United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Taxonomy Term List
The main project objective is reducing the vulnerability of communities and productive ecosystems in the Municipality of San Francisco Menendez to drought risk, soil erosion, and flash floods due to climate change and climate variability. The project will integrate forest landscape restoration as a climate change adaptation strategy targeted towards increasing forest cover, improving the hydrological cycle, increasing the amount of available water, and regulating surface and groundwater flows, while maintaining and improving water supply and quality. The project landscape approach will ensure that land degradation is reduced (or reversed) and that productivity is maintained and made resilient to climate change impact, thus contributing to better food security and community resilience. By ensuring and enabling institutional and governance environment, the project will generate coordinated and informed actors with the capacity to address appropriate adaptation measures in the medium and long term thus resulting in a genuine local resilience to climate change.
The project will meet its objective by restoring 3,865Ha of forest landscape within San Francisco Menendez, through a landscape-based ecosystem intervention that will focus on the restoration of critical landscapes and enhance its capacity to manage droughts, soil erosion and flash floods; promoting and implementing climate resilient and economically viable productive alternatives in the region that address the economic vulnerability being faced in the region as traditional agricultural systems have become less productive due to climate change; generating climate and hydrological information products in the region to identify and monitor the impact of climate change in the landscape and also the effectiveness of ecosystem based interventions in their management to improve local and national responses; and enhancing local capacity to take concerted action in addressing climate change impact, prioritizing adaptation interventions and mobilizing the financing necessary for their implementation.
- El Salvador has been identified by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the countries with the highest sensitivity to climate change. According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, the country is characterized by a high exposure to geoclimatic threats, resulting from its location and topography, exacerbating climate change induced risk and vulnerability of human settlements and ecosystems. The Global Climate Risk Index for the period between 1997 to 2016, covering both human and economic impacts, ranks El Salvador 16th in the world, emphasizing the country’s high vulnerability to extreme climate events. There is ample evidence of climate change and variability affecting all sectors of society and economy, at different spatial and temporal scales, from intra-seasonal to long-term variability as a result of large-scale cyclical phenomena. A study from The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) found that between 1980 to 2008, an average of 1.5 natural disasters per year resulted in nearly 7,000 human casualties, affecting 2.9 million people, and costing US $470 million to the central government (amount that is equivalent to 4.2% of the Gross Domestic Product). The country of El Salvador spends an equivalent to 1.1% of its total GDP with dealing with climate change related impacts and infrastructure every year on average.
- El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America (342 people per km²) with a population of approximately 6.46 million inhabitants, of which 52.9% are women. The country’s territory totals 21,040 km², with a rugged topography (50% of total land mass has slopes of over 15%), highly erodible soils and the lowest per capita availability of freshwater in Central America5. According to the measurement of compound poverty, 35.2% of the total Salvadoran households are poor, equivalent to 606,000 homes to approximately 2.6 million people. Similarly, the multidimensional poverty rate in rural areas is 58.5%, and 22.5% in urban areas. Thirty-eight percent of the country’s population resides in rural or non-urban areas, of which 20% are women. In all the departments, other than one, over 50% of rural households are multidimensionally poor and as such are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change (Figure 1). Homes with this condition have the following deprivations: 37% food insecurity; 49% lack of access to drinking water; 83.7% no access to public health.
- Sixty percent of the national territory is devoted to agriculture, which is the main source of livelihood for the rural population in the country. About 36% of the total country territory is arable land, with corn as the main subsistence crop, followed by rice, beans, oilseeds, and sorghum, and with the cultivation of coffee and sugar cane as major cash crops The effects of climate change, as observed over recent years, have directly affected the productivity across the whole spectrum of the agricultural sector, with significant impacts on smallholder farming. According to the last agricultural census, there are more than 325,000 producers of basic grains who work in land parcels of sizes ranging between 0.7-3 hectares. Not surprisingly, 52.4% of the farmers organize their agricultural activity in parcels averaging 0.7 hectares, with an average corn production of 1.427 kg/ha. This production may satisfy the immediate needs of a family household (requiring only 1,300 kg of corn per year), but is significantly lower than the national average production (2,575 kg/ha). Impact from extreme weather such as the tropical storm Mitch (1998) caused damages and total loss of US $388.1 million, with US $158.3 million (40.8% of the total) impacting the agricultural sector. The 2001, drought reported damages and loss for US $31.4 million and 81% for the farming industry. Hurricane Stan (2005) caused US $355.6 million in damages and loss, US $48.7 million and 13.7% of the total for the agricultural sector. The Tropical Depression Twelve-E (DT 12-E) in 2011 carried a price tag of US $306 million in damages and losses in the agricultural sector. Between 2014 and 2015, losses in agriculture, as a result of severe drought, costed the country more than US $140 million, with greater impact felt on subsistence crops (corn and beans), as well as in the dairy industry which lost more than 10% of its production. The sustained dry spell followed by high temperatures, has also caused severe damage to the health of human populations, to the broader agricultural sector, and the natural environment. Furthermore, the reduction or deficiency in rainfall over the period has also affected the availability and quality of superficial and underground water resources.
Extreme weather hazards and climate change in El Salvador
- El Salvador is currently impacted by the effects of climate variability and change, with highly variable rainfall patterns, both spatial and temporal, which is leading to an increase in the number of extreme climatic events (i.e. tropical cyclones, floods and droughts). Over time, El Salvador has passed from experiencing one event per decade in the sixties and seventies, two in the eighties, four in the nineties, to eight extreme events in the last decade. This shows a shift from previous decades, when extreme events hitting the country would originate mostly from the Atlantic Ocean, and had its first wave of impacts mitigated by the land mass of neighbouring countries. This is no longer the case, since the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones originating from both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans has increased over the past two decades.
- Studies from the National Service of Territorial Studies (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, SNET) reveal that at least 10% of the country is prone to floods, 20% percent is exposed to landslides, 50% is affected by drought. The poorest segments of the population are particularly hit by natural disasters, as they are more likely to live in hazardous parts of the territory, such as flood plains, river banks, steep slopes, and fragile buildings in densely populated zones.
- In 2014, the average accumulated rain for July ended as the lowest in the last 44 years on record, and in 2015 the average accumulated rain during the rainy season was the lowest ever recorded, reaching only 63% of what should be expected given normal historic climate conditions (Figure 4). Extended drought periods in the country, have traditionally been followed by high temperatures, hindering progress and functioning of important sectors of the economy, including agriculture, health, water resources, and energy. According to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approximations from Central America’s main the prima harvest for 2015 showed a decline of 60% in the total maize harvest, and 80% in the total beans harvest due to drier than normal weather conditions.
- Consecutive dry years, in which the dry spells last for extended periods of time, have become more frequent due to climate change. This has had wide spread effect across different sectors, consequently increasing risk and vulnerability of populations in El Salvador. Most importantly, this causes reduction on the availability of food (also affecting its access and use), due to impacts on income and basic goods availability in certain regions of the country, with serious social and economic impacts in the long-term. Furthermore, extended drought periods in the region has made landscapes more susceptible to soil erosion, floods and landslides, especially in the advent of localized rainfall in excess. Droughts in El Salvador are also known for causing fluctuations in food prices, plant pests epidemic, animal disease propagation, financial and political instability.
National Climate Scenarios
- The climate change scenarios indicate that in the coming years, El Salvador will experience more intense, and more frequent, extreme events. According to the projected scenarios, the country will consistently face reductions in precipitation and constant increases in temperature (Figure 5). The National Climate Scenarios produced by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) show that over the course of this century, the average temperatures (maximum and minimum averages) will increase considerably, with the magnitude of the change being most marked for the period 2071-2100.
- Average and minimum temperature will shift considerably between the periods 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 under all climatic scenarios. This represent changes between 1 °C and 3 °C and up to 4.5 °C towards the end of the century. These projected changes in temperature for El Salvador, are most in line with the changes projected by the IPCC. Temperature increases of such magnitude, will have direct effect on the temperature of the Pacific coast. When breaking and zooming into the time series of projections, the data shows that, in the near future (between 2021-2030 and 2031-2041), all scenarios point out to shifts between 0.7 °C and 1.5 °C, which is higher than what its observed today. The last decade in the period under consideration, presents the greatest changes in temperature with values between 1.5 °C and 2 °C in the country. These projections reveal that, in the future, 90% of the national territory will be subject to average temperature values above 27 °C.
- All scenarios point to a decrease in precipitation between 10% to 20%, across the country between 2021-2050, with some regions being expected to see a reduction above 20% (under a high emissions scenario). This would represent a reduction of no less than 200 mm per year in precipitation. Comparably, towards 2041-2050 the magnitude of rainfall reduction will remain on the mark between 10% to 20%, similar to the previous period. It is worth noting that projected changes between 2031-2040 can be attributed to already ongoing climate change and variability processes in El Salvador, and that these changes are within the scope of the IPCC projections for the region.
- The projected scenarios for the period between 2071-2100, show even more drastic changes in precipitation patterns in the country, with values ranging between 20 to 26% under the high emissions pathway. When looking at each decade in detail, for example, between 2071-2080 the changes represent a decrease of 15-25% in rainfall, under a low emissions scenario, followed by 20-25% reduction in rainfall under a high emissions scenario. By the same token, the decade of 2081-2090 will experience reductions between 20% to 30%, with even higher depletion of rainfall under the high emissions scenario. During the last decade of the 21st century between 2091-2100, the projected scenarios reveal a decrease in rainfall ranging between 20% -35% (low emissions scenario) when compared to current observed values. At the century approaches end, the scenarios reveal reduction in precipitation that are considerably more pronounced, intense and drastic if compared to the period between 2021-2050. This represents a reduction of 300 mm a year in precipitation in the country.
- These scenarios represent a complete range of alternative futures for climate in El Salvador. Taking into account the cascading effects that may accompany the climate change scenarios, the country’s economy, society and nature, finds itself having to deal with greater risk and effective occurrence of natural disasters. Not surprisingly, as a result of current climate variability and change, in the form of higher temperatures, reduced rainfall, erratic local, regional and global climate controls, the country is already and will continue to need to manage increased social, economic and environmental pressures across vastly degraded landscapes.
The South Ahuachapán landscape
- The South-Ahuachapán area, located in the department of Ahuachapán, includes the municipalities of San Francisco Menendez, Jujutla, Guaymango and San Pedro Puxtla (Figure 9), covering an area of 591.73 Km2, with a population of 98,016 people from which 51% are women, and with the majority of the population (77%) residing in rural areas.
- The MARN estimates the South-Ahuachapán as an area of high vulnerability to climate change. Considering its environmental and social characteristics at the landscape level, this part of the country finds itself highly susceptible to the destructive effects of climate variability together with lacking of necessary resources to adequately prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters. This region, contains a significant amount of the population exposed to frequent meteorological drought, while at the same time it is one of El Salvador’s main regions for the production of staple food items (basic grains), as well as other cash crops (sugarcane, coffee).
- According to the climate change scenarios produced by the MARN, climate variability and change in the region will become more and more evident. This will be reflected through significant increases in average temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
- Tree cover accounts for 68% of its total territorial area, distributed as 33% Forest, 29% Shaded coffee and 6% shrubs. Agricultural land accounts for 26% of total area, and it is used for the production of staple grains (maize and beans). The Landscape features strategic natural assets for the country, such as El Imposible National Park, the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Biosphere Reserve, and the RAMSAR site Barra de Santiago comprising an extraordinary biological diversity of ecosystems, species and genes, and their conservation deserve special attention. The primary ecological zones are the humid subtropical forest to the south, very moist subtropical forest, and humid subtropical forest.
- The area has a complex hydrographic network. Of the 11 hydrographic basins that drain the territory, four of the most important: the rivers La Paz, Banderas, Lempa and Grande in Sonsonate are part of this area. There are 32 rivers in the Barra de Santiago Basin - and the Sub-basins of Cara Sucia and Culiapa. Among the main rivers of the Cara Sucia Sub-basin are El Sacramento, Huiscoyol, El Corozo, Cara Sucia, Mistepe, the Izcanal, Maishtapula, and the Aguachapio rivers. Between the main rivers of the Cuilapa Sub-basin are the Guayapa, Cuilapa, El Naranjo, El Rosario, Cubis, San Antonio, Tihuicha and El Negro rivers. However, a Hydro Analysis of this area carried out in 2007, showed that domestic demand represented 7.41% of total demand, against an irrigation demand of 92.59%, with signs of over-exploitation of the resource in the lower parts of the Cara Sucia Sub-watershed.
- Since 1974, the Paz River has abandoned old drainages of the El Aguacate, La Danta and Río Seco channels, causing a process of desiccation and transformation of the wetlands and marshes, with an alteration of the salinity gradients, the reduction of the freshwater flows and the closure of the mangrove swamps of Garita Palmera. This leads to a high susceptibility to flooding in the southern part of the Department. The situation will be further aggravated by the climate change impacts projected to take place in what is already degraded land. Ineffective agricultural and livestock practices have led to high levels of contamination by agrochemicals, which, together with erosion, lead to a deterioration of mangroves with sedimentation and silting of channels, with loss of mangrove hydrodynamic regulation. This situation, threatens and affects artisanal and industrial fishing and local livelihoods. The lack of opportunities leads to migration and weakening of the social fabric in an already vulnerable part of the country.
- In this region, the mangroves in the lower basin of the river belong to the mangrove ecoregion of the Pacific dry coast (Olson et al., 2001), which extend in patches along the coastal zone of Guatemala and El Salvador. The mangroves and marshes dominate the coasts of estuaries in the coastal plain. The coastal wetlands of Garita Palmera and El Botoncillo are possibly the least known and certainly the most degraded on the coast of El Salvador (MARN - AECI, 2003), and the population that inhabits these ecosystems have livelihoods intimately related to their services. The current conditions of the mangroves in the lower basin of the river are a consequence of the high rate of deforestation and the change in land use throughout the basin, as well as alterations in its hydrological regime, such as decrease of annual flow, flow seasonal shifts, and significant decrease in water budget of River Paz, causing a reduction in the productivity of ecosystems and in their capacity to provide services and benefits to local communities (further contributing to flooding, increased runoff and soil loss).
- This region is important also for aquifer recharge, specifically for the recharge of the aquifer ESA-01, localized in alluvial materials in south Ahuachapán, in the municipalities of San Francisco Menendez, Jujutla and Acajutla.
- During the last eight years, this landscape has suffered the adverse impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological events, in some years it experienced Tropical Depressions and Hurricanes, and in other years it suffered meteorological drought with significant damages to infrastructure, agriculture and crops, functioning of ecosystems, and livelihoods. The loss of coverage and inadequate agricultural practices on slopes, have caused a decrease in water regulation capacities with increased runoff, which in turn led to a severe increase in soil erosion rates in the high and middle parts of the basins, an increased risk of landslides and floods; and a decrease in infiltration capacities and aquifer recharge with a decrease in the water supply for different uses. All this has been reflected in large damages to infrastructure and crop loss.
- The pressure exerted on the forest remnants of the highlands, riparian forests, secondary forests, agroforestry systems and mangroves has also increased the region’s vulnerability to climate change. The reduction of habitat, the loss of ecological connectivity and of critical ecosystem services (i.e. water provision, climate regulation) have caused a chain of processes and negative impacts that increase the vulnerability of this area in the face of more frequent events of heavy rainfall, and prolonged periods of drought. Thus, the loss of natural vegetation cover and the poor land use practices in agriculture, are leading to a continuous decrease in surface and ground water availability, excessive runoff, and a decrease in other water regulation ecosystem services, leading to a significant increase in soil erosion rates. A recent assessment of damages to the agricultural sector in Ahuachapán, pointed out that, due to an extended drought period, the average numbers observed for the harvest of corn and beans (June/July 2015) had a reduction of 94%.
- Degrading of natural ecosystems, with wide spread effects at the landscape level (including depletion of riparian forests and grasslands) threatens the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services to local communities in the South Ahuachapán. Long and short-term effects of degradation of these ecosystems include:
- increased soil erosion as a result of reduced vegetation cover;
- reduced infiltration of water in degraded watersheds and catchment areas, thereby resulting in reduced recharge of groundwater and an increased incidence of flooding;
- Interventions in the are thus need to focus on helping the landscape to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, through the protection of the ecosystems and the rehabilitation and conservation of the mosaic of interdependent land uses thus enhancing the landscape’s capacity to manage extreme hydro-meteorological events as well as increased projected temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns. The goods and services generated by healthy or under restoration landscapes, have the potential to mitigate these threats by providing multiple benefits to local communities in the region of South-Ahuachapán, such as the provision of natural resources (food and water) and regulatory functions, including flood mitigation, water filtration and waste decomposition.
Landscape approach to build resilience and adapt to climate change
- In 2012, El Salvador developed the National Environmental Policy to help regulate, manage, protect the country’s natural resources, and reverse environmental degradation, while reducing the country’s vulnerability to climate change, which feeds directly into the country’s plans on long-term economic growth and social progress outcomes. A key instrument of the National Environmental Policy is the National Program for the Restoration of Ecosystems and Landscapes (PREP), which is organized in three strategic areas: 1) Restoration, reforestation and inclusive conservation of critical ecosystems such as gallery forests, water recharge areas, slopes, mangroves and other forest ecosystems; 2) The restoration of degraded soils, through the forestation of agricultural systems, the adoption of resilient agroforestry systems and the development of sustainable and climate-resilient and biodiversity-friendly agriculture; 3) Synergistic development of physical infrastructure and natural infrastructure. Forest landscape restoration is a key part of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution, and the main strategy to contribute to climate change adaptation, by increasing productivity of landscapes, enhancing the resilience of forest ecosystems, landscapes, agroecosystems, watersheds, and forest‐dependent communities.
- The PREP comprises immediate and strategic activities, such as the conservation of forest remnants; the restoration of forest ecosystems and agroecosystems, recovering tree coverage in critical sites, working to rehabilitate the landscape; and the maintenance and increase of tree cover in critical areas, particularly in high altitude agroecosystems, and at the watershed level (to control water supply and flow, reducing runoff, landslides and floods). The application of techniques to reduce the speed of the water flow and to increase the capacity of the water retention in the upper sections of the basins and the high zones of the mountain ranges and the protection of the plant cover, have the potential to reduce erosion and the transport of sediment as well as floods. Consequently, it enables to reduce risks associated to extreme hydro-meteorological events. Furthermore, it is expected that the reforestation of the agricultural areas will improve the soil with an increase in organic matter and moisture retention, and therefore, increasing the resistance during water shortage and drought.
Identification of priority sites for EBA through restoration in South Ahuachapán
- Information from the PREP was used o update National Land Use Map, allowing for the identification of key the restoration sites of the country based on the following six criteria: soil conservation and food production; biodiversity and wildlife conservation; protection of ground water and adaptation to drought; adaptation to extreme events and protection against floods and storms; firewood supply and climate regulation.
- A particular focus was provided to key agroecosystems sites (these account for 60% of the national territory) with the potential land use/cover transitions for restoration also being identified taking into account the different current uses of the soil to allow the recovery of prized ecosystems, through the restoration of their relevant environmental goods and services for adaptation. The potential areas for each transition type comprise a total of 1,001,405 hectares comprising eleven proposed transitions pointing to the high potential for restoration areas in South Ahuachapán.
- The analysis by MARN has allowed the project to identify the municipality of San Francisco Menendez located in the South Landscape of Ahuachapán, as the target intervention area for restoration investments. The municipality has a territory of 226.13 km2 and a total population of 42,062 of which 30,211 reside in rural areas. The identification of the Municipality of San Francisco Menendez as the area of intervention, was based on an exhaustive analysis of available time series of satellite remote sensing data, together with data and information collected by MARN in-situ.
- To further characterize the imbalances observed in the region, coming as consequence of intense rainfall and longer dry periods, the prioritization exercise used data from the Monthly Climate and Climatic Water Balance for Global Terrestrial Surfaces Dataset (TerraClimate) to better understand the runoff patterns in San Francisco Menendez. The analysis revealed an upward trend in surface runoff in San Francisco Menendez, starting in 2006 and progressing steadily, affecting negatively agricultural activities and exacerbating the already damaging effects of extended periods of drought, scarce and localized rainfall patterns in the intervention area. The data and analysis revealed that the lower Rio Paz presents a remarkably consistent pattern of low precipitation and high temperatures over time. Such characteristics have been followed by an increase in the number of extreme whether events (such as heavy rainfall and droughts), leading to below average soil moisture, increased surface runoff, and soil loss. This has been pointed out by an increasing number of recent reports by MARN and international agencies such as USAID, FAO, GIZ, which have identified the Municipality of San Francisco Menendez (entirely located in the Central America Dry Corridor) as extremely susceptible to the Effects of CC. The impacts pointed out by MARN and international organizations working in the area, have been immediately felt in the form of changes in water flow patterns (in the Lower Rio Paz), higher than normal temperatures, erratic rainfall, and low fresh water input into the ocean. This has created an imbalance that will only be exacerbated by CC, affecting agriculture, the natural environment, as well as local livelihoods in the project intervention areas.
- In San Francisco Menendez, the land under exploitation is dominated by cultivation of crops (46%), followed by seasonal grasslands (30%) and permanent grasslands (15%). The local development plan for the municipality has identified 4,569 Ha of critical ecosystems for restoration by 2030 of which 1,569Ha are agroforestry systems, 2,000 Ha tropical forests and 1,000 Ha being mangrove systems. According to the 2007 Census in the agriculture and livestock sector, the land under exploitation is mainly owned by producers (75%) while 18% of land is leased (Figure 13). There are 80 cooperatives of small producers present in San Francisco Menendez, from those 16 are women led cooperatives.
- San Francisco Menendez municipality is part of the broader South Ahuachapán landscape that includes the municipalities of Jujutla, Guayamango and San Pedro Puxtla. These municipalities are administratively grouped together through the Association of Municipalities of Microregión Sur with the objective of establishing synergies for their development and for environmental management through concerted actions. Actions along these municipalities is also strategic as these also share access to the same aquifers (Figure 12) thus linking them, at a landscape, administrative and hydrological level. Population for this larger region is 98,016 (49,899 women) of which 75,515 people reside in rural areas.
 D. L. Hartmann, a. M. G. K. Tank, and M. Rusticucci, “IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Climatie Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” Ipcc AR5, no. January 2014 (2013): 31–39, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.
 IPCC, “Climate Change, Adaptation, and Vulnerability,” Organization & Environment 24, no. March (2014): 1–44, https://doi.org/http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_A....
 (Cai et al., 2015; Harger, 1995; Neelin et al., 1998; Takahashi et al., 2011; Torrence and Webster, 1999; Wolter and Timlin, 2011)
 Ministry of Economy; General Directorate of Statistics and Census –DIGESTyC; El Salvador: 2014; Estimates and Trends of Municipal Population 2005-2025
 STPP and MINEC-DIGESTYC (2015). Multidimensional Measurement of poverty. El Salvador. San Salvador: Technical and Planning Secretariat of the Presidency and the Ministry of Economy, through the General Directorate of Statistics and Census.
Compound Poverty: Takes into account the essential areas for human development and well-being. A total of twenty indicators around five essential well-being dimensions: a) education; b) housing conditions; c) work and social security; d) health, basic services and food security; and e) quality of the habitat.
 STPP & MINEC-DIGESTYC, “Medición Multidimensional de La Pobreza. El Salvador.,” San Salvador: Secretaría Técnica y de Planificación de La Presidencia y Ministerio de Economía, a Través de La Dirección General de Estadística y Censos., 2015.
 Minerva Campos et al., “Estrategias de Adaptación Al Cambio Climático En Dos Comunidades Rurales de México y El Salvador,” Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in Two Rural Communities in Mexico and El Salvador, no. 61 (2013): 329–49, http://www.boletinage.com/61/16-CAMPOS.pdf.
 For example, accumulated rainfall in the southeast area of the country was less than 10 mm, representing a 95% deficit from average rainfall
 Almanaque 262. State of human development in the municipalities of El Salvador, 2009.
 Defined as the non-linear land use change process associated with societal and biophysical system changes.
 The analysis was conducted using Google Earth Engine, allowing the production of wall-to-wall spatially explicit information at multiple spatial scales. The analysis included Climate models generated by both long-term climate predictions and historical interpolations of surface variables, including historical reanalysis data from NCEP/NCAR, gridded meteorological datasets such as the NLDAS-2, and GridMET, and climate model outputs like the University of Idaho MACAv2-METDATA and the NASA Earth Exchange’s Downscaled Climate Projections. The prioritization also included the analysis of spatially-explicit land surface variables over time, such as: Evapotranspiration/Latent Heat Flux product (8-day composite product produced at 500 meter pixel resolution), providing information on the hydrologic cycle, which has direct and significant influence on agriculture cycles in the region, as well as the amount of solar radiation, atmospheric vapor pressure, temperature, wind, and soil moisture available. The prioritization also included analysis of salinity anomalies using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, Water Temperature and Salinity (HYCOM) (Revealing that salinity has not been decreasing as result of local meteorological processes over the past several years). The analysis also included Long-Term drough Severity estimations using the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), which has been effective in effective in determining long-term drought in the intervention area. The PDSI data and analysis considers surface air temperature and a physical water balance models, taking into account the observed effects of increasingly warm temperatures, and high evapotranspiration, leading to systemic imbalances affecting local hydrological cycles (refer back to Figure 13).
 This dataset and analysis considers runoff as the excess of liquid water supply (precipitation) used by monthly Evapotranspiration and soil moisture recharge and is derived using a one-dimensional soil water balance model and it correlates well to measured streamflow from a number of watersheds globally.
Component 1. Ecosystem-based adaptation for enhanced resilience at a territorial level
Component 2. Alternative and adapted livelihoods identified and made viable for resilient livelihoods
Component 3. Regional Climate and Hydrological Monitoring for Enhanced Adaptation Planning
Component 4. Strengthening of inter-institutional coordination and local governance for landscape management in the face of climate variability and change
Bhutan is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. This landlocked least developed country has a fragile mountainous environment and is highly dependent on agriculture. Hydropower plays a significant role in the country’s economic development, placing increased challenges for the management and use of water. The country also faces increasing threats from climate hazards and extremes events such as flash floods, glacial lake outburst floods, windstorms, forest fires, landslides, and the drying-up of streams and rivulets.
As a result of climate change, summer months are predicted to become wetter and warmer while winter months are expected to be drier. These result in the abundant availability of water in warmer months but decreased accessibility during winter months. Despite being endowed with the highest per capita water availabilities, Bhutan suffers from chronic water shortages, and access to water is a key determinant of people’s vulnerability. Given the mountainous terrain, climate-induced hazards like flashfloods and dry spells during winter, are likely to deteriorate the quality and quantity of water required to meet hygiene and sanitation needs. Inability to meet the demand is likely to further accentuate the impacts of climate change on the local communities. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security.
In the face of water scarcity there are opportunities to enable adequate, clean, and assured water supply to the population and increase climate resilience for rural and urban communities. The Royal Government of Bhutan has prepared a water flagship programme to provide assured drinking and irrigation water for the country in the face of climate change.
The proposed “Advancing Climate Resilience of Water Sector in Bhutan (ACREWAS)” project will form a core part of the national plan to provide integrated water supply for four Dzongkhags (districts) in Bhutan that comprise the major parts of the upper catchments of the Punatsangchhu River Basin management unit. The project interventions will increase the climate resilience of rural and urban communities. Considering the spatial interlinkages and dependencies between land use, ecosystem health, and underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change, this approach will ensure that targeted catchment watersheds are managed to protect and restore their capacity to provide sustainable ecosystem services and bring about efficiency, effectiveness and climate resilience within the drinking and irrigation water infrastructure network. The project will support critical catchment protection by adopting climate-resilient watershed management principles. Such practices are anticipated to reduce threats from climate-induced hazards such as floods, landslides and dry spells, while at the same time improving the overall adaptive capacity of project beneficiaries. Additionally, these measures will also ensure that downstream climate-resilient infrastructure development works are managed in tandem with upstream initiatives.
Bhutan is a small, landlocked country with an area of 38,394 km2 in the Eastern Himalayas located between China in the north and India in the south, east, and west. The dominant topographic features consist of the high Himalayas in the north with snowcapped peaks and alpine pastures; deep north-south valleys and hills created by fast-flowing rivers forming watersheds with temperate forests in the mid-range; and foothills alluvial plains with broad river valleys and sub-tropical forests in the southern part. With about 50% of the geographical area under slopes greater than 50% and about 52.45% of the land area lying above 2600 meters above mean sea level (RNR Statistics, 2019), Bhutan’s topography is almost entirely mountainous and rugged. The mountainous landscape also makes the delivery of infrastructure and services difficult and expensive. Due to its fragile mountainous ecosystem, the country is highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. The situation is further worsened by the country’s low adaptative capacity, poor economic status constrained by limited financial, technical, and human capacity.
It is one of the least populated countries in mainland Asia with a total population of 727,145 with a growth rate of 1.3% out of which 47.7% and 56.71% of the population under the age of 29 (PHCB, 2017). About70.77 % of the total land area is under forest cover and 51.44% of the total area is designated as protected areas comprising of national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries, a strict nature reserve, biological Corridors, and a botanical park (FRMD 2017). The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (2008) mandates 60% of the country to remain under forest cover for all times to come. Some of the rarest flora and fauna on earth flourish within its high forest cover and pristine environment supported by strong conservation efforts and a good network of Protected Areas. The country’s biodiversity includes 15 vulnerable, 20 endangered, and 13 critically endangered seed plants; 13 vulnerable, 11 endangered, and two critically endangered mammal species; 22 vulnerable, four endangered, and four critically endangered bird species; eight vulnerable and three endangered fish species; 11 vulnerable, five endangered and two critically endangered amphibians, and one vulnerable butterfly (MoAF, 2018).
Agriculture is a very important economic activity for Bhutan. The agriculture sector comprises of farming, livestock, and forestry which continues to be a major player in the country’s economy. With only 2.75% of the total land area used for agriculture, the sector accounted for 15.89% of GDP in 2018 and employs about 48.63% of the total economically active population. With the majority of the population relying on agriculture, the sector is highly vulnerable to climate change. Also, characterized by remoteness and inaccessibility, marketing and large-scale commercialization are significant challenges for Bhutan. About 56% of the economically active population engaged in agriculture are female rendering women more vulnerable to impacts of water shortages in agriculture (RNR Statistics, 2019). Hydropower and tourism are the other key economic drivers.
The proposed project will intervene in four Dzongkhags (districts) that form a major part of Punatsangchhu river basin, one of the five main river basin management units in Bhutan as well as the largest in terms of geographical area and among the most climate-vulnerable watersheds in the country. The project area covering 883,080 Hectares comprising 23 percent of the total land cover of Bhutan, and 22 percent of all water bodies in the country. The project area covers 16,693 hectares or 16 percent of cultivated area in Bhutan (Agriculture Statistics, 2019). The majority of the population within the project Dzongkhags are engaged in agriculture. Overall, the agriculture sector has engaged 47 percent of the total employed population in the project area comprising 67.71 percent of the female population and 34.34 percent of the male population. Other major sectors of employment include construction which engages 13 percent of the population and electricity/gas/water which engages 10.72 percent of the population. These two sectors employ only 2.5 percent of the female population and 19.4 percent and 15.7 percent of the male population respectively. Agriculture, the main sector of employment in the project area is dominated by women. The project areas have a total population of 97,254 comprising 45.5 percent females. The population of the project area constitutes 13.4 percent of the national population (PHCB, 2017). The Dzongkhags in the project areas include Gasa, Punakha, Wangduephodrang and Tsirang.
Gasa Dzongkhag is spread from elevations between 1,500 and 4,500 meters above sea level. The Dzongkhag experiences extremely long and hard winters and short summers. The Dzongkhag has four Gewogs namely Goenkhatoe, Goenkhamae, Laya and Lunana. The people of Laya and Lunana are mostly nomads. Over a hundred glacial lakes in the Dzongkhag feed some of the major river systems in the country, including the Phochhu and the Mochhu rivers which join further downstream to form the Punatsangchhu river basin. The whole Dzongkhag falls under the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park. Dzongkhag is popular for its hot springs and series of other springs which are considered for their medicinal properties (Menchus). The region’s high altitude and extreme climate make it difficult to practice agriculture but livestock is a mainstay, particularly the rearing of yaks.
Punakha Dzongkhag is located south of Gasa and is bordered with Wangduephodrang to the east and south and is part of the Punatsangchhu river basin. The Dzongkhag has eleven gewogs, namely Baarp, Chhubu, Dzomi, Goenshari, Guma, Kabjisa, Lingmukha, Shengana, Talo, Toepisa and Toedwang ranging from 1100 - 2500 m above sea level. Punakha is well known for rice, vegetables and fruits.
Wangdue Phodrang is one of the largest dzongkhags in Bhutan and has fifteen Gewogs which are Athang, Bjena, Daga, Dangchu, Gangtey, Gasetshogom, Gasetshowom, Kazhi, Nahi, Nysho, Phangyuel, Phobjkha, Ruebisa, Sephu, and Thedsho. The Dzongkhag ranges from 800 - 5800 m above sea level and has varied climatic conditions ranging from subtropical forests in the south to cool and snowy regions in the north. The Dzongkhag forms parts of Wangchuck Centennial Park in the north, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park in northwestern pockets, and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in the southeastern end. One of the most notable sites in the district is Phobjikha Valley which is the habitat of the rare and endangered black-necked cranes during winters. The Gewogs of Phangyuel & Ruebisa are included as part of the project area.
Tsirang is noted for its gentle slopes and mild climates suitable and well-known for agriculture as well as livestock products. It is one of the few dzongkhags without a protected area. The Dzongkhag has twelve gewogs which are Barshong, Dunglagang, Gosarling, Kikhorthang, Mendrelgang, Patshaling, Phuentenchu, Rangthaling, Semjong, Sergithang, Tsholingkhar and Tsirangtoe.
As a result of climate change, summer months are predicted to become wetter and warmer while winter months are expected to be drier (See para 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17). These result in abundant availability of water in warmer months but decreased accessibility due to flooding and erosions exacerbated by the hostile terrain (See para 18, 19, and 21) and scarce availability and accessibility of water in winter months due to drying of water sources (See para 18). Therefore, despite being endowed with the highest per capita water availabilities, Bhutan suffers from chronic water shortages as follows. Water is a key determinant of people’s vulnerability. Given the terrain climate-induced hazards like flashfloods, dry spells during winter, are likely to deteriorate the quality and quantity of water required to meet hygiene and sanitation needs. Inability to meet the demand is likely to further accentuate the impacts of climate change on the local communities. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security. Frequent handwashing is widely recommended by WHO to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reliable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities are essential to containing the spread of the virus. The stocktaking for National Adaptation Plan (NAP) formulation process in Bhutan carried out in 2020 clearly recommends instituting indicators, among others, such as number of people permanently displaced from homes as a result of floods, dry spell or other climate events, number of surface water areas/ springs subject to declining water quality/quantity due to extreme temperatures. In an agrarian and predominantly rural nature of the Bhutanese communities, inadequate access to water can further accentuate the vulnerability to climate change. Climate-smart and resilient agriculture is particularly dependent on adequate water. The project, by instituting and ensuring climate-resilient practices in the whole supply chain of water (sourcing, supply, maintenance, governance, and ownership), will address the current problems caused as results of climate change.
Drinking water shortages and Degrading water quality: A 2014 inventory of rural households carried out by the health ministry found that 17% of rural households (13,732) across the country faced drinking water problems and 18% of regular households (29,340) in Bhutan reported that the source of drinking water is unreliable. According to the National Environment Commission’s 2018 Water Security Index, more than 77.5% of households in the urban areas of Thimphu have resorted to portable water supply as the taps are running dry. Most of the urban areas have access to only intermittent water supply. The duration of supply generally ranges from 4 to 12 hours daily. More than 46% of the urban population have 8 to 12 hours and 11% have less than 8 hours of water supply. According to the National Water Flagship Program, 58 rural communities comprising 751 households in the country have no water source, and 49 villages comprising 1,051 households have inadequate water source. These households depend on water harvested during rainy days. Dried up sources have also been reported in 29 communities, comprising 527 households where the Rural Water Supply Schemes have been implemented. Drying up of water sources is attributed to the extended period of the drier winter season with high evaporative demand. The Water Act of Bhutan, 2011 and as well as the Bhutan Water Policy, 2003 consider water for drinking and sanitation for human survival as the first order of priority in water allocation.
Water contamination is considered to occur at water sources due to seepage from agriculture and household effluents as well as due to lack of standard water treatment and quality assurance leading to poor water quality levels across the country, particularly in urban areas. As agriculture expands upstream, farm runoff could become a consideration for water quality downstream.
About 50% of the geographical area of Bhutan is under slopes greater than 50% (RNR Statistics, 2019). The predominant mountainous and rugged topographic features render the country highly vulnerable to climate change-induced disasters, mainly in the form of landslides, erosions, and siltation which also seriously impact on water availability and quality. Climate change, through erratic rainfall and flooding in steep slopes, exacerbates water quality as running streams and rivulets tend to become muddy affecting drinking water quality. A rapid assessment of rural drinking water quality in 2012 indicates that 17% of the stream water sources and 28% of the spring water sources are safe for consumption (RCDC, 2012). The test is conducted through the assessment of microbiological parameters. Domestic sewage and improper disposal of waste oil and other vehicle effluents from workshops located close to rivers are also a serious environmental concern, especially in places like Thimphu and Phuentsholing. While the use of pesticides and herbicides is also a potential source of water pollution, RGOB has a dedicated program on organic agriculture which is expected to address this in the long run while also improving agro-ecosystems. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security. Frequent handwash is widely recommended by WHO to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reliable WASH facilities are essential to containing the spread of the virus.
Irrigation water shortages: Of the 900 schemes surveyed at the national level, only 372 schemes have an abundance of water, 272 schemes got adequate irrigation water. About 27% of the total schemes suffer from either “inadequate” or “acute shortage” of irrigation water. Assessment has shown that water shortages for agriculture, and hence even for drinking, is likely to become critical, as historical data clearly demonstrate that the evaporative demand of the atmosphere has been significantly increasing, decreasing the amount of rainfall available for growing crops during both in the months of December to February (DJF) and March to April (MAM). The assessment also shows that it will likely no longer be feasible to plant rice, a staple crop, without supplemental irrigation during DJF. The findings reinforce and validate the reported water shortages noted by farmers during the dry season. These climatic changes during the dry season are expected to continue and are consistent with climate change projections, reinforcing that it will become increasingly difficult for farmers to grow crops without suitable adaptation measures.
According to RNR Statistics (2019), of the 976 irrigation schemes across the nation, 88% are functional, 2% are semi-functional and 10% are non-functional. This is largely attributed to damage to the infrastructure due to landslides and flooding due to extreme weather events. A study in Punakha, Wangdue, Tzirang, Paro, Sarpang, and Samtse carried out from March-May in 2019 indicated that the most important consequence of climate change impacts on crop production was the drying of irrigation water sources. The farming communities reported on experiencing significant frequency and severity of extreme weather events in the form of untimely rain and drought. The farmers in the study districts felt that the irrigation sources were affected the most as a consequence of climate change impacts. The study also documents data over last over the last 20 years (1996–2017) in the study area which shows a decreasing rainfall and an increase in temperature.
The COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic has affected Bhutan like any other country. The science-based response measures and early recognition of its impact have managed to contain without major health impact on the Bhutanese. However, the economic repercussion continues to be severe. For a country, that relies heavily on the importation of essential goods such as food items and fuels, prices have risen by manifolds. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously constrained food imports. (Imported food accounts for 16.0 percent of total imported value amounting to Nu. 66.92 billion in the year 2017). It disrupted supply chains due to higher transport costs caused by the reduced volume of imports and establishment of additional safety protocols through supply chains. COVID-19 has also triggered reverse urban-rural migration, where urban dwellers have started to move to rural homesteads to pursue agriculture resulting in further pressure on irrigation water needs in rural agriculture areas. The pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security. Frequent handwash is widely recommended by WHO to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reliable, WASH facilities are essential to containing the spread of the virus. Further, the challenge posed by the pandemic has underscored the need to build a resilient domestic and local agriculture system with a shorter supply chain, efficient water management and irrigation system, etc to adapt to the impending crisis of climate change.
The proposed alternative
In the face of water scarcity there are opportunities to enable adequate, clean, and assured water supply to the population and increase climate resilience of rural and urban communities. The RGOB has prepared a water flagship program to provide assured drinking and irrigation water for the country in the face of changing climate. This proposed intervention will form a core part of the national plan to provide integrated water supply for four Dzongkhags. The project interventions will enable adequate, clean, and assured water supply to the population of four Dzongkhags of Gasa, Punakha, Wangduephodrang (two gewogs of Phangyuel and Rupisa), and Tsirang. These four Dzongkhags from major parts of the upper catchments of Punatsangchhu river basin management unit. The project interventions will increase the climate resilience of rural and urban communities in these Dzongkhags. Considering the spatial interlinkages and dependencies between land use, ecosystem health, and underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change, this approach will ensure that targeted catchment watersheds are managed to protect and restore their capacity to provide sustainable ecosystem services and bring about efficiency and effectiveness and climate resilience of infrastructure network for drinking and irrigation water supplies. The Project will support critical catchment protection by adopting climate-resilient watershed management principles. Such practices are anticipated to reduce threats from climate-induced hazards such as floods, landslides, and dry spells and overall improvement of the adaptive capacity of the project beneficiaries. Additionally, these measures will also mean the downstream climate-resilient infrastructure development works are in tandem with upstream catchment protection.
 Population and Housing Census of Bhutan (PHCB), 2017
 Report on the National Irrigation Database and Canal Alignment Mapping, 2013, DoA, MoAF.
 Ngawang Chhogyel, Lalit Kumar and Yadunath Bajgai; Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan, Sustainability, 25 May 2020 (
 Imported food control in Bhutan, National Situational Report, FAO, 2019
Outcome 1: Strengthened water governance, institutions, and financing mechanism in support of climate-resilient water management.
In order to address the issues related to institutional and governance structure on water resource management, services and its associated barriers, the project will aim to strengthen climate resilient water governance and coordination systems including the establishment of an agency for water utilities and one that will pursue integrated water sector development, management and provision of water related utility services. Based on an Institutional and analysis including feasibility assessment of the proposed national agency during PPG phase, the establishment of such an agency will be proposed with clear mandates, organizational structure and clarified linkages with the NECS, competent authorities and local governments.
Further, the component will also support institutional arrangements to enable establishment of River Basin Management Committees (RBMCs), Dzongkhag Water Management Committees (DWMCs) and Water User Associations (WUAs).
Through this, the project will support clarifying on policies, regulations & planning processes as well as on financing of operations of RBMCs and DWMCs as it relates to water sector planning, development and management, promoting community participation, monitoring and reporting and resolving cross-sectoral issues to fully embed climate risk considerations. The project support will include review of the Water Act of 2011 to incorporate the changes in the mandate and institutional setup within the water sector that will enable climate risk management policies and functions across mandated institutions. It will support integration of Key Results Areas (KRAs) for water security and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on national Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRMP) in the national and local planning guidelines with appropriate responsibility and accountability frameworks so that NIWRMP and RBMPs can be mainstreamed into sectoral and local development plans. Through this, the project will support enabling appropriate institutions and clarify on policies, regulations & planning processes as well as on financing of operations of RBMCs and DWMCs as it relates to water sector development and management, promoting community participation, monitoring and reporting and resolving cross-sectoral and cross- administrative boundary issues.
The lack of capacity for climate-smart operation and maintenance of water supply systems, water conservation/efficiency technologies, and adoption of IWRM approaches have been bottlenecks in building resilience in the water sector. To overcome the barriers related to limited capacity on climate-resilient water/watershed management this component will support effective capacity for climate-resilient water and watershed management as well as for taking forward the concept of IWRM at various levels including institutional & community level capacity.
The project will also test and demonstrate financing instruments or models engaging private sector through PPP and PES to embed sustainability dimensions in watershed and water infrastructure management. To promote water conservation as an adaptation mechanism and reduce overconsumption and water, a water pricing policy will be supported.
The main deliverables under this outcome will include:
Support to the Government’s priority to establish an autonomous national government agency for water to provide access to adequate, safe, affordable and sustainable water for drinking, sanitation, waste water and irrigation services considering climate change impacts on hydrological systems. The agency will operate and function on a corporate mode and will sustain its operations on service fee/tariff on water utilities and services in the long term on Government budgetary support in the short term. The project support in this will include the design of the organizational setup and capacity building to ensure that the new agency has organizational profile and human resources competency to consider climate change impacts on hydrological systems. Clear mandates, organizational structure and clarified linkages with the NECS, competent authorities and local governments for planning, development, coordination and management of water utilities and services. The water agency will be a corporate entity owned by the government, sustaining on government grant initially and on service fee/tariff on water utilities and services in the longer term. The Government contribution in this will include establishment of the agency and provide operational mandate, resources, and legitimacy.
Entities that represent the stakeholders to be engaged actively in the development of watershed management plans through RBCs, DWMCs and WUAs.
Adequate and gender-balanced human capacity and skills available for climate-resilient water resources and water management at central, local, community levels including the private sector.
A revised water act, water policy and regulations supported and policy environment for sustainable and climate-resilient water management
While climate change clearly impacts the supply-side affecting availability of water resources. Human demands for water also interact with climate change to exacerbate the pressures on the water supply. In order to rationalize water use and reduce the demand-side pressures on water, the project will promote water thrifting as an adaptation mechanism through a water pricing policy. The policy will consider better access to water, improved quality of water, reduce over consumption and reflect the actual cost of production including ecological costs. It will also consider appropriate pricing for rural households and lower-income households in urban areas.
Conducive environment for corporate and private sector engagement, enterprise development, and public-private partnerships demonstrated. Private sector participation in drinking water and irrigation management initiated in at least 4 water infrastructure operations and maintenance. Green Bhutan Corporation Limited (GBCL) engaged in plantation and agroforestry activities with support from the project establishing a modality for GBCL to collaborate with the Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC). Post project, the DGPC will support plantation activities of GBCL for watershed restorations.
Beneficiaries/users of ecosystem services pay to the provider of services contributing to sustainable watershed management and sustenance of ecosystem services. The project results will include establishment of PES schemes contributing to sustainable watershed management in water catchment areas.
Outcome 2: Vulnerable natural water catchments in the target river basin (Punatsangchu River Basin) restored, sustainably managed, protected and their ecosystem conditions improved.
This outcome will support participatory assessment, identification & declaration of critical water sheds/catchment areas/spring recharge areas. The project will support soil & water conservation interventions, bio-corridors/setbacks and wetlands/spring augmentation activities for water catchment /spring recharge areas including soil/moisture retaining agro-practices and climate-resilient crops in settlements near catchments. These interventions will aim to restore and improve ecosystem conditions of vulnerable natural water catchments.
Further, implementation of afforestation, reforestation and agroforestry interventions will improve forest and/or ground cover and enhance water infiltration in catchments. Overall, this component will address the problem related to drying up upstream water sources and reduced/erratic downstream water availability by improving the catchment watershed conditions and enabling sustainable and resilient watersheds yielding stable spring/stream flows.
The main deliverables under this outcome will include:
Improved water security as and biodiversity/ecosystems safeguards with additional co-benefits in carbon sequestration and storage, improved soil fertility, biodiversity conservation, and improved community livelihoods. Catchment watersheds restored with vegetation to enhance infiltration, reduce run-off and peak flows, and stabilize slopes, soil fertility improved over 37,530 hectares of forest land/watersheds
Improved ecosystem conditions of 42 watershed areas as well as 147 spring sources to improve water availability and quality at source.
Local sites for nature-based solutions identified and at least 12 start-up enterprises on based solutions promoted to incentivize and enhance watershed conservation such as fodder development, catch and release fishing, water sports, tourism, hot stone bath, etc. These enterprises can operate as per the framework developed through the GEF ecotourism project and provide concessions for these nature-based enterprises (private sector) to participate in watershed management activities.
Outcome 3: Enhanced adaptive capacity of water infrastructure to climate-induced water shortages and quality deterioration through climate-proofing, private sector engagement, and technology deployment.
This outcome will address barriers related to inefficient and inadequate surface water storage and distribution, breakage and leakage of water pipelines and tank overflows, illegal tapping of waterlines and breakdown of pumps and blackout of electricity during summer, lack of standard water treatment and quality assurance in drinking water supply systems and water contamination are major issues leading to irrigation and drinking water shortages as well as poor water quality. The component will focus on establishment and demonstration of adequate climate-smart and efficient water infrastructure. The water tapping, storage, and distribution system under this component will integrate multi-purpose water storage and distribution to the extent possible. In order to improve monitoring of infrastructure failures for both volume and quality of water supplies, the project will support on boarding of new/improved technologies to be deployed so that vulnerability of the infrastructure to failures due to climate-induced hazards or through man-made disturbances on the system are detected and solutions provided in a timely manner. The project support under this component will include supporting startups to install and manage efficient technologies in the operation and management of the infrastructure. The collaboration with the DRIVE center of the InnoTech Department of the Druk Holding & Investments Ltd (DHI) will be leveraged to promote private start-up enterprises with IT-based solutions for water management (See box below). Overall, the outcome through this output will enable efficient, adequate, and sustainable supply and distribution of water.
Flooding and erosion due to hostile terrain exacerbated by climate change in the form of landslides, erosions and siltation seriously impact on water availability and quality. For drinking water, the project will aim to improve water quality as affected by water pollution through flooding and siltation and enable meetin Bhutan Drinking Water Quality Standard, 2016 and WHO guidelines for drinking water quality.
The main deliverables under this outcome will include:
Community resilience improved covering 2,567 households with access to adequate irrigation water and be able to bring about additional area of 559.9 Hectares of agriculture land under sustainable agriculture production.
Source of water supply would have extended beyond surface water to include ground water and rainwater enhancing resilience of water sources and human hygiene and sanitation improved covering 7,435 households with access to 24x7 drinking water of quality that meet Bhutan Drinking Water Quality Standard, 2016 and WHO guidelines for drinking water quality.
Outcome 4: Strengthened awareness and knowledge sharing mechanism established.
The limitations in public awareness on the impacts of climate change on water resources, communities and on overall on climate-resilient water/watershed management practices are a concern. To overcome the barriers related to limited awareness programs and lack of data on climate-resilient water/watershed management practices, the project support under this component will include documentation and sharing of knowledge and practices as well as effective capacity for climate-resilient water and watershed management. A Communication strategy developed and implemented on water conservation and sustainable management developed and implemented which will lead to publication of a State of the Basin Report (SOBR) for the Punatsangchu River Basin. This component will enable meeting the requirements of the National Environment Protection Act and the Water Act of Bhutan to regularly publish information on the environment, including periodic state of the environment reports and to provide access to water and watershed-related information. The publication of a State of the Basin report (SOBR) for the five river basins at the national level. The SOBR will include;
Overall situation of river basin in terms of its ecological health and the social and economic circumstances including water security index and impact of climate change on water sector in Bhutan
Highlight of key issues faced in establishment and functioning of the agency for water utilities at national level, River Basin Management Committees (RBMCs), Dzongkhag Water Management Committees (DWMCs) and Water User Associations (WUAs)
Establish gaps and needs for the development of relevant River Basin Management plans and its effective implementing.
 DHI is the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan established to hold and manage the existing and future investments of the Royal Government for the long-term benefit of the people of Bhutan. DHI, the largest and only government-owned holding company in Bhutan. Its InnoTech Department is responsible for strategizing technology and innovation pathways to enhance access and diffusion of the technologies across DHI. To address the national socio-economic challenges, the department is also undertaking applied and fundamental research and development in the field of science and technology to create ventures and start-ups, build national intellectual property and establish a platform for innovation, creativity and jobs for the next generation. The Department’s division called DHI Research and Innovation Venture Excellence Center (DRIVE), has developed a prototype on IT based solution for water management. The PIF process has consulted with the management of the InnoTech Department based on which it has been agreed to test, validate and upscale the technology in the proposed project. Youth based enterprises can be engaged to on-board of this technology into the project area so that these youth-based enterprises can be engaged as private entities to handle the monitoring and providing advisory on maintenance of the infrastructure.
Outcome 1: Strengthened water governance, institutions, and financing mechanism in support of climate-resilient water management.
Outcome 2: Vulnerable natural water catchments in the target river basin (Punatsangchu River Basin) restored, sustainably managed, protected and their ecosystem conditions improved.
Outcome 3: Enhanced adaptive capacity of water infrastructure to climate-induced water shortages and quality deterioration through climate-proofing, private sector engagement, and technology deployment.
Outcome 4: Strengthened awareness and knowledge sharing mechanism established.
Enhancing Multi-Hazard Early Warning System to Increase Resilience of Uzbekistan Communities to Climate Change Induced Hazards
Frequent and more intense floods, mudflows, landslides, avalanches and other climate change-related disasters in Uzbekistan are putting lives and livelihoods at risk and slowing progress to reach targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
To address these challenges, the Green Climate Fund-financed “Enhancing Multi-Hazard Early Warning System to Increase Resilience of Uzbekistan Communities to Climate Change Induced Hazards” project will respond to a critical need in Uzbekistan to modernize its early warning system into an impact-based Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS ). The MHEWS will improve early warnings on floods, mudflows, landslides, avalanches and hydrological drought in the more populous and economically important eastern mountainous regions, an essential element of the country’s climate risk management framework.
Several climate change-induced hazards (such as floods) have caused significant economic damages and led to the loss of lives. For example, it is estimated that 7.6 million people are vulnerable to flooding in Uzbekistan. The economic impact of flooding due to climate change is estimated to be about US$236 million. These hazards related to heavy rainfall and temperature extremes are either already increasing in frequency and/or intensity or are expected to do so under climate change, particularly over the eastern mountainous regions of Uzbekistan. In the face of increasing climate risks, this MHEWS will serve to enhance climate resilience of 32 million people of Uzbekistan (indirect beneficiaries), including the most vulnerable and poor rural communities living in mountainous areas currently at risk from climate-induced hazards. The improved early warning systems will inform future planning and reduce risks for vulnerable communities, support resilient livelihoods, good health and well-being, and improve food and water security for the people of Uzbekistan.
Specifically, the project will improve methods and capacities for monitoring, modelling and forecasting climate hazards and risks supported with satellite-based remote sensing, create a central repository and analysis system for hydrometeorological hazard and risk information, and improve regulations, coordination and institutional mechanisms for an effective impact-based MHEWS, including the development of forecast-based actions. The project will explore and facilitate the concept of forecast-based-financing (FBF) with the national institutional stakeholders responsible for disaster risk management and financing by developing SOPs and prototype decision-making systems/protocols based on the enhanced impact-based forecasting and warning. As a result, the project will significantly enhance the quality and timeliness of climate and disaster-related information available to decision-makers and the dissemination of such information to the population, as well as develop information and procedures for ex-ante actions.
This requires investments in both new observing technologies, training of technical staff, demonstration of modern approaches to hazard modelling and prediction, as well as development of awareness and educational materials and communications with communities. Together these activities will demonstrate the potential benefits of the upgraded system and contribute to the transformation of the climate and disaster risk management in the country.
The Government of Uzbekistan through its Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) implements a state program to modernize the early warning system for natural disasters. This GCF project will provide the critical technical and financial resources, access to innovative technologies and expertise for the implementation and scale-up of this national initiative. The GCF-financed project will promote the transformation of climate hazard forecasting and warning from a reactive (ex-post) hazard-based system to one that is proactive (ex-ante), user-oriented and impact-based.
The project puts a strong focus on strengthening the “last mile” delivery of disaster-related communication and interaction with end users, including vulnerable communities. The improved capacity of Regional crisis management centers (RCMCs) and local communities to use and interpret climate risk information into practical early responses will directly benefit at least 11 million people (34% of total population) currently at risk from climate hazards and enhance the community resilience as a whole.
Uzhydromet’s capacity as a WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) will be strengthened, building on the CAHM (World Bank/WMO) project. The proposed GCF investment will develop automated procedures and modelling capacity that can serve as an example for other developing Central Asian countries, as well as being the driver of significant institutional change, catalysing increased efficiency in climate hazard warning generation and dissemination and developing new operational procedures between MES and Uzhydromet.
Climate change has been leading to more frequent and more intense hydrometeorological disasters in Uzbekistan and to a greater exposure to these disasters across the country. Uzbekistan sets climate change adaptation as a priority in its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. In particular, the NDC clearly highlights the need to establish a Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS).
This project will respond to a critical need of Uzbekistan to modernize its early warning system into an impact-based MHEWS (initially focused on floods, mudflows, landslides, avalanches and hydrological drought in the more populous and economically important eastern mountainous regions), an essential element of the country’s climate risk management framework. In the face of increasing climate risks, this MHEWS will serve to enhance climate resilience of 32 million people of Uzbekistan (indirect beneficiaries), including the most vulnerable and poor rural communities living in mountainous areas currently at risk from climate-induced hazards.
Specifically, the project will improve methods and capacities for monitoring, modelling and forecasting climate hazards and risks supported with satellite-based remote sensing, create a central repository and analysis system for hydrometeorological hazard and risk information, improve regulations, coordination and institutional mechanisms for an effective impact-based MHEWS, including the development of forecast-based actions. The project will explore and facilitate the concept of forecast-based-financing (FBF) with the national institutional stakeholders responsible for disaster risk management and financing by developing SOPs and prototype decision-making systems/protocols based on the enhanced impact-based forecasting and warning. As a result, the project will significantly enhance the quality and timeliness of climate and disaster-related information available to decision-makers and the dissemination of such information to the population, as well as develop information and procedures for ex-ante actions.
The GCF grant is required to upgrade the existing hazard forecasting and warning system in Uzbekistan so it can effectively deal with the additional pressure brought about through increases in climate variability and change. This requires investments in both new observing technologies, training of technical staff, demonstration of modern approaches to hazard modelling and prediction, as well as development of awareness and educational materials and communications with communities. Together these activities will demonstrate the potential benefits of the upgraded system and contribute to the transformation of the climate and disaster risk management in the country.
 Cabinet Resolution No. 242 of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On further improvement of state system for warning and emergency applications of the Republic of Uzbekistan” from 24 August 2011
 Central Asian Hydro-Meteorological project
Output 1: Upgraded hydro-meteorological observation network, modelling and forecasting capacities
The proposed intervention will create a more efficient monitoring network for weather, climate, hydrology and cryosphere, through both upgrading existing (automating) and installing new monitoring equipment (automatic weather stations (AWS), automatic hydrological stations, upper air sounding stations, and strategically placed low cost radars. This equipment and other existing data streams will be integrated into high availability/redundant single databases. Hazard-specific forecasting procedures will be developed and operationalized for climate-induced hazards. Training of Uzhydromet staff to undertake forecasting, operation and maintenance and data QA/QC/archiving procedures will also accompany these activities. Activities follow the GFCS and in this output are designed to address aspects related to: i) observations and monitoring; and ii) research, modelling and prediction. Uzhydromet will be the immediate beneficiary under all activities of Output 1, while their end beneficiaries include all the users of the upgraded hydro-meteorological observation network, modelling and forecasting capacities.
Activity 1.1 Upgrading and modernization of the meteorological and hydrological Observation System. This will include upgrading/automation of 25 meteorological observation stations and equipment (software, workstations etc), modernizing the ground-based infrastructure (telemetry processing, hydrogen generators etc) for 2 upper-air stations (Uzhydromet/GoU will support the establishment of 2 more), installing 2 online X-band doppler radar systems to cover current gaps in mountainous areas, upgrading and technical equipment of 90 hydrological stations , and establishing benchmarks and up to date equipment for instrument calibration (vacuum chambers, mobile laboratory etc). AWS and hydrological stations will be installed/upgraded at existing facilities and premises of key locations in the mountains above hazardous valleys and in the areas of high precipitation/landslides/mudflow risks, not already covered by investments through the CACILM and CAMP4ASB projects, as shown in Figure 46 (page 66) of the FS. Uzhydromet is strongly engaged with the WMO and maintains its standards and compatibility with existing systems. In particular it requires that goods and service comply with WMO 2003 Guidelines on Climate Observation Networks and Systems (TD No. 1185) and WMO Guide to Meteorological Instruments and Methods of Observation (the CIMO Guide No. 8, 2014 edition / 2017 update). These requirements will be taken into account during project implementation, and demonstrated compatibility with existing systems is part of any procurement (ITB/RFQ) tender documents under UNDP processes. All equipment will report data to central servers at Uzhydromet and will conform to WMO standards, including reporting to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) and Global Telecommunication System (GTS). The project will also assist the government to identify long-term requirements and to enable budgeting and planning for the maintenance of all observing systems.
Activity 1.2 Upgrading Uzhydromet’s capacity to store, process and develop hazard products, as well as to communicate hydrometeorological data to regional divisions. This is a climate services information system (as described in GFCS) and involves the establishment of an operations centre, ICT servers and networking equipment to integrate data streams (hydrometeorological and satellite-based observations) and automate processes and analyses (including hazard forecasts). Software and processing routines will enable data and maps to be exported in common formats for sharing with partners and importing into the MES risk management system (see activity 2.1 below). A local cloud-based solution will be implemented to store and manage data that will benefit from offsite backups and easier access for the MES risk management system. Specifically this activity will: i) Integrate hydrometeorological data (from both automatic and manually operated stations) into a single database as a basis for developing products based on all available observed data. Automatically transmitted data from different providers/manufacturers will be integrated and undergo quality control/assurance within a single database in real time and will be available for interrogation via geo-visualization software. This activity will also: i) Expand the hydrological drought early warning system for Amu Darya (developed by the UNDP/AF project) to the Syr Darya and Zeravshon rivers. All historical streamflow and flood data for the two rivers will be collected and forecast models, with data ingestion and data processing routines, will be derived; ii) Develop automatic procedures for calculating avalanche risk in real time. Software and code will be developed to automatically update avalanche hazard maps based on snow accumulation from satellites (and AWS) and established procedures for estimating avalanche extent; iii) Develop code and procedures for automatically calculating mudflow risk maps based on precipitation observations and forecasts for 2-3 days lead time; iv) Develop a landslide risk model for Eastern Uzbekistan based on geophysical and geotechnical characteristics, including subsurface water and extreme rainfall. The skill of all developed forecast systems will be assessed using retroactive forecasts and used to assess their utility for forecast based actions in activity 2.1 and 2.2.
Activity 1.3 Re-training and advanced training of Uzhydromet staff on monitoring and forecasting technologies and procedures (training of MES staff is covered in output 2 below). International experts will train weather forecasters to work with new products of the KOSMO model (with a resolution of 13 km and 2 km). Refresher courses and advanced training will be provided for new software and equipment, including the introduction of new methods for the analysis and prediction of hydrometeorologically important variables and climate hazards. The project will facilitate organization of on-the-job trainings, engagement with universities, courses and seminars with the involvement of foreign specialists. Training of IT specialists of Uzhydromet will be conducted for work with the computer center and operation of the KOSMO model, the UNIMAS, MITRA information reception and transmission system, workstation software (for weather forecasters, agrometeorologists, GIS-METEO, etc.) and EU Copernicus programme on satellite data, all of which will be used for impact-based forecasting where needed. Trainings on AWS installation, general user training and technical support will be provided. These increased capacities will also assist Uzhydromet in fulfilling its regional role as a WMO RMSC, in accordance with the GFCS capacity development, and help improve their capacity for regional cooperation.
Output 2: Establish a functional Multi-Hazard Early Warning System based on innovative impact modelling, risk analyses, effective regional communication and community awareness
The proposed intervention will integrate and develop ICT systems to use the hydro-meteorological hazards predicted in output 1, and combine these with vulnerability data to identify risks and provide information for planning and mitigating their impacts. It will improve the efficiency of the current early warning system by automating the sharing and production of risk-related data, as well as the communication of warnings. The project will also develop methodologies for and support hazard and risk mapping and risk zoning for key climate-induced hazards (floods, landslides, mudflows, droughts and avalanche). Specifically it will introduce an advanced, impact-based information management system for combining data on socio-economics (population, livelihoods, poverty indicators), infrastructure (roads, utilities, buildings, bridges etc) and the natural environment (landcover, vegetation, soils etc) in order to operationally assess the risks associated with each hazard forecast. This information will be transmitted and shared with RCMCs in key hazard-prone districts in Uzbekistan so that regional teams have the most up to date information available for planning their operations. Building on the existing mobile-based public dissemination platforms, the project will develop geographically specific risk based warnings tailored to the areas affected by each hazard (e.g. mudflows, avalanches, landslides and flooding). Based on the user interaction guideline of GFCS, inputs from consulations with key stakeholders and end-users (activities 3.1 and 3.3) will inform the design and dissemination of warnings and alerts to communities at risk. MES and its RCMCs will be the immediate beneficiaries under all activities of Output 2, while their end beneficiaries include all the users of the Multi-Hazard Early Warning System.
Activity 2.1 Developing and installing a modernised and efficient system for assessing climate risks based on dynamic information on both hazards and vulnerabilities, including socio-economic risk models for decision making and prioritization of resilience building long-term/future investments. This would enable establishing an impact-based MHEWS, where hazard forecasting is linked to the risk and exposure information (socio-economic risk model). This involves installing both hardware and software to enable an advanced, impact-based information management system to be built, which will combine data on current vulnerabilities (e.g. indicators of poverty, education, health, housing etc), public and private assets (including infrastructure, roads, railways, housing, mines, airports, hospitals, schools etc), the environment (crops, lakes, rivers, tourism areas etc) and hazard impacts (input from Output 1) to operationally assess the risks associated with each hazard forecast. Based on evaluated risks and the skill of each impact-based forecast, a set of feasible ex-ante actions will be identified for different lead times. This activity will also develop software and standard operating procedures to automatically ingest hydrological and meteorological observations, weather and seasonal forecasts, and derived drought/avalanche/mudflow/landslide forecasts from Uzhydromet (through activity 1.2) into the system to be combined with available vulnerability data. Traning to MES staff will be delivered on risk assessment, operations and maintenance of the systems. The system will also import long-term climate change scenarios to be used for forward planning and evaluation of future risks.
Activity 2.2 Developing and introducing technical guidance, institutional and coordination frameworks to increase the efficiency of: i) data collection and archiving (activities 1.1 and 1.2); ii) hazard mapping and modelling (activity 1.2); iii) risk assessment (activity 2.1); iv) impact-based warning and forecast-based actions (activity 3.2); and v) dissemination of information to RCMCs (activity 2.3). These protocols are also required to ensure that new climate information sources (e.g. AWS, AWLS, radar and satellite observations – activity 1.1) are translated into products that are useful for decision making and investment by MES and Uzhydromet (based on feedback obtained through activities 3.1 and 3.3). Thus, under this activity the project will explore and facilitate promotion of forecast-based-financing (FBF) by developing draft SOPs and prototype FBF protocols/decision-making systems. This activity will include development of SOPs (both for ingesting and sharing data, as well as for forecast based actions to be undertaken when specific risk-related triggers/thresholds are reached), a national to regional EWS protocol, and communication protocols to accompany introduction of the new technologies. Guidance and procedures will be developed to support the application of socio-economic risk models and enhanced risk zoning in development planning and decision-making (activity 2.1). Corresponding training to MES staff will be delivered.
Activity 2.3 Designing and implementing a system for information dissemination to RCMCs and area specific mobile alerts including an information visualization system for RCMCs with software. This involves setting up information visualisation and analysis systems (video walls, telecommunication systems, servers and ICT storage) at 7 RCMS, to enable them to visualise the maps and impact forecast information provided through the risk analysis and warning system (activity 2.1) and combine it with local (regionally available) information on current vulnerabilities and field-based information. This will enable them to better target advice and direct regional response teams. This activity will further develop (improving the existing MES dissemination system) area-specific mobile and SMS based warnings for mudflows, avalanches, landslides and flooding. This will reduce the chance of false alarms sent to those not at risk, as well as improve the content based on information from the improved MES risk and impact-based forecast system (activity 2.1 and 2.2). Inputs from consulations with key stakeholders and end-users (activities 3.1 and 3.3) will be used to design the dissemination system, following the co-design and co-production user interaction guideline of GFCS.
Output 3: Strengthened climate services and disaster communication to end users
The proposed intervention will strengthen the effectiveness of delivering climate information services and disaster warnings to users in Uzbekistan at two levels. On the overall national level, the project will initiate the establishment of the National Framework of Climate Services as a mechanism to systematically bring together producers and users of hydrometeorological and climate information and to ensure that information and services reach their end recipients both in the various sectors of the government and the society and at the different geographic levels down to local communities. Disaster-related information and services being the specific focus of the project, it will work with the various public and private stakeholders to reorient the existing financial / economic model behind the provision of such services to make it more cost-efficient and sustainable in the long-term, i.a. using private investment and partnership opportunities on the domestic and the international markets. Finally, on the warning dissemination and communication aspect, updated communication technolgoies will be utilised to support real-time risk evaluation by Regional disaster managemen agencies (RCMCs) and first responders and ensure ‘last-mile’ delivery of early warning risk information to the communities at risk and population at large. In collaboration with Red Crescent Society and other community-level NGOs, RCMC will organize trainings and annual community forums to help communities at risk better interpret, understand and react to those warnings, as well as facilitate forecast-based actions and responses. Uzhydromet (and, in the long run, other parts of the Government of Uzbekistan, as well as other providers and users of climate services) will be the beneficiaries under Activity 3.1, as the NFCS provides a platform where the various service providers and end-users are engaged in the co-designing, testing and co-production to improve the content and delivery of products and services. Uzhydromet and MES (and Uzbekistan’s Government in the long run) will be the beneficiaries of Activity 3.2, as the development and promotion of a sustainable business model for disaster-related information and services in Uzbekistan will provide additional operational funding to the two institutions which currently to a large extent rely on government budgets. MES and its RCMCs as well as the communities in the 15 targeted districts as well as Uzbekistan’s population at large will be the beneficiaries under Activity 3.3.
Activity 3.1 Establishing National Framework for Climate Services for Uzbekistan
The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), promoted and facilitated by the World Meteorological Organization in cooperation with GFCS partner organisations, is a framework that envisions better risk management and more efficient adaptation to climate variability and change through improvements in the quality, delivery and use of climate-related information in planning, policy and practice. GFCS, i.a. endorsed by the GCF Climate Services Strategy, focuses on developing and delivering information services in agriculture and food security, disaster risk reduction, energy, health and water, and organises its work around observations and monitoring; climate services information systems; research, modelling and pre- diction; user interface platforms; and capacity development. A strong focus of GFCS is on a multi-stakeholder approach to the definition and the actual delivery of services, thus bringing users and co-producers of climate and hydrometeorological information together and to the centre of the design and production process as opposed to more traditional supply-driven approaches. The establishment of the NFCS would typically involve:
i) an assessment of gaps, needs and user perspectives (i.a. through interviews) with respect to the current and desirable climate services;
ii) based on this assessment, the drafting of NFCS Uzbekistan concept and action plan;
iii) extensive consultations regarding the concept with the various sectors, users and co-producers of climate services; and
iv) reaching a broad agreement and Governmental endorsement for NFCS implementation.
Following an accepted WMO blueprint for the conceptualising and establishment of a NFCS, the project will undertake a baseline assessment of climate services in Uzbekistan, followed by multi-stakeholder consultations and the participatory development of the country's NFCS concept and Action Plan to be endorsed both by stakeholders and at the high executive level, ready for implementation once supplementary NFCS-earmarked funds become available as a follow-up to the project.
As part of this activity, a platform will be set up to engage end users in the design and testing of new disaster-related climate information services and products. Similarly, a National Climate Outlook Forum will be established and supported as one mechanism to help shape and deliver climate services with longer time horizon, i.a. with a particular focus on disasters such as hydrological droughts. A connection will then established between the Forum and WMO’s Regional Climate Fora operating in Europe (NEACOF) as well as Asia (FOCRAII). Both the NFCS user dialogue platform and the National Climate Outlook Forum will (as well as the NFCS process at large) will be managed by Uzhydromet.
Activity 3.2 Designing sustainable business model for disaster-related information and services
While it may not be realistic to expect any significant level of private financing during project implementation given the existing public service management model and the time required for transition, there is long-term potential for private sector investment in climate information services and for expanded service provision to private sector based on enhanced hydrometeorological and climate information in Uzbekistan, including those related to natural disasters and early warning. Linked to the NFCS process above, the project will conduct a comprehensive analysis and discussion of long-term sustainable financing options for disaster-related services in Uzbekistan beyond current state-funding model, in particular drawing on blended finance through dedicated national funds and public-private partnership opportunities. This will include seeking financing, from both public and private sources, for forecast based (ex-ante) actions identified in activities 2.1 and 2.2. Based on the analysis and consultations, a sustainable value chain-based business model for disaster-related information will be developed and agreed with the key stakeholders, and the necessary legal and organisation changes will be outlined and planned on the national (adjustment of legislation) and the inter-institutional levels (Uzhydromet, Ministry of Emergency Situations, users of the services, private investors).
Activity 3.3 Strengthening disaster warning dissemination and communication with end users
The project will significantly strengthen interaction with the end users with the aim to communicate and facilitate proactive responses to disaster information and warnings in Uzbekistan. Within the 15 RCMCs, outdoor communication boards will be set up in identified communities at highest risk to alert and inform the population in real time about threats or emergencies, following which, through cooperation between MES RCMCs and the Red Crescent Society, communities will be trained to interpret and use information on climate hazards and early warnings. Printed visual information (leaflets) will be provided to RCMCs and Uzbekistan’s communities on climate hazards and associated early warnings. With expected increase of user interaction level, regional staff of MES RCMCs will be further trained in the effective use of this information to suppport community interactions (crowd sourcing and survey data) and formulate forecast-based actions following the guidelines developed in Activity 2.2. Similarly, easy-to-understand and visual information will be channelled to mass media through existing agreements between them and MES / Uzhydromet, as well as to national NGOs. Finally, this activity will also complement the prior Activity 2.3 in the development of region-specific (as opposed to the currently used national-wide) broadcasting of early warnings, with the use of other modern communication channels such as social media and electronic messenger subscription groups. In addition, the project will establish a platform for organizing annual community forums on community-based EWS engaging target communities and representatives of vulnerable groups to exchange information, lessons learned, successes and opportunities. Through such platforms regular competitions will be organized engaging both youth and the most active community representative to advocate for structural and non-structure mesures and ensure their inclusiveness.
 These are physical boards used to relay warnings and messages, to be installed/set up by MES in targeted districts (including in hazard-prone areas with limited mobile receptions or not immediately reachable by a Regional Crisis Management Center). Boards will be installed in popular public places used by communities or on regular commuter transport routes.
Output 1: Upgraded hydro-meteorological observation network, modelling and forecasting capacities
Output 2: Establish a functional Multi-Hazard Early Warning System based on innovative impact modelling, risk analyses, effective regional communication and community awareness
Output 3: Strengthened climate services and disaster communication to end users
Liberia’s capital city Monrovia is extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise and the increased frequency of high-intensity storms. These climate change-related impacts are contributing to coastal erosion and shoreline retreat, putting lives and livelihoods at risk, and affecting efforts by the Government of Liberia to reach the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
Compounding these issues, sea-level rise and urban encroachment into the Mesurado Wetland in the center of Monrovia threatens the sustainability the ecosystem services and fisheries in the region.
To address these challenges, the Green Climate Fund-financed “Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilience Project” will enhance coastal protection, foster improved coastal management and present local communities with diversified climate-resilient livelihoods. In this way, the project will build the long-term climate resilience of coastal communities in Liberia by both addressing immediate adaptation priorities and creating an enabling environment for upscaling coastal adaptation initiatives to other parts of Monrovia and Liberia.
The project will directly benefit a total of approximately 250,000 people through coastal defense, enhanced livelihoods, and improved protection of mangrove ecosystems. In addition, the project will indirectly benefit approximately 1 million people through the adoption of a transformative, climate risk-informed Integrated Coastal Zone Management approach for Liberia, with the first phase of implementation focused on the Monrovia Metropolitan Area (MMA). The combination of direct and indirect beneficiaries under this project will ultimately confer adaptation benefits on one quarter of the total population of Liberia.
Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia, is extremely vulnerable to the climate change impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) and the increasing frequency of high-intensity storms, both of which contribute to coastal erosion and shoreline retreat. SLR is a significant contributor to accelerated coastal erosion, and along with the increasing intensity of offshore storms and waves, exacerbates coastal erosion, the impacts of which result in significant damage to buildings and infrastructure in Monrovia’s coastal zone. Additionally, SLR is threatening the sustainability of ecosystem services provided by mangroves in the Mesurado Wetland at the centre of the Monrovia Metropolitan Area (MMA), which is further exacerbated by urban encroachment into, and over-exploitation of the mangroves. These changes negatively impact the habitat for economically important fish species and the loss of these nursery areas will have a considerable impact on the fishery-based livelihoods of approximately 55,000 Monrovians, 46% of whom are women.
The most vulnerable part of the MMA coast is West Point, an impoverished and densely-populated informal settlement situated on a narrow spit between the coast and the Mesurado Wetland, with dwellings built up to the shoreline. In the last decade, coastal erosion has caused the shoreline to regress by 30 m, leading to the loss of 670 dwellings and threatening public spaces and boat launching sites that are critical to fishery-based livelihoods. Without intervention — and with the added impact of climate change — coastal erosion is expected to cause further shoreline regression of 190 m by 2100. This is equivalent to an additional 110% more than the coastal retreat expected under a non-climate change or baseline scenario.
To adapt to the severe impacts of climate change on Monrovia’s coast, it is necessary to change the current approach to addressing the impacts of climate change from a focus on short-term solutions to long-term integrated and participatory planning that involves the public sector, private sector and communities at all levels of governance. The project is requesting GCF support to address barriers to effective climate change adaptation in the coastal zone of Monrovia, and Liberia more generally, through interventions in three inter-related focus areas: i) coastal protection; ii) coastal management; and iii) diversified climate-resilient livelihoods. In this way, the proposed project will build the long-term climate resilience of coastal communities in Liberia by both addressing immediate adaptation priorities and creating an enabling environment for upscaling coastal adaptation initiatives to other parts of Monrovia and Liberia.
The project will address one of the most urgent adaptation needs in Monrovia by constructing a rock revetment to protect West Point against coastal erosion and storms. The revetment was selected as the preferred solution, because while a ‘soft solution’ in the form of beach nourishment with an associated groyne was considered technically feasible, the sustainability of this option would be limited, because the regular maintenance required was not feasible in the local context. From an infrastructural perspective, the project will protect and build the climate resilience of approximately 10,800 people in West Point and avoid damages of up to USD 47 million to the individual and communal property of West Point residents as well as securing launch sites for fishing boats which will have a positive impact on the fisheries sector. The construction of this coastal protection infrastructure will form part of a strategic, cohesive coastal adaptation strategy using an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) approach.
The paradigm shift necessary for adopting an evidence-based and participatory ICZM approach across Liberia will be facilitated by the proposed project through initiatives to strengthen the technical and institutional capacity of the government and communities to adapt to the rapidly changing coastal landscape and to undertake long-term, climate-responsive planning on the coast. Based on quantitative, defensible scientific data in coastal management and planning, the proposed project will develop a national-scale high-resolution multi-criteria vulnerability map and design a national ICZM Plan (ICZMP) for Liberia in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector. By fostering partnerships among government institutions and between the Government of Liberia (GoL), private sector actors, research institutions and communities, the project will improve coordination on coastal management and create an enabling environment for ongoing coastal adaptation beyond the project area and after the project implementation period.
The project will increase local adaptive capacity by strengthening gender- and climate-sensitive livelihoods and protecting mangroves in the Mesurado Wetland within Monrovia. Specifically, adaptative capacity in Monrovia will be increased by: i) safeguarding ecosystem services provided by mangroves and increasing the resilience of these ecosystems to climate change, through community co-management agreements between government and communities; ii) improving community knowledge on climate change impacts and adaptation practices; and iii) strengthening climate-sensitive livelihoods and supporting the uptake of climate-resilient livelihoods. This is an important element of the integrated approach because while the development of ICZMP will improve coastal management at an institutional level, limited institutional capacity in Liberia means that capacitating communities to engage positive adaptation strategies is critical to ensure an increase in their long-term climate resilience. The latter two activities will be based at the innovation and education centre — to be established in West Point. In addition to being the focal point for climate-resilient livelihood development, the innovation and education centre will act as a hub for awareness-raising and other community-led actions being implemented under the project. An exit strategy and O&M plan (Annex 21) will ensure that the proposed project activities will be sustained in the long-term.
These investments by the GCF and the Government of Liberia (GoL) will catalyse a paradigm shift in the management of Monrovia’s coastal zone towards an integrated, transformative and proactive approach that addresses current and anticipated climate change risks and which mixes both infrastructure (where necessary) and coastal ecosystems in adaptation efforts. This will directly benefit a total of ~250,000 people in the communities of West Point through coastal defence and enhanced livelihoods; and through enhanced livelihoods and improved protection of mangrove ecosystems in the communities of Topoe Village; Plonkor and Fiamah; and Nipay Town and Jacob’s Town. In addition, the project will indirectly benefit approximately one million people through the adoption of a transformative, climate risk-informed ICZM approach for Liberia, with the first phase of implementation focused on the Monrovia Metropolitan Area (MMA). The combination of direct and indirect beneficiaries under this project will ultimately confer adaptation benefits on one quarter of the total population of Liberia.
 In this proposal, ‘Monrovia’ and the ‘Monrovian Metropolitan Area’ (MMA) are used interchangeably to refer to the jurisdictional or administrative entity of the MMA.
 the estuary of the Mesurado River
 2008 to 2018
 See Annex 2.B (Vulnerability Sub-assessment) for Economic and Financial Analysis of Monrovia Metropolitan Area, and specifically West Point.
 Stabilising or ‘fixing’ the shoreline by means of a rock revetment is the preferred solution to coastal erosion at West Point by both the Government of Libera and affected communities. This approach also represents the most socially sensitive design because it requires low-to-no maintenance while still accommodating boat launching and landing. A rubble mound revetment with rock armour, which is able to withstand extreme wave conditions and storm events, is proposed. The Engineering Sub-assessment Report (Annex 2.C) showed that the northern portion of the proposed revetment is a less dynamic wave environment, and the conceptual design for this portion of the intervention site consequently proposes lighter rock armour. The ‘toe’ of the structure will consist of a resistant geotextile and will be anchored in the existing beach sediment to a level of 5m below mean sea-level to account for future deepening of the area directly in front of the revetment. A six-metre wide promenade, for access to the shoreline and recreation activities, is proposed between the revetment and existing dwellings at West Point. Two boat launching and landing sites are proposed as part of the preferred option at the southern end and centre of the revetment, respectively. These launch and landing sites will be provided in addition to the open beach area to the north of the proposed revetment, where fishing boats are already launching and landing. Further details on the stakeholder engagement process that led to this decision is available in Annex 2.A Feasibility Study, Section 10.2 Analysis of coastal defence options.
 Recognising the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, all project activities will operate strictly within government mandated regulations and best practices. All government directives, such as lockdowns and mandatory quarantine will be adhered to, as will any restrictions on travel, organisation of events or sizes of meetings and workshops.
 Further information on the exit strategy and sustainability of the proposed project can be found in Section B.6.
 Direct benefits will accrue at the site-specific scale, whereas indirect benefits will accrue at the municipal scale — i.e. the population of MMA, which is estimated at one million people.
Output 1: Protection of coastal communities and infrastructure at West Point against erosion caused by sea-level rise and increasingly frequent high-intensity storms.
Activity 1.1: Prepare construction plan and finalise technical design specifications for coastal defence structure at West Point.
Activity 1.2: Construct coastal defence structure to protect West Point against climate change-induced coastal erosion.
Output 2: Institutional capacity building and policy support for the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) across Liberia.
Activity 2.1: Develop an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for Liberia.
Activity 2.2: Capacitate the Cross-Sectoral Working Group to mainstream ICZM into relevant government sectors through a Training-of-Trainers approach.
Activity 2.3: Strengthen the asset base and technical capacity of the ICZMU for the collection of spatial and biophysical coastal information to support the implementation of the ICZMP.
Activity 2.4: Strengthen the existing Environmental Knowledge Management System (EKMS) to act as a platform for awareness-raising and sharing of climate risk-informed ICZM approach.
Activity 2.5: Conduct an awareness-raising campaign for communities in focus areas on climate change impacts and adaptation practices.
Output 3: Protecting mangroves and strengthening gender- and climate-sensitive livelihoods to build local climate resilience in Monrovia.
Activity 3.1: Establish a community education and innovation centre to function as a community knowledge generation and learning hub, a repository on climate change adaptation practices and host community activities under Output 3.
Activity 3.2: Establish community-led co-management agreement to ease anthropogenic pressure on mangroves in the MMA.
Activity 3.3: Conduct annual assessments to evaluate the project-induced changes in mangrove degradation, community perceptions and awareness of climate change impacts, adaptation options and mangrove ecosystems throughout the project implementation period.
Activity 3.4: Establish small-scale manufacturing facilities and develop training material to capacitate community members to manufacture and sell cookstoves to support alternative climate-resilient livelihoods.
Activity 3.5: Purchase and install low-maintenance eco-friendly cold storage facilities near fish processing sites to reduce pressure on mangroves and increase market efficiency
|Output 1: Protection of coastal communities and infrastructure at West Point against erosion caused by sea-level rise and increasingly frequent high-intensity storms.
Output 2: Institutional capacity building and policy support for the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) across Liberia.
Output 3: Protecting mangroves and strengthening gender- and climate-sensitive livelihoods to build local climate resilience in Monrovia.
The Green Climate Fund-financed “Coastal Resilience to Climate Change in Cuba through Ecosystem Based Adaptation – ‘MI COSTA’” project responds to the coastal adaptation needs of Cuba due to climate-change related slow onset events such as sea level rise and flooding arising from extreme weather events. Impacts from these climate drivers are a matter of national security for the people of this small-island state and pose an existential threat to coastal settlements and communities. Projections show that if no intervention is made by 2100, up to 21 coastal communities will disappear with a further 98 being severely affected by climate related threats (flooding, coastal erosion and saline intrusion).
Cuba’s Southern Coast has been selected due its high vulnerability to climate change particularly in the form of coastal flooding and saline intrusion. 1,300 km of coastline, 24 communities, and 1.3 million people will directly benefit from the project. In protecting life on land and below the water, 11,427 ha of mangroves, 3,088 ha of swamp forest and 928 ha of grass swamp will be restored, which in turn will improve the health of 9,287 ha of seagrass beds and 134 km or coral reef crests.
The project will enhance adaptive capacity by holistically rehabilitating coastal land-seascapes, their interlinked ecosystems and hydrology. This will be achieved by rehabilitating ecosystem functions and connections within mangroves and swamp forests and reducing anthropic pressures to marine coastal ecosystems, thus enhancing the services supplied by integrated coastal ecosystems (particularly protection from saline flooding and erosion, and channelling freshwater to coastal areas and aquifers). It will also strengthen the adaptive capabilities of coastal governments and communities´ by building their capacity to utilize and understand the benefits of ecosystem-based adaptation, enhancing information flow between stakeholders and strengthening the regulatory framework for territorial management in coastal areas.
Climate change impacts and threats
The Cuban archipelago’s location in the Caribbean, places it in the path of frequent tropical storms, and the long, narrow configuration of the country is such that no part of the country is very far from the sea (over 57% of the population lives in coastal municipalities).*
Coastal municipalities and their respective settlements are also extremely vulnerable to climate change (CC) due to increased storms and rising sea levels, resulting in increased coastal flooding caused by extreme meteorological phenomena such as tropical cyclones, extratropical lows, and strong winds from surges. From 2001 to 2017, the country has been affected by 12 hurricanes 10 which have been intense (category 4 or 5), the highest rate in a single decade since 1791. In the past 10 years the percentage of intense hurricanes affecting the country has risen from a historical average of 26% to 78% with accompanying acute losses. These intense hurricanes impacting Cuba since 2001 coincide with very high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Atlantic recorded since 1998.
The coasts of Cuba in the past three decades have also seen an increase in the occurrence of moderate and strong floods as a result of tropical cyclones and of extratropical systems; with extratropical cyclones being associated with the highest rates of flooding in the country. Furthermore, warm Pacific El Niño events lead to an increase in extra-tropical storms which increase the risks of flooding along the coastline.
CC induced Sea Level Rise (SLR) will aggravate coastal flooding affecting in particular low-lying coastal areas. It is expected that through SLR, mean sea level will increase by 0.29 m by the year 2050 and between 0.22m and 0.95m by the year 2100 impacting 119 coastal settlements in Cuba. Combining increased storm surge and projected SLR, flooding of up to 19,935 km² (CC + Category 5 hurricane) and 2,445 km² (CC + normal conditions) can be expected by the year 2050.
These estimates could be higher when compounded by the impact of surface water warming on the speed of storms, and new research that links it to increased wave heights in the Caribbean. Under this scenario, storms could be more frequent and move at a slower pace thus increasing the impact on island states such as Cuba.
CMIP5 projections indicate that by 2050, mean annual temperature in Cuba will rise by a median estimate of 1.6°C; total annual extremely hot days (temperature >35°C) will rise by a median estimate of 20 days (RCP 4.5) and 20.8 days (RCP 8.5). Associated increases in potential evapotranspiration will further lead to more frequent severe droughts, as already observable in eastern Cuba.
Cuban coastal seascapes and landscapes are a succession of ecosystems that have coevolved under current climatic conditions, including current distributions of extreme events. The progression of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, beaches, coastal mangroves and forest or grassland swamps represents an equilibrium that confers resilience to each ecosystem separately but also to the coast as a whole. The current resilience of Cuban coastal ecosystems to extreme events and SLR, is being undermined by both climate change effects (increased extreme events) and other anthropogenic pressures, tempering their capacity to provide their protective services. Mangroves have further suffered high levels of degradation affecting their ability to colonize new areas, reduce wave impacts, accrete sediments and stabilize shorelines. Additionally, coral reefs have shown signs of bleaching and degradation that have been attributed to mangrove and sea grass degradation (including the alteration of hydrological natural flows, presence of invasive species, water contamination, and habitat destruction), climate-related increases in surface water temperature and to increased impacts of hurricanes.
SLR will further increase current vulnerabilities and stresses on ecosystems due to increases in water depth and wave energy which will increase coastal erosion, coastal flooding and saline intrusion risks.
Current coastal erosion rates are attributed to a combination of natural dynamics (waves, currents, extreme events, hurricanes, etc.) and human interventions (natural resources extraction, wetlands filling, coastal infrastructure construction excluding natural dynamics, habitat loss, water diversion, etc). An increase in the magnitude of extreme events and increasing SLR will accelerate erosion related to natural processes, which currently averages 1.2 m/year (calculated between 1956-2002). This erosion rate poses a danger to communities, infrastructure and natural habitats that are not tolerant to saline intrusion and provide services to landward communities.
Coastal flooding as a combination of high rainfall, high sea levels and storm surges has been identified as one of the primary climate change related threats to Cuba. Trends in the frequency of coastal floods during the period 1901-2011 have been observed in Cuba with the past three decades seeing an increase in the occurrence of moderate and strong floods, regardless of the meteorological events that generate them. Specific impacts and the extent of resulting damages depend on local bathymetry and topography, seabed roughness and coastal vegetation coverage and conditions, with the coastal regions of La Coloma- Surgidero de Batabano and Jucaro-Manzanillo being particularly vulnerable.
Hurricanes have also extensively damaged infrastructure. Hurricane Matthew, which crossed the eastern end of Cuba in October 2016, caused USD 97.2 million of damages (approximately 2.66% of GDP), making it the third most devastating hurricane to hit the island in the last decade, only behind Ike (2008) and Sandy (2012), with equivalent costs of USD 293 million (12.05% of GDP) and USD 278 million (9.53 % of GDP) respectively.
Saline intrusion into aquifers is the most common and extensive cause of freshwater degradation in Cuba’s coastal zones. Most of these aquifers, located near and beneath the northern and southern coasts, are open to the sea, making them very susceptible and exposed to saline intrusion as a result of SLR, and potentially leading to water that is too saline for human consumption and increasing the salinization of agricultural fields. It is estimated that approximately 544,300 ha in the area of proposed interventions are already affected by saline intrusion.
Drought has been identified among the most important climate risks for all Caribbean islands, including Cuba. There has been an increase in drought events in the period 1961-1990 when compared to 1931-1960. Severe droughts have been increasing in eastern Cuba and are projected to increase in the future. Future projections indicate a general reduction in rainfall by 2070 (particularly along the Eastern Coastline), along with an average reduction in relative humidity between 2% and 6% between 2030 and 2070, respectively. Reduced rainfall occurring mostly during the summer rainy season, with relatively smaller increases in winter and dry season rainfall. This situation adds an increase pressure on the aquifers, which cannot be filled by just one tropical storm, or during the rainy season.
Vulnerability Southern Coast of Cuba, project target site
Cuba’s coastal ecosystems have been extensively studied through extensive research led by The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), the Environmental Agency (AMA) and the Scientific Institute for the Sea (ICIMAR). ICIMAR’s research on coastal dynamics and vulnerability is the foundation for Cuba’s National Environmental Strategy (NES) and its State Plan for Facing Climate Change (“Tarea Vida”, 2017) which outlined coastal areas in eminent danger as national priority.
A research-based CC vulnerability ranking (high, medium, and low) was designed considering a combination of factors: geological, geomorphological and ecosystem degradation highlighting that vulnerability to sea-level rise and associated events is higher in the country’s low-lying coasts. Settlements in these areas are more vulnerable to SLR and more likely to be affected by extreme weather events (hurricanes, tropical storms) because of their low elevation, largely flat topography, extensive coastal plains and the highly permeable karstic geology that underlies it; hence more exposed and susceptible to flooding and saline intrusion. These areas have been targeted as the project’s area of intervention, prioritized within “Tarea Vida,” with attention being paid to two coastal "stretches" totaling approximately 1,300 km of coastline and 24 municipalities covering 27,320 km2.
Main localities for direct intervention of EBA include settlements with high vulnerability to coastal flooding, facing saline intrusion and with a contribution to economic life including those with major fishing ports for shrimp and lobster. Settlements with coastal wetlands that represent a protective barrier for important agricultural production areas to reduce the effects of saline intrusion on the underground aquifers and agricultural soils where also considered.
Southern Coastal Ecosystems
Coastal ecosystems in the targeted coastal stretches are characterized mainly by low, swampy and mangrove-lined shores surrounded by an extensive, shallow submarine platform, bordered by numerous keys and coral reefs. In these areas mangroves and marshes could potentially act as protective barriers against storm surges, winds and waves and therefore reduce coastal erosion, flooding and salt intrusion associated risks. These ecosystems can keep pace with rising seas depending on sediment budgets, frequency of disturbances, colonization space, and ecosystem health.
There are numerous reported functional relationships between coastal and marine ecosystems, including sediment binding and nutrient absorption, which combined with water retention, create equilibrium dynamics and coastal stability. Freshwater infiltration is favored by swamp forests reducing saline intrusion risk and organic matter exchange facilitates favorable conditions for healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs. Restoration of these fluxes and connections is required to increase these ecosystems resilience to a changing climate and strengthening their protective role.
Coastal ecosystems and their complex interconnections provide a variety of services to communities, including coastal protection and disaster risk reduction. These services can be enhanced with healthy ecosystems, functional connections and when adequately integrated into land/marine planning policies.
The project will focus on actions along Cuba’s Southern Coast that has been selected due its high vulnerability to climate change (open aquifers, low lying coastal plain, degraded ecosystems and concentration of settlements), particularly to storms, drought and sea level rise, which result in coastal flooding and saline intrusion.
Targeted shores cover approximately 89,520 hectares of mangroves (representing 16.81% of the country's mangroves) followed by 60,101 hectares of swamp grasslands and 28,146 hectares of swamp forests. These in turn will contribute to improving 9,287 ha of seagrass and 134 km of coral reefs and their respective protective services.
There is evidence of reef crests degradation which in turn could cause significant wave damage in both mangroves and sea grasses reducing further their ability to offer protection against the effects of CC on the coast of Cuba.
Restoration of degraded red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) strips along the coastal edges, in stretches 1 and 2, is crucial. During wind, storms and hurricane seasons, the sea has penetrated more than 150 meters inland in these areas, exposing areas dominated by black or white mangroves, which are less tolerant to hyper-saline conditions, potentially becoming more degraded. During stakeholder consultations, communities highlighted the consequent loss of infrastructure and reduced livelihood opportunities (both fisheries and agriculture).
Coastal Stretch 1: La Coloma – Surgidero de Batabanó (271 km – 13,220 km2)
This stretch is made up of 3 provinces (Pinar del Rio, Artemisa and MAyabeque) and 13 municipalities (San Juan y Martinez, San Luis, Pinar del Rio, Consolacion del Sur, Los Palacios, San Cristobal, Candelaria, Artemisa, Alquizar, Guira de Melena, Batabano, Melena del Sur and Guines). The main localities along this stretch are: (1) La Coloma in Pinar del Rio Province; (2) Beach Cajío in Artemisa province; and, (3) Surgidero Batabanó in Mayabeque Province.
The vulnerability assessment concluded that, by 2100, 5 communities in this stretch could disappeared due to SLR. Extreme events, waves’ strength and salinity have also been identified in this area; hence appropriate adaptation measures need to be in place to reduce the impact.
These risks are being exacerbated by the impacts of ecosystem degradation related to changes in land use, pollution past logging, grey infrastructure and inappropriate measures of coastal protection in the past, urbanization, and the reduction of water and sediments flows.
The impact of saline intrusion into the karstic aquifer is particularly troubling along this coastal stretch with important implications at a national level, as the main aquifer, in the southern basin which supplies water to the targeted coastal communities and agriculture, is also an important source of fresh water to the capital, Havana. To address the issue of saline intrusion in this area, the GoC has experimented with grey infrastructure (The Southern Dike), a 51.7 km levee built in 1991 aiming to accumulate runoff fresh water to halt the infiltration of saline water in the interior of the southern aquifer. The USD 51.3 million investment, with maintenance costs of USD 1.5 million every 3 years and a once-off USD 15 million (20 years after it was built), had a positive effect in partially containing the progress of the saline wedge. However, the impact of the dike resulted in the degradation of mangroves in its northern shore reducing the mangroves function to protect the coastline.
Coastal Stretch 2: Jucaro- Manzanillo (1029 km – 14,660 km2)
This stretch is comprised by 4 provinces (Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas and Granma) and 11 muncipalities (Venezuela, Baragua, Florida, Vertientes, Santa Cruz del Sur, Amancio Rodriguez, Colombia, Jobabo, Rio Cauto, Yara and Manzanillo).The main localities to intervene along this stretch include (1) Júcaro in Ciego de Avila Province; (2) Santa Cruz del Sur in Camagüey Province; (3) Manzanillo in Gramma Province (4) Playa Florida.
The communities in this coastal area are located within extensive coastal wetlands dominated by mangroves, swamp grasslands and swamp forest.
Water reservoirs for irrigation have reduced the water flow towards natural ecosystems, it has also been directed towards agricultural lands altering the natural flow indispensable for ecosystems.
Mangroves have been highly impacted by degradation and fragmentation, which has undermined their role in protecting the beach and human populations from extreme hydro-meteorological events, saline intrusion and coastal erosion. Only 6% of mangroves are in good condition, while 91% are in a fair state, and 3% are highly degraded. Wetlands in the prairie marshes have begun to dry due to a combination of climate drivers and land use management with a direct impact in reducing their water retention and infiltration capacity.
Coral crests of the area’s broad insular platform, have been classified as very deteriorated or extremely deteriorated and it is predicted that if no intervention on the sources of degradation from the island, is made, they will disappear by 2100. Reef elimination will increase communities’ flood risk to potentially settlements disappearing.
Saline intrusion is becoming increasingly significant in this area due to a combination of CC-related SLR and the overexploitation of aquifers.
Climate change vulnerability is exacerbated by construction practices (such as people building small shops and walkways) along the shoreline where fully exposed infrastructure can be found within flood zones, between the coast and the coastal marsh. This situation is aggravated by the limited knowledge of local actors and a false sense of security that was perceived during community consultations.
Baseline investment projects
Traditionally, Cuba´s tropical storms response and management strategies have focused on emergency preparation and attendance rather than on planning for disaster risk reduction. The GoC has successfully introduced early warning mechanisms and clear emergency protocols to reduce the impact of storms in the loss of lives. The development of Centres for Risk Reduction Management (CGRR) has also been successful in mobilizing local actors when storms are predicted to hit ensuring that emergency resources are available to address storms’ immediate impacts. While these are important steps in the face of an immediate emergency, they are insufficient to manage multiple ongoing threats (some of slow consequence of climate change).
In 2017, GoC approved its State Plan to Face Climate Change (“Tarea Vida”) in which identified and prioritized the impacts of saline intrusion, flooding and extreme events to the country coastal zones, focusing strategic actions for the protection of vulnerable populations and of key resources including protective ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs. The GoC has begun to look into various strategies to mainstream local adaptation initiatives using existing successful national mechanisms for capacity building and knowledge transfer and international cooperation best practices.
Initial investments made by the GoC have identified the country´s climate vulnerability, including drought and SLR vulnerability and hazard risk assessment maps. The development of the “Macro-project on Coastal Hazards and Vulnerability (2050-2100)”, focused on these areas´ adaptation challenges including oceanographic, geophysical, ecological and infrastructure features, together with potential risks such as floods, saline intrusion and ocean acidification. Cross-sectoral information integration was a key tool to identify climate risks and potential resources (existing instruments, institutions, knowledge, etc) to manage it. While this is an important foundation it has yet to be translated into concrete actions often as a result of lack of technical equipment.
International cooperation has financed projects that have further allowed the GoC to innovate on various institutional mechanisms such as the Capacity Building Centres (CBSCs) and Integrated Coastline Management Zones through active capacity building incorporating municipal and sectoral needs. Table 1 summarizes the most relevant baseline projects and highlights key results, lessons learned, and gaps identified. The proposed project aims to address such gaps, and incremental GCF financing is required to efficiently achieve efficient climate resilience in the target coastal sites.
* Footnotes and citations are made available in the project documents.
Output 1: Rehabilitated coastal ecosystems for enhanced coping capacity to manage climate impacts.
1.1 Assess and restore coastal wetland functions in target sites by reestablishing hydrological processes
1.2 Mangrove and swamp forest rehabilitation through natural and assisted regeneration for enhanced coastal protection
1.3 Record and asses coastal and marine ecosystems‘ natural regeneration and protective functions based on conditions provided through restored coastal wetlands
1.4 Enhance water conduction systems along targeted watersheds to restore freshwater drainage in coastal ecosystems and aquifers to reduce and monitor saline intrusion in target sites
Output 2: Increased technical and institutional capacity to climate change adaptation in coastal communities, governments and economic sectors.
2.1 Develop a climate adaptation technical capacity building program for coastal communities and local stakeholders to enable adaptation actions and capacities
2.2 Integrate project derived information, from EWS and national datasets into a Knowledge Management Platform, to provide climate information products to monitor, evaluate and inform coastal communities on local capacity to manage climate change impacts.
2.3 Mainstream EBA approaches into regulatory and planning frameworks at the territorial and national levels for long term sustainability of EBA conditions and investments for coastal protection
Output 3: Project Management
3..1 Project Management
Output 1: Rehabilitated coastal ecosystems for enhanced coping capacity to manage climate impacts.
Output 2: Increased technical and institutional capacity to climate change adaptation in coastal communities, governments and economic sectors.
Output 3: Project management.
Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro)
The Drin River Basin (DRB) is a transboundary river basin, which is home to 1.6 million people and extends across, Kosovo*, the Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece. Climate change and climate variability have been increasing the frequency, intensity and impact of flooding in the basin. Historical flood data from the Western Balkans suggests a more frequent occurrence of flood events, attributed to an uneven distribution of precipitation and torrential rain, particularly over the last decade. More and larger areas - and more people - are being affected by flooding with a strong impact on national economies. Future climate scenarios project a further increase in the likelihood of floods as well as in their destructive nature. Increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, increased water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, increased intensity of snow melt, sea level rise, and damage to water quality and ecosystems are forecasted. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water such as agriculture, energy and hydropower, navigation, health, tourism – as does the environment.
The objective of the "Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro)" project is to assist the riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the DRB to climate-induced floods. The countries will benefit from a basin-wide transboundary flood risk management (FRM) framework based on: improved climate risk knowledge and information; improved transboundary cooperation arrangements and policy framework for FRM and; concrete FRM interventions.
* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)
Climate change impacts
Climate change is already having an impact and is likely to intensify in the future. According to the national communications to UNFCCC from Albania, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as to the report ‘The state of water in Kosovo’, climate change will have serious negative impacts in the Drin river basin including increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, increased water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, increased intensity of snow melt, sea level rise, and damage to water quality and ecosystems. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water such as agriculture, energy and hydropower, navigation, health, tourism –as does the environment.
The DRB countries are increasingly exposed to the impact of climate change. They are experiencing increased periods of extreme heat in the summer months and increased rainfall during the cooler seasons. According to long-term projections, the average annual temperature will increase by 2° C to 3° C by 2050 and precipitation will decrease in the summer, resulting in longer dry periods followed by more sudden heavy rainfalls. This combination increases the likelihood of floods as well as their destructive nature.
Historical flood data from the Western Balkans suggests a more frequent occurrence of flood events, characterized by more extreme and more rapid increase in water levels, attributed to an uneven distribution of precipitation and torrential rain, particularly over the last decade. More and larger areas and, therefore, a greater population numbers are being affected by flooding with a strong impact on national economies.
In Albania, climate change projections indicate the intensification of heavy precipitation and an increase in the frequency of heavy rains with longer duration, causing flooding and economic damages. There is already evidence of increasing frequency of high intensity rainfall, which is increasing pluvial or flash flooding which inundates the floodplain in a matter of hours. In winter, longer duration rainfall causes flooding which lasts for several weeks during the winter period while long-duration spring rainfall combines with snowmelt to cause flooding. Flood risk is a combination of river flooding and coastal flooding due to sea water inundation (storm surges), both of which are increasing with climate change.
According to available climate change projections for Montenegro, there will be a sharp increase in variability of river flow, characterized by increased frequency and intensity of flooding and hydrological drought. In addition, coastal flooding and storm surges will also significantly increase. During this period the area of low air pressure develops in the coastal region of Montenegro and has a wide impact causing maximum precipitation in the southern areas. In the karst areas, during spring, there are periodic floods due to longer periods of precipitation, melting snow and high groundwater levels. Such floods have impacted the Cetinje plain several times and have caused severe damage to the buildings there.
The First and Second National Communications on Climate Change for FYR Macedonia outlined a number of scenarios related to water resources. The findings included a projection of a 15% reduction in rainfall by 2050, with a drastic decrease in runoff in all river basins. Although the long-term projection is for increased temperatures and a decrease in sums of precipitation, the past period studied shows significant climate variability with increased precipitation. The proportion of winter precipitation received as rain instead of snow is increasing. Such shifts in the form and timing of precipitation and runoff are of concern to flood risk.
The AF-financed project will build resilience of communities and livelihoods in the Drin Basin to climate-induced floods by catalyzing a shift to a holistic basin-wide climate-responsive flood risk management and adaptation approaches based on enhanced climate information, risk knowledge, and community structural and non-structural adaptationmeasures.
The proposed integrated approach to climate resilient flood risk management will encompass: a increased technical, human and financial capacities of relevant institutions within each Riparian country, with responsibility for flood risk monitoring, forecasting and management to enable implementation of climate resilient Integrated Flood Risk Management (IFRM). This would include strengthening of the a. hydrometric monitoring network, risk mapping, flood hazard and risk modelling capacity; b.an enhanced policy and risk financing framework for flood risk management based on enhanced understanding of climate risks; c.climate-proof and cost-effective investment into flood protection through enhanced capacities to design and implement structural and non-structural flood risk management measures, and to provide effective flood risk reduction measures to the population; d. enhanced awareness, response and adaptation capacity of the population; engaging private sector into climate information management and risk reduction investment.
The objective of the project is to assist the riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the DRB to climate-induced floods. The countries will benefit from a basin-wide transboundary flood risk management (FRM) framework based on: improved climate risk knowledge and information; improved transboundary cooperation arrangements and policy framework for FRM and; concrete FRM interventions. 100.As a result, the Adaptation Fund project will improve the resilience of 1.6 million people living in the DRB (direct and indirect beneficiaries). 101.The project will contribute to the strengthening of the current flood forecasting and early warning system by increasing the density of the hydrometric network, and by digitizing historical data for stations not currently in the existing forecasting model. The project will develop and implement transboundary integrated FRM strategies providing the national authorities with robust and innovative solutions for FRM, DRR and climate adaptation, including ecosystem-based gender sensitive participatory approaches. In addition, the project will develop the underlying capacity of national and regional institutions to ensure sustainability and to scale up the results. It will support stakeholders by providing guidance, sharing climate information, knowledge and best practices. The project will also invest in the priority structural and community-based non-structural measures. Importantly, the project is aligned with and will support the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EUFD) in DRB countries.102.The AF project will build upon experience of Regional UNDP/GEF Drin project (see baseline initiatives section above) and otherprojects25,26in the region and will include the following innovations:1) introduction of international best practice in flood hazard and risk assessment, modelling and mapping in line with EUFD; 2) innovative mix of structural and non-structural interventions based on climate risk-informed design; 3) agro-forestry measures and community-based flood resilience schemes. The socio-economic benefits include reduced damages and losses and improved food production (through protection of agricultural land). This will have direct and indirect livelihood protection and potential income generation benefits. Climate risk informed planning of the hydropower sector is important to enhance hydropower operations to include transboundary climate-induced flood risk management, thus ensuring the continued sustainable development of the hydropower sector which will help continue the shift to clean energy in the region. Climate risk information will also safeguard critical infrastructure assets such as transportation (roads and bridges) which are critical to the economic development and functioning of communities. Environmental benefits include improved ecosystem functions through better spatial planning and non-structural measures such as agro-forestry, which will provide water retention functions, regulation of hydrological flows (buffer runoff, soil infiltration, groundwater recharge, maintenance of base flows), natural hazard mitigation (e.g. flood prevention, peak flow reduction, soil erosion and landslide control), increased riverbed stabilization resulting in decreased erosion, habitat preservation, and reforestation. This project will directly benefit the most vulnerable parts of the population and will have significant gender co-benefits which will be ensured through close collaboration with a gender expert dedicated to ensuring that gender considerations are a key part of any consultation or activity planning process. Flooding and disasters in general, impact women disproportionately and the project will ensure that these differential impacts are taken account in all project interventions.
Component 1: Hazard and Risk Knowledge Management Tools
Component 2: Transboundary institutional, legislative and policy framework for FRM (Flood Risk Management)
Component 3: Community-based climate change adaptation and FRM interventions
Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) for resilient natural resources and agro-pastoral communities in the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve and Plateau of Thies in Senegal
The proposed “Ecosystem-based adaptation for resilient natural resources and agro-pastoral communities in the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve and Plateau of Thies” project supports the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of the forests and savanna grassland ecosystems in the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve and Plateau of Thies in Senegal. Ecosystem-based adaptation approaches will sustainably increase the resilience of agropastoral populations in the project areas, by providing climate-resilient green infrastructure that enhances soil water storage, fodder availability and water for livestock; and developing alternative livelihoods which value is derived from the conservation and maintenance of these local forest and savannah ecosystems (e.g. timber and non-timber forest products, native climate-adapted vegetable gardens and eco-tourism).
The project will reach a total of 310,000 direct beneficiaries (half of whom are women), with a focus on land managers, local authorities, local elected officials, agropastoralists, farmers, local entreprenuers and small and medium enterprises, local organizations and NGOs. The project will support the direct restoration of forest and rangelands over 5,000 ha to ensure these natural landscapes and productive areas are made more resilient to the expected increasing adverse impacts of climate change. An additional 245,000 ha of land in the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Nord and the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Sud, and the protected Forest of Thies will be put under improved sustainable management to maintain adaptive ecosystem services in the context of climate change.
In addition, introduced climate-resilient green infrastructure (i.e. well-managed forests, natural earth berms, weirs, basins) will provide physical barriers against climate change-induced increased erosion and extreme weather events, particularly flooding. The Ferlo Biosphere Reserve is located in the area of Senegal where the Great Green Wall (a pan-African initiative to plant a wall of trees from Dakar to Djibouti as a tool to combat desertification) is being implemented. The project is currently in the PIF stage.
Impacts of climate change
The Republic of Senegal (hereafter Senegal) is a coastal Least Developed Country (LDC) in West Africa, where agriculture accounts for more than 70% of the workforce. Agropastoral communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to their dependence on natural resources for food and livelihoods. The extreme poverty rate in Senegal is reported at 35.7% (2015 data), and multi-dimensional poverty at 46.7% (2013 data) and is concentrated in the Northern dry desert landscapes used by pastoralists. While its Human Development Index (HDI) value has shown a favourable trend – increasing from 0.367 in 1990 to 0.514 in 2019, Senegal currently still ranks low at 166th among 189 countries.
The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, in particular droughts, heavy rains, periods of high or low temperatures has been observed and is predicted to increase due to climate change. A current rise in temperatures by +1°C has been recorded, with forecasts for 2020-2029 of 1 to 1.5°C and 3 to 4.5°C for 2090-2099, which would generate situations of severe thermal stress that could seriously jeopardize plant (increased evapotranspiration) and animal productivity. These climate changes are translated into the increasing occurrence of dry years (in 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2014), further exacerbated by the increased evapotranspiration caused by higher temperature.
In parallel, maladaptive practices are adopted by agropastoral communities and other natural resource users (such as overgrazing and deforestation), in particular as was initiated following the extreme adverse impacts of the Sahelian droughts of the 70s and 80s on traditional livelihoods. These practices tend to exacerbate the impacts of climate change, further damaging the ecosystems they depend on, and having far reaching consequences for other stakeholders in both urban and rural settings. The interrelation of climate and anthropogenic impacts are reflected by the widespread degradation with 64% of degraded arable land, of which 74% results from erosion and the rest from salinization. The annual cost of land degradation in Senegal is estimated at USD $ 996 million, including deterioration in food availability, and reduction of soil fertility, carbon sequestration capacity, wood production, and groundwater recharge. Anecdotally, social conflict between migrant herders and sedentary farmers is occurring as both expand their use areas to compensate for climate impacts that considerably aggravate the main drivers of degradation and loss of productive land.
The climate change-induced increased rainfall variability, translated into more frequent dry years and intense rainfalls, combined with anthropogenic factors (i.e. forest clearing around the city, bush fires and overgrazing, rapidly growing urbanization, extensive mining) are leading to land degradation, loss of biological diversity, reduction of agricultural production areas, loss of ecological breeding sites (many animal species have seen their habitats disrupted) as well as social instability. In turn, these climate and anthropogenic impacts are reducing the adaptive services of critical ecosystems, such as water supply and quality regulation or the moderation of extreme climate events (more details on the project targeted areas are available below).
In addition, COVID-19 severely impacted most vulnerable people and communities, that are already under stress as a result of the climate crisis and global biodiversity losses. Since March 2020, the local governments in Senegal have banned large markets (loumas) selling livestock, cutting off agropastoralists’ key source of income. In addition to the direct impact of COVID-19 on Senegal’s economy in terms of illness and deaths (reportedly 13,655 and 284 as of September 1st, 2020) and government-imposed restrictions, Senegal is also dependent on remittances from abroad and is therefore exposed to worldwide job losses and a global recession. In 2019, Senegal received an estimated US$2.52 billion in remittances, representing 10% of the country’s GDP. These are likely to shrink dramatically in the short term and highlights the vulnerability of the country to future global emergencies. Additionally, land mismanagement, habitat loss, overexploitation of wildlife, and human-induced climate change have created pathways for infectious diseases to transmit from wildlife to humans.
In this context, the Government of Senegal, through the Agence Sénégalaise de la Reforestation et de la Grande Muraille Verte (ASRGM), identified two project sites (the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve (FBR) in the North and Thies in the East of the country) considered a priority in terms of climate vulnerability, environmental degradation and high socio-economic importance, as well as the opportunities to address these vulnerabilities through ecosystem restoration and regeneration. In addition, the implementation of EbA practices in both landscapes (urban and rural) will provide lessons learned and best practices to be replicated at a larger scale and introduced into NAP priorities. Indeed, the FBR is a rural, biodiverse zone, and Thies is in and around a large urban population center. This will enable the project to build a strong knowledge base for future scale-up of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) across both urban and rural landscapes.
The Ferlo Biosphere Reserve (FBR)
The FBR was selected to represent the rural landscape zone in this project, as identified as a priority by the Government of Senegal, due to the climate change vulnerability of its communities, its economically important livestock industry and its high biodiversity and due to its location within the Great Green Wall corridor.
The FBR is located in Northern Senegal and covers an area of 2,058,216 ha, split into three zones of which (i) 242,564 ha is wildlife reserve for conservation and protection of the biodiversity of endemic and threatened species, (ii) 1,156,633 ha is a buffer zone, with ecologically important habitats and (iii) the remainder are transition or cooperation zones, where natural resources can be harvested and used towards sustainable development, following a set of regulations. It is home to 120 herbaceous species in 69 genera in 23 families; 51 woody species in 35 genera in 19 families; 37 animal species and a large bird population. The FBR was officially recognized by UNESCO in 2012, following a decade of work by UNDP, IUCN and other key stakeholders to establish the reserve. The FBR is located in the area of Senegal where the Great Green Wall (a pan-African initiative to plant a wall of trees from Dakar to Djibouti as a tool to combat desertification) is being implemented.. In addition to its very rich biodiversity, the wider Ferlo Basin is of strategic importance in Senegal, producing 42% of the cattle supplying Dakar; within the FBR 90% of the 60,000 inhabitants are involved in pastoralism. The FBR is central to the mobility strategies of pastoralists in their search for fodder resources for their herds. Their pastoral activity is characterized by a large herd, large forage resources and good milk production during the winter. Subsistence farming is the second most important activity, and generally involves rain-fed household agriculture and livestock farming, with little diversification. The harvest of timber and non-timber resources is also important for the local rural economy.
The FBR is already subject to an ongoing process of desertification caused by more frequent climate change-induced rainfall deficient years. Over the period 1960-2018, average annual rainfall was only 411 mm in Linguère and 383 mm in Matam, and while average rainfall has increased since the late 1990s compared to the previous decades, data shows significant variability with more frequent dry years.
Studies have shown fodder availability for livestock (biomass) is directly correlated with rainfall in the Sahel, and data from the 2005-2015 period shows an incremental decline in biomass production in the Ferlo region. Bush fires (and therefore decreased fodder availability) have exacerbated the impact of biomass loss, which predominately occur in Ferlo-South. Furthermore, some herbaceous and woody species with high forage value for livestock are threatened by maladaptive practices including deforestation and competition over land uses that hinders the mobility (and therefore resilience) of herds: between 1965 and 2019 increase in land use were +112% for housing and +47% agriculture. Rainfall variation also has a direct effect on milk production. For example, the volumes of milk collected by Laiterie du Berger (LDB) dropped by 33% in 2014, following another exceptionally rainfall deficient year.
The City of Thies and surrounding area
The City of Thies was selected to represent the urban landscape zone in this project, providing a parallel perspective on EbA next to the rural zone of FBR. It was identified as a priority by the Government of Senegal due to the climate change vulnerability of its large urban population, in particular to the severe impacts of flooding, the link between exacerbation of the climate impacts and the pastoral activities outside the city, and the opportunity that EbA offers to address observed and forecasted climate impacts.).
The City of Thies is located in the Region of Thies, in the Western part of the country, approximately 70 km east of Dakar. It is Senegal’s third largest city and oversees seven municipalities (Kayar, Khombole, Pout, Fandene, Mont Rolland, Notto-Diobass and Keur Moussa) with an estimated population of 496,740 inhabitants (in 2020).
Geographically, the city’s dominant feature is the Plateau of Thies, running across its Western edge with an elevation of approximately 130 m. The Plateau of Thies extends beyond the boundaries of the city, and straddles the administrative regions of Thies and Dakar, covering an area of more than 4,000 km². It has an important ecosystem function in terms of water supply, as many rivers and wetlands of importance have their source on the Plateau, including the Somone River, Lake Tanma, the Fandene Valley, the Diobass Valley, and much of the water consumed in and around Dakar comes from the Plateau. Once an extensive green ecosystem, it is now degraded, though still offers many opportunities in agriculture, pasture, forestry and mining activities.
The problem this LDCF project seeks to address is the increasing vulnerability of the rural populations in the FBR, and in the area of influence around the City of Thies (hereafter referred to as “Thies”), to the increasing climate variability and the associated risks of annual droughts and floods caused by climate change. More specifically, the FBR population includes rural agropastoralists, whose livelihoods are particularly vulnerable to climate change, due to their dependence on reliable rainfalls for fodder supply and rainfed agriculture. In contrast, the urban population of the City of Thies is heavily impacted by flooding, which disrupts transportation and local commerce. Additionally, the population under the wider area of influence of the City of Thies includes agropastoralists and other natural resources users, which are vulnerable to the changes in rainfall patterns, and whose maladaptive practices may directly impact the flooding in the city. The vulnerabilities of these livelihoods have been significantly exacerbated by the degrading of the ecosystems as a result of climate change and human-induced impacts. In particular, the loss of forest cover to respond to changes in land use have had adverse consequences on the capacity of the ecosystem to provide services such as rainwater supply and quality regulations as well as the moderation of extreme events, critical to address the climate-induced increased occurence of dry years and heavy rainfalls. Urgent adaptive practices, (i.e. forest clearing for agriculture or fuelwood production, use of chemicals, bushfires, overgrazing etc.) adopted by local communities were observed to have further threatened these ecosystems, showcasing a vicious cycle of climate vulnerability.
An underlying root cause of maladaptive practices is poverty (up to 45% of inhabitants in some areas of the FBR) that prevents targeted communities to implement longer-term and more protective responses to climate shocks and changes. In addition, current development interventions from the government and technical and financial partners, often fail to associate the introduced adaptive practices to improved livelihoods and revenues, reinforcing the disconnect between sustainable adaptive practices and livelihood enhancement.
The preferred solution is the adoption of an EbA approach through conservation, sustainable management and restoration of the forests and savanna grassland ecosystems in the FBR and in Thies. EbA will sustainably increase the resilience of agropastoral populations in the project areas, by (i) providing climate-resilient green infrastructure that enhances soil water storage, fodder availability and water for livestock; and (ii) developing alternative livelihoods which value is derived from the conservation and maintenance of these local forest and savannah ecosystems (e.g. timber and non-timber forest products, native climate-adapted vegetable gardens, eco-tourism). In addition, introduced climate-resilient green infrastructure (i.e. well-managed forests, natural earth berms, weirs, basins) will provide physical barriers against climate change-induced increased erosion and extreme weather events, particularly flooding.
However, the adoption of an EbA strategy in the FBR and Thies has been hindered due to the following barriers:
· Barrier#1: Data on the economic value of functional ecosystems and natural resources are limited and regional public sector institutions do not have sufficient technical capacity to implement EbA interventions. Empirical knowledge and experience about the environmental and economic benefits of an EbA is not available to support the decision-making at the regional and local level and the funds allocated to the management of these resources in national budgets and the private sector are insufficient to enable large-scale investment in an EbA program;
· Barrier#2: Past interventions in the project areas adopted a siloed approach that did not link restoration and conservation activities with economic incentives for local populations. While the Government of Senegal, with the support of technical and financial partners, implemented restoration and conservation activities over the last three decades (including managed reforestation, establishing no-go areas etc.), there was a lack of coordination between actors and stakeholders. Restoration and conversion activities were not associated with evident economic value to those depending on the resource area, therefore the activities were not offering clear incentives for their sustainable maintenance. In addition, small producers and other users of natural resources have a limited knowledge of the climate change drivers/threats and the benefits of restoration and conservation;
· Barrier#3: The communities have limited financial resources which they use to respond to immediate climate threats (floods and droughts) and are unwilling or unable to take financial risks to invest in or adopt alternative resilient practices. Adoption of new EbA strategies are not an investment priority for agropastoralists, small producers and other users of natural resources. They also lack access to financial services such as insurance, which could help address the risk that an extreme climate event can result in the loss of the investment;
· Barrier#4: Lack of an enabling environment for mobilizing private sector investment in EbA interventions, projects and programs for resilient natural assets. There has been limited investment from international and national private sector in natural resources-based enterprises, as there has not been a systematic analysis of the EbA opportunities and subsequently little promotion by competent national institutions.
The funded LDCF project will complement the existing baseline by promoting long term planning on climate changes and facilitating budgeting and establishment of innovative financing mechanisms to support climate change governance at communes’ levels
The alternative scenario is that the main barriers to adoption of EbA in the FBR and Thies will be addressed, leading to a shift from unsustainable natural resource management practices and climate-vulnerable livelihoods to a sustainable, green economy based on an EbA approach with sound resource management. This will lead to increased resilience of livelihoods for agropastoralists and reduced flooding in the City of Thies.
This will be achieved by anchoring livelihoods in the maintenance of ecosystem services through restoration and conservation activities in the FBR and Thies. This EbA approach – and the delivery of associated goods and services – responds to the increasing climate variability and associated risks of droughts and floods caused by climate change. EbA is increasingly recognized as a highly cost-effective, low-risk approach to climate change adaptation that builds the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the long term.
To achieve these objectives, the project will support the development and implementation of local EbA strategies in the two project zones through (i) the capacity building and strategy development for the management, governance and development of forests and pastures; (ii) the restoration of arid and semi-arid lands and degraded ecosystems; (iii) the development and market access of economically viable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based on the sound use of natural resources and (iv) dissemination of results, aiming to scale-up the adoption of EbA in Senegal.
*References available in project documents.
Component 1: Developing regional and local governance for climate resilience through EbA
Embedding EbA approaches in the regional and local governance creates an enabling environment that will help secure climate resilient-livelihoods in the FBR and Thies. This requires significant capacity building of key stakeholders to understand the economic value of functional ecosystems and natural resources and strengthening of institutional and regulatory frameworks. While EbA has been recognized as a priority for adaptation interventions in Senegal, limited understanding of the concept and opportunities for local application has resulted in a very restricted adoption of these approaches. At the same time, the accelerating and uncontrolled degradation of critical ecosystems in Thies and the FBR is leading to an exponential loss of the adaptive benefits of these ecosystems. Biodiverse ecosystems provide future adaptive capacity and economic resilience, however the maintenance and restoration of ecosystems has not been embedded in the regional and local strategies designed to adapt to the impacts of climate change (i.e. more intense and less regular rainfalls, increased temperatures or more frequent dry years) which ultimately leads to the increasing climate vulnerability of the communities. Over the recent years, a number of initiatives were developed to introduce climate change concerns into policies and regulatory frameworks and protective measures for critical ecosystems were designed and enforced, but links between improved adaptation and healthy ecosystems failed to be established or systematized in the FBR and Thies.
By introducing EbA concerns into regional and local governance priorities, as informed by the assessments to be conducted under this component, and the lessons learned from outcome 2, the approach under Component 1 will reduce the impacts of climate change-induced heavy rainfalls and dry years exacerbated by land degradation, and as such contribute to the project objective. The activities under this component will also be informed by the results of ongoing interventions such as the Great Green Wall initiative, and lessons learned from the recently closed GEG-LDCF project “Strengthening land & ecosystem management under conditions of climate change in the Niayes and Casamance regions (PRGTE)” as well as the studies supported through the GEF-LDCF ‘Senegal National Action Plan’ project.
An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the FBR and the Plateau of Thies governing bodies (output 1.1.1) – including stakeholders in Silvipastoral Reserves and Pastoral Units (UPs), forests, Wildlife Reserves and Community Natural Reserves (RNCs) – will be conducted to better understand the barriers to the introduction of climate change adaptation in rural and urban settings, in particular EbA practices, into planning and budgeting. As part of the PPG stage, more in-depth analysis of the gaps, root causes and opportunities will be undertaken to guide the assessment. In addition, existing local committees will be reinvigorated, strengthened and where appropriate re-structured to enable climate-resilient governance and participatory consultation processes for better decision-making (output 1.1.2).
Based on the assessments conducted under output 1.1.1, training sessions will be organized (output 1.1.3), targeting local land-management bodies and key stakeholders (land managers, local authorities, local elected officials, pastoralists, farmers, local organizations and NGOs) in the two project areas, including and in coordination with those involved in the five baseline projects. The training will focus on building an in-depth understanding of the existing and potential climate change adaptive capacity provided by biodiversity and ecosystem services in the project zones, the potential economic value of climate-resilient livelihoods linked to these ecosystem services, as well as the importance of integrating community and cultural buy-in to the development of green infrastructure and alternative livelihoods.
A multi-stakeholder committee of technical experts will be set up (output 1.1.4) , including experts from various institutions and national and international networks to advise and support local land management organisations in mainstreaming the EbA approach into local adaptation policies and strategies, as well as into the baseline projects. It will also support the development of key indicators for the assessment of climate vulnerabilities at local level and will strengthen local capacities to implement standardized monitoring protocols. Support for observation and dissemination of climate data will enable science-based management decisions (output 1.1.5). This will include the procurement of equipment and measuring instruments to strengthen the early warning system of the Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie (ANACIM) in the target project areas.
Based on the different assessments and capacity building, and following a participatory approach, land use and management plans will be reviewed and updated to incorporate EbA approaches (output 1.1.6). More specifically, the EbA actions will be based on (i) extensive consultations with stakeholders at the regional and local levels, (ii) climate change vulnerability assessments of the biodiversity, ecosystems and local communities (socio-economic vulnerability) including the surrounding gazetted forests, as well as green spaces within the city, (iii) climate data (i.e. rainfall, temperature and other weather data) made available to stakeholders, using data provided by national institutions such as ANACIM and (iv) the Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) framework results set out in Component 3. These local resilience strategies will include activities to build the resilience of livelihoods, as linked to the ecosystem services provided through restoration and conservation of the ecosystems and biodiversity. These will be developed, adopted and implemented with the continuous engagement of local communities in the sustainable management of natural resources.
These activities above all involve a degree of stakeholder engagement and meetings. If the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting project activities at the time of execution, then alternatives to in-person meetings will be explored, including introduction of technology as well as an up-front focus on capacity building of local leadership.
Outcome 1.1 Stakeholders' capacities in planning and implementing EbA to maintain and/or create climate-resilient natural capital are strengthened.
Output 1.1.1. Functional analysis of the key institutions to formulate and enforce EbA policies conducted;
Output 1.1.2. The participatory governance bodies of the FBR and the Plateau of Thies are restructured/revitalized and strengthened for better coordination of decision-making in response to climate change risks;
Output 1.1.3. Stakeholder training programs are conducted to instill the skills and knowledge for climate-resilient decision-making;
Output 1.1.4. A technical expert committee is set up to advise on the mainstreaming of EbA into local land management strategies;
Output 1.1.5. The EWS under the ANACIM is equipped to strengthen the observation and dissemination of climate data in the project areas
Output 1.1.6. Land use and management plans are reviewed and updated on the basis of participatory consultations to mainstream the EbA approach within regional and local regulations, policies and systems of decision-making
Component 2: Restoration and conservation management to increase resilience of natural assets and ecosystem services
By implementing restoration and conservation in the FBR and Thies, the climate resilience of natural assets and ecosystem services will be ensured. This component will be implemented in coordination with the creation of the enabling environment under component 1, to provide empirical knowledge, drawn from experience in the project’s targeted restoration natural ecosystems and productive areas. Experience under component 2 will inform and strengthen land use and management plans as well as the training programmes for local and regional stakeholders. This accumulated knowledge will respond to barrier #1, which identified a lack of data on the economic value of functional ecosystems and natural resources. In turn, Component 1 is expected to facilitate the replication of practices beyond the specific project sites and ensure the monitoring and advisory capacity of key stakeholders, avoiding the reintroduction or continuation of malpractices.
Currently EbA is quite nascent in Senegal, with some projects supporting the restoration of forests, watersheds, etc. as well as other practices associated with EbA. However, these initiatives rarely refer to EbA, and focus more on the broader protective benefits of these interventions, consequently failing to integrate climate change adaptation aspects. This is the case for the “Great Green Wall” initiative, which is led by ASRGM and includes the FBR: it aims to strengthen the capacities of local communities to help boost investments in land restoration and created employment opportunities or ‘green’ jobs but does not specifically address ecosystem based adaptation approaches. Similarly, the project “Management of the ecosystems of the Plateau of Thies” (which will end in 2021) has focused on water management and erosion, without linking to EbA or adapted livelihoods. While in the short-term the benefits appear to be comparable, the lack of understanding of the climate-change driven impacts on livelihoods and natural landscapes can be problematic and restrictive in the longer term. Therefore, as the project implements EbA practices, an emphasis on climate change awareness needs to be made.
This component will support the direct restoration of forest and rangelands over 5,000 ha to ensure these natural landscapes and productive areas are made more resilient to the expected increasing adverse impacts of climate change. An additional 245,000 ha of land in the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Nord and the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Sud, and the protected Forest of Thies will be put under improved sustainable management to maintain adaptive ecosystem services in the context of climate change. This will include (i) reforestation, re-vegetation and assisted natural regeneration (ANR) of arid and semi-arid lands and degraded ecosystems with climate resilient plant species that provide goods for consumption and/or marketing; (ii) restoration of soil and vegetation cover, to preserve adaptive ecosystem services and (iii) sustainable land management measures engaging local communities, including with the adoption of climate-resilient crop varieties, demarcating multi-stage production plots by defensive quickset hedges, the use of organic fertilizers, sustainable NTFP harvesting practices, methods for improved processing, packaging, storage and marketing practices for transformed products. The role of IUCN, as both a GEF agency for this project and an expert in conservation, will be key to ensure social or environmental safeguards risks are controlled and are not triggered during the implementation of restoration activities, especially in the FBR. In addition, by concentrating restoration activities only in the “transition zone” of the FBR, instead of the “conservation areas” or the “buffer areas”, safeguards risks will be minimized. The restoration activities in the FBR will also directly contribute to the GGWI, as it is located in the same zone and both are led by ASRGM.
Restoration and conservation activities will take into consideration the potential for improved access to water resources by pastoralists as a result of forest and rangeland restoration, taking into account extreme weather events and rainfall variability. This is expected to include installation of infrastructure using essentially natural materials such as for bunds, embankments, weirs, earth dams and other water management structures (output 2.1.3).
Improved access to water resources (output 2.1.2) will form a key part of the EbA strategy in both project areas as it is expected to reduce the reliance of farmers on increasingly unreliable rainfalls as a result of climate change. Indeed, during the droughts in the 70s and 80s in Senegal, poor and unreliable access to water was observed to lead to increased deforestation to compensate for the reduced productivity of existing croplands. Safe access to water is therefore critical for the protection of forests and other highly productive ecosystems and will be included in the assessments and strategies formulated in Component 1.
An anti-erosion scheme for the area of the Plateau of Thies that affects the City of Thies will be developed and implemented (output 2.1.4). This includes restoring the surrounding native forest ecosystems, as well as other water management measures to reduce erosion, gullying and flooding exacerbated by rainfall variability and extreme weather events as a result of climate change, and in turn reduce the vulnerability of the population in the city of Thies.
Finally, this component will support the restoration of a green belt by replanting khaya senegalensis and other endemic trees alongside roads and in public green spaces (output 2.1.5.) for drainage control and the reduction in hydrological disaster risks, thus reducing flooding from extreme weather events in parts of the City of Thies, and decreasing the population’s vulnerability to these climate change impacts. In particular, this output could be conducted in partnership with the phase 2 of the “Program for the Modernization of Cities (PROMOVILLES)” that intends to support the construction of roads across Senegal, including around Thies, to improve the connectivity to poorly connected areas.
In the context of COVID-19, experience to date of other restoration and planting programmes which took place during the first stages of the pandemic have shown that it is still reasonable to undertake these: research suggests that the risk of infection is lower outside, and when measures such as mask-wearing and hand-washing take place. Therefore, it is expected that these activities could still be implemented, though may be delayed in the case of a full lockdown or if significant numbers of workers become ill.
Outcome 2.1 Agropastoralists' livelihoods, natural ecosystems and productive landscapes in project sites are more resilient to climate change through the adoption of EbA practices.
Output 2.1.1. Degraded agropastoral rangelands (including pastoral routes) are regenerated
Output 2.1.2. Degraded FBR agropastoral ecosystems are restored using nature-based solutions;
Output 2.1.3. Green infrastructure (i.e. bunds, embankments, weirs, earth dams) will be installed to sustainably improve access to water resources for local producers
Output 2.1.4. EbA measures are implemented on the Plateau of Thies to reduce flooding in the city of Thies.
Output 2.1.5. A programme to restore a climate-resilient green belt is implemented in the commune of Thies
Component 3: Investment in climate-resilient value chains
Through the creation and strengthening of viable SMEs that rely on biodiversity and ecosystem services, this component seeks to establish climate-resilient value chains. Currently, local communities do not have the resources to move away from their traditional livelihoods to adopt more climate resilient and protective EbA practices (barrier#3). In addition, as noted above, there is limited documented and disseminated EbA practices in the project areas and in Senegal more broadly. This lack of evidence limits the incentives for local populations to invest in restoration and conservation activities in order to improve their livelihoods in the long-term (barrier#2). This component, together with the governance incentives established under component 1 (policies, support from existing structures) and the lessons learned capitalized and disseminated under component 4, will promote private sector investment in relevant value chains (outcome 3.1) and support local entrepreneurs and SMEs to produce goods and services based on the sustainable use of natural resources (outcome 3.2).
More specifically, target value chains will include agricultural production (field crops, market gardening, arboriculture, fodder crops), forestry (timber and non-timber forestry products), and other economic activities as will be further detailed out during the feasibility studies of the PPG phase. At this point, significant potential has been identified for the development of forest value chains using species such as: Balanites aegyptiaca, Acacia Senegal, Adansonia digitata, Ziziphus mauritiana and Boscia senegalensis (ndiandam). By including the dual focus on private sector investment and support for SME development, this component will ensure market demand and economic viability for these climate-resilient value chains is embedded in the approach. This component will also build on experiences and lessons learned from multiple ongoing initiatives such as “The Agricultural Development and Rural Entrepreneurship Support Program” and the second phase of the “The Emergency Community Development Program (PUDC)”. There will be ongoing coordination with the GEF-LDCF project led by UNDP “Promoting innovative finance and community-based adaptation in communes surrounding community natural reserves (PFNAC)”, intervening in the Ferlo, which is detailed below in output 3.2.3.
Under this component, and to respond to the gaps and contribute to the initiatives presented above, a private sector platform will be set up to better coordinate value-chain activities promoting EbA (output 3.1.1), with the objective of identifying existing and new business opportunities and facilitating market linkages for nature-based products that provide adaptive benefits. Following the MA&D framework, opportunities will be identified by (i) assessing the existing situation, (ii) identifying products, markets and means of marketing and (iii) planning for sustainable development. IUCN, as both a GEF agency for this project and an expert in conservation, will advise on the identification of opportunities that are compatible with the protection of the FBR. As for the component 2, all economic activities supported in the FBR are expected to take place in the ‘transition zone’ of the reserve, where natural resources can be harvested following precise standards and regulations already defined and enforced. Regional, national and international private sector players will be engaged through the platform, with the objective of coordinating value chain activities through identification of investment opportunities in material sources (livestock, forestry products, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients), improvements in existing supply chains (reduction in post-harvest losses, aggregation and bulk storage, new / improved processing facilities, cooling chain improvements), or the investment in improved agricultural practices leading to increased yields.
In addition, a strategy will be developed to catalyze private sector investments in natural resource SMEs (output 3.1.2). This will include the organisation of forums for private sector stakeholder to exchange ideas and discuss common interests and potential opportunities. A publicly accessible database will also be developed to compile, organize and share identified opportunities and benefits from investment in the sustainable use of natural resources in the two project areas. This platform will both be used to lead discussions during forums and be updated based on the results of these encounters. The approach may need to be adapted to online forums, if COVID-19 measures prevent large meetings.
Local entrepreneurs, community organizations and SMEs, in particular women- and youth-led businesses, will also be directly targeted under this component with the set-up of business incubation schemes (i.e. structured support programmes that recruit and support participants) to develop and commercialize products based on the sustainable use of natural resources (output 3.2.1). The incubation schemes will serve as a platform to support local entrepreneurs and SMEs to adopt innovative practices, strengthen their managerial, entrepreneurial, and business management skills, education on saving, support in drafting business plans, and identifying potential national, international and multilateral financing mechanisms to support investments in EbA and on the sustainable use of natural resources. SMEs supported by these activities will be subject to a risk assessment to ensure environmental and social safeguards are met. This is expected to be delivered by teams located in the field, and in the context of COVID-19 team members may have to limit movements between regions (especially between Thies and the FBR), and as part of the PPG phase, options will be reviewed for how to set-up the incubation programme to reduce the risk of delay if key personnel cannot travel or are infected. The development of the nature-based businesses will further have to take into account the impact COVID-19 had on market demand and seek opportunities that are both climate and pandemic resilient.
Finally, the project will equip local SMEs with infrastructure and resilient materials for the adoption of climate-adaptive activities (establishment of nurseries, village multi-purpose gardens, fodder reserves and integrated model farms) as well as relevant agriculture and forestry equipment that support EbA (output 3.2.2).
The adoption of new adaptive practices and alternative climate-resilient livelihoods will be incentivized through financial services (output 3.2.3) such as micro-credit and insurance products, to reduce climate-related financial risks, e.g. crop failure due to extreme weather events. Innovative financing may include for example development of financial products specific to climate-resilient SMEs, provision of both short and long term (micro) finance, flexible payment terms linked to cash flow, risk-based credit scoring and ICT data capture, alternative collateral and guarantee options, group lending, financing via downstream buyers, and risk sharing between Multi-lateral Finance Institutions (MFIs) and national banks. institutions. The GEF-LDCF project led by UNDP PFNAC, intervening in the Ferlo, is in the process of setting up innovative and sustainable finance mechanisms, and is working to improve the capacity of local credit and saving mutuals to finance adaptation projects, both of which have strong potential to directly benefit the SMEs supported under this EbA project. These activities will depend on coordination with the UNDP project as well as the development of partnerships with the National Agricultural Insurance Company of Senegal (CNAAS) and other national, multilateral and international financiers. Furthermore, access to pricing information, marketing and commercial transactions of nature-based products will be facilitated through mobile phones, in a partnership with SONATEL (the leading telecommunications company in Senegal)
Outcome 3.1. Private sector investment in value-chains producing goods and services based on the sustainable use of natural resources in a climate change context.
Output 3.1.1. A private sector platform is set up to better coordinate value-chain activities that promote EbA;
Output 3.1.2. Stakeholder forums are organised to catalyse private and public sector investments towards the creation of resilient natural capital;
Outcome 3.2. Local entrepreneurs and SMEs produce goods and services based on the sustainable use of natural resources
Output 3.2.1. The managerial and entreprenarial capacity of local entrepreneurs, in particular women and youth, are supported to develop and commercialize products based on the sustainable use of natural resources, taking into account climate change
Output 3.2.2. SMEs based on the sustainable use of natural resources are provided with equipment (i.e. for the establishment of nurseries, village multi-purpose gardens, fodder reserves and integrated model farms) and agriculture and forestry inputs.
Output 3.2.3. SMEs based on the sustainable use of natural resources are provided with training to access financing opportunities to promote the adoption of resilient practices that protect and conserve targeted ecosystems
Component 4: Knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation
This component seeks to secure the long-term adoption of climate-resilient approaches within the two project zones, as well as laying the foundation for scaling up EbA in Senegal. This is achieved through use of the M&E data and lessons learned from the first three components to develop a strategy for scale-up. This knowledge will be particularly relevant to inform planning and budgeting at the local, regional and national levels and for the continuous capacity building of stakeholders to support the scale-up beyond the life of the project. While this component is preparing the exit strategy of the project by capitalizing the knowledge acquired in the three first outputs, the activities will be carried-out all along the project implementation. More specifically, the following outputs will enable the replication and upscaling of EbA practices at the local and national level:
ASRGM, the city of Thies, UNDP, IUCN and technical partners will provide training and assistance to the project team and local and regional actors to develop a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan, including a set of indicators, data collection and processing protocols to categorize, document, report and promote lessons learned at national and international levels (output 4.1.1). The M&E mechanism will put communities at the heart of participatory research processes.
In addition, a communication strategy will be developed to collect, analyze, compile and disseminate the theoretical concepts of EbA (including from outside the project areas and Senegal) as well as practical results of project activities to relevant national, regional and local stakeholders (output 4.1.2.). The strategy is expected to build an institutional memory on the opportunities for EbA to enhance the climate change resilience of biodiversity and the livelihoods of local communities in the two project areas, amongst targeted stakeholders including the local authorities, local elected officials, pastoralists, farmers, local organizations and NGOs and managers of the Wildlife Reserves, Community Natural Reserves (RNCs), Silvipastoral Reserves and Pastoral Units (UPs) and forests of the FBR and Plateau of Thies.
An online platform will be developed as a repository of project results, training, tools and initiatives for experimentation and demonstration of pilot actions, and the results of the project will be disseminated at local, national and sub-regional levels through a number of existing networks and forums. At the end of the project, a national forum, gathering all technical and financial partners as well as the actors involved, will be organized. Building on the results from the forum and discussions , a guidebook/manual will be produced to disseminate the achievements, difficulties, lessons learned and good practices for the implementation of EbA in the project areas, to facilitate the replication of the results (output 4.1.3). If the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting the project activities at the time of execution, then an alternative approach to a national forum will be developed, which could include several smaller regional meetings restricted in size (in case of travel restrictions between meetings), broadcasting presentations on TV or through meeting software or other approaches that reduce travel between areas and close contact.
A strategy for scaling up EbA approaches and developing natural resource-based SMEs will also be developed, including long-term financing options (output 4.1.4). This strategy will include approaches for developing climate-resilient natural resource-based SMEs, using the M&E results and lessons learned from implementation of the project, and will set out key recommendations for mainstreaming the approach in other regions in Senegal.
Outcome 4.1 Relevant local and national stakeholders incorporate climate-resilient EbA approaches into their land management activities, drawing on the experience from the FBR and Thies.
Output 4.1.1. An M&E plan, including a set of indicators, and data collection and processing protocols, is developed and implemented;
Output 4.1.2. A communication strategy aimed at the relevant local and national stakeholders is developed and implemented
Output 4.1.3. A summary and dissemination document (report, manual or guide) of the project outcomes, lessons learned and good practices is produced and disseminated;
Output 4.1.4. A strategy for scaling up the EbA approached and developing natural resource-based SMEs, including long-term financing options, is developed and the implementation of key recommendations is supported.
Component 1: Developing regional and local governance for climate resilience through EbA
Component 2: Restoration and conservation management to increase resilience of natural assets and ecosystem services
Component 3: Investment in climate-resilient value chains
Component 4: Knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation
Climate security and sustainable management of natural resources in the central regions of Mali for peacebuilding
The proposed "Climate security and sustainable management of natural resources in the central regions of Mali for peacebuilding" project tackles Mali’s interlinked challenges of land degradation and climate change that together threaten the long-term sustainability of vulnerable productive landscapes in the country’s central regions. The proposed project will restore 21,000 hectares of land, implement improved practices in 15,000 hectares, offest 900,000 metric tons of CO2, and reach 150,000 direct beneficiaries (80,000 women and 70,000 men). The project is currently in the PIF stage.
The Republic of Mali is committed to achieving Land Degradation Neutrality, defined by the UNCCD as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems.” Currently this global challenge is not being met, since the area of Mali over which productivity has been lost in the past two decades far exceeds the small pockets where productivity has been restored, and these trends continue. Evidence is already seen of how climate change and increased climate variability contribute to the desertification and the degradation of ecosystems on which societies depend for food and water security, and projections are that these impacts will worsen over the decades ahead. As anthropogenic and climate impacts shrink the productive natural resource base, so conflicts over land and water intensify, particularly between farming and herding communities, feeding into the ongoing conflict between jihadists and civilian militia.
The proposed project involves strategies that will simultaneously combat land degradation and restore land productivity, help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, and promote peace-building, with the overarching goal of developing resilient rural communities in Mopti region. The main emphasis of the project is focused on activities on the ground involving communities and their structures, local government, and private sector actors.
The proposed project tackles Mali’s interlinked challenges of land degradation and climate change that together threaten the long-term sustainability of vulnerable productive landscapes in the country’s central regions. The Republic of Mali is committed to achieving Land Degradation Neutrality, defined by the UNCCD as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems”. Currently this global challenge is not being met, since the area of Mali over which productivity has been lost in the past two decades far exceeds the small pockets where productivity has been restored, and these trends continue. Evidence is already seen of how climate change and increased climate variability contribute to the desertification and the degradation of ecosystems on which societies depend for food and water security, and projections are that these impacts will worsen over the decades ahead. As anthropogenic and climate impacts shrink the productive natural resource base, so conflicts over land and water intensify, particularly between farming and herding communities, feeding into the ongoing conflict between jihadists and civilian militias.
Addressing interconnected challenges
Demographic pressures and conflict, exacerbated by COVID-19: Mali’s population has been growing at a rate of about 3% per year for the last 15 years, and the current population is estimated at over 20 million. The fertility rate of 5.92 births per woman is one of highest in the world, and the population is very young, with a median age of 16.3 years. Conflict in the North and Central regions since 2012 has caused significant internal migration, with over 800,000 Malian citizens estimated to be internally displaced, in neighbouring countries, or recently returned in March 2020. Conflict also restricts movement and prevents cultivation of fields located further from the village, worsening the vulnerability of households to food insecurity. Mopti Region saw a rise in conflict in 2019, with the presence of armed groups and self-defence militias, increasing criminality and intercommunal tensions triggering a spiral of violence, reflected in a 25% decline in the area under cultivation compared with the previous year. Before the recent 8 years of conflict, Mopti’s poverty rate at 79% was already much higher than the national average of 43%. A UN report in 2011 highlighted that 59.5% of the population was living on degraded land and only 29.2% had satisfactory water quality, and the conflict years have worsened this situation, as a growing population tries to eke out a living on a shrinking area of productive land, without significant technological investment. Competition over scarce resources further fuels conflict, in a vicious cycle. In this context, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mali might have a devastating impact for the population. As of late September 2020, Mali had just over 3,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, with 129 deaths recorded as being due to the virus. These figures are likely an under-reflection of the real situation, given the poor spread of healthcare facilities across large parts of the country, the low level of testing capacity available, the unavailabilty of “excess deaths” data and analysis, and the unreliable system for recording of deaths generally. The Government of Mali has designed a National Action Plan for the prevention and response to COVID-19. Among the measures taken so far, the Mali government has introduced restrictions on travels to and from Mali, suspended public gatherings, requested the closure of all schools, and, on 25 March, a curfew from 21:00 to 5:00 has been decreed, along with the closure of land borders.
Impacts of climate change
Already observed changes in increased temperatures and diminished rainfall are reducing the absolute area of land suitable for food production nationally. During the most humid month of July, the maximum temperature recorded for the period 1961-1990 was 30.5°C, and this is projected to be 32, 5°C by 2050 and 34.5°C by 2100. Data from Mali’s meteorological services demonstrates a southward encroachment of the Sahelian and Saharan climatic and vegetation zones over the past 40 years, as rainfall has decreased. This is in line with recent studies showing that the Sahara Desert has expanded by 10% over the past century, affecting regional food and water security, and also influencing global weather patterns and human health, as huge seasonal dust clouds are carried across the Atlantic as far as Central America. Analysis of Mali’s rainfall patterns over the past 50 years shows a decrease in total rainfall of 19% in the South and 26% in the North, and communities widely report increased inter-annual variability and a more unpredictable monsoon. Studies indicate that historical climate change across West Africa in the period 2000–2009, relative to a non-warming counterfactual condition (that is, pre-industrial climate), accounted for average annual yield reductions of 10–20% for millet (loss of 2.33–4.02 billion USD in value) and 5–15% for sorghum (loss of 0.73–2.17 billion USD). There is significant uncertainty in climate scientists’ rainfall projections for West Africa over the coming decades, but inter-annual variability, which is already high because of the effect of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, is likely to grow, and increased temperatures will enhance evapotranspiration. The recently submitted Mali Climate Risk profile confirms the increase in evapotranspiration (according to RCP6.0, evapotranspiration will increase by 2.4% by 2030, 3.7% by 2050 and 7% by 2070), as well as the decrease in soil moisture (-3.7% by 2080 according to RCP6.0). According to the Mali’s third Communication on Climate Change in Mali (2015), the most plausible climate scenarios for 2100 predict a decrease in rainfall in all localities. The Mali Climate Risk profile report also identifies the risks climate change poses on water resources and agriculture sectors. The report projects an expected reduction in water availability per capita of 77% by 2080 (RCP2.6 and RCP6.0), taking into account the projected population growth. In addition, harvests of important crops such as Maize (-13%), Millet and Sorghum (-12%) and peanuts (-7%) are expected to decrease by 2080 (RCP6.0).
The unreliability of rainfall during the rainy season (June-September) is also projected to increase by 2080-2099, with projected changes between -51mm to +37mm in July, -38mm to +88mm in August and -25 to +88mm in August, significantly impacting the risks of flood. Between 1980 and 2012, Mali already experienced six major droughts and two major floods, and the country is likely to see an increase in these disaster types, as well as stronger winds, sand and dust storms, and bush fires, and larger and more frequent locust swarms. More intense rainfall events are predict to increase flash floods in the inland Niger Delta and along river floodplains. Without effective adaptation strategies, many models predict significant decreases in central and northern Mali in both water availability and yields of staple crops rice, millet and sorghum; for example, the Mali NAPA analysis predicts significant losses in staple crops as early as 2025. The central / Sahelian region is most sensitive to changes in rainfall, and households derive over 70% of their income from the land, making them highly vulnerable. A vulnerability mapping study showed over 90% of the Mopti Region as high or very high vulnerability, as defined by a combination of high biophysical exposure to climate impacts, high socio-economic sensitivity and low adaptive capacity.
Poor land management: Mopti Region, where the project focuses, is in the Sahel zone and contains arid and semi-arid ecosystems, as well as the fertile inland delta of the Niger River. Outside of the delta, the natural vegetation is mostly steppe grassland or tree and shrub steppe with Acacia species dominant and other trees like Combretum and Boscia. Mopti is characterised by widespread degradation of natural ecosystems because of unsustainable practices – including overgrazing by livestock, over-extraction of woody vegetation for fuel, removal of natural vegetation to expand crops, and uncontrolled bushfires (sometimes accidentally spread when using fire to clear land). Loss of vegetation allows valuable topsoil to be eroded by wind and rain, resulting in serious sand encroachment in the northern Sahel, and siltation of waterways in the Delta zone. Extreme temperatures and overgrazing cause hardening of the top layers of soil, preventing infiltration of rainwater, furthering the loss of vegetation, and worsening unexpected floods. The area covered by woodland, estimated at 10.1% of the country in 2008, is continually declining. Recent estimates from the National Directorate of Water and Forests show the disappearance of 450,000 to 500,000 ha of woodland per year.The Sahelian zone is identified in Mali’s LDN Country Report as a hotspot of land degradation. Rainfed cropland productivity is also declining – with intermittent localized droughts, and declining soil fertility from shorter fallow periods combined with low use of inputs. Land degradation can also influence local and regional micro-climates, through the albedo effect and alterations in moisture transfer between land surface and the atmosphere.
Poor water management: With increased variability in rainfall and localized droughts, villages in the north and centre of Mali need adaptation strategies to maximize water availability for drinking, sanitation, livestock and crop irrigation. At present, there are parts of Mopti in and around the inland Niger Delta where significant groundwater potential exists, but is not sustainably exploited. There is also inadequate capture of surface water through small dams and rainwater harvesting. In recent years with changing rainfall patterns, Mali’s southern regions have experienced flooding, including flash floods in Bamako in 2013 causing loss of life and displacement of 20,000 people. In the Delta, unexpected high floods have also caused damage, but the opposite problem of insufficient expected, manageable flooding also exists. Seasonal flooding of the massive delta area (comparable only with Okavango) is the basis for irrigated rice, fishing and grazing (as well as a Ramsar Site and important global site for migratory birds), but the inundated area has shrunk from over 35,000 km2 each year to sometimes as small as 10,000 km2 under drought conditions. Underlying this is a decline in the Niger’s average flow – which fell from 1,300 m3/second in 1978 to 895 m3/second in 2002. Irrigated cropland is subject to problems of leaching and alkalization of soils, and the spread of invasive plants, as well as ineffective management to combat siltation. As vegetation is lost in upstream watersheds, erosion of banks is causing massive siltation of rivers, channels and ponds, especially in the Niger downstream from Bamako and the Delta.
Addressing these root causes of land degradation and likely impacts of climate change and variability requires a coordinated and scaled up effort across Mali. But this is difficult to undertake at a time when government is still battling to stabilize the country, to decentralize and deliver services throughout the fragile central and northern regions, made even more challenging since the political instability at national level in 2020. Since 2012, Mali has faced ongoing conflict, at times caused or worsened by competition over scarce land, water and grazing resources, particularly in the Mopti Region. The government signed a peace accord with northern separatist rebels in 2015, but armed groups continue to assert territorial control in much of the vast desert north. At the same time, Islamist insurgent groups have expanded from the north into previously stable central Mali, allegedly leveraging interethnic tensions and local resentment toward state actors to recruit supporters and foment conflict.
In 2019 Mopti faced a dramatic deterioration of its security situation, with hundreds of recorded violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The presence of armed groups and self-defence militias, increasing criminality and intercommunal tensions triggered a spiral of violence, leading to a loss of livelihoods for displaced populations, and difficulties in cultivating fields and accessing markets for those who have remained in their villages. A perceived inability to curtail massacres of civilians is one of the issues highlighted in anti-government protests in recent months in Bamako, leading to the forced resignation of President Ibrahim Keita on 18 August 2020. Conflict analysis of Mopti Region shows that rising levels of insecurity led to approximately 1,300 fatalities and tens of thousands of internally displaced people across the region in 2019 only. According to the World Food Programme analysis of the Mopti security situation up to April 2020, in a context already made fragile at many levels – an economy marked by mounting demographic pressures, youth unemployment, soil degradation or scarcity of natural resources, exacerbated by repeated droughts intensified by climate change, the impact of violence on food security is highly threatening: displaced communities lose their livelihoods and those remaining in their villages experience difficulties in cultivating fields and accessing markets.
The proposed project aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of vulnerable productive landscapes in Mali’s central region of Mopti, through nature-based solutions that reverse land degradation, strengthen communities’ resilience to climate change impacts and to conflict that is worsened by climate change. These nature-based solutions will follow the principles of conflict-sensitive adaptation – critical in areas where there is high dependence on natural resources and in already fragile (politically, socially, economically, environmentally) contexts. International literature on the Sahel shows that the region is both very vulnerable to the physical effects of climate variability and to communal conflicts, the dynamics of which in turn seem to be sensitive to climate variability.
Because of this fragile context, the project preparation phase and final site selection process will involve using consultants with in-depth local cultural as well as agro-ecological knowledge to undertake a detailed scoping of conditions on the ground and consultations with a wide range of stakeholders at local level (following COVID-19 protocols), and particular attention will be paid during the PPG to: (i) the design and resourcing of measures to mitigate security-related risks likely to be faced during project implementation (ii) measures to ensure that the root causes of conflict relating to competition over access to scarce (and declining with climate change) natural resources: and (iii) use the Environmental and Social Management Framework to ensure that conflicts are not inadvertently sparked by project interventions. The vulnerability assessment and mapping process planned for Component 1 will include the application of a security sensitivity framework. The proposed interventions are also built on an analysis of the interdependencies of these challenges that builds on the RAPTA (Resilience, Adaptation Pathways and Transformation Assessment) methodology developed through the STAP, which highlights a systems view of food security, as dependent on availability of adequate and nutritious food to households in the district, access to adequate and nutritious food, utilization of this food by individuals in a house-hold , and the stability/resilience of the availability, access and utilization of food in the face of shocks and stresses, over time. The first, second and last of these factors are severely affected by the conflict situation in the Mopti Region, and are further compounded by increasingly erratic rainfall and creeping desertification. Specific barriers to achieving the project’s objective are as follows:
Barrier 1: Lack of coordination and capacity for implementing and monitoring environmental agreements
Mali has a fairly comprehensive set of national policies, laws and strategies for achieving its international environmental commitments (including UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD) . Some interministerial cooperation has been achieved around climate change adaptation through the AEDD, but the mainstreaming of resilience principles into sectors like agriculture, water and forestry, as envisaged in the 2007 NAPA, has not been effectively achieved. This is partly because of the ongoing security situation, the uneven presence of state institutions across the country, and the challenges of decentralization – which has built capacity at regional and cercle (district) levels, but has also caused confusing overlaps between local government and traditional authorities over natural resource management. In addition, Mali’s Land Degradation Neutrality country report to the UNCCD identifies a number of weaknesses that constrain effective implementation of policy, including: institutional conflicts between national directorates and specialized agencies of MEADD and other ministries; difficulty in inter-ministerial coordination around LDN and low-emission climate-resilient development, with significant overlaps in mandates; weak consultation between the focal points of the Rio Conventions, and a lack of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for consultations upstream of major national and international forums. These challenges are compounded by a high turnover of officials in AEDD and other key agencies. Mali has recently set overall targets for achieving LDN by 2030, through actions to reduce forest loss, regreen woodland and grassland areas, restore soil fertility, and protect wetlands. Still missing is the identification of key indicators (in most countries these are: (i) land cover and land cover change, (ii) land productivity and (iii) soil organic carbon), agreement how these will be measured and monitored, setting of baselines and targets, and then a detailed implementation plan for the actions required. Although climate vulnerability mapping has featured in some donor-funded projects, there is no long-term system for regular assessment and mapping nationwide, or for ongoing analysis of the links between security and climate change risks. Challenges identified in the 2019-2021 budget framework for MEADD include “the establishment of a monitoring system and continuous surveillance of the environment and the dynamics of forest and wildlife resources”. Much data and monitoring capacity exists in Mali, scattered between different government departments and agencies, research institutes and universities, but there has been little coordination, and reporting on Mali’s progress to the MEAs is not done in a coherent and integrated fashion.
Barrier 2: Lack of a systemic approach to enhancing resilience of degraded production landscapes
There is a need for landscape restoration interventions to be piloted, adapted for local context and scaled up across the country, utilizing existing processes for cross-sectoral climate change adaptation planning for economic sectors, wherever possible. Mali, and particularly the Mopti Region, has complex, interlinked socio-ecological systems built around grazing, farming and fishing that are increasingly vulnerable to climate impacts. A number of donor-funded projects and programmes have tackled the challenges of restoring the productivity of land and water systems, and helping communities develop their capacity to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. What is missing, however, is a systemic approach that aligns such interventions within an overall strategy (see Barrier 1 above). Sectors of government, such as agriculture, economic development, livestock, fisheries, water and forestry, have limited budgets and little presence on the ground in the central regions. Where they are engaged in development activities, this tends to be sporadic and isolated, and interventions are not based on a systemic understanding of climate and other risks across the landscape, and how these can be managed in an integrated fashion. For example, a new pond may be dug, but no effort made to stabilize the river banks upstream, leading to the pond quickly silting up. In the central regions, with limited government presence, land use decisions are taken by local actors such as village chiefs, and there is no systematic land use policy or planning. There is a need to work with the resources that do exist on the ground and strengthen local governance of natural resources in a manner which enhances climate resilience, promotes peace, and allows for social inclusion and equity. Community NRM structures need to cooperate with customary mechanisms and committees to negotiate agreements between herding, farming and fishing communities on boundaries for grazing and farmland, access to pasture and water, timing and regulated migration. They also need to feed into local government land use and development planning, through the Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans of target cercles and communes. Technical training and support in accessing inputs is also needed for farming households (including women-headed households) to adapt farming practices to climate change, and restore land productivity through regeneration of tree cover in farmlands, and sustainable land and water management techniques, building on traditional knowledge and local preferences. Although donor-funded projects have led to some communal rehabilitation works to restore land and water resources (e.g. desilting water infrastructure, stabilizing dunes to prevent sand encroachment) and develop new water sources in a sustainable basis, there is a need for this work to be better coordinated, and scaled up, with work opportunities created especially for youth and internally displaced people.
Barrier 3: Insufficient support for households and communities wishing to diversify their production activities
As the changing climate puts increasing pressure on the natural ecosystems on which traditional livelihoods such as fishing, livestock-keeping and cereal-crop farming depend, there is a need to (i) adapt these practices to changing conditions, (ii) diversify into other activities which are less directly dependent on these fragile ecosystems, and (iii) generate cash income so households can buy the food and materials needed for enhanced resilience. This is particularly true in the central and northern regions, and it is here that government agencies have the least presence on the ground, which makes achieving effective agricultural extension support a challenge. In this context, there is a need for projects and programmes funded by government’s technical and financial partners to fill some of the gaps in the short term, and to help build government extension capacity for the longer term. At present, agricultural extension services are limited, and concentrated in the cotton-producing regions of the south, not in the mostly subsistence-oriented farmers in the central regions, whose agricultural yields are highly vulnerable to climate change, and who have little opportunity for diversification. Although there is potential for value-add activities e.g. processed products from fish grown in aquaculture ponds, or processed millet with a longer shelf, communities lack training on new opportunities, micro-finance and access to markets. There is also a lack of access to electricity for processing agri-products, and for cold storage, and while solar water heating is widespread, photovoltaic technology is more expensive and complex, and communities lack skills to install and maintain equipment. Although government has a number of programmes to support youth entrepreneurs, in practice access to opportunities has tended to be limited to young people in urban areas whose families have government connections. Such initiatives have generally focused on individuals involved in trading, and have not facilitated real entrepreneurial growth and job creation. There is a need to learn from the more successful initiatives (e.g. TETILITSO and DoniLab) and create links to these for emerging entrepreneurs in rural areas, including women, young people and internally displaced people, all of whom may have limited direct access to productive assets, but can get involved in value addition and new value chains. There is a particular need to support organizations for widowed women, who sometimes receive local government support, but are often left without access to land or productive assets because of discriminatory legislation and customary practices. Access to regular commercial loan finance is near-impossible for many rural entrepreneurs, especially youth and married women, but progressive microfinance opportunities do exist (e.g. APPIM, PMR) and even loan guarantees for promising projects (FGSPSA, ANPE’s FARE Fund), and need to be made accessible.
Barrier 4: Few opportunities for sharing learning across initiatives for evaluation and national scale-up
Although there is a large number of recent and current initiatives (see Section 2 below), and these initiatives do monitor their own progress, there is little systematic effort to share learning between initiatives. (These include initiatives that address stabilization and peace-building, planning for climate change adaptation, early warning systems and flood protection, resilience of rural communities, integrated water resource management, biodiversity conservation, sustainable land and water management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.) There is also a tendency for pilot or demonstration activities carried out in a particular area to remain limited to that area. Regional platforms which were established to promote climate change adaptation across sectors have been successful while project funding lasts, but have not managed to sustain themselves thereafter. There is a need to harmonize and rationalize the knowledge management activities of a set of related initiatives that are important for achieving LDN and climate security. Related to Barrier 1, there is a need for agreement on ways to measure progress, so that the efforts of disparate initiatives can all be matched up against national targets. There is also much untapped potential for sharing the lessons of Mali’s Sahel zone with those of other countries – northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, northern Burkina Faso, southern Algeria, southwestern Niger, northern Nigeria, central Chad, central Sudan and northern Eritrea. There are a number of international initiatives under the umbrellas of the African Forest Landscapes Restoration Initiative (AFR-100) and the Great Green Wall which are generating learning about best practice, and effective and cost-effective ways of combating desertification in this region. In recent years, with the difficult security situation in Mali, lessons from Mali are not being shared optimally with the rest of the region and in international fora, and there is a need to create such opportunities. There are also barriers to effective monitoring and evaluation of donor-funded projects in Mali – because of the constraints under which many project management teams operate, evaluation is often limited to measuring the outputs of a project, and not finding creative ways to assess its overall impact; what really worked and what didn’t, and why; and how the positive impacts can be sustained and scaled up. Project monitoring is also rarely linked in to long term development of monitoring capacity at regional and national levels for purposes of MEA reporting.
The proposed project involves strategies that will simultaneously combat land degradation / restore land productivity, help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, and promote peace-building, with the overarching goal of developing resilient rural communities in Mopti region. The main emphasis of the project, and the bulk of the proposed resources, are focused on activities on the ground involving communities and their structures, local government, and private sector actors – through Components 2 and 3. The project interventions in Component 1 support the on-the-ground efforts of Components 2 and 3, through creating an enabling environment that supports strategies for restoration of land productivity and climate change adaptation, and sets a baseline for and tracks changes in communities’ climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity. The project is very timely because the country has recently developed its programme for defining national targets for Land Degradation Neutrality, and is ready to enhance coordination for implementation of adaptation and re-greening strategies, and for tracking progress towards achievement of land degradation neutrality and climate security. In this alternative scenario, an LDN action plan is developed across all economic sectors for achieving the targets, and a monitoring system is set up – building on existing data to review and agree on baselines, targets, indicators and means of measurement. The project activities in Component 4 enable knowledge platforms for replication and scale-up, facilitating learning within and beyond Mopti Region, and sharing of lessons learnt with other countries of the Sahel zone. They also equip youths in Mopti to support on agroecological monitoring of project results and impacts, which can be fed back through the IER into the national action plan as a pilot for monitoring.
In this alternative scenario, significant resources are invested through the project in building resilience of highly vulnerable communities of Mopti to the impacts of climate change, in particular drought – expected to become more frequent and serious as a result of climate change, on top of human-induced degradation of agro-ecosystems. Since the nett result of these climate and anthropogenic effects is a shrinking of productive capacity, the focus in the alternative scenario is on project interventions that restore and enhance productive capacity – in the process also reducing competition over natural resources and enabling adaptation to climate change. In Component 2, there is an improvement in local governance through developing capacity of community natural resource management committees. This improved governance enables better decision-making on land use, including access to pastures and water – so that conflicts are avoided and natural regeneration of productive capacity is enabled. The component also involves intervening on the ground to: (i) restore crop / agroforestry productive capacity through equipping small-scale farmers to regreen their farmlands; (ii) maximize crop / agroforestry land productive capacity though supporting farmers on climate-smart agriculture and aquaculture; and (iii) restore pastureland productive capacity and water resources through communal restoration by the village-level committees.
As part of the alternative scenario there is a need to provide inputs on a sustainable basis to climate-smart agriculture, and to enable market access for its products. Selling climate-smart agricultural produce and value-added products will bring new income streams into households, and provide cash that can be used to improve nutritional status and strengthen homes against disaster. Such enhanced and diversified household incomes are important for building resilience against external shocks and stresses of all kinds – including civil conflict and climate hazards. In Component 3, technical assistance is provided for establishing cooperatives businesses involving youth and women. Some businesses may develop inputs for climate-smart agriculture, such as liquid fertilizer or agroforestry seedlings. Other businesses may enhance the economic sustainability of the climate-smart agri- and aquaculture by adding value to its products, e.g. primary processing of drought-resistant millet, or fish drying and smoking, and selling these products on local markets. Component 3 will also facilitate the incubation of sustainable youth-led businesses that can enable the productivity-enhancing adaptation strategies of Component 2, for example, businesses that enhance the supply of water for dry season vegetable irrigation, or energy for primary agri-processing activities at village level. Some youth might develop business concepts for more sophisticated levels of processing, for example, turning millet into snack foods, porridge, wine, nutrition powder or poultry feed. Scholarships will also be provided for local youth to obtain the skills for manufacture and maintenance of these technologies, where appropriate.
As part of the alternative scenario, climate change adaptation co-finance from financial and technical partners of the Government of Mali will contribute to enhancing resilience of degraded production landscapes through rehabilitation efforts, including a GCF program on climate change adaptation in the Niger basin (including Mopti) and two partnerships with the government of Canada through FAO on climate-resilient agriculture for food security. A project also funded by Canada, through IFAD, on access to finance for agricultural value chains, including in the central regions, will support the GEFTF/LDCF project’s Component 3, which aims to develop capacity of farm households to innovate and adopt resilient and sustainable livelihoods. Pression with private sector partners agreed business incubation hub is proposed for Output 3.2, supporting youth on climate-smart agri business incubation and technology for adaptation. An investment by the government of Monaco on women’s livelihoods will support Output 3.1 on building household adaptive capacity through supporting value chains for climate-resilient crops and products.
Activities in Components 2 and 3 of the project will be focused in three target landscapes in Mopti Region. These landscapes, to be made up of clusters of Communes (rural municipalities), for example across a micro-watershed, may be focused in any of the 8 Cercles (districts) of Mopti Region, and the exact target landscapes will be selected during the PPG phase. At that time, a security analysis will be conducted to understand the extent to which the security situation in specific Cercles enables or prevents the carrying out of project activities. Depending on the security situation, a case could be made for focusing on the three Cercles of Youwarou, Douentza and Koro. These three cercles are the districts of Mopti where studies show that communities are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This includes studies by GIZ undertaken in 2019, confirming the findings as indicated on the map below – from a detailed climate vulnerability analysis conducted through USAID in 2014 (northern part of country not included due to low population density). This map shows cumulative results for vulnerability, using various indicators for (i) biophysical exposure to climate hazards, (ii) socio-economic sensitivity, and (iii) adaptive capacity. The three cercles also include two of the five natural regions of the Sahel identified as hotspots of land degradation in Mali’s 2020 Land Degradation Neutrality Report – the Gourma hotspot, and the Gondo-Mondoro hotspot. The Youwarou Cercle also includes a portion of the inland Niger Delta which is flooded annually and provides critical seasonal resources for hundreds of fishing, farming and pastoralist communities. The delta zone is highly vulnerable to climate change and human-induced degradation, and simultaneously forms the poses an enormous asset for the Mopti Region in building resilience. The precise clusters of communes (target landscapes) to be involved will be decided during the project preparation phase, since travel has not been possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strategy and action framework for response to the COVID-19 pandemic: In the alternative scenario, the project contributes to the Government’s response to the pandemic, supported by the United Nations (UN) and other financial and technical partners. According to a rapid analysis by the UN Country Team of the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Mali, the indirect socio-economic impacts are likely to be even more devastating than the direct health effects. The study, conducted in May 2020, observed a sharp loss of jobs in the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy, and reported that 4 million children were estimated to be out of school. The study’s projections for the country as a result of global economic slowdown include: a decline of 0.9% in GDP for 2020 (as against 5% growth in 2019), an increase of the number of people living in extreme poverty by 800,000, an increase in the need for food assistance by 70%, and loss of state revenue causing the debt burden to increase from 39% to 45% of GDP.
During the PPG, the UNDP Mali Country Office will support the consultant team to conduct regular assessments of both the security situation and COVID-19 pandemic impacts in the country, and specifically in Mopti Region, and to put in place appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all stakeholders involved in project design and implementation. This will take into account (i) what impact the pandemic (or measures to contain it) has had on government capacity/resources to implement the work proposed in the project (or other baseline initiatives), either at the enabling level or practically; (ii) how targeted project beneficiaries have been affected (e.g. disruption of supply chains, price increases etc); and (iii) how will implementation be affected if there is recurrent outbreaks of this or other diseases during implementation.
The proposed project strategy is to contributes in two ways to assisting the Government of Mali with a “green recovery” from the pandemic, building on UNDP’s support to Government, and on the Government’s commitment of new resources for social protection, corresponding to 1.3% of GDP. This strategy responds to the guidance document “GEF’s Response to COVID-19”, and has a dual action framework including for alignment of the project goals with the response and recovery strategies:
1. Actions to support COVID-19 response in the short-term: The proposed project has been designed to maximize opportunities for job creation and training, local economic development, and productivity improvements, as follows:
Job creation through small business development: In Output 3.2 of the project, youth-led climate-smart agribusinesses, technologies and services are developed. This includes work to: (i) provide opportunities for local youth from target communities to receive entrepreneurship training in existing incubator programmes in Mopti city; (ii) promote access to loan finance and loan guarantees for youth with solid business plans and family/community backing – in agri-processing and climate-smart technologies. In Output 2.2, training is provided in 9-12 target communes in Mopti to develop farmers’ capacity for Assisted Natural Regeneration and other Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) techniques, building on traditional knowledge and local preferences.
Productivity improvements: In Output 2.2 of the project, technical and financial support are provided to farming households (including women headed households) to adapt farming practices to climate change, and restore farm productivity. This includes work to: (i) form agro-ecological farmer’s groups / Farmer Field Schools, including women farmers, and establish demonstration plots for train-the-trainer activities; (ii) provide heads of households (male and female) with regeneration incentive package (e.g. shears, pickaxe, wheelbarrow, boots and gloves); and (iii) promote climate-smart agriculture – including new drought-resistant local crops/varieties, improved pest management, fodder and fruit trees, and dry season gardening schemes, providing training and equipment, (e.g. seeds, seedlings, polyethylene bags, watering cans and spades).
2. Actions to support COVID-19 response in the long-term: The proposed project has been designed to maximize opportunities for strengthening supply chains, consistent with long-term decarbonization targets, and increasing natural and economic resilience and adaptive capacity, as follows:
Strengthening supply chains: In Output 3.1 of the project, new value chains for climate-resilient crops and processed products are identified and catalyzed. This includes work to: (i) empower organizations of widowed women with climate-smart business and leadership training; (ii) support / establish women producer associations and cooperatives of youth and displaced people e.g. for processing of cereal crops, fish drying and smoking, liquid fertilizer, seedling nurseries etc., conducting value chain analysis and market studies with them; and (iii) support set-up and first two years of operation of cooperative climate-smart businesses – including partnerships for land and infrastructure, technical training and business planning, market access and savings groups/micro-credit.
Supporting long-term decarbonization targets: Output 3.2 of the project involves creating scholarships for local youth to be trained in supply and maintenance of solar PV technology for adaptation activities (water pumps and agri-processing for adaptation). Solar power also support low-emissions development strategies and decarbonization targets as part of the post-COVID green recovery.
Increasing natural and economic resilience and adaptive capacity: In Output 2.4 of the project, land and water resources (outside of family farms) are restored through communal restoration works for ecosystem-based adaptation. This includes work to: (i) train community resource management committees and community members, including youth and displaced persons, to analyze adaptation needs, and to plan, carry out and monitor rehabilitation efforts; (ii) equip commune / village-level committees and carry out plantings for rehabilitation of pastureland and protection of villages from sand encroachment; (iii) equip committees to develop and sustainably restore watercourses (channels, rivers, ponds, pools) and carry out rehabilitation works; and (iv) equip committees to construct/rehabilitate communal earth dams, and wells with solar PV-powered pumps, to increase household water supply and irrigation (for Output 2.1).
*References available in project documents.
Component 1: Enhancing coordination and monitoring for land degradation neutrality and climate security. The planned outcome of this component is that capacity is improved for national coordination and monitoring, to achieve implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality targets. Given the current high level of uncertainty around the political transition in Mali, the AEDD will be supported on this component by the Mali Geographic Institute (IGM) and the Institute of Rural Economy (IER). These institutes will be responsible respectively for undertaking capacity needs and gap analyses, and designing capacity development interventions on two fronts: for preparing climate risk and vulnerability assessments and maps (LDCF) and for achieving and monitoring targets for Land Degradation Neutrality (GEFTF). This will involve work at national level around LDN targets, building on existing data to review and agree on baselines, targets, indicators and means of measurement / monitoring, and enable long-term monitoring plots through unlocking research partnerships. Following global trends, indicators may focus on the three core areas of land cover and land cover change, land productivity and soil organic carbon. Over the six-year project period, training will be conducted at regional levels in all of Mali’s 8 regions for climate vulnerability assessment and mapping. This component will link to Component 4, where youth monitors will be trained in the target landscapes of Mopti to pilot “bottom-up” monitoring that can feed into the “top-down” national monitoring through satellite data.
Output 1.1: Action plan for achieving and monitoring targets for Land Degradation Neutrality (GEFTF)
• Conduct survey to assess government and partner capacity for implementing strategies and actions for LDN, and enforcing relevant legislation
• Undertake review of natural resource legislation to harmonize and address gaps for effective management and restoration, including potential tree tenure reform as the basis for effective Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR)
• Hold a series of workshops led by Mali’s Institute of Rural Economy (IER) with government (national, regional, cercle levels represented), research and civil society partners to develop an action plan for achieving and monitoring targets for Land Degradation Neutrality
Output 1.2: Regional biennial climate risk and vulnerability assessments and maps developed, with an application of security sensitivity framework (LDCF)
• The Mali Geographic Institute (IGM) to work with Météo Mali to develop a common methodology for measuring the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities to climate change, building on existing initiatives
• Conduct training for youth from all 8 regions to carry out assessment, with household surveys and ground-truthing of maps
• Carry out a biennial climate change vulnerability assessment and mapping across all 8 regions of Mali
• Report results to the public, analyzing links between security and climate change risks, and providing a spatial risk analysis with recommended mitigation and governance actions
Component 2: Enhancing resilience of degraded production landscapes with communities vulnerable to climate change. The planned outcome of this component is that productivity is restored and yields increased in vulnerable grazing, farming and fishing landscapes through effective community management in three target landscapes of Mopti Region, potentially in the highly vulnerable cercles of Youwarou, Douentza and Koro (to be finalized and specific sites to be determined in PPG). The component involves the clusters of work outlined below – strengthening natural resource management through capacitated community committees structures and agreements between herders and farmers; supporting farmers to undertake climate-smart agriculture and regreening efforts on their land; and undertaking communal restoration works for grazing land and water resources. The agriculture and agroforestry activities here will also be linked to small business development in Component 3, prioritizing opportunities for women and youth. There will be further discussions with stakeholders in local government and communities level during the project preparation phase, to achieve an understanding of communities’ adaptive capacity and needs, any underlying sources of competition or conflict, and what would work in a particular socio-ecological system, ensuring that specific project interventions are carefully designed to promote peace and reconciliation between communities in target landscapes in Mopti, and to avoid unintentionally feeding into underlying tensions or conflicts – applying a conflict-sensitive adaptation approach.
Output 2.1: Community natural resource management committees are established and adaptation actions are embedded in local development plans (GEFTF)
• Undertake baseline survey and annual update with communities in 9-12 target communes in Mopti on climate vulnerability, adaptive capacity, production practices and livelihood activities, and household income, using this as a pilot for national system
• Integrate community land management for adaptation and rehabilitation into the Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans and budgetiung frameworks of Cercle Councils and Commune Councils
• Build new or redynamize existing community resource management committees at village level, involving women and youth
• Use customary mechanisms and committees to negotiate, formalize and uphold agreements between herding, farming and fishing communities on boundaries for grazing and farmland, access to pasture and water, timing and regulated migration, and NRM agreements (including pastoral corridors)
Output 2.2: Training and inputs provided to farmers in 9-12 target communes in Mopti for regreening of farmlands (GEFTF)
• Provide training to develop farmers’ capacity for Assisted Natural Regeneration and other Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) techniques, building on traditional knowledge and local preferences
• Form agro-ecological farmer’s groups / Farmer Field Schools, including women farmers, and establish demonstration plots for train-the-trainer activities
• Provide heads of households (male and female) with regeneration incentive package (e.g. shears, pickaxe, wheelbarrow, boots and gloves)
Output 2.3: Capacity development programme for climate-smart agriculture delivered to farm households in target communes (LDCF)
• Provide training and inputs – including new drought-resistant local crops/varieties, improved pest management, fodder and fruit trees, and dry season gardening schemes
• Advocate for climate-smart agriculture and SLWM through developing and piloting in local languages: a radio programme, a short message service for farmers, a capacitated network of traditional communicators, and materials for schools
Output 2.4: Communal restoration work undertaken over 21,000 hectares of degraded grass/shrubland and wetlands (LDCF)
• Train community resource management committees and community members, including youth and displaced persons, to analyze adaptation needs, and to plan, carry out and monitor rehabilitation efforts
• Equip commune / village-level committees and carry out plantings for rehabilitation of pastureland and protection of villages from sand encroachment
• Equip committees to develop and sustainably restore watercourses (channels, rivers, ponds, pools) and carry out rehabilitation works
• Equip committees to construct/rehabilitate communal earth dams, and wells with solar PV-powered pumps, to increase household water supply and irrigation (for Output 2.1)
Component 3: Supporting family farms, youth and women to innovate and adopt resilient and sustainable livelihoods. The planned outcome of this component is that rural households and community-based organizations enhance their resilience to conflict and climate change by restarting and diversifying productive activities and businesses that spread household risk, whilst simultaneously provide inputs to climate-smart agriculture, or adding value to climate-smart agricultural products. The component involves two clusters of work outlined below – (i) supporting the strengthening / establishment of small agri-businesses and cooperatives at village level, (based on the enhanced and diversified production stimulated in Component 2); and (ii) linking these to value chains beyond the village through targeted support to youth entrepreneurs. Further discussion will be held with stakeholders in the private sector, government and civil society during the project preparation phase, including scoping of potential in particular target landscapes, and what partnerships can be forged with agribusiness innovation hubs, and providers of micro-finance and technical training in Mopti city.
Output 3.1: New cooperative climate-smart businesses established involving women, youth and displaced people (LDCF)
• Empower organizations of widowed women with climate-smart business and leadership training
• Support / establish women producer associations and cooperatives of youth and displaced people e.g. for processing of cereal crops, fish drying and smoking, liquid fertilizer, seedling nurseries etc., conducting value chain analysis and market studies with them
• Support set-up and first two years of operation of cooperative climate-smart businesses – including partnerships for land and infrastructure, technical training and business planning, market access and savings groups/micro-credit
Output 3.2: Entrepreneurship training and business incubation services provided to youth from target landscapes for adaptation-linked business ideas (LDCF)
• Provide opportunities for local youth from target communities to receive entrepreneurship training in existing incubator programmes in Mopti city
• Promote access to loan finance and loan guarantees for youth with solid business plans and family/community backing – in agri-processing and climate-smart technologies
• Create scholarships for local youth to be trained e.g. in maintenance of solar PV systems (supporting adaptation activities).
Component 4: Monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management for upscaling. The planned outcome is that project impacts are monitored and learning shared for scale-up of results across Sahel regions of Mali, and beyond. This involves two proposed outputs, with indicative activities for further discussion with stakeholders in national and regional government agencies, research institutions, development partners and civil society. The two clusters of work are outlined below – (i) creating platforms for scaling up the project learning across Mali and the Sahel; and (ii) facilitating learning exchanges and training of youth to feed into a monitoring system, both for the project, and also feeding into the implementation and monitoring of the LDN action plan in Component 1.
Output 4.1: Knowledge platform operational for coordination and lessons sharing among stakeholders at commune, cercle, region, national and international levels (GEFTF)
• Establish a knowledge platform with online and face-to-face elements, including project stakeholders and all related initiatives (peace-building, adaptation, mitigation, sustainable agriculture etc)
• Hold annual multi-stakeholder dialogues through the platform in target Cercles and Mopti Region to address interrelated challenges of SLWM, peace and climate security
• Host a national learning event on Climate Security and Sustainable NRM to share learning from project, inviting participation by other conflict-affected Sahelian countries to promote South-South engagement
• Produce a lessons learnt publication and series of short videos and use these as basis for participation by Mali in international forums to disseminate lessons learnt
Output 4.2: A participatory M&E and learning framework is developed and implemented for project as a whole (including sites for Component 2 and 3 activities) (LDCF)
• Develop, implement and monitor youth and gender action plans for project
• Arrange learning exchange visits to share experiences in climate change adaptation and agro-ecological restoration between target villages, communes and cercles
• Operationalize the mechanism for monitoring changes in agro-ecological ecosystem condition, adaptive capacity and resilience in the Mopti region, including training and equipping youth monitors who feed data back via the Institute for Rural Economy to the national LDN action plan
 The Mali Geographic Institute (IGM) is in charge of the production, maintenance and diffusion of geographic reference information in Mali, including on land cover, land use and land degradation.
 The Institute of Rural Economy (IER) is the main research institution in Mali for the implementation of the national agricultural research policy, covering all of Mali's agro-ecological zones, and addressing climate change vulnerability and adaptation strategies.
 UNCCD (2016) Scaling up Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting - from Lessons to Actions: 14 Pilot Countries’ Experiences
 Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) or la Régénération Naturelle Assistée (RNA) is the term used in Mali for Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), as the most successful proven technique for sustainable regreening in the Sahel - see https://fmnrhub.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/FMNR-Field-Manual_DIGITAL_FA.pdf or http://fmnrhub.com.au/regeneration-assistee/ or https://regreeningafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FMNR-Booklet-French_High-Res_web.pdf
A cercle is a rural district
 Potential exists for co-financing from the German Government, building on the 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment in Mali by MERADD and AEDD in Partnership with GIZ, funded by BMZ.
 Component 1 and 4 of the project will be carried out at national scale, as well as with the regional government of Mopti Region. Components 2 and 3 of the project are proposed to take place in three target landscapes, to be selected during the project preparation phase, according to criteria agreed by the Technical Committee under AEDD, in consultation with stakeholders. A target landscape could, for example: (i) involve 3-4 contiguous communes, in a particular cercle (or crossing cercle boundaries if this makes sense ecologically; (ii) be in an area shown on the map below as vulnerable or highly vulnerable to climate change; and (iii) have visible evidence of ecosystem degradation, for example, thinned woodland, bare soils, silted waterways, or sand-encroached dwellings.
 A commune is a rural municipality
 Potentially in all the villages of the 9-12 target communes
 Natural Resource Management
 Including farming households headed by women (including widows and divorced women)
 Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) or la Régénération Naturelle Assistée (RNA) is the name given in Mali to the concept sometimes known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration. This approach has proven highly effective in the Sahel context and has multiple benefits – it can restore land productivity, reverse desertification and enhance resilience to disaster: increasing crop yields, improving groundwater recharge, retaining soil moisture, and increasing soil organic carbon, nutrient recycling, shade, wind and dust barriers, fodder and compost production and availability of fruit and medicine.
 For example, soil and water conservation strategies such as digging half-moon pits, contour bunds with stone, banquets etc.
 e.g. seeds, seedlings, polyethylene bags, watering cans and spades
 Potentially in partnership with the National Agency for Youth Employment, and with entrepreneurship support providers such as TETELISO and Doni-Labs
 Potentially in partnership with the Renewable Energy Agency
 Potentially through a partnership with the UN Peacebuilding Forum
 Particularly through existing GEF projects in these countries with related goals, which may have resources to enable such participation
Component 1: Enhancing coordination and monitoring for land degradation neutrality and climate security.
Component 2: Enhancing resilience of degraded production landscapes with communities vulnerable to climate change.
Component 3: Supporting family farms, youth and women to innovate and adopt resilient and sustainable livelihoods.
Component 4: Monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management for upscaling.
Landscape restoration for increased resilience in urban and peri-urban areas of Bujumbura in Burundi
The proposed "Landscape restoration for increased resilience in urban and peri-urban areas of Bujumbura in Burundi" project will strengthen integrated watershed management and flood management of the Ntahangwa river connected to Bujumbura to ensure the resilience of both upstream highland communities and downstream lowland communities living in urban areas. The proposed GEF Least Developed Countries Fund-financed project will include a comprehensive planning and management approach making use of climate information available in the country together with specific investments in landscape restoration, flood management measures and resilient livelihoods support. Landscape restoration in areas connected to Bujumbura will help restore flood-related ecosystem protection for both highland upstream communities and lowland urban communities with adaptive solutions ranging from tree planting to watershed protection and reinforcement of riverbank structures. The project is currently in the PIF stage.
At least 120,000 people from the two Bujumbura Provinces, Bujumbura Mairie and Bujumbura Rural, or about 8% of the total estimated population in these two provinces will directly benefit from the project (half of project beneficiaries are women). The project will restore 3,000 ha of degraded areas through tree planting, an additional 1,000 km of anti-erosion ditches and terraces and 1.5 km of flood control infrastructures along the Ntahangwa river in Bujumbura itself. The watershed area is estimated between 12,829 hectares, the project aims to ensure that 10,200 ha, or 80% of the watershed's estimated area, are put under improved management.
To complement the restoration efforts, livelihood activities are needed to reduce the vulnerability of populations by promoting green entrepreneurship and providing better access to markets (initial main sectors targeted are agriculture and agro-industry as well as the charcoal sector) connecting urban communities to peri-urban communities in the watershed. The charcoal sector’s reliance on trees makes it a prime sector to target through a climate-resilient value chain approach. The agro-business sector will benefit from increasing the value of agricultural products and creating new investment opportunities. The urban focus of this project opens new doors to tap into the nascent startup ecosystems of Bujumbura while providing support for youth entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Resilient livelihood options and green entrepreneurship are important strategies to rebuild Burundi’s economy as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Impacts of climate change
Burundi is a small landlocked country of 11 million people. Agriculture is its primary economic sector, employing nearly 80% of its inhabitants who live from subsistence farming. The country is densely populated with high population growth. Bujumbura is Burundi’s biggest city and until February 2019, the capital city before it moved to Gitega. Bujumbura remains the main economic centre of the country and concentrate services and all of the business opportunities. Burundi’s landscape presents large swath of mountainous areas with elevations ranging from 770 m up to 2,670 m, on the eastern part of the country, the terrain drops to a flat plateau.
Burundi is subject to cyclical geophysical phenomenon like El Niño that are causing extreme climatic situations, strengthening the country’s vulnerability in different sectors, including infrastrutures development, transport, housing schemes and urban planning. This increased exposure to the impacts of climate change, together with the high poverty rate – 67% of the population living under the poverty threshold - puts the economy of Burundi as a whole in a very vulnerable and fragile situation. Burundi ranks as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate disruptions, ranking 171 out of 181 in the ND-GAIN index for climate vulnerability. The country is the 14th most vulnerable country and the 16th least ready country to combat the expected impact of climate change.
Current trends have shown an overall decrease in precipitation creating shorter wet seasons and a prolonged dry season. An increase in mean temperature of 0.7-0.9°C has been observed since 1930. Climate-induced natural hazards have become more frequent in the past decades with an increase in flood and drought as well as storm surges and landslides. Severe droughts frequently affect Burundi and account for a third of all natural hazards occurring in the country and torrential rains have caused major flooding issues around Lake Tanganyika, including Bujumbura. Between 1999 and 2007, the combined losses from severe flood (2006, 2007) and drought (1999, 2000, 2005) episodes were estimated by the government at 5% of the country’s GDP. Severe flooding and landslide have become a common yearly occurrence due to heavier rains than usual during the wet seasons. The country has reported important damages to crops, soil and infrastructure together with the increased presence of pests and disease that affect food crops and livestock.
Between 2013 and August 2020, the International Organization for Migration recorded 131,336 internally displaced people (IDPs), 83% of them as a result of natural disasters. The major part of these displacements occurred in the provinces of Bujumbura Mairie and Bujumbura Rural where 60,207 IDPs are on records. In January 2014, torrential rains caused rivers throughout the city of Bujumbura to come out of their bed. The flooding affected 220,000 people, 40% of Bujumbura’s population. 70 people were reported dead, 4 missing and 182 injured. Physical damage included 2,000 damaged or destroyed houses, the destruction of teaching materials at 7 flooded schools, lost merchandise at 500 stalls in 1 market, several bridges destroyed, 2 main roads cut, and 5000 ha of agricultural land degraded. A month later, in February 2014, floods and landslides in Bujumbura caused 64 deaths, destroyed 940 homes and rendered nearly 12,500 people homeless. Similar events causing deaths and massive destruction have been reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in 2019-2020. In April 2020, floods in Bujumbura Rural displaced 27,972 people and destroyed or damaged 6,010 houses. UN OCHA reported thousands of hectares of crops ready for harvest destroyed as well as an increased trend in prices for basic food commodities. Further increase are expected as traders try to preserve their stocks in anticipation of poor harvests.
Regional climate models using both a low and high emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 respectively) indicate that the average annual temperature in the country could increase by 1.7-2.1°C by 2060 and 2.2-4.2°C by 2100 (mean change compared to the average for the 1970–1999). The highest increase is projected to occur during the dry season, which could lead to longer heat waves and more severe drought episodes. Climate models indicate an increase in mean annual precipitation of 5.7%-7.7% by 2060 and 8.6-13.2% by 2100 compared to 1970-1999. Furthermore, most of the regional climate models show an increase in precipitation during the main wet season (November-February) and all the models agree on a positive trend for the months of November and December and dryer conditions the months before the onset of the rainy season.
These changes and variability will result in challenges to agricultural productivity, food security and livelihoods, and a likely increase in the occurrence of climate disasters already observed. While evapo-transpiration will increase due to higher temperatures, the surplus of water from the precipitations is likely to increase the risk of extreme rainfalls, flash floods and landslides. A vulnerability analysis of Burundi showed that the area surrounding Bujumbura is particulary sensitive to erosion due to its mountainous landscape and soil profile, a situation that is likely to continue or worsen over time with climate change. On the other hand, the vulnerability analysis shows that drought is and will continue to remain an issue in the eastern and southern part of the country.
Infrastructure investments are concentrated in Bujumbura, making the city particularly prone to damage during flooding due to its geographical situation in lowlands surrounded by mountains prone to erosion and landslides. In order to address these issues, the Government of Burundi, through the National Platform of Prevention and Management of Disaster Risks in partnership with UN Agencies has prepared a “Flood contingency plan”. However, the existence of the Contigency Plan in absence of technical and financial resources has not brought significant changes to populations who suffer greatly from those disasters. In Bujumbura, city residents in the Nyakabiga, Kigobe, Mutanga and Mugoboka quartiers were forced to abandon their houses after they collapsed due to erosion and landslides. Other public infrastructures and private households are on the brink of collapse along the bank of the river Ntahangwa, putting lives directly at risk. The Ntahangwa watershed covers several districts east of Bujumbura and features steep hills prone to landslide and erosion, which then end up affecting densely populated areas of Bujumbura further downstream. Populations in the Ntahangwa watershed (outside Bujumbura itself) rely mostly on subsistence agriculture and agro-forestry on hills for their livelihoods and are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
In addition, the country faces aggravating factors, in particular the socio-political crisis that leads to population movements, creating vulnerable groups and a polarization of the population in general. It is also important to highlight the situation of women, who, despite the efforts identified over the last years with regards to political and economic aspects, are still facing inequalities in terms of rights - in particular access to private property. Youth represents a key part of Burundi’s workforce, but opportunities for employment, including those with university degrees, is lacking and fails to fully tap into their potential. The Government has made youth employment a priority and a key pillar of their social protection policy.
Burundi reported its first case of COVID-19 in March 2020. As of the end of 27 October 2020, the country had 558 cases with one official death only. Burundi closed its borders in March 2020, but a comprehensive response to COVID-19 only started in July 2020 when the newly sworn president of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye, declared the virus as “the worst enemy of Burundi” while announcing preventive measures against the disease including mass screening, barrier gestures and economic incentives to reduce food prices. Similar to other African countries, the evolution of the pandemic has not seen the same dramatic progress as has been observed in Asia, Europe or America, but a response is required to maintain essential health services and avoid the spread of the virus beyond the capacity of Burundi’s fragile health system. The majority of confirmed cases were reported in the Bujumbura province.
COVID-19 is expected to impact agricultural production capacities and livelihoods, which could exacerbate food insecurity and limit the resilience capacities of the most vulnerable populations. The crisis has negative effects on food accessibility and price increases have already been observed (e.g. the price of maize is 37-61 percent higher compared to the same time last year). Food prices declined significantly between January and May, falling to their lowest level in seventeen months, but September 2020 marked the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the FAO Food Price Index. Border closure and quarantine requirements have led to a slow-down in trade and a disruption of cross-border markets affecting vulnerable households relying on casual labour and trade with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The COVID-19 crisis is impacting Burundi’s economic recovery. Some of the most affected sectors include services, hospitality and commercial services (transportation, travel, insurance) as well as agriculture, largely due to travel restrictions, a decline in international trade, waning demand for exports, and supply-chain disruptions.
Burundi has limited fiscal, monetary and financial buffers to cope with the current crisis. The GDP of Burundi had slightly risen to 1.8% in 2019 thanks to higher agricultural yields, but is poised to fall to 0.3% for 2020. As a result, public debt is expected to increase to 63.7 percent of the GDP in 2020 from 58.5 percent in 2019 due to reduced revenues and higher spending on health. Assuming the pandemic brought under control, the outlook could be positive in 2021 and 2022 with a significant rebound of growth supported by increased activity in all sectors.
The COVID-19 recovery efforts present opportunities for Burundi to use ecosystem-based adaptation and green economy principles to create jobs, strengthen agricultural value chains and supply chains from urban and rural areas and rebuild Burundi’s economy while addressing climate vulnerabilities and drivers of land degradation.
The LDCF-financed project aims to address the vulnerability of urban and peri-urban communities of Bujumbura and the Ntahangwa watershed to the increased frequency of floods, storm runoffs and landslides projected by climate models. These natural hazards are destroying households and infrastructures of urban communities of Bujumbura along the bank of the Ntahangwa river and threaten the livelihoods and resilience of highland communities living in the upstream part of the watershed. Erosion is a key factor increasing the vulnerability of highland communities to adapt and solutions to increase their resilience have the potential to reduce the impact felt by lowland communities downstream. Floods and storms directly affect the capacity of the watershed’s ecosystem to buffer the impact of climate change, which is made worst by the degradation and deforestation of hills by communities. Despite investments in watershed restoration in the past, there is no planning and management tool at the watershed-level to ensure the long-term resilience of communities. Climate information can support those processes; however, the government lacks the capacity to analyse and make use of data and information for decision-making.
The long-term solution is to strengthen integrated watershed management and flood management of the Ntahangwa river connected to Bujumbura to ensure the resilience of both upstream highland communities and downstream lowland communities living in urban areas. The solution will include a comprehensive planning and management approach making use of climate information available in the country together with specific investments in landscape restoration, flood management measures and resilient livelihoods support. Landscape restoration in areas connected to Bujumbura will help restore flood-related ecosystem protection for both highland upstream communities and lowland urban communities with adaptive solution ranging from tree planting to watershed protection and reinforcement of riverbanks structures. To complement the restoration efforts, livelihood activities are needed to reduce the vulnerability of populations by promoting green entrepreneurship and providing better access to markets (at this stage, the main sectors targeted are agriculture and agro-industry as well as the charcoal sector) connecting urban communities to peri-urban communities in the watershed. The charcoal sector’s reliance on trees makes it a prime sector to target through a climate-resilient value chain approach. The agro-business sector will benefit from increasing the value of agricultural products and creating new investment opportunities. The urban focus of this project opens new doors to tap into the nascent startup ecosystems of Bujumbura while providing support for youth entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Resilient livelihood options and green entrepreneurship are important strategies to rebuild Burundi’s economy as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Several barriers to this solution have been identified, they will need to be addressed by the LDCF project in order for the project to achieve its results.
Barrier 1: Limited institutional and technical capacity for mapping and analysis of climate risks for resilient integrated watershed management (including flood management). While a climate information system for early warnings has been established in Burundi, operators are receiving training to operationalize the system, but their capacities to make use of data and information beyond early warning (e.g. planning and management) are and will remain limited without dedicated resources. Those capacity gaps need to be addressed before national authorities can analyse trends and develop models to understand flood and erosion risks and support policy and planning processes that can ensure a resilient integrated watershed management of the Ntahangwa river. The development of community development plans (PCDC) has been an important tool to ensure community engagement in shaping programming and investment priorities. However, the absence of an overarching strategic planning process at the watershed level leads to fragmentation and difficulties in developing and measuring the overall impact of interventions across the watershed and broader productive landscape.
Barrier 2: Limited capacities, knowledge and technologies for Ecosystem-based Adaptation. Local authorities do not have the knowledge and expertise to manage climate risks appropriately at their level, even when management measures are identified in a local development plan. Preventive measures are therefore not prioritized and the response to climate-related disasters has remained reactive. This results in significant damage and losses (human, material), which reduces productivity and leads to negative externalities and maladaptation. Communities of the watershed have limited exposure to ecosystem-based adaptation solutions that can improve the resilience of watersheds and restore ecosystem services for flood and erosion protection. They lack the capacity to implement EbA interventions and are not incentivized for doing so. While funding for local development is scarce, human resources are abundant and communities all over the nation willingly give time and effort to benefit their own community. This approach referred to as “labour intensive public work” does not focus on climate resilience, but could be leveraged for the implementation of climate-resilient initiatives with the right incentives.
Barrier 3: Limited livelihood options and entrepreneurship support for climate resilience, in particular for vulnerable and under-represented populations such as women and the youth. Competing needs and interests make it difficult for vulnerable populations to factor in climate risks in their decisions. The lack of resilient alternative livelihood options means they often are forced to continue with maladapted practices despite experiencing increasing negative impacts from climate change every season. Deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices worsen the slopes’ stability and compound the problems as climate change impacts worsens. Alternative options to reduce those pressures are extremely limited or not realistic due to lack of market access. While highland upstream areas become more prone to landslide and erosion during intense rainfall, they also worsen the situation of communities in the lowland downstream areas who face increasing risks of flood, flash floods and landslides. For the Ntahangwa watershed, demand for food and agricultural products is driven by urban population in Bujumbura while some of their needs are met by rural communities upstream. Despite this obvious link, there is a disconnect between the activities to meet urban demand and their impact on ecosystem services that protect them against flood and there is no win-win mechanisms to use market levers to encourage a shift to resilient livelihood options that meet urban demands while reducing pressure on ecosystem services that also benefit urban populations. In general, lack of market access is a barrier making those livelihood options difficult to implement as tools and mitigating strategies to overcome those barriers are limited/inexistent. Support for small business creation by the government is limited, even more for the implementation of innovative technological solutions deemed risky.
Component 1: Developing technical capacities for climate-induced flood and erosion risks mapping and their use to inform climate-resilient integrated watershed management and other planning processes.
The Ntahangwa river connected to Bujumbura is a strategic asset that provides opportunities for productive sectors (e.g. agriculture, fisheries) but is also prone to climate risks and causes important damage due to erosion and landslides during wet seasons. Investments in parts of the Ntahangwa watershed have been made in the past, but they are insufficient to yield their intended results as they are scattered and not chosen based on an overall understanding of the watershed hydrologic processes and ecosystem services. A comprehensive integrated approach to land and water resources management of the Ntahangwa watershed is required to ensure long-term flood and erosion control and increased resilience of the communities in the watershed, including in areas at high risk of flood in densely populated areas of Bujumbura.
Under this component 1, capacities to analyse climate data and develop climate risk models will be enhanced to support climate-resilient integrated planning at the watershed level and inform communal development plans and flood-resilient urban development plans. The outcome under this component will address the first barrier to the long-term solutions identified in section 1. Interventions will cover the urban, peri-urban and rural settings, as they need to be considered together to understand the needs, priorities and constraints of populations in each of those areas to identify opportunities and synergies at the level of the watershed and attribute relevant role and responsibilities accordingly. For example, urban populations downstream need rural communities upstream to prevent soil erosion and reduce surface runoff causing flash floods. Rural communities need urban and peri-urban communities to access markets to sell their products.
Outcome1: Enhanced capacity for climate risk modelling and integrated planning in the Ntahangwa watershed and Bujumbura town
Under the LDCF project “Community based climate change related disaster risk management”, a community-based climate information system was developed to collect hydrological information and disseminate early warning information. 30 hydrometeorological stations were installed, with information collected centrally by the Geographic Institute of Burundi (IGEBU) and already covering the Ntahangwa watershed. As of 2021, the early-warning system should be operational, fully managed and funded by the government. Capacities and resources to make use of climate information will remains nonetheless limited and prevent use for planning and decision-making. Outcome 1 will build government capacities to expand the use of the climate information to better understand ecosystem health and their capacity to deliver benefits in terms of resilience under the current human, environmental and climate-related pressures. Modeling capacities also need to be enhanced to develop hydrological models to determine climate risks, more specifically flood and erosion risks, in the Ntahangwa watershed based on current climatic trends and future climate change scenarios. Those are pre-requisites for the development of an evidence-based, climate-resilient, integrated watershed management plan for the Ntahangwa river, as they will guide planning and decision-making processes.
Target areas for the World Bank-funded “Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project”, which constitute part of the baseline for land restoration and erosion control activities, were chosen in relation to their location in the Isare commune, but not primarily for their link to the Ntahangwa river. The resilient integrated watershed management plan will provide an understanding of the key areas in the watershed for the provision of ecosystem services for flood and erosion control and propose a watershed rehabilitation plan for those areas. The determination of priority areas will also confirm the critical gaps in the areas of treatment in the Ntahangwa watershed. Integrated watershed planning is an exercise requiring cross-sectoral cooperation and intense stakeholders’ consultation and participation, involving vulnerable and under-represented groups of people, such as women, youth, and indigenous people (n.b. indigenous Batwas are known to be present in the Ntahangwa watershed). The watershed planning exercise will make use of the climate information systems and climate-sensitive risk maps and evaluate adaptation solutions based on their geographical situation in the watershed. This should be complemented by ecosystem valuations to determine the economic value of ecocystem services provided by the watershed areas. Training will be provided to increase the capacity of relevant provincial and communal government officials, decision-makers and planners. The training will help them identify cost-beneficial ecosystem-based adaptation opportunities (rural as well as urban) and flood protection measures that address the climate threats facing the watershed.
The resilient integrated watershed planning exercise will be used to inform the preparation or revision of existing urban development plans in Bujumbura and communal local development plans in rural communes of the watershed. Those plans are the main tools to translate watershed-level planning into concrete field intervention on the ground while supporting long-term sustainability of the project activities and as a result long-term climate resilience.
Outcome 1 will support the other outcomes by creating the necessary basis upon which this LDCF project can conduct ecosystem restoration, flood protection and livelihood development activities to increase the resilience of communities in the watershed (in rural, urban and peri-urban areas). The evidence-based framework for planning and investment decisions will help ensure the sustainability and scalability of the project. Improvements to the climate information system will also help with collection of data and information that make monitoring and evaluation of the project’s impact easier to measure quantitively.
Outputs under Outcome 1 are listed below:
- Output 1.1: The community-based climate information system supported and improved to monitor changes in key ecological determinants of ecosystem health and resilience in the Ntahangwa watershed.
- Output 1.2: Training program implemented to enable the use of hydrological and climate models to map out climate-sensitive flood and erosion risks in the Ntahangwa watershed.
- Output 1.3: A resilient integrated watershed management plan prepared to guide the development and rehabilitation of the Ntahangwa watershed in areas critical for the provision of ecosystem services for flood and erosion control.
- Output 1.4: Flood and erosion risks maps developed for use in climate-resilient planning (urban development and investment in Bujumbura, local development plans in communes of the Ntahangwa watershed).
Component 2: Landscape restoration and flood management measures to protect communities in the Ntahangwa watershed and Bujumbura from flood and erosion risks.
The area surrounding Bujumbura is the most prone to erosion and landslides, a situation which will increase over time according to climate projections. Component 2 will build on the evidence base and the climate-resilient integrated watershed management plan provided in Component 1 to implement ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) interventions and flood protection measures in strategic locations across the Ntahangwa watershed. The EbA interventions will restore or maintain ecosystem services for flood and erosion control while protective measures against flood will help stabilize critical riverbanks in at-risk populated areas of Bujumbura. This component represents the bulk of the investments proposed by this LDCF project and will complement and strengthen other investments made in landscape restoration, afforestation and resilience-building activities in parts of the Ntahangwa watershed (See Section 2 on Associated baseline projects).
Outcome 2: Ecosystems services for flood and erosion protection restored and flood protection measures implemented to improve the resilience of communities in the Ntahangwa watershed and in Bujumbura.
Under this outcome, the project will promote ecosystem-based adaptation techniques in the highland upstream areas of the Ntahangwa watershed. The specific measures include landscape restoration techniques and community-based anti-erosion measures. Landscape restoration techniques will focus on planting trees and creating quickset hedges to stabilize hills in the watershed and will be complemented by anti-erosion contour trenches and terraces. Those techniques are meant to reduce soil erosion, increase soil moisture and reduce surface water runoff, therefore improving ecosystem services provided by the watershed and its streams. During intense rainfall, contour trenches channel water runoff and reduce erosion and crop losses due to flooding. By increasing soil moisture, they also provide added protection against drought and heat waves on crops. These EbA techniques increase land productivity and food security. They bring additional economic benefits to communities as most of the hills in the watershed are used for agricultural production.
The landscape restoration efforts will be implemented directly with the local communities in each of the targeted hills in selected communes of the Ntahangwa watershed. Local authorities and local communities will enforce a ban on tree cutting and maintain anti-erosion trenches as part of their community work (half a day per week is dedicated to community work) under a labor-intensive public works (LIPW) scheme. Those EbA techniques are appropriate for a LIPW approach as they are low-tech and easy to implement and maintain with little capital. The LIPW approach has been applied successfully in Burundi for many years and is one of the approaches used to implement activities of the local development plans (e.g. Plan Communal de Développement Communautaire (PCDC)).
The risk mapping and modelling exercise undertaken under Outcome 1 and the watershed rehabilitation plan will help prioritize the hills and communes of the watershed based on their vulnerability to erosion and landslide and their contribution to the ecological status of the river and streams. This prioritization will also consider current and previous investments in the watershed to avoid overlaps and duplication as well as ensure that other interventions in contribute to addressing the climate threats facing the watershed. In total, the project will plant 3,000 ha of specific trees and herbaceous/shrubby quickset hedges in critical degraded areas as well as establish 1,000 km of contour trenches and radical terraces.
Additional protection from flood will be provided through investment in protective infrastructures in lowland downstream areas, more specifically at-risk populated areas of Bujumbura close to the river. While Bujumbura is less prone to erosion, floods have devastating impacts on the city and the rivers flowing through it, including the Ntahangwa river where critical infrastructures such as schools, churches and habitation are directly at risk of collapsing. Climate change projections indicate that this situation will worsen over time, with increased variability between seasons and increased rainfall causing will increase the frequency of flash flood and landslides. Initial investments in flood protection measures was conducted along the river as part of the previous LDCF intervention. Those measures were considered a success by beneficiaries and the government. The risk mapping exercise under Component 1 will be used to determine the physical location and protective infrastructures options for implementation at a fine-scale level. This work involves civil engineering techniques to reinforce the sides of the river chanel with gabions and terraced surfaces. A social and environmental impact assessment will be undertaken before work on the riverbank can start.
These interventions will be supported by tools and technologies to increase communication and knowledge management at the community level to ensure better responses and handling when climate-related disasters occur. These will aim to create awareness and promote targeted interventions to shift response behaviours to improve climate resilience. South-South cooperation and exchanges of experience and lessons learned on EbA solutions for landscape restoration and urban-based flood protection measures will also be explored during the PPG. These activities will promote the sustainability and scalability of the project, in particular for their application in other rivers and watersheds connected to Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika.
Outputs under Outcome 2 are listed below:
- Output 2.1: Restoration measures of vulnerable hilltops of the Ntahangwa watershed connected to Bujumbura completed through the methods of tree planting and quickset hedges;
- Output 2.2: Establishment of community-based anti-erosion measures, such as ditches and radical terraces, in vulnerable hills critical for the ecosystem health and resilience of the Ntahangwa watershed;
- Output 2.3: Flood control measures built along the Ntahangwa river channel in areas of Bujumbura where public and private infrastructures are at imminent risk of landslide during extreme climate events;
- Output 2.4: Knowledge and guidance material on (i) landscape restoration, and (ii) flood management and protective infrastructures prepared and disseminated within Burundi and via South-South exchanges.
Component 3: Livelihoods options and green entrepreneurship to increase resilience of the urban, peri-urban and rural communities in the Ntahangwa watershed.
Component 3 aims to support and strengthen the watershed restoration activities under Component 2 by inducing a shift away from unsustainable and vulnerable practices and livelihoods. Livelihoods enhancements and diversification activities proposed under this component will provide incentives to ensure participation and ownership of the project activities by beneficiaries and improve the long-term sustainability of the project results after it ends. The Ntahangwa river is strategic due to its geographic situation connecting highland areas highly sensitive to climate with major strategic assets for Burundi, the city of Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika. While the connection between the urban, peri-urban and rural communities of the Ntahangwa watershed has been ignored or overlooked, the project will identify and build on the synergies between those communities to deliver win-win adaptation solutions benefiting populations of the watershed, no matter their location or situation. This component also provides specific entry points to support women, young people and indigeneous people with concrete resilience-building solutions or opportunities and tailored support and incentives. Although rural areas have higher poverty rates, the COVID-19 has had immediate and severe impact in urban areas due to the high dependance of the urban poor on informal and non-wage income streams which easily succumb to crises due to low capacity to adapt to sudden changes in market conditions. The livelihood options and green entrepreneurship opportunities proposed under this component build climate resilience while creating green jobs and contributing to building back better as part of the COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Outcome 3: Community livelihood is improved with sustainable adaptation measures contributing to urban, peri-urban and rural resilience.
This outcome introduces adaptation measures promoting resilient livelihoods options and green entrepreneurship opportunities building on synergistic opportunities between populations in urban, peri-urban and rural areas of the watershed and resulting in increased resilience to climate change for populations in the watershed. The options and strategies will be informed by a climate-sensitive market analysis looking at demand levers that could be used to trigger climate-resilient offerings reducing land degradation in the watershed. The market analysis will look at relevant value chains and supply chains to make recommendations on the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of climate-resilient strategies, both on-farm and off-farm. Relevant value chains and supply chains would include agricultural and food products, crops and farming inputs, livestock, fisheries, and non-timber forest products (NTFP). The market analysis will assess economic impacts and market barriers and will include mitigating strategies to address these barriers. The market analysis will be gender-sensitive and aim to provide specific strategies and options for vulnerable and under-represented groups. Food supply systems are key sources of livelihoods and income generating opportunities and can be instrumental in strengthening positive rural-urban linkages. The market analysis will consider COVID-19-related constraints on value chains and supply chains to identify resilience building solutions also contributing to a more robust recovery from COVID-19. The results of the market analysis will be used to inform urban and local development plans supported as part of Outcome 1.
Based on the results of the market analysis, the project will support 5 to 8 Ecosystem-based Adaptation solutions providing resilient livelihoods options that are also compatible with watershed resilience. Those solutions could include, but not limited to, family orchard, food processing and preservation, beekeeping, use of NTFP. Family orchard is a promising EbA solutions that could be used in the Ntahangwa watershed to develop small-scale cultivation systems optimizing the use of space and family labour to produce vegetables, herbs and fruits for both domestic consumption and supplemental income. Family orchard can be implemented in a variety of configurations in both rural and urban settings. Using crop diversification, families can produce food year-round and distribute losses due to climate-induced events. The technique contributes to food security and resilience, it can be complemented by other techniques for increased resilience and autonomy, such as water harvesting techniques, composting and seed management. The project will explore food processing and preservation techniques for agricultural and NTFP products to create added value, reduce post-harvest losses, access new markets and diversify income opportunities, increasing general resilience to climate as a result. While this strategy can be applied to small producers, it could also apply to small agro-business enterprise development.
Under outcome 3, the project aims to foster innovation by supporting green entrepreneurship for urban/peri-urban adaptation. The project will provide investment and support for startup creation, capacity building and skill training, access to improved technologies, mentorship and networking. Green entrepreneurship will aim to tap into the potential of Burundi’s burgeoning startup community to come up with innovative solutions for urban and peri-urban resilience. This activity will provide employment opportunities and connect with young people and women, including those with higher education who often fail to find opportunities matching their career ambitions and expectations. For this activity, UNDP will partner with national, regional and global technological hubs, startup incubators and accelerators to connect startups and entrepreneurs with relevant actors and support. Through green entrepreneurship, the project will contribute to building a more resilient, greener economy in Burundi, which UNDP is promoting as a key recovery strategy post-COVID-19. In times of restricted mobility due to the pandemic, digital solutions are emerging as essential to keep businesses active and ensure safety and security. Where possible, the project will use innovative digital tools to make green businesses easier, more inclusive and more capable of sustaining services during crisis.
UNDP initiated discussions to partner with Impact Hub Bujumbura, a local technology hub supporting Burundi’s startup ecosystem to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals via entrepreneurial and innovative solutions. To generate ideas and interest, the project will support Impact Hub Bujumbura with the organization of the first Climathon in Burundi, Climathon x Bujumbura. Climathon is hackathon programme organized globally under the auspice of Climate-KIC to translate climate action solutions into tangible projects for climate positive businesses and start-ups and addressing local policy changes. Climathon x Bujumbura will gather the startup community to come up with innovative solutions for adaptation and urban resilience. The project, with support from UNDP, will seek to connect startup and entrepreneurs with resources and actors in Burundi, including funding (e.g. UNDP Acceleration Lab, Climate-KIC Accelerator).
Lessons learned from the GEF-LDCF project “Community based climate change related disaster risk management” will be used to guide and inform some of those activities for green entrepreneurship. Such activities include a pilot initiative for briquette production from recycled waste for cooking that is ready for upscaling. Charcoal production is an important driver of deforestation and land degradation in Burundi and the production of briquettes from organic waste contributes to reducing the reliance on wood for charcoal production. The pilot initiative supported by UNDP has created an additional source of income for over 20 young people, men and women, who have learnt the skills needed to prepare the briquettes from waste and build improved cooking stoves. The initiative is generating revenues and has identified areas to improve production bottlenecks for further expansion (e.g. shaping of briquettes with a motorized engine instead of manual work). The market analysis will provide solutions and de-risking incentives to upscale this initiative and will support the establishment of additional briquette production units with, among others, skill training and marketing training, improved production equipments and access to finance.
To facilitate investments and entrepreneurship, the project includes a specific activity on access to micro-finance for smallholder farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs, with a specific focus on women and youth entrepreneurs. This will include capacity building in financial literacy to give beneficiaries a better understanding of credit and business models applicable to their livelihood activities. The project will establish partnerships with banks and micro-finance institutions to develop credit products at affordable interest rates and accessible by vulnerable groups. During the PPG, de-risking measures to incentivize micro-finance institutions and banks will be explored. Strategies to facilitate positive impact on women and other vulnerable groups will form the basis for tailoring policies, practices and products that better address gender equality and promote women’s empowerment. The project will train MFI’s staff member on gender analysis and help them incorporate empowerment indicators (e.g. proportion of women in the loan portfolio) into their client monitoring and assessment processes and help them adjust their financial services to respond to diverse client needs (e.g. adapting loan amounts and repayment schedules for women). The project will build on and strengthen women’s network and conduct marketing campaigns to influence people’s attitudes on women’s status and employment to facilitate community approval of women’s projects and build women’s self-confidence.
As in Outcome 2, Outcome 3 will promote communication and knowledge management, and explore mechanisms to share experience and lessons learned and promote sustainability and scalability of the project’s livelihood options for EbA and green entrepreneurship initiatives.
- Output 3.1: Market analysis conducted, including; i) identifying demand levers that could to drive a shift to sustainable resilient practices in the watershed (considering opportunities from/between urban/peri-urban/rural settings); ii) analysing relevant supply chains for climate-resilient agricultural and food products, crops and farming inputs, livestock and fisheries, and non-timber forest products; iii) assessing economic impacts and market barriers; and iv) drafting mitigating strategies to address these barriers.
- Output 3.2: Ecosystem-based Adaptation solutions providing resilient livelihoods options compatible with watershed resilience are supported (e.g.: family orchard, food processing and preservation, beekeeping, use of NTFP…);
- Output 3.3: Startup creation facilitated through the provision of technical support (training, mentoring) and finance (to invest in resilient practices and technologies);
- Output 3.4: Development of micro-finance products (micro-credit) with Micro-Finance Institutions to support small business development, with a focus on women and youth entrepreneurs.
- Output 3.5: Knowledge and guidance material on (i) resilient livelihood options and (ii) and green entrepreneurship and startup creation leveraging urban, peri-urban and rural win-win opportunities for climate resilience prepared and disseminated within Burundi and via South-South exchanges.
 Analyse intégrée de la Vulnérabilité au Burundi. GIZ, December 2014.
 Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Options, costs and benefits, UNEP, 2013.
Component 1: Developing technical capacities for climate-induced flood and erosion risks mapping and their use to inform climate-resilient integrated watershed management and other planning processes;
Component 2: Implementing landscape restoration and flood management approaches to restore ecosystem services against flood and erosion in the Ntahangwa watershed in and around Bujumbura;
Component 3: Livelihoods options and green entrepreneurship to increase resilience of the urban, peri-urban and rural communities in the Ntahangwa watershed.