Climate Change Adaptation in the News

September 2017

September 2017

Haiti - Environment : National Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Haiti Libre

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Friday, at the Hotel Montana, was held the restitution session of the process of drafting of the National Adaptation Plan (PNA) to Climate Change with the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation (MPCE), the Ministry of Environment and the support the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). This workshop made it possible to sensitize in particular the actors evolving in the field of environment and spatial planning, on the need to integrate adaptation to climate change in all the programs to be implemented in Haiti from a perspective sustainable development. On this occasion, Minister of the Environment Pierre Simon Georges recalled the importance of this process "With the PNA, it will be an opportunity to fully integrate the issue of adaptation to climate change in development planning at National level, to consolidate our economy and to adopt a coherent and strategic approach to the fight against climate change. The first step in the process is the formulation of the project document to help mobilize resources for the implementation of the PNA."

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New UNDP administrator looks to define agency's value, create fresh strategic vision

Devex

Monday 18 September 2017

As the entirety of the United Nations eyes reforms, the United Nations Development Programme is waiting on how those changes might dictate its future. But the agency with perhaps the broadest mandate is also developing plans of its own. The future of the UNDP will be informed by the reform agenda and by the Sustainable Development Goals, but “UNDP's value must be independent of some of the structural and organizational issues. Our core mission has to be clear; our function in the U.N. has to be articulated clearly,” Achim Steiner, the UNDP administrator who took up the post in June, told Devex in an interview on Sunday. While the agency works to create a new strategic plan, it’s looking to address major development challenges while maintaining its focus on providing governments with the best advice and access to best practices, he said. “The idea that we're coming together to solve planetary problems, to recognize that income inequality can ultimately undermine economic progress and unsustainable development can destroy what we call development, these are core elements of the SDGs and they are central to the UNDP,” Steiner said. “I think that trust that UNDP enjoys is one of the great assets both for the organization, the countries but also for the U.N. system.” Steiner acknowledges that change will be challenging but also that the U.N. and the agency he now leads must change. “We have to change the focus of our work, we also have to change the way we deploy ourselves,” he said. “Clearly the world on the one hand looks to the UNDP as a central partner, as a backbone of the U.N.'s development system, at the same time we also see that we are not able to bring the different strands of the U.N. family together well enough.”

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Sea Erosion Endangers Fishing Community in Buchanan

Bush Chicken

Monday 18 September 2017

Residents of Fanti Town in Buchanan have threatened not to vote in the October 10, 2017, elections should their government fail to find a solution to prevent sea erosion in their community. Several residents of the Ghanaian fishing community, including Liberian and Ghanaian fishermen, told The Bush Chicken that their properties are being washed away daily by sea erosion. According to them the last erosion swept away more than five houses, leaving several people homeless. Emanuel Jackson, a Liberian fisherman, said residents of the community are living in fear and are calling on the government to find a solution to the situation. “We can’t sleep in peace because we are afraid of the erosion,” Jackson said. “We had good, good buildings here but the sea carried all.” A woman who only identified herself as Ma Etta blamed the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and said she would not vote if nothing is done to prevent the erosion. “We will not vote because the reason we voted for her was for her to do something about this sea erosion,” Etta said. “But since we put her there, the sea continued to carry our houses.” A coastal defense project which was being implemented by the Ministries of Public Works, and Lands Mines and Energy in Buchanan, is currently at the standstill. An erosion mitigation project constructed with Geomat beneath the ground and large rocks on the sea shore. Photo: Eric Opa Doue The project has only covered one side of the affected areas known as Korkorwein/Big Fanti Town, leaving out Small Fanti Town, which is much closer to the Port of Buchanan. The project, funded by Global Environment Facility, and managed by UNDP, is constructed with erosion control material, known as Geomat, beneath the ground. On the surface, large rocks line the sea shore to stop the ocean from destroying properties. There is no information on when the remaining portion will be done but residents of the community told The Bush Chicken that the erosion poses a threat and they are calling on the government for quick intervention.

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UNDP – relief to recovery

ReliefWeb

Monday 18 September 2017

As recovery rolls out one month after the emergency response to the 14 August landslide and floods, UNDP will continue to work with the Government of Sierra Leone moving towards sustainable and inclusive risk informed development. UNDP has provided technical and practical support to the Office of National Security (ONS), donating computers, generators, rain gear, printers, stationery, communication cards and furniture that enabled first responders in the immediate rescue efforts of emergency coordination centers. The National Security Coordinator at the ONS, Mr. Ismail S T Tarawali commended UNDP for its timely support to ONS, and highlighted past and present support efforts, including strengthening the capacity of the Disaster Management Department in the ONS, through the UNDP supported and Global Environment Facility funded “Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Project”: “UNDP has always been a dependable partner in supporting technically and logistically over the years. In post-conflict times, national security times and our response to natural and manmade disasters.” In addition to practical support, UNDP with the World Bank have been designated as co-leads in national recovery efforts.

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Youth Climate Change Conference Slated for October 10 and 11

Jamaice Information Service

Friday 15 September 2017

Six hundred delegates from nine countries are expected for the 2017 Youth Climate Change Conference, slated for October 10 and 11, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. The event will bring together persons from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Japan for two days of consultations and discussions aimed at heightening their awareness of climate change and identifying youth-led actions and solutions to the challenges associated with this phenomenon. Participants will be engaged in a series of climate advocacy training workshops, presentations, exhibitions and competitions to increase their awareness of the various challenges and proposed solutions. Cash prizes, vouchers, tablets, agricultural equipment and trophies will be awarded to the individual participants, educational/youth organisations and teachers scoring the most points in the competitions. Additionally, three delegates from the participating Caribbean countries will get the opportunity to attend the 2017 United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of Parties (COP 23), which is slated for Germany in November. The youth conference is being co-hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

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National Adaptation Plan Workshop for the LAC Region Successfully Closes

ReliefWeb

Friday 15 September 2017

The workshop led the participants through major considerations in formulating and implement NAPs. This included how to design effective national processes that are fully aligned with national development planning, the Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Rick Reduction and other relevant frameworks and goals. It allowed the participants and organizations to share in-depth examples on adaptation solutions in the region on areas such as crop production, livestock, health, and early warning systems. It also provided an opportunity for the participants to hear directly from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on how to access funding from the GCF for the formulation of NAPs. Most importantly, the workshop allowed the participants to share their country road maps, progress made and experiences in the formulation and implementation of NAPs. The countries are actively engaged in various multidisciplinary work to formulate their NAPs. A few countries have completed formulating their NAPs and will submit these soon to the UNFCCC, once they have completed peer-review cycles in the respective countries. This clearly demonstrated the richness of adaptation activities and expertize in the region. Various organizations attending the event also provided information on available support, and on how can countries access such support. The organizations also shared information on available technical resources that the countries can use on their work on NAPs. These organizations included the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Green Climate Fund (GCF), International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Oxford Policy Management (OPM), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). On the final day of the workshop, participants were taken on a study tour to livestock farms under an Adaptation Fund project run by Fundecooperacion. The project is focusing on sustainable livestock practices and dairy production by smallholder farmers. The project is contributing to reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience of the farmers to climate change. At the closing event, the Vice Minister of Environment, Ms. Patricia Madrigal Cordero, highlighted Costa Rica’s policy on climate change adaptation, and the ongoing process on NAPs. The workshop was organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Least Developed Countries Expert Group in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (UNDP J-CCCP) and the NAP Global Network. It was hosted the Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Government of Costa Rica.

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Countries Advance NAPs, Promote Flood and Water Management

IISD

Friday 15 September 2017

The past weeks’ developments related to adaptation and loss and damage have included news of Papua New Guinea launching its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process, Lebanon advancing its NAP, a workshop promoting climate-resilient integrated water management in Sri Lanka and population relocation efforts in the Indian state of Gujarat. Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and the UD Development Programme (UNDP) are cooperating to develop a NAP to reduce the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change by building capacity and resilience. A workshop, held from 9-10 August 2017, in Port Moresby, brought together government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private sector stakeholders to review existing policies, programmes and institutions, build upon existing successes and develop a cohesive NAP strategy. Lebanon launched its NAP process by convening a stakeholder consultation in Beirut from 4-5 July 2017. The meeting sought to provide a platform to discuss priority areas for climate change adaptation in Lebanon and identify next steps in the NAP’s formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

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UNDP launches pilot irrigation projects in Clarendon

Jamaica Gleaner

Friday 15 September 2017

For years, the parish of St Ann has been crying for a proper irrigation system, as several farmers have been losing their crops because of drought-related issues. Now, help is on the way, which is much appreciated by farmers of the Cascade community in St Ann - one of the three beneficiaries of the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (JCCCP), powered by United Nations Development the Programme. The Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership, with a regional pool of US$15 million, was launched last year in Jamaica and Barbados. At a function held at the 4-H Centre in Denbigh, Clarendon, Jamaica's three beneficiaries were announced - Clarendon, St Ann and the 4H School Gardens Programme.

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Malawi Government Losing Billions Years After Natural Disaster

Capital FM

Friday 15 September 2017

In the year 2015 flooding devastated parts of Malawi leaving hundreds and thousands in need of aid. Now two years down the line the unhealed wounds continue to haunt the government as they are spending millions of dollars to assist those that were affected. Presently the Malawi government is spending $12.5 million or 1 percent of the GDP and $9 million or 0.7 percent of the GDP annually to address droughts and floods impacts respectively. This is roughly over 65 billion when converted to the local currency, the Malawi Kwacha. Director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Tawonga Mbale Luka narrated that it is sad to note that Malawi, a country that contributes very little to greenhouse gases worldwide is facing this tragedy. “As a country our priority is adaptation. We have done very little in terms of contributing to emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming and consequently climate change,” indicated Mbale. She further mentioned that adapting to the effects of climate change; Malawi is trying to build resilience by implementing a number of projects including the Climate Proofing Local Development Gains with support from Global Environmental Facility and UNDP. The project aims at supporting communities in Mangochi and Machinga to adapt to impacts of climate change. With the need for more finances, the government is being implored to seek more innovative ways of climate change financing where more people are in dire need of assistance. Department of Environmental Affairs officials had in the same effect indicated that despite local resources available, they are also tapping financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to implement a project to do with early warning signs on climate change.

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LEG Conducts NAP Expo Asia, NAPs Regional Training for Latin America and Caribbean

IISD

Friday 15 September 2017

The UNFCCC Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Expert Group (LEG) organized the first regional national adaptation plan (NAP) Expo for Asia. The LEG also conducted a regional workshop on NAPs for Latin America and the Caribbean. Co-hosted by the UNFCCC and the Korean Ministry of Environment, and organized by the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) and Korea Adaptation Center for Climate Change (KACCC), in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP)-UN Environment (UNEP) NAP Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), NAP Expo Asia took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 11-12 September 2017. Highlighting NAPs as a crucial platform to coordinate and enhance actions on climate change adaptation, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the outreach event sought to promote exchange of experiences and foster partnerships between a wide range of actors and stakeholders on how to advance NAPs. It showcased best practices in the formulation and implementation of NAPs, country experiences and practical options for supporting implementation.

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‘Stories of Resilience’ Showcase Benefits of Sustainable Land Management

IISD

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Sustainable land management (SLM) can empower nations to revive their lands, accelerate inclusive social transformation, reduce resource-use conflicts, and cope with natural disasters and sociopolitical crises. This message threads through the publication titled, ‘Listening to our Land: Stories of Resilience,’ released in conjunction with the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

‘Stories of Resilience’ talks about how SLM projects supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Burkina Faso, Cuba, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Namibia and Tanzania are improving the quality of life in communities and countries. Through the personal perspectives of people on the ground, each chapter relays the impacts of a different approach to SLM in a different country. The stories are meant to serve as evidence that improved land stewardship can boost productivity, resilience and climate adaptation while also dampening conflicts over natural resources.

The report emphasizes a main tenet of land degradation neutrality (LDN), that SLM can help meet future needs for fuel, food and fiber without degrading finite land resources. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 calls for striving to achieve a LDN world by 2030. To date, a 110 countries have announced voluntary LDN target-setting programmes towards this goal. “The problem is immense, but so is our determination and commitment to address it.”

In their forward to the publication, Naoko Ishii (CEO of the GEF), Achim Steiner (Administrator, UNDP) and Monique Barbut (Executive Secretary, UNCCD) point out that land degradation affects about one quarter of all landscapes under human use, or approximately two billion hectares. They note, however, that while the problem is “immense,” so is their “determination and commitment to address it.” They indicate that the publication provides evidence of the tools available to address land degradation.

The UNCCD, UNDP, and GEF launched ‘Stories of Resilience’ in conjunction with the Government of Namibia. The UNCCD COP 13 is taking place in Ordos, China, from 6-16 September. [Listening to Our Land: Stories of Resilience] [GEF Press Release] [UNCCD Press Release]

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Pakistan vulnerable to desertification

The Express Tribune Pakistan

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Increasing desertification is turning vast swatches of fertile land into parched areas and poses a risk to the global environmental sustainability. It is also creating socio-economic instability in many countries of the world. This was stated by the Climate Change Minister Senator Mushahidullah Khan at the 13th session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Ordos, China. Afforestation, sustainable animal grazing, rainwater harvesting and effective monitoring systems can effectively help fight the desertification, Mushahidullah suggested.

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African leaders unite to modernize hydromet services

New Business Ethiopia

Wednesday 13 September 2017

African leaders come together this week for action on modernizing weather and climate services, which inextricably link the Continent’s development, climate, and resilience agendas. Weather and climate drive nine out of ten disasters in Africa, threatening Africa’s hard-won development gains. Floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, and landslides continue to cause heavy damage and losses to livelihoods. Over the last two decades, these disasters have cost the continent US$10 billion dollars. Given the increasing climate variability, these disasters are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. “Effective hydromet services, such as advanced weather and climate forecasting or simple – and sustainable – river level gauges, ensure that communities have the early warnings needed to prepare before disasters hit. Climate services permit government agencies to effectively plan for climate change based on the latest information, and businesses in climate-sensitive sectors to incorporate timely, accurate data in the decisions that affect their industry.” – Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization

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IDEAM y PNUD entregan a Colombia información oficial actualizada referente a cambio climático

El Diario Bogotano

Wednesday 13 September 2017

A través de un comunicado oficial de prensa, el Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales IDEAM y el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo PNUD, hacen entrega oficial al país y a la Convención Marco de Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático, de su Tercera Comunicación Nacional de Cambio Climático, reporte que contiene la información oficial y la más actualizada en la materia en Colombia De los 196 países en el mundo que deben entregar el reporte, Colombia es el número 39 en hacerlo; asimismo, se encuentra en el número 10 en reportar su comunicación nacional en América Latina. En el reporte que su resumen de Salvaguardas, con ello el país se convierte en el Tercer país en el mundo, en entregar este insumo, dando el primer paso para cumplir con el Acuerdo de París.

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Inception workshop of Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project held in Colombo

Daily FT

Wednesday 13 September 2017

The inception workshop of the Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project, which was developed by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the technical assistance of the UNDP Sri Lanka was held recently in Colombo. This is one of the first projects financed by the newly established Green Climate Fund, with a funding envelope of $ 38.08 million, which will be utilised to serve climate vulnerable communities in three river basins of Sri Lanka’s Dry Zone, Mi Oya, Yan Oya, and Malwathu Oya. The project looks at ‘Strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone to climate variability and extreme events’ through an integrated approach to water management. The project, working in Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Mannar, Polonnaruwa, Puttlam, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts, aims to increase resilience of health and well-being, and food and water security of vulnerable communities in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka. Through the project, the Ministry and UNDP aim to reach approximately 770,500 people in three river basins – Malwatu Oya, Yan Oya and Mi Oya – vulnerable to climate change. Moreover, around 1.17 million people living in the same areas will indirectly benefit from the project.

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The pathway from Paris starts and ends with the media

Thomson Reuters

Wednesday 13 September 2017

By Pradeep Kurukulasuriya

We live in a world of tenuous truths, shortened attention spans, competing priorities, and even-more complicated social and political forces. These very forces threaten to disrupt our pathway from Paris to a low-carbon, climate resilient future. Somewhere in the middle, independent media are given the monumental task of looking for truth, and dispelling fake news and bogus science. And yet, the media´s most crucial task is to build consensus on the hard-and-true fact that if we don’t do something about climate change we threaten to derail economic, environmental and social gains of the past 30 years, and create one big mess for future generations to clean up. This is one of the most important stories of the 21st century, and one that I worryingly suspect will define the historic record of our society. As countries around the globe come together this November for the climate talks in Bonn, they will re-affirm the need to honor the Paris Agreement, keep global temperature rises below 2°C, and reach the Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” by 2030. On this pathway from Paris, members of the media have the opportunity to serve an essential public good, and share the science, human stories and financial aspects of our changing climate. From my perspective working at the United Nations Development Programme and the support we provide to communities and governments around the world to adapt to climate change, journalists have a critical role to play to share accurate and essential information and knowledge on climate change to the public. In order to do this, they need to amplify the work already started to critically examine and pass on information on how droughts, floods, extreme weather, rising seas and rising temperatures are affecting economies, health, agriculture, water, conflict and more.

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GCF Readiness funding to advance Viet Nam’s national climate change actions

Green Climate Fund

Friday 8 September 2017

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam have signed letters of agreement approving nearly USD 300,000 in GCF Readiness funding to support the country’s green growth and climate action strategies. The resources will be used to strengthen Viet Nam’s capacity to access project funds from GCF, increase overall coordination of the country’s various climate change programmes, and engage communities and other stakeholders in GCF-related initiatives. The letters were signed by Pham Hoang Mai, Director General, Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment, with the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), and Howard Bamsey, GCF Executive Director. Speaking at the signing, and leading the country delegation, the Minister of MPI, Nguyen Chi Dung said he appreciates the supporting role of GCF and called the Fund a ‘core partner’ of Viet Nam’s national climate finance architecture. Minister Nguyen Chi Dung added, “GCF Readiness support will allow us to increase our understanding of GCF modalities and procedures and to identify priority areas to meet GCF investment criteria. It will also enable us to respond to our national mitigation and adaptation needs.” Activities under the Readiness grant are expected to start in October 2017 and run to June 2019. Implementation and oversight will be managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, which also serves as the country’s National Designated Authority (NDA) to GCF. Viet Nam, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – a GCF Accredited Entity – is already home to a GCF project to increase the resilience of coastal communities to climate change. The five-year USD 29.5 million project was approved in June 2016 to strengthen storm and flood protection through resilient housing, planting and rehabilitation of mangrove forests, and systematized climate risk assessments for the public and private sectors.

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Nepal developing proposal for Green Climate Fund, addressing risks related to melting glaciers

ReliefWeb

Friday 8 September 2017

Nepal is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. A project to safeguard lives and livelihoods against flood and glacial lake outburst floods is now taking shape, targeting finance from the Green Climate Fund. Around the world, poorer countries are hit disproportionately by climate-related disasters, in loss of life, economic impacts and personal hardship. Nepal is an example of a UN-designated Least Developed Country whose people have contributed little to greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, yet are suffering the impacts - among them, the risk of “GLOF” or glacial lake outburst floods.

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Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Management response to the evaluation of the Strategic Plan, Global programme and Regional programmes, 2014-2017

UNDP

Thursday 7 September 2017

...UNDP will soon complete the work that was mandated by the current Strategic Plan and Global and Regional programmes. UNDP’s performance during those 4 years is described as follows, along three key issues: stronger alignment, better quality programming and effective engagement with partners, which helped the organization to advance delivery despite the increasingly constrained resource environment. In short, we worked in a less dispersed and ad hoc manner; focused more; in a more disciplined way; with deeper impact, more in partnerships; and with higher financial effectiveness in a tighter fiscal framework. UNDP focused in particular on SDG implementation and worked with the UNDS on the MAPS approach, supporting over 100 Member States with mainstreaming acceleration and policy in these initial years of Agenda 2030. UNDP also adopted social and environmental standards ahead of the rest of the United Nations system, leading to early accreditation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). UNDP has been a key implementing partner of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with $3.13 billion grant investment which UNDP helped to disburse in 143 countries. As reflected in the evaluation, UNDP’s contribution to poverty reduction remained central to all programmes and projects, including through close engagement with civil society. UNDP is pleased to receive solid recognition of its contribution to effective governance and State-society engagement, including through support to improved public administration, citizens' participation, accountability, rule of law, national human rights institutions, electoral systems, peacebuilding and basic service delivery. We also very much welcome the evaluation's conclusion that consolidation of support to conflict prevention, governance and peacebuilding under one unit has enabled a more integrated and holistic approach to building peace and preventing conflict. This work is now completely separated from a functional perspective from climate vulnerability, disaster risk reduction and prevention of catastrophic events.

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MAP subscribe convenio internacional para fortalecer labor pesquera en Ecuador

El Tiempo Ecuador

Thursday 7 September 2017

Motivar un cambio hacia un enfoque integrado, inclusivo, sostenible de la gestión y el desarrollo de las pesquerías en el país, es el objetivo del convenio de cooperación “Iniciativa de Pesquerías Costeras (IPC), América Latina” que lleva a cabo el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) y que fue subscrito este martes con el Ministerio de Acuacultura y Pesca-MAP.

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A happy place once more: Addressing climate change and flood risks in Georgia with early warning systems

ReliefWeb

Wednesday 6 September 2017

For the more than 200,000 people living and working in Georgia’s Rioni River Basin, the risk of floods and flash floods has been on the rise, with the other extreme weather events such as landslides, wind and hail storms, snow avalanches and droughts, making this an increasingly dangerous place to raise a family. Climate change has been driving the rise in frequency and velocity of these hard-to-manage weather-related disasters for the people of the Rioni Basin. Intense rainfall concentrated in short periods of time and accelerated glacier melting have the potential to generate more runoff. This results in increased flash floods, mudflows and landslides. Increasing air temperatures and reducing annual precipitation have been leading to prolonged droughts. Think of the numbers behind the risks to my happy place. Over the past 21 years, total damages from hydrometeorological hazards in Georgia came to some US$1.2 billion. Of more concern, these hazards took the lives of 152 people. Floods, landslides and mudflows make up the lion’s share of these climate threats (about 60%) and were directly attributed to more than 100 lost lives during this same period.

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Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, Statement to the 2nd Regular Session of the UNDP Executive Board

UNDP

Wednesday 6 September 2017

I sincerely welcome you to the 2nd Regular Session of the UNDP Executive Board. While I have met many of you already, this is my first time addressing the Board at a formal session. Let me therefore take this opportunity to thank all of you for the warm welcome I have received, and underline how pleased and honored I am to have been entrusted with the responsibility to lead this important organization. I have joined UNDP at a time of significant challenges and opportunities, for the organization itself and for the global development agenda at large. Adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals presented a huge opportunity for our global commitment to put the whole world on a more prosperous and sustainable development path. But achieving it will by no means be easy. Adopting a truly integrated approach, as the 2030 Agenda requires, presents complex challenges. It is hard to visualize “leaving no-one behind” in so many development contexts today. And wisely identifying and managing risks requires a different set of skills and approaches. Meanwhile, the world is experiencing mega-trends which can affect prospects for achieving the SDGs. Persistent poverty and rising inequalities; rapid population growth and demographic transitions - including ageing; migration and urbanization; environmental degradation and climate change; shifting trends in development cooperation and financing for development; as well as rapid technological advancements, with the associated opportunities and challenges – are all realities of our times.

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Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, Opening Keynote at the Official Launch for the GEF Integrated Approach Pilot on ‘the Good Growth Partnership: Cultivating Sustainability in the Global Supply Chain’

UNDP

Wednesday 6 September 2017

... There are approximately 2.6 billion people – or around a third of the world’s population - who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Many are small-scale, subsistence farmers who live in rural areas and are vulnerable to market fluctuations and shocks. Sustainable agriculture can serve as an engine for rural growth across vast areas, improving the lives of millions of people, inevitably tackling persistent poverty on a large scale and nourishing a growing world. Indeed, experience shows that increasing farm yields and return on labor, while at the same time improving ecosystem services — on which the poor depend most directly for food and livelihoods — will be key to addressing poverty and food insecurity, as well as reducing the need for further forest encroachment. How do we take advantage of these opportunities? Those of you here today are fully aware of the difficulties involved in promoting more sustainable agriculture production. When your aim is as ambitious as overhauling the way we produce, consume and finance agriculture commodities the very idea can seem overwhelming. But it’s important to take a step back and consider what has already been achieved, by many of you here, including the commodity roundtables, the Consumer Goods Forum commitments to zero deforestation and the global commitments through the New York Declaration for Forests. And now, we can see the progress to date, cumulate in what we are celebrating here today – the launch of the Good Growth Partnership. Ten years ago, who would have expected that some of the world’s most important agricultural exporters, biggest players in conservation and development, as well as major multinational companies and the farmers who supply to them, would not only be engaged in constructive dialogue but embarking on a groundbreaking and transformative partnership. A partnership that will begin to lead the way in reimagining the production of the world’s agricultural commodities, with the aim of benefitting all those involved, not least the environment. I think this is a testament to the fact that despite whatever challenges we are facing a transformation is unfolding. The Good Growth Partnership, initiated by the GEF, and now led by the UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme, in strong collaboration with Conservation International, the International Finance Corporation, UN Environment and World Wide Fund for Nature, focuses on the root causes that lead to deforestation, environmental degradation and unsustainable commodity production overall.

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How to get gender-responsive adaptation right

SciDev

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Why is it so difficult to integrate gender into climate change responses? Even with increased emphasis from global policies, donors and funding streams, gender-responsive adaptation is still challenging. Observers mention a number of hurdles such as limited resources, lack of information or deficient expertise —it seems that many practitioners lack an understanding of how to do it. The underlying issue, though, is a refusal to accept that gender-responsive adaptation is better adaptation. We must therefore shift the way that we approach it. Typical solutions to addressing gender in climate change include scattering into proposals and other documents terms like “women” and “equality”, or increasing the number of women beneficiaries in climate projects. In practice, this fails to fundamentally change any part of the underlying design or implementation of a strategy or programme, and therefore has limited impact on ensuring true gender equality. Climate change adaptation is inherently context-specific, and often based on changing behaviour. Climatic changes vary based on the location, as do the social, economic and cultural conditions which define resilience and sustainability. Therefore, when it comes to integrating gender into adaptation, there is no single solution. This is, again, why the challenge is so real.

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Samoa receives grants for environmental Projects

Samoa Observer

Saturday 2 September 2017

Twenty-eight applicants from Upolu and Savai’i has been awarded grants through Operational Phase 6 of the Global Environment Facility (G.E.F.) Small Grants Programme (S.G.P.) of the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.). The opening of the inception workshop for the nineteen recipients of grant awards in Upolu was held at the T.A.T.T.E. Convention Centre, following the workshop in Savai’i on 31 August 2017 where nine successful applicants signed grant documents. During this event grantee-partners represented by at least three members from each community or organization signed their contracts and attended an awareness workshop, where they were introduced to the Memorandum of Agreement guidelines and expectations.

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