Climate Change Adaptation in the News

November 2017

November 2017

How the U.N. can make sure climate money goes where it will do the most good.

Pacific Standard

Tuesday 21 November 2017

In one of the first projects approved by the Green Climate Fund under the UNFCCC, a New York-based social investment fund partnered with an East African venture partner to provide off-grid solar power directly to households. In Kuala Lumpur, climate financing was used to build a "smart" tunnel that eases traffic, cuts pollution, and also helps control flood waters, Amerasinghe notes. Investments in climate intelligence also helps, she says, highlighting work in Malawi on combining climate data and science with actionable information for farmers and fishermen. in the best-case scenario, countries will start to take their fates into their own hands, by implementing their own climate financing guidelines and funding mechanisms via national banks and other institutions.

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Building climate resilient food systems

ReliefWeb

Monday 20 November 2017

Food habits are changing, our population is growing, and – owing to human-induced climate change – many of the development gains of the past decades will be hindered. Without adaptation to climate change in agriculture sectors, it will not be possible to achieve food security for all and eradicate hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

We know the world’s poorest people and countries are particularly hard hit by climate change. Smallholder producers – farmers, herders, fishers, forest-dependent communities, as well as women and indigenous people – are among the most vulnerable, as their subsistence almost entirely relies on natural resources. Lives and livelihoods are at risk if we don’t take action now.

So how do we achieve the goal of Zero Hunger and safeguard livelihoods, all while adapting to the adverse effects of climate change, achieving Nationally Determined Contributions and protecting development gains?

Under current scenarios, it is estimated that we will have to increase food production by a whopping 50 percent to feed the extra 2 billion people that will live on our planet by 2050.

More concerning still, we seem to be backsliding on our goal of ending hunger by 2030, with recent estimates showing that after steadily declining over the past decade, global hunger appears to be on the rise, now affecting more than 1 out of 10 people. The estimated number of undernourished people increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

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Cost-benefit analysis for climate change adaptation in agriculture in Zambia

ReliefWeb

Monday 20 November 2017

Seventy-eight kilometres north of Lusaka, in the peaceful countryside of Chisamba, 20 officers and field technical staff from several Ministries (Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Resources, Planning, Development, Finance) and national research institutes gathered together in a five-day training workshop on Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture from the 14 to 18 August 2017.

The workshop - jointly organized by FAO and UNDP Zambia Country Offices and hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) - is one of the key activities aimed at supporting developing countries through the Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plan Programme (NAP-Ag), an initiative funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) through its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

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Adapting to climate impacts in Thailand’s agricultural sector – What to do first?

ReliefWeb

Friday 17 November 2017

Which climate risks and impacts threaten crop productivity the most? What capacities are most pivotal to strengthen among farmers and other sector stakeholders, to cope with likely changes? What measures and projects should be promoted on a priority basis to respond to future needs? Which criteria are most relevant to consider when prioritizing these adaptive responses? These questions are front and centre of adaptation planning in Thailand’s agricultural sector, a sector already seeing the impacts of climate change in the form of shifting temperatures and more unpredictable rainfall. According to a 2012 study undertaken by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the total economic impact of climate change on agriculture in Thailand is predicted to range between US$300 million to US$420 million (9.8 to 13.9 billion Thai Baht), with yields of major crops such as rice, maize and sugarcane falling by 3.6 percent – and up to 15 percent – by 2050.

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UN Secretary-General’s statement to the press at COP23, November 15, 2017

UN.org

Friday 17 November 2017

"The reports recently published show that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest since 800.000 years ago. And unfortunately, in 2017, we see for the first time in the last three years the emissions of greenhouse gases rising again... We need to have stronger engagements, we need to act more quickly. That means not only being more ambitious in relation to the emissions, to the reduction of emissions, but also being more ambitious in creating the conditions for adequate funding, especially for the developing world."

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Connie Britton: Empowering women to lead the way on climate change

Boston Globe

Tuesday 14 November 2017

As world leaders meet for climate talks this week in Bonn, at the UN Climate Change Conference, they should embrace the tenacity, spirit, and energy of women to promote more effective climate actions across the globe.

We will not achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement — nor our goals of ending hunger and poverty and protecting our planet — if we don’t put women up front as the key agents of change.

Although females make up half of the world’s population, we are often pushed to the sidelines in decision-making. But women are poised to be grass-roots fighters for climate protection, since so much of the burden for climate action will now fall on them at local levels. This has become a citizens’ movement.

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Gender and Protection Must be ‘Central’ to Climate Change Adaptation for Sustainable Development in the Pacific

UNDP

Monday 13 November 2017

UNFCCC COP23, Bonn, Germany – Reducing the risks from climate change and disasters would be futile if it does not reduce the risks to those who are most disproportionately impacted. Therefore, climate change and disaster risk reduction (CCDRR) must ensure that the protection of life, security, and dignity of all people are at the center of its activities.  

 

 

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Embracing uncertainty while planning for resilience

Thomson Reuters

Monday 13 November 2017

How do we respond to a world of increasing uncertainty induced by climate change? Uncertainty plagues our world. On its own, it can destabilise nations, undermine decisions, and create poverty traps that derail global efforts to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreements, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and national development plans. Climate change raises the stakes, making it harder for decision makers to plan for the future due to rising sea levels, higher temperatures, erratic rainfall, failed crops, droughts, climate migration, and the spread of disease. So how do we respond to a world of increasing uncertainty induced by climate change? We would suggest that the answer lies in effective medium- to long-term adaptation planning. Key to this will be the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans, which will support countries in achieving their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris deal, and serve as a blueprint for future climate action. To implement these plans, we must better understand the nature of the risk, foster greater innovation, and increase understanding and ownership of these climate action plans. All of this implies placing climate change learning at the center of the national planning process.

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Mauritius launches $191 million renewable energy project

IT News Africa

Monday 13 November 2017

On Friday 10 November in Port Louis, Mauritius, the Republic of Mauritius launched a US$191 million renewable energy project supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project aims to reduce fossil fuel imports and accelerate the nation’s shift to a low-carbon economy over a period of 20 years.

The 8-year project will support national goals to increase renewable energy to 35 percent of the energy mix by 2025 and reduce carbon dioxide output by 4.3 million tons. It is a key step in achieving the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement and supporting continued economic growth.

Honourable Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, announced that Mauritius is on track to achieve the 35 percent target of the renewables in the energy mix with the launch of this project.

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Towards climate resilience and conservation in Bhutan

Kuensel Bhutan

Sunday 12 November 2017

The government, UNDP and Global Environment Facility (GEF)-Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) launched a project called Enhancing Sustainability and Climate Resilience of Forests and Agriculture Landscape and Community Livelihoods in Bhutan on November 11 in Thimphu to enhance climate resilience and biodiversity conservation.

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‘Protect landscapes to protect everything’: Bhutan announces national push for climate resiliency and conservation

ReliefWeb

Saturday 11 November 2017

11th November 2017, Thimphu: As COP23 international climate talks continue in Bonn, Bhutan has launched a ground-breaking US$13.9 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) project 'Enhancing Sustainability and Climate Resilience of Forest and Agricultural Landscape and Community Livelihoods in Bhutan' aimed at enhancing the resilience of communities and protecting the country’s unique and rich biodiversity in the face of a changing climate.

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Mauritius to accelerate shift to low-carbon economy with a GCF grant of Rs 1 billion

Government of Mauritius

Friday 10 November 2017

Mauritius is gearing towards accelerating the transformation change to a low-carbon economy with a grant of Rs 1 billion from the Green Climate Fund for projects to support national goals to increase renewable energy to 35 percent by 2025 and reduce carbon dioxide output by 4.3 million tons.
In this context, a two-day inception workshop organised by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) opened yesterday in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo, at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Balaclava.
Participants from both the public and private sectors as well as from the UNDP, French Development Agency (AFD), Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA), Central Electricity Board and other energy efficiency institutions are attending the workshop. The aim is to kick-start the implementation of the Project “Accelerating the Transformation Change to a Low-Carbon Economy in the Republic of Mauritius”, an eight-year project that will help reduce fossil fuel imports and accelerate the nation’s shift to a low-carbon economy over an equipment lifespan of 20 years.  
In his address, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the importance of the low-carbon emission project which he said will eventually help Mauritius attain the target of using renewable energy sources to meet the energy needs by 2020. He further dwelt on the various renewable energy projects upon which his Ministry has embarked namely the solar energy and the wind energy which he said will generate an additional alternative in terms of energy production.
Mr Collendavelloo also announced the introduction of a solar energy scheme for low-income families to alleviate their burden of paying their electricity bill. The scheme will provide electricity from solar energy free of charge to some 10,000 low-income families over a period of ten years. 

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Malawi and other developing countries winning finance negotiations at COP23

Maravi Post

Friday 10 November 2017

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has doubled the amount of approved climate finance during the past year, to assist developing countries implement climate change actions. The climate actions include adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, capacity building and reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This was announced at the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Bonn, Germany. GCF Board Co-Chair, Ayman Shasly from Saudi Arabia, said GCF is picking up its speed to program resources for the implementation of ambitious, standard shifting action. “At our last board meeting that was held in Cairo, Egypt in October 2017, we allocated USD 500 million [about K467 billion ] to a request for proposals under the pilot program on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries,” said Shasly. He explained that the GCF has approved a total of USD 2.65 billion for 54 climate change projects and programs to be implemented in 73 developing countries that include Malawi. “The GCF will continue to respond to the guidance from the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in channeling climate finance to developing countries to promote a standard shift towards low emissions and climate resilience development pathways. In Malawi, GCF is funding the Modernized Climate Information and Early Warning Systems (M-CLIMES) project with MK8 billion and is expected to phase out in 2023. The EWs project is being implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Department of Disaster Risk Management (DoDMA), Department of Climate Change and Metrological Services (DCCMs), National Smallholder Farmers of Malawi (NASFAM) and other partners. M-CLIMES will support the government of Malawi to take steps to save lives and enhance livelihoods at risk from climate-related disasters.

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The whole of islands approach

ReliefWeb

Thursday 9 November 2017

Einstein pointed out that “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” When sea-levels rise, resources run thin and politics enters the conversation, however, our comprehension of the universe can become overly complex.

This is especially true when addressing climate change impacts on the world’s Small Island Developing States.

Traditional thinking would tell us that if seas rise, you have two basic solutions to choose from: migrate or adapt.

Migration has a host of unpleasant consequences: cultures lost, families separated, economies disrupted, and conflict fomented. This is not a viable large-scale or long-term option. To be sure, in some specific areas, communities may need to migrate, but generally speaking it’s too costly, too dangerous, and too disruptive to be sustainable.

So we are left with adaptation. Nature adapts all the time, and so can we.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: how should we adapt? And how can we better support vulnerable Small Island Developing States – whose people have contributed very little to climate change, but will bear the brunt of its impact – in building better climate change resilience projects?

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GCF doubles climate finance output, Board Co-Chairs report at UN Climate Conference

Green Climate Fund

Wednesday 8 November 2017

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has doubled the amount of approved climate finance during the past year, the Co-Chairs to the GCF Board reported today to the 23rd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that is currently convening in Bonn, Germany. An acceleration of GCF’s distribution of climate finance “translates to double the number, and more than double the amount of approved GCF funding reported at the COP last year,” said GCF Board Co-Chair Ayman Shasly from Saudi Arabia. “The Green Climate Fund is picking up its speed to programme resources for the implementation of ambitious, paradigm shifting action,” he stated. Mr Shasly explained that the GCF Board has approved a total of USD 2.65 billion in GCF funding for 54 climate change projects and programmes to be implemented in 73 developing countries. When accounting for co-financing with other contributing organisations, the GCF portfolio is now valued at USD 9.16 billion.

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UN Interactive Tool Mainstreams Environment and Climate for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development

IISD

Tuesday 7 November 2017

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) – UN Environment (UNEP) Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) have issued a publication titled, ‘Mainstreaming Environment and Climate for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development: The Interactive Handbook to Strengthen Planning and Budgeting Processes.’

The handbook highlights the interrelationship between poverty reduction and the environment in light of poor people’s lives and livelihoods being continuously threatened by environmental degradation resulting from poor management of natural resources, biodiversity loss and the effects of climate change. It stresses the need for an integrated approach, recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Climate Change-Fueled Rise in Sea Levels Set to Hit Asia Hard

Washington Diplomat

Tuesday 7 November 2017

“Sea-level rise and other climate change impacts could be devastating for emerging economies in the region,” Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, head of climate change adaptation for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), wrote in an email to The Diplomat. “It’s not just economic development we are talking about. It’s also about human development. The impact of sea-level rise will worsen inequalities (already a serious issue in many countries), increase food insecurity (by increasing food prices), worsen gender equality and other goals outlined in the [U.N.] 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development] and Paris Agreement.”

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Guidance Note: Agricultural Commodities: ensuring smallholder benefits, environmental sustainability and durable growth - A Guide for Practitioners Based on Country Experience

ReliefWeb

Monday 6 November 2017

This Guidance Note takes stock of UNDP’s work in the agricultural commodities sector and provides case study examples that illustrate the variety of initiatives, programmes and projects that UNDP supports around the world. This note focuses on UNDP’s experience with agricultural commodities in different countries that have generated the interest of the public and private sectors. These include widely traded commodities such as palm oil, timber, coffee and soy, as well as commodities traded on a smaller scale, such as vanilla, nuts, pineapple and shea. The box below provides definitions of key terms used in the note. The note draws on examples and lessons learned from global, regional and national programmes led by UNDP and its partners. These include the UNDP Green Commodities Programme (GCP); the private sector work of the Regional Programme for Africa (formerly known as the African Facility for Inclusive Markets); the Inclusive Trade for Sustainable Growth Programme; the Sustainable Extractives Programme; UNDP-Global Environment Facility (GEF) programmes; the UNDP-UNEP-ILO-UNIDO-UNITAR Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) and other green economy initiatives; the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI); the Alliance for Marine Biodiversity; and other country programmes on poverty reduction and inclusive growth. This Guidance Note presents UNDP’s conceptual framework and key intervention areas in the agricultural commodities sector. UNDP work in this area is designed to address the linked topics of environmental sustainability, social well-being, and durable economic growth (hereafter referred together as ‘sustainability’) in the production, processing and trade of agricultural commodities. The note provides case studies to illustrate non-prescriptive policy, programming and partnership options for adapting to country context, as well as successful results achieved in four intervention areas.

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Supporting Moldova’s National Climate Change Adaptation Planning Process

UNDP

Monday 6 November 2017

The project aims to ensure that Moldova has a system and capacities in place for medium to long term adaptation planning and budgeting contributing to reduced vulnerability of the population and key sectors to the impacts of climate change by supporting Moldova to put in place its National Adaptation Plan process contributing to and building upon existing development planning strategies and processes and to implement priority adaptation actions.

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Partnerships for Change - Building Partnerships to Adapt to Climate Change in Papua New Guinea

ReliefWeb

Monday 6 November 2017

Climate change-related hazards in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are increasing in intensity and frequency, putting at risk human lives, livelihoods, and natural and economic assets. Worsening tropical storms, cyclones, drought, and even hailstorms in the highlands have already imposed setbacks to the country, its economy, environment, and basic human development needs.

Flooding in coastal areas is one of the most important climate change-related hazards in coastal and island regions of PNG, particularly in shoreline areas where rising sea levels and increasingly severe weather events run up against densely populated coastal communities. In the North Coast and Islands regions of PNG, home to nearly 2.6 million people, flooding – both coastal and inland – is the most urgent climate-change related hazard, threatening coastal communities, key economic centres, and provincial capitals.

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Behind the Scenes: Filming the first episode of the NAP-Ag MOOC

Medium

Monday 6 November 2017

Ahead of the National Adaptation Plans: Building Climate Resilience in Agriculture (NAP-Ag) MOOC kicking off on 13 November, Lorenzo and I flew to Kenya to film the story of our protagonist Zipora, who took us on a journey in rural Kenya to show us how she grew up in a traditional homestead and what it takes to find your way to the United Nations and build climate resilient agricultural systems. Along the way, we were confronted with climate change and its snowballing impacts on people today. Our first stop was Kitui, a town located 180 kilometers east of Nairobi. We met with farmers and agricultural extension officers. We were often received with beautiful melodies sung by farmers. Traditionally, farmers sing because they feel proud to be farmers because they know that the community respects them. So, to show their pride and appreciation, they sing! On our way to one of the farms, our car got broke down, literally in the middle of nowhere and we had to find a way back.

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GCF Readiness Programme Newsletter

UNDP

Friday 3 November 2017

This quarterly newsletter highlights country level and programme wide achievements. This issue we focus on the latest news from Fiji, Colombia, Uzbekistan, Ghana and Nepal, as well as an overview of our upcoming COP 23 Side Event, Unlocking the Green Climate Fund: Learning from Readiness Support Programmes. We welcome your feedback on the kinds of stories and information you'd like to receive in future issues. Please enjoy!

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Initiatives Support Adaptation Planning, Promote Gender in Adaptation

IISD

Wednesday 1 November 2017

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Zambia and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Zambia, convened a four-day workshop to address gender issues in the formulation and implementation of NAPs for the country’s agriculture sector. Part of the activities of the UNDP-FAO Integrating Agriculture in NAPs (NAP-Ag) Programme, which is funded by the Government of Germany, the workshop took place in Siavonga, Zambia, from 18-21 September.

UNDP-supported Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Project is also working with the Zambian government to promote climate-smart agricultural practices to support rural Zambian farming families, especially women, to improve livelihoods through building their resilience to climate change.

FAO Nepal, in collaboration with the UNDP and NAP-Ag, convened a three-day workshop on integrating gender in climate risk assessments and adaptation planning at the local level in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 8-10 October. The workshop sought to strengthen the capacity of Nepal’s NAP-Ag Project Technical Taskforce (PTT) and contractors to integrate gender analysis methods and tools in climate risk assessments and adaptation planning in the agriculture sector.

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Climate Adaptation Finance Update: Barriers to Provision Identified

IISD

Wednesday 1 November 2017

In Malawi, a project was launched to support the modernization and scaling up of climate information and early warning systems across the country. Supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and co-financed by the GCF, it will focus on the use of climate information for agricultural planning and weather-related warning and forecasting systems, including the ones based on mobile phone platforms.

In Samoa, another UNDP project funded by the GCF kicked off. It will support flood proofing of infrastructure, and will see the establishment of a health surveillance system to monitor flood-related health issues.

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