, agriculture and forestry production as a main source of income , while the productivity of that sector, which accounts for only 30% of Lao PDR’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains low.
Poor infrastructure development in agricultural production, accessing markets, the supply of water for irrigation and domestic purposes, poor access to education and health facilities collectively contribute to high poverty rates and low development progress in Lao PDR. Only 17% of national rice production is derived from irrigated fields along the main streams. There is potential to increase the production of irrigated rice, especially through small-scale irrigation in uplands, which currently plays a minor role. 31% of the rural population still have no road access to markets and public utility services . The World Health Organisation estimates that since 1995 there has been a significant increase in the percentage of the rural population with access to water from an improved source – from 37% to 51% in 2008. Access to both education and health facilities by 84% of the population is showing improvements in development standards . However, the low quality of associated services continues to contribute to poverty and remains to be improved.
Good and effective governance is a precondition for changing the service delivery situation and for achieving equitable and sustainable economic growth as laid out in the 7th National Socioeconomic Development Plan. It is expected that, with the support of the UN system, especially the poor and vulnerable will benefit from improved delivery of public services and greater participation in transparent decision-making by 2015 . This participatory approach applies also for initiatives that link climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and public service delivery.
Such an integrated approach is required since service delivery in MDG relevant sectors such as public health, education, water supply, sanitation and agricultural production has been a great challenge in the past due to existing current climate variability’s between dry and wet seasons. As an example, the flow of the Mekong at Pakse in Southern Laos is characterized by a mean difference in monthly discharge between driest and wettest seasons which is almost 15 fold. Therefore local communities and the public investments that support them already have to deal with a challenging water resource context, in which localized natural disasters linked to flooding, landslides and drought are common.
Stresses on livelihoods within current climate variability will further increase due to climate change. The available climate science indicates that dry seasons are likely to increase in length in Lao PDR while wet season rainfall will occur in even shorter, more intense intervals. Analysis of historical rainfall data for the country indicates a clear trend towards more high intensity events when comparing the period from 1901 to 1953 with the period from 1953 to 2006. Recent vulnerability and adaptation analysis indicates that there has been an increase in the number of climate hazard related events (such as floods) over the past 20 years as opposed to the preceding 30 years. This is confirmed by MRC data which has identified a clear increase in the number of extreme flooding events across the country when comparing pre and post 1986 data. Further Lefroy (2010) states that while the incidence of tropical storms and hurricanes is very variable, there is evidence that the number and intensity of storm events has increased significantly in the last few decades of the 20th Century and that this trend appears likely to continue and increase. For the future annual precipitation for the Mekong region as a whole is projected to increase by 13.5% by 2030, with most of this occurring during the wet season (May – September). While projected changes in dry season precipitation are likely to be smaller, significant decreases are possible in February and March as well as in November. The drier extremes of current projections indicate decreases of up to 25% against historical values. Use of macro-scale hydrological models for a range of emission scenarios for Lao PDR indicate that, in the future, many of its sub-basins are likely to experience higher discharge (NAPA, 2009).
Output 1.1: Technical capacity in climate resilient planning, focusing on links between improved ecosystem management and sustainability of investments in small scale rural water infrastructure, enhanced for at least 250 national, province, district and village officials, as well as other community stakeholders. This output is designed to enable all other project Outcomes and Outputs by building in the necessary understanding of climate risks to strengthen local development planning from the project outset. The approach taken will be to build directly on the initial capacity assessment carried out during the PPG phase, and convert this into a detailed and fully costed capacity development plan. It will also provide a key collaboration point with the baseline ADB supported IWRM programme which is providing capacity development for IWRM at both national and province levels, largely the same audience of individuals.
Output 1.2: Village level water harvesting, storage, and distribution infrastructure adaptation solutions (with associated ecosystem management options) identified, prioritised and integrated into district development plans. This output supports the annual planning exercise carried out by the District Development Support Committees. It will provide technical and organisational inputs to be arranged and delivered by MONRE and its province and district level structures. It will help districts to secure an additional financial envelope for climate resilient investments, which will be delivered annually to districts bank accounts set up under Outcome 2. It will also provide the starting point for more detailed subsequent field analysis through CRVA, to be carried out under Outputs 1.3 and 1.4. While these are not mandatory investments they demonstrate the most likely areas for climate resilient investment and districts may choose for some to be carried forward into detailed design, as presented.
Output 1.3: Climate risk, vulnerability and adaptation assessments (CRVA) carried out at 48 project sites in 12 districts of Sekong and Saravane provinces and proposed climate resilient investments adjusted to take account of site specific adaptation concerns. This will support the detailed engineering design of the approved climate resilient investment projects. A fundamental premise is that adaptation solutions are location specific. While there is some value in generic or ‘model’ solutions they will always need to be fine-tuned to physical, environmental and social realities on the ground. In some cases this will lead to an adjustment upwards in financial resources. In all cases the process of introducing and revising an approach via CRVA, will increase local ownership and ultimately the long term sustainability of the investment.
Output 1.4: Detailed climate resilient project investments finalised and tender documents prepared in 12 districts, as well as associated dialogues to facilitate the implementation of annual district investment plans in 12 districts. Following on from fine tuning and building local acceptance and ownership, so investments will need to be tendered to contractors for which additional professional technical services will be required. In order cases this expertise will be found at the community level and the resources can be channelled directly from the district level against an agreed workplan and set of deliverables.
Output 1.5: Guidelines for climate resilient construction for small-scale rural infrastructure sectors (irrigation, water supply, rural roads, education, and health) developed, applied and revised. These guidelines will be presented in various policy forums with the intent of contributing to future adjustments to national standards that are applicable. The reforms of national standards are seldom made on the basis of the outcomes of a single project, however successful that project may be. The success of this output will therefore depend upon the extent to which a broad range of experience can be gathered together, and national champions can be identified to support a reform process.
Output 2.1: An incentive mechanism, rewarding districts performing well in planning, budgeting and implementation of climate resilient, ecosystem based small-scale water infrastructure is developed, tested and under operation to drive the delivery of LDCF climate resilient infrastructure grants. This output will result in the tailoring and extension of a pre-existing local development fund mechanism (the District Development Fund) to incorporate all the necessary skills, and capacities to channel and report on additional climate adaptation funding through national systems. Through this approach the project seeks to ensure that the project can be easily replicated in other districts and can provide a means to access and channel other public resources in the future, both national budgetary resources and international funds.
Output 2.2: At least 48 small-scale infrastructure investment projects (1 per district per year), including components of water harvesting, storage, distribution and/or irrigation of the priority lists that have been CRVA assessed are implemented benefiting 50,000 people. Output 2 will follow a phased approach. In the first year 12 infrastructure investments will be selected from the V&A report (Annex 8) for further analysis and funding, applying the detailed CRVA approach. From the second year onwards the selection of investments will follow the same technical approach (V&A and CRVA) but influenced also by the newly established performance based mechanism leading to differing levels of financial allocation from one district to the next.
Output 3.1: Up to nine ecosystem management and action plans with a coverage of at least 60,000 Ha to protect 48 small-scale climate resilient rural infrastructure projects are designed, implemented and monitored for effectiveness. The management and actions plans, which will include budgeted field based activities, will be developed during Year 1 and progressively implemented from Year 2 onwards through specific interventions on the ground, which will be selected and designed using the existing local planning dialogues and structures. This work will be carried out in close coordination with the ADB-IWRM planning being carried out for Sekong River Basin in the South.
Output 3.2: Awareness-raising activities implemented, learning materials developed and disseminated and regular dialogues held between communities and tiers of the local administration on the linkages between ecosystems management and small-scale climate resilient infrastructure solutions. The main aim of this output will be to provide clear guidance and direction on how ecosystem based approaches can be integrated into local development planning, using infrastructure investments as a starting point. The opportunities for achieving this are likely to vary considerably from one district to the next depending on prevailing land use and management practices. This Output will need to be delivered in parallel with Output 3.1 since it underpins the development of the ecosystem management and action plans. Much of the work will involve motivating local officials and other stakeholders to visit specific sites, view problems on the ground, and jointly identify solutions. The frequent repetition of this approach each year of the project will induce behavioural changes in the way planning is carried out, through the integration of more evidenced based information and through the involvement of a wider range of stakeholders in formulating and agreeing local plans. This work will build directly on the national water dialogues that have been carried out by MONRE with support from IUCN.
More information to come...
'Stronger Together: Exchanging ideas on managing the source of life' - UNDP Lao PDR, June 5 2017.
'Climate change awareness integrated into local planning and national legislature' - Relief Web, December 24 2015