Strengthening the Resilience of Rural Livelihoods, Sub-National to Climate Risks and Variability in Benin

Project Overview

The "Strengthening the Resilience of Rural Livelihoods and Sub-National Government System to Climate Risks and Variability in Benin" project will work to ensure that climate change and gender are included in development plans and budgetary processes, improve agricultural infrastructure and human capacity to cope with changing rainfall patterns, and diversify income-generating activities on the community level.

From an economic perspective, the implementation of the project will generate agricultural revenues. Moreover, the construction phase will generate direct, indirect and temporary jobs in the five selected communes. Furthermore, this project targets sectors (agriculture in particular) that contribute greatly to the economy in Benin in terms of GDP and employment, and by supporting these sectors and improving their resilience, the project will make a clear and direct contribution to the economy. It will create opportunities for rural livelihood diversification leading to increased economic security and less reliance on climate-sensitive rural activities. It is expected that the introduction of new adaptive practices and appropriate technological packages into crop production will increase productivity in the long run. This will help rural communities and farmers to improve their overall production and better manage risks from droughts or floods. The project will improve the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable community members and most disadvantaged groups.

The social benefits from this project are therefore manifold, since, with the acquired greater economic power, the concerned beneficiaries and communities will be able to invest in healthcare and education. Enhanced nutrition will be experienced by beneficiaries – through improved food supplies and a greater diversity of available food. With stronger health, beneficiaries will be able to engage more fully in livelihood activities. Regarding security threats in the country, the project aims at increasing cohesion between different local groups, through new infrastructure making essential resources such as water more accessible to all.

This project will have several environmental benefits, notably by improving land, soil and water management, mitigating land erosion and introducing improved agro-sylvo-pastoral practices and techniques. In all, 6237 hectares of land will be protected and improved through sustainable land management practices.

Expected Outcomes

Outcome 1 - Climate change and gender are included in development plans and budgets at national and sub-national levels

Outcome 2 - Productive agricultural infrastructure and human skills are improved to cope with altered rainfall patterns

Outcome 3 - Communities’ adaptive capacity is improved by more diversified income generating activities

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

National

Source of Funds

GEF-LDCF

Key Implementers

National Governments

Funding Amounts

US$4.4 million
US$30 million

Project Partners

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Introduction

The "Strengthening the Resilience of Rural Livelihoods and Sub-National Government System to Climate Risks and Variability in Benin" project will work to ensure that climate change and gender are included in development plans and budgetary processes, improve agricultural infrastructure and human capacity to cope with changing rainfall patterns, and diversify income-generating activities on the community level.

From an economic perspective, the implementation of the project will generate agricultural revenues. Moreover, the construction phase will generate direct, indirect and temporary jobs in the five selected communes. Furthermore, this project targets sectors (agriculture in particular) that contribute greatly to the economy in Benin in terms of GDP and employment, and by supporting these sectors and improving their resilience, the project will make a clear and direct contribution to the economy. It will create opportunities for rural livelihood diversification leading to increased economic security and less reliance on climate-sensitive rural activities. It is expected that the introduction of new adaptive practices and appropriate technological packages into crop production will increase productivity in the long run. This will help rural communities and farmers to improve their overall production and better manage risks from droughts or floods. The project will improve the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable community members and most disadvantaged groups.

The social benefits from this project are therefore manifold, since, with the acquired greater economic power, the concerned beneficiaries and communities will be able to invest in healthcare and education. Enhanced nutrition will be experienced by beneficiaries – through improved food supplies and a greater diversity of available food. With stronger health, beneficiaries will be able to engage more fully in livelihood activities. Regarding security threats in the country, the project aims at increasing cohesion between different local groups, through new infrastructure making essential resources such as water more accessible to all.

This project will have several environmental benefits, notably by improving land, soil and water management, mitigating land erosion and introducing improved agro-sylvo-pastoral practices and techniques. In all, 6237 hectares of land will be protected and improved through sustainable land management practices.

Project Details

Benin is vulnerable to climate change. Medium-term climate projections for its territory indicate important risks of insufficient levels of rain, increased evapotranspiration and more rainfall variability from one year to another. Therefore, droughts are more likely to become more and more intensive. This will impose significant challenges – most notably on growing rain-fed crops, natural tree regeneration and grazing animals. The National Land Planning scheme further describes droughts, floods and late rains as three major climatic risks. Projects aiming at preserving these areas are therefore a clear priority at the Government level.

Climate change has important impact on the agricultural sector. Agro-climatic parameters are constraining for the agricultural and forestry sector, especially in the South-West and in the Far-North that suffer frequent droughts. Academic work from Boko (1988), Afouda (1990), Houndénou (1999) et de Ogouwalé (2004), are showing that rainfall decrease, reduction in the length of the agricultural season, persistence of negative anomalies, minimal temperature increase is now typical for Benin’s climate. Rainfall regimes and agricultural production systems are therefore modified.

Direct impacts of climate change on agriculture concern crop behavior, pedological modifications and yield reduction. At the crop level, phenomenon of shortening of growth cycle and premature bloom are happening, due to the increase of temperature. Besides, agricultural yield will be seriously affected by the repeated effect of rainfall deficiencies and perturbations. Hence, integration of adaptation into the agricultural sector would be crucial for reducing vulnerability of the sector.

Available evidence suggests that the most certain manifestation of climate change on precipitation is an increase in variability while the directions of changes are much more uncertain. These predicted changes in climate, despite uncertainties, are likely to have an impact on farmers who engage in subsistence or rain-fed agriculture, the landless who are usually dependent on on-farm labor opportunities, and women-headed households.

Many environmental and adaptation benefits are expected to be delivered by the project at the national and local levels, among which:

  • Improved living conditions of agro-pastoral communities (through diversifying and increasing production and income).
  • Ensuring food security in concerned communes and villages
  • Better linkages between disaster risk management and climate change, by addressing existing vulnerabilities through development and operational planning, policy processes, and incentive systems.
  • Creating a virtuous circle by reducing risks induced by flooding.  
  • Emphasis on a multi-level, integrated approach to pastoral and agriculture development through support and funding for a range of initiatives to help communities and households undertake income generating activities, accompanied by awareness raising, diversification of income sources, information and capacity building.
  • Mainstreaming gender issues into pastoral development namely by: (i) addressing in all initiatives the specific needs of women and men (for instance, through well-tailored training programs, gender-sensitive income generation activities, etc.); and (ii) by identifying interventions that specifically target women as main beneficiaries (for instance, to better address households’ subsistence priority needs, cash transfers will be provided directly to women).
Thematic Area: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Project Status: 
Source of Funds Approval/Endorsement
Location: 
Urban
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$4.4 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$30 million

Key Results and Outputs

Outcome 1 - Climate change and gender are included in development plans and budgets at national and sub-national levels

Output 1.1. The capacity of the five targeted departments and municipalities and all relevant ministries to integrate gender responsive climate change adaptation in their planning and budgeting work is improved 

Output 1.2. The technical capacity of agricultural extension agents and local NGOs concerning resilience to climate change is improved

Output 1.3. The coordination and communication between actors is improved

 

Outcome 2 - Productive agricultural infrastructure and human skills are improved to cope with altered rainfall patterns

Output 2.1. Small scale climate resilient water harvesting infrastructures are designed and implemented in the five targeted municipalities

Output 2.2. Risks of floods and riverbanks erosion are reduced through the stabilization of slopes of critical riverbanks using bamboo plantation

Output 2.3. Resilient practices, such as drip irrigation techniques or short cycle improved seeds, are adopted in the five targeted municipalities

 

Outcome 3 - Communities’ adaptive capacity is improved by more diversified income generating activities

Output 3.1. Targeted population’s dependency and vulnerability to climate change effects is reduced through the introduction of alternative livelihoods

Output 3.2. All women of target population (3,281 women) are trained on alternative livelihoods to agriculture to better cope with climate change impacts

Output 3.3. The capacities of 300 rural entrepreneurs and 50 SMEs (aiming at 50% women) to develop business plans in the field of sustainable craft and small-scale manufacture are strengthened in order to stimulate employment and growth

 

Contacts

UNDP
Benjamin Larroquette
Regional Technical Advisor