Extreme Weather Events
Taxonomy Term List
Increased resilience and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable communities to climate change in Forested Guinea
The Republic of Guinea is a coastal country situated in West Africa, on the Atlantic Coast, sharing its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mali and its southern border with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. Its geographical location situates it at the crossroads of the major West African climatic groups, including the Guinean coastal climate, the Sudanese climate and the humid tropical climate at the edge of the equatorial climate.
The country is likely to be heavily impacted by climate change, and some effects are already being observed. For example, the seasonal distribution of rainfall and its intensity has changed in recent decades. Rising temperatures and changes in regional rainfall may continue to lead to flooding and have the potential to bring drought and extended dry spells in some regions.
The natural region of Forested Guinea, covering 23% of the country, is particularly fragile. Communities are especially vulnerable due to several deep-rooted factors such as; highest rate incidence of poverty in the country (~67% against a national average of 43,7 %); poor levels of financial and technical capacities of the farming communities and the institutions mandated to support rural development; dependence on rain fed agriculture (~97% of cultivated lands are rainfed) which is the primary source of livelihood and critical for food security; and poor agriculture/land management practices that contribute to degradation of agricultural landscapes, contribute to climate change and have negative effects on the overall crop productivity.
Forest Guinea, however, has a strong potential for agricultural development: out of 700,000 ha of agricultural lands that can be developed, including 400,000 ha of inventoried and geo-referenced lowlands, only 30,200 ha are partially developed and 1,000 ha in total water control in the finishing phase in Koundian.
The proposed long-term solution of this project is to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacities of the most vulnerable local communities (with a focus on youth and women) in Forested Guinea, to face climate change and improve self-sufficiency in basic living needs of rural communities and create conditions to enable its replication.
The project results, corresponding indicators and mid-term and end-of-project targets in the project results framework will be monitored annually and evaluated periodically during project implementation. The project monitoring and evaluation plan will also facilitate learning and ensure knowledge is shared and widely disseminated to support the scaling up and replication of project results.
Project-level monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken in compliance with UNDP requirements as outlined in the UNDP POPP (including guidance on GEF project revisions) and UNDP Evaluation Policy. Additional mandatory GEF-specific M&E requirements will be undertaken in accordance with the GEF Monitoring Policy and the GEF Evaluation Policy and other relevant GEF policies.
Minimum project monitoring and reporting requirements, as required by the GEF:
- Inception Workshop and Report
- Annual GEF Project Implementation Report (PIR)
- Independent Mid-term Review (MTR)
- Terminal Evaluation (TE)
The project’s terminal GEF PIR along with the Terminal Evaluation report and corresponding management response will serve as the final project report package. The final project report package shall be discussed with the Project Board during an end-of-project review meeting to discuss lesson learned and opportunities for scaling up.
Strengthening the climatic resilience of the drinking water sector in the South of Haiti
The Republic of Haiti is extremely vulnerable to climate change, particularly to the impacts of recurrent floods and droughts.
Reductions in freshwater availability in the country have been attributed to observed increases in the duration and intensity of drought periods, resulting in reduced water yield in springs, wells, and rivers. Reductions in groundwater resources are further compounded by an increase in the intensity of rainfall events, which, when coupled with extensive ecosystem degradation in critical recharge zones, reduce rainwater infiltration and subsequent aquifer recharge.
This project (2022 - 2027) will strengthen the resilience of vulnerable rural and peri-urban communities in the South-East (Sud-Est) Department of Haiti against projected impacts of climate change on drinking water availability and access, through three interrelated components:
1. Improved understanding and awareness of the water sector's vulnerability to climate change;
2. Strengthened regulatory and policy frameworks, as well as institutional capacities at national, regional and local levels for the improved management of drinking water under climate change conditions; and
3. Identification and promotion of practices for the conservation, management and supply of drinking water adapted to climate change conditions.
Climate change is exacerbating existing pressures on drinking water resources in Haiti, negatively affecting the lives and wellbeing of vulnerable communities.
The preferred solution is to increase water availability in target watersheds in the country’s South-East Department by conserving critical water recharge zones and aquifers, while enhancing the climate resilience of water distribution and storage infrastructure to ensure reliable access to water resources for target communities. These interventions will be supported by strengthened institutional and regulatory systems to promote the sustainable management of water resources and infrastructure.
This project will achieve the preferred solution through three interrelated components — specifically:
- Component 1 — Improved understanding and awareness of the water sector's vulnerability to climate change;
- Component 2 — Strengthened regulatory and policy frameworks, as well as institutional capacities at national, regional and local levels for the improved management of drinking water under climate change conditions; and
- Component 3 — Identification and promotion of practices for the conservation, management and supply of drinking water adapted to climate change conditions.
Under these three components, the proposed project’s climate change adaptation strategy will include:
i) Implementing on-the-ground interventions to improve aquifer recharge and climate-proof drinking water supply (such as agroforestry, the protection of water sources and aquifer recharge areas, percolation tanks and rainwater harvesting systems);
ii) Strengthening local capacities for climate-resilient water resource management through awareness raising and knowledge generation; and
iii) Developing support tools and strengthening technical/institutional capacities of decision-makers at the national and regional level to promote the mainstreaming of climate change into the planning and management of drinking water and associated natural resources in Haiti.
The project will target vulnerable areas of the country’s South-East Department, specifically the catchment areas, recharge zones and springs of the Cresson, Bodarie, Préchet, Cascade Pichon and K-Royer Drinking Water Supply Systems (SAEPs). These five target SAEPs were selected according to a methodology defined and developed collaboratively between the Government of Haiti (GoH), UNDP Haiti and consultants on the PPG Team.
Adaptation interventions to be implemented under the project components will positively impact local communities in these areas by reducing their vulnerability and increasing their resilience to droughts and floods.
By providing tools and developing capacities for the improved management of drinking water resources, project interventions will enable ~ 130,000 direct beneficiaries — reliant on the abovementioned drinking water sources — to benefit from more reliably available drinking water throughout the year under the context of increasingly long and intense drought periods that are expected to result from climate change.
The components and related interventions form part of the project’s Theory of Change outlined in the Project Document, which maps out the project’s baseline problem, assumptions, barriers, risks, components, outputs, outcomes, and objectives.
Component 1: Improved understanding and awareness of the water sector vulnerability to climate change
Outcome 1.1: Improved awareness raising and knowledge and information management systems for the water sector to plan and respond to the impacts of climate change.
Output 1.1.1: Assessments, with gender-specific criteria, carried out at the national level to demonstrate the implications of different climate change scenarios on the availability of water.
Output 1.1.2: A continuous information- and knowledge-generation and dissemination system implemented to inform communities and the GoH on water management adaptation strategies and climate-resilient water supply.
Output 1.1.3: Cost-benefit analyses of different adaptation strategies developed as per the predicted climate change scenarios identified under Output 1.1.1.
Output 1.1.4: Training programmes implemented for regional and national institutions on the extent of climate change impacts on freshwater availability — including methodologies and application of vulnerability assessments (as developed under Output 1.2.1 below) and adaptation solutions.
Output 1.1.5: Inventory and quality characterisation of groundwater aquifers in the target area carried out by OREPA Sud.
Output 1.1.6: Scientific and technical studies on the impacts of climate change and options for adaptation management in the target area conducted, informing local decision-making on climate-resilient water supply.
Outcome 1.2: Target communities prepared to effectively plan responses to climate change impacts on their access to drinking water.
Output 1.2.1: Methodologies and instruments developed for community-level vulnerability assessments (VAs) of drinking water supply.
Output 1.2.2: Participatory climate change vulnerability assessments (VAs) carried out in the project’s target communities.
Output 1.2.3: Integrated water resource modelling conducted to demonstrate the projected long-term impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and urban systems, as well as the relationships between these aspects and drinking water availability at the landscape level.
Component 2: Strengthening of the regulatory, policy and institutional capacity framework at national, regional, and local levels for the effective management of drinking water under climate change conditions
Outcome 2.1: Key regulatory and policy instruments adjusted to consider the implications of climate change for drinking water supply and promote adaptive community-based management, knowledge generation and dissemination
Output 2.1.1: Two regulatory instruments adjusted to account for the evolving contextual needs and conditions resulting from climate change.
Output 2.1.2: Strategic plans revised by sub-national regulatory institutions to prioritise adaptation interventions based on evaluations of climate change impacts on water supply vulnerability.
Output 2.1.3: Frameworks and instruments developed and applied for planning and coordination between national, regional, private and community-based organisations.
Outcome 2.2: Increased capacities in priority institutional stakeholders (DINEPA, OREPA Sud, CAEPAs and CTEs) with regards to the technical aspects of water resource management, territorial land-use planning, as well as management and application of information on water resources and climate change threats.
Output 2.2.1: Targeted programmes implemented to strengthen technical capacity of relevant institutions to incorporate climate change data into planning and management.
Output 2.2.2: Equipment provided to support the efficient application of technical capacity developed by training workshops.
Outcome 2.3: Target communities equipped with instruments and mechanisms that ensure the sustainable management of water resources and associated infrastructure, as well as specific strategies to target female-headed households.
Output 2.3.1: Community-based strategic and operational plans, with gender-specific criteria, developed to ensure the climate resilience of drinking water access.
Output 2.3.2: Consultative and consensus-based community-level engagement on land-use planning conducted, and training programmes developed, for sustainable land uses in drainage and recharge zones to ensure the climate resilience of drinking water recharge.
Output 2.3.3: Programmes implemented to strengthen organisational capacities and awareness of community-level stakeholders and organisations — reflecting gender-specific differences and promoting the equitable management of water resources and supply infrastructure under climate change conditions.
Component 3. Identification and promotion of practices for the conservation, management and supply of drinking water adapted to predicted climate change scenarios
Outcome 3.1: Reliable access to drinking water ensured for target communities and households as a result of the implementation of climate change adaptation measures.
Output 3.1.1: 4,540 ha of aquifer recharge zones rehabilitated within the five target SAEPs — of which 700 ha is restored through agroforestry.
Output 3.1.2: Gabions , percolation tanks , contour bunds and, septic tanks constructed to promote aquifer recharge and to reinforce the protection of the five target Drinking Water Supply Systems (SAEPs).
Output 3.1.3: Rooftop water harvesting systems and household cisterns installed in 350 households in target communities.
Output 3.1.4: Framework for financial plans for O&M of the five target SAEPs to improve water-use efficiency and distribution, accompanied by awareness-raising and advocacy programmes.
Output 3.1.5: Programmes for treating water supplies with sodium hypochlorite implemented to reduce water pollution-related health risks.
Project results, indicators and targets will be monitored annually and evaluated periodically during implementation. Monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken in compliance with UNDP requirements as outlined in the UNDP POPP and UNDP Evaluation Policy. Additional GEF-specific M&E requirements will be undertaken in accordance with the GEF M&E policy and other relevant GEF policies.
In addition to these mandatory UNDP and GEF M&E requirements, other M&E activities deemed necessary to support project-level adaptive management will be agreed – including during the project’s Inception Workshop (to be held within 2 months from the date of First Disbursement) and will be detailed in the Inception Report.
The GEF Core indicators included as Annex of the project document will be used to monitor global environmental benefits and will be updated for reporting to the GEF prior to MTR and TE. The project team is responsible for updating the indicator status.
Key monitoring and reporting requirements:
· Inception Workshop and Report
· Annual GEF Project Implementation Reports
· Independent Mid-term Review
· Terminal Evaluation (to be made publicly available in English on UNDP’s Evaluation Resource Centre)
· Final Report Package: Final Project Implementation Report, along with the Terminal Evaluation and corresponding management response
Strengthening the Resilience of Climate-Smart Agricultural Systems and Value Chains in the Union of Comoros
Comoros is particularly vulnerable to climate change, like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Due to its location and topography Comoros is among the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, and 54.2 percent of the population live in at-risk areas. The climate risk index of 25.33 for the year 2019 places the Comoros 16th (out of 180) of the countries most at risk. This value is mainly attributable to the passage of Cyclone Kenneth in April 2019 while the longer-term climate risk index, for the period 2000-2019, is 90.00 corresponding to the 97th rank. Comoros is extremely vulnerable to the amplification of rainfall variability linked to climate change, especially since the rural population is entirely dependent on rainwater harvesting. Models predict an increase in the annual average temperature, as well as increasing and intensifying risks associated with climate change, such as sea level rise, floods, droughts, and cyclones. Climate impacts are impacting agriculture, vulnerable ecosystems and livelihoods.
The proposed project “Strengthening the Resilience of Climate-Smart Agricultural Systems and Value Chains in the Union of Comoros” will aim to increase the resilience of 98,000 people, over 11% of the Comoros population, by focusing on key agricultural value chains vulnerable to the impact of climate change, including vanilla, ylang-ylang, and clove, the three main Comorian export commodities. The intervention will build capacities and support investments in climate-smart practices, more autonomous supply of inputs, better climate risk management and better access to knowledge and training, providing resilient livelihoods options for smallholders while reducing import dependence and increasing access to better quality, locally produced food. Implemented over a period of five years with an allocation of US$10 million from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund, the intervention will build on and make US$46 million worth of co-financed investments in agriculture and transportation in Comoros more resilient to climate change impacts. The project is aligned with and contributes to the Emerging Comoros Plan 2030, the flagship national strategy guiding the country’s development and green recovery efforts.
Component 1. Systemic, institutional and individual capacities for climate-resilient agriculture includes one outcome: Outcome 1. Enhanced capacity of national institutions and value chain actors involved in agriculture development to guide, plan, supervise and implement climate-resilient practices. The strategy for achieving outcome 1 is based on 3 outputs related to capacity development (i) of the institutional actors responsible for developing climate-adapted solutions and of CRDEs responsible to provide extension services to support their adoption, and (ii) of smallholder farmers, collectors and retailers to help them cope with the risks and uncertainties related to climate change, and (iii) through the development of guidance tools to support the adoption of climate-resilient practices. The development of institutional capacities will facilitate the replication of the lessons of this project to the whole agricultural community and will allow the continuous adaptation of tools and approaches to the evolution of the climate.
1.1 Capacity development plans elaborated and implemented to increase the institutional skills required to plan, develop, disseminate, and support the adoption of climate-resilient agricultural practices among smallholder farmers, and value chain actors. In 2013, the government established a network of sixteen (later expanded to nineteen) Rural Economic Development Centers (CRDEs) in rural areas of the country to supervise rural development programs for the improvement of the economy through the production and environmental protection sectors. CRDEs are local support structures for farmers responsible for providing services adapted to their needs to strengthen the resilience of agricultural systems and value chains. The CRDEs are in particular responsible for training farmers, providing technical extension services, support and advice to producers, supervising professional organizations, ensuring the collection and management of data, providing support to improve rural populations' access to agricultural inputs and supporting the development of basic infrastructure (eg hydraulics, supply, etc.). CRDEs will therefore be key beneficiaries of the project's capacity building interventions and will be at the centre of the project interventions to support small agricultural enterprises and other value chain actors. The rationale for the selection of target intervention areas is presented in section 1b. Project Map and Coordinates.
Strengthening the capacities of CRDEs will require a significant involvement of the public administration to support the recruitment of staff with adequate training meeting the profiles defined for CRDEs and ensure their continuing training and include aspects of adaptation to climate change in the training curriculum for agricultural technicians (University of Comoros and National Horticultural Center): a) Redeployment of institutional staff: Faced with the recruitment constraint within the public service, the project will advocate with the authorities within the ministry and the national and regional directorates and the Governorates of each island for the redeployment of staff from the administrations towards the CRDEs. The Regional Directorate is responsible for proposing the assignment of technicians to the CRDEs and the ministry is responsible for their recruitment. b) The project will support the definition of criteria for the selection of candidates for the assignment of personnel to CRDEs to ensure that they have the capacity to fulfill the responsibilities of the personnel (Director, Accountant Manager, Administrative Assistant and Technicians of the Center) as defined in Article 14 of Decree No. 13-015 relating to the status of Rural Economic Development Centers (CRDE). For each of these positions, the project will provide details on the requirements and skills required and will specify the need to work in rural areas. c) The project will support the establishment of a continuous training system and promote self-training focused on adaptation and resilience to climate change for CRDE staff. The project will work with institutions that provide training (National Horticultural Center and UdC) in order to include these themes in their curricula. Also, online resources are available (fr.csa.guide) to facilitate self-training in climate-smart agriculture on the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) websites. Modules have also been developed by FAO and are available in French. d) The project will support the development of a training of trainers’ program (namely in collaboration with FOFIFA and FIFAMANOR of Madagascar), which will target technicians within the staff of CRDEs who have more capacities in the most relevant areas. The trainings will cover different themes relating to climate-smart agriculture, including the selection and production of suitable seeds. e) The project will support the strengthening of the skills of CRDEs in communication and their essential role as extension centers focused on the development, evaluation, demonstration and dissemination of improved and climate-resilient agricultural practices to farmers, and their support throughout their adaptation to new techniques and approaches as well as in the traceability process through digital platforms and technological solutions.
This output is also focusing on strengthening the capacities of the other parties responsible for planning and supporting the implementation of climate-adapted agricultural practices, namely the National Directorate of Agricultural and Livestock Strategies (DNSAE), local authorities, NGOs and the private sector. Based on assessments of capacity development needs, the project will support the strengthening of the technical capacities of state actors (DNSAE and regional directorates for Agriculture), local authorities (municipalities, including the mayor and councillors), NGOs (including DAHARI, ARAF, Initiative Développement, Ngochao, 2 Mains, GAD, Mesha, and the Jeune Chambre Internationale), and the private sector (especially in relation to cash crops including collectors, vanilla preparers, exporters) to identify vulnerabilities to climate change in agricultural and pastoral activities, and develop and implement long-term adaptation strategies, through training, dissemination of knowledge through various media, and the development of action research involving these actors. (b) The project will support the development of the capacity to develop and update agricultural land use plans and agricultural calendars through the establishment (composition, terms of reference and resources) of a multidisciplinary working committee in charge of to develop and update the agricultural calendar on an annual basis and based on meteorological data and the analysis of the vulnerabilities of the various segments of the targeted sectors.
1.2 Training packages developed and delivered by CRDEs to farmers and agriculture value chain actors to enable the implementation of climat risk reduction measures. To achieve this output, the project will target local farmers, men, women, youth, and people with disabilities (PWDs), working individually or within cooperativeswith a special consideration given to facilitating attendance by women and PWDs. Capacity development needs will be assessed during the preparation of the project document (PPG). The trainings will be organized by the CRDEs who will also ensure the demonstration of climate-adapted practices within their plots, and will be provided by relay farmers, to build the capacity of farmers to understand and assess the effects of climate change on the condition of plots, crops and livestock, and to identify appropriate measures to improve it. Where appropriate, training will take advantage of the digital platform of the CRDE network, which aims, among other things, to facilitate access to online trainings on climate-smart agriculture and the digital transition.
Measures to improve climate resilience may include: i) improvement of soil condition to restore or increase productive capacity and counter erosion; ii) selection of new climate-resilient agricultural crops and varieties, and livestock options, suitable to local weather and soil condition of the plots (identified under the output 2.1 and in line with guidance provided in the agricultural land use plans under the output 1.3) and to the needs and interests of farmers; iii) adoption of practices (such as agroforestry, hedging, associated crops, agropastoralism) that strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture and livestock, and identified under the output 3.1.
In accordance with a national strategy to encourage actors to further specialize within value chains, training will also address aspects of processing, marketing and packaging of agricultural products. The climate change impacts on these segments of the value chains will be assessed to identify vulnerabilities and required adaptation mesures to increase their climate resilience, and develop/implement related trainings.
To further reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers in the context of climate change, the project will equally support the establishment or strengthening of local farmers cooperatives and improve their capacities in governance, microfinance and micro-entrepreneurship. To contribute to the financial sustainability of the climate-responsive solutions proposed under the project, trainings will include the development of business models that integrate the depreciation cost of inputs (e.g. infrastructure) into the price determination of products.
1.3 Guidance plans and tools to support the adoption of climate-resilient agriculture are designed, assessed, and disseminated on the basis of the analysis of the climatic and socio-economic vulnerability of each of the sectors of the targeted value chains, and include agricultural land use plans, crop calendars, advice sheets on varieties and agricultural practices for adapted varieties including for market gardening, cash crops, food crops, fodder, and for agroforestry including hedging (embocagement). To achieve this output, the project will undertake: (a) Climate and socioeconomic vulnerability analysis for all sections of targeted value chains. In order to identify the main issues affecting the value chains of targeted cash crop and market gardening and to better define the interventions needed to strengthen their resilience, the project will involve the value chains actors to document and assess climate, environmental, and socioeconomic vulnerability in all sections of the value chains. The vulnerability assessment will integrate the results of the assessments conducted by the CGIAR for tomatoes, bananas and manioc crops based on exposure to several factors related to climate change. As part of the vulnerability analysis, the project will develop value chain climate risk profiles. Assessments of the impacts of climate change often focus on production while neglecting the other components of value chains. However, successful adaptation requires thinking about how climate change will affect all aspects of the value chain. It is proposed to carry out this reflection with the stakeholders concerned by following the approach of climate risk profiles. Discussions will take place with value chain actors, i.e. producers, collectors, cooperatives and exporters, including the local populations involved, on their perception and experience of climate change and its impact on cultivation, harvesting, storage, transportation and processing of products. These discussions will also involve support and supervision structures for agricultural production in the field (CRDE) to consolidate understanding of the risks and effects/impacts of climate change on the different segments of the value chains. These consultations will help identify the individual and institutional actions and capacities needed at each level for the design and adoption of effective climate change adaptation measures, such as climate-smart agriculture practices or access to innovative information/communication tools or technologies that facilitate their adaptation. Solutions will be identified for each segment of the value chains – inputs, production, collection, storage, processing and marketing – to increase the adaptive capacity of value chain actors to climate change. This exercise will make it possible, among other things, to identify the most vulnerable actors (men-women-young people-people with disabilities) within each of the value chains. In addition, the review will document the land tenure situation of cultivated plots as well as governance, gender and inclusion issues in order to identify the challenges to tackle so that value chains are resilient, inclusive, sustainable and that the benefits are equitably accessible and distributed among the different actors, as between men and women.
(b) Agricultural land use plans within the areas supported by each of the CRDEs: The project will support planning for optimal land development that takes into account projections of climate change and its impacts, as well as the potentials and vulnerabilities of current and new crops using the FAO Ecocrop tool. This planning will build on existing plans for individual plots (approximately 75% of smallholder farmers have developed climate-adapted land use plans for their individual plots, with the support of CRDEs, that take soil and climate into account) and knowledge, including studies carried out by CGIAR as part of the development of an IFAD project. Such plans will integrate the planning carried out for protected areas under the UNDP-GEF project and the planning carried out for the Mwali Island Biosphere Reserve with support from AFD. (c) Crop calendar: Development of an agricultural calendar adjusted to new weather conditions, supplied and updated on an ongoing basis according to the acquisition of new knowledge. (d) Operating plans: The project will support the parties concerned to develop or update plans for agricultural and agro-pastoral operations at the individual, cooperative and CRDEs levels. (e) Online tool: The project will support the development of an online tool to provide advice to farmers and disseminate knowledge on climate-smart agro-ecological practices on the basis of knowledge and best practices developed in the Comoros by CRDEs, farmers and other stakeholders in the sector. The feasibility of enhancing the efficiency of the real-time dissemination of agrometeorological forecasts by contracting the dissemination of messages to individual operators to telephone companies will be assessed.
Component 2. Diversification of climate-resilient value chains includes one outcome: Outcome 2. Increased resilience of agricultural actors through the identification and promotion of new climate-resilient value chain options with good prospects for profitability, increased access to national and international market information and equitable benefit sharing. To achieve outcome 2, the project will support interventions to identify new value chain options which climate-resilience, profitability on national and/or international markets, and social acceptability will have been carefully assessed and validated with the support of CRDEs and INRAPE strengthened expertise. To achieve result 2, the project will support interventions aimed at identifying new value chain options whose climate resilience, uniqueness of components or properties, profitability in national and/or international markets and social acceptability will have been carefully assessed and validated with the support of the CRDEs and the enhanced expertise of INRAPE. Increased awareness of actors within national institutions, policymakers and private sector investors not only on the challenges posed by climate change to Comorian agriculture, but also on the potential brought by a diversity of new adapted value chains to the country's climate and environmental conditions, and by agricultural practices that will make it possible to increase the resilience of traditional crops, will promote the political support needed to make the changes, particularly at the level of the CRDEs, and mobilize the investments required from the private sector to develop value chains. Equity in benefit sharing between value chain actors and decent incomes are essential elements for the sustainability and replicability of the solutions developed under the project and will be ensured through the above-mentioned investments, political support and negotiation. and the signing of agreements between value chain actors ensuring the equitable sharing of benefits. Access to market information will enable value chain actors to position supply in relation to existing markets and negotiate appropriate prices commensurate with the quality and uniqueness or rarity of the products offered. Benefits to smallholder farmers will be optimized through developing product processing and marketing capacities, and improving CRDEs’ capacities to organize the distribution and the marketing through fairs, as inspired by Diboini CRDE’s successful experience, and promoting the multiple advantages of organic and fair-trade agriculture on the local and national scene and promoting the quality and specificity of Comorian products on the national, regional and international markets. This component will build on the contributions of co-financing projects aiming at eliminating obstacles in the commercial circuits (building on the achievements of co-financing partners for road rehabilitation, including Sima -Moya and other rural roads (BafD, PIDC-BM, AFIDEV-AFD).
2.1 Identification of climate-adapted agricultural varieties and livestock breeds to develop climate resilient and profitable value chains. A major focus of the project is to help famers shift from a few climate-vulnerable crops to a diverse selection of climate-resilient agricultural and livestock options that can support the development of profitable value chains. Diversification is an integral part of the strategy to build climate resilience, reduce risk and increase the chance of ultimate success. A more diverse array of crops/varieties is more likely to contain varieties that provide overall resilience to a farmer’s field (or to the several fields of a farmers’ group), as there is a greater chance of any one or a few of them having traits that enable them to adapt to a changing climate, or that confer resistance to new pests or diseases whose spread is favored by climate change. Diversifying farmers’ sources of income and spreading harvests and revenues throughout the year will also contribute to strengthen farmers resilience to climate change.
This will be achieved by identifying new climate-adapted cash and garden crops and livestock options whose demand is strong on national or international markets, which only require small areas (thus reducing the risk of expansion of cultivated areas at the expense of natural forests), which production cycle is short, and which can be processed locally. (a) As part of the PPG, a series of Comorian products will be examined including varieties endemic to the Comoros or which have become rare on a regional or global scale and products whose specificity is based on traditional production techniques that meet the requirements of agroecological cultivation. For each variety, the review will focus on the identification of its soil and climatic requirements and their correspondence in the Comorian context, the investigation of distinctive assets in existing and potential markets and will also include an assessment of the interest of farmers, men, women and youth. (b) The project will also seek to strengthen the climate resilience of market gardening sectors targeting local markets in order to increase household self-sufficiency and food security, reduce the need to import lower quality products, while creating new jobs, especially for women and young people. The project will work with CRDEs to demonstrate and disseminate adaptation solutions whose effectiveness has been demonstrated within the framework of the CRCCA project and will develop solutions based on soil-less cultivation of short-cycle varieties, which can be grown on small areas in urban or peri-urban areas (where the majority of the Comorian population is concentrated), using hydroponic systems with reduced water and input requirements, and therefore attractive and more accessible for young Comorians.
The project will also contribute to strengthening the climate resilience of poultry and goat farming value chains targeting local markets through the identification and assessment of new climate-resilient breeds. Integrating the rearing of climate-resistant goat and poultry breeds into the family economy will help increase self-sufficiency and food security for families, reduce the need to import lower quality products, while creating new jobs accessible to women and PWDs.
For poultry farming, the project will support the development of the CRDEs’ capacities to develop Kuroiler type breed chicken farming practices adapted to the Comorian climate, to demonstrate them, and to provide training to farmers. The project will build on a study conducted in 2019 by the Tanzanian company AKM Glitters on behalf of the Diboini/Hamalengo CRDE and UNDP-Comoros, to assess the situation of the poultry sub-sector in Comoros and recommend solutions adapted to the Comorian context and climate, with the intention of relaunching the subsector in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the cyclone Kenneth.
Goat and cattle breeding is practiced by many people in rural areas, especially young people and women. Goats generally possess high thermotolerance compared to large ruminants such as cattle that enable them to maintain their production under extreme climate conditions and to play an important role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, namely i) their higher capacity than other farm ruminants to effectively convert feed sources into milk and meat, ii) their lower methane emissions in comparison to other domestic ruminants. For the rearing of goats, the project will promote a sustainable intensification approach through the hedging technique (embocagement) which has long been proven in the Comoros, especially in Ndzuani and the building of goat sheds to protect them from predation. By creating a balanced environment combining trees, culture -including fodder, compost, and livestock in an enclosed space where the composting of animal and plant waste enriches the bocage according to the logic of the circular economy, and by associating water and soil conservation measures (bunds, ponds, living hedges), this approach will mitigate the effects of heat stress and ensure a supply of quality fodder and thus improve the resilience of goat herds to the effects of climate change. This approach allows at the same time to address the problems linked to extensive agriculture and slash-and-burn agriculture still practiced in the Comoros, to mitigate soil erosion and degradation, to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and to maintain biodiversity.
Through value chain analyses conducted for the climate adapted crops, varieties or breeds, the project will identify the options with favorable prospects for profitability. The value chains analyses will follow guidance provided in UNDP’s “Toolkit for value chain analysis and market development integrating climate resilience and gender responsiveness” and will support their promotion with CRDEs, farmers, cooperatives, and the private sector by publicizing the successes of the new approaches by the beneficiaries (champions) themselves and by facilitating visits to demonstration plots and sites where new techniques have been successful. Communication approaches could use the contrast of “before and after” or “with and without” images. Messages targeting older farmers will be broadcasted through local radios and the project will include training of these older farmers in the use of phones and social media.
2.2 Capacity development plan elaborated and implemented to strengthen INRAPE’s capacities to characterize new climate-adapted Comorian agrobiodiversity products, and control the quality of export products. The project will build on the support provided by the Japanese government (source of co-financing) for the construction of a new multidisciplinary laboratory for INRAPE, which responds to the institutional assessments carried out as part of the UNDP project (2013-2016) for the development of a strategy to strengthen a sanitary and phytosanitary system (SPS) capable of supporting the development of the country's agricultural operations. The project will support the development of the capacities of this national laboratory so that the country has the necessary skills and equipment to carry out characterization studies independently and demonstrate the uniqueness of Comorian varieties, to certify and label them, and to preserve access to them for the benefit of the people of the country.
2.3 Web and mobile trading platforms developed to connect agricultural producers and buyers in national and international markets and ensure timely access to market information for climate resilient agricultural products. To enhance access to national markets, the project will build on the physical connectivity provided through WB co-financing for the rehabilitation of small ports to improve transportation between the islands, and on interventions carried out by development partners through projects aimed at improving the business climate. The GEF investment will focus on the development of a web and mobile trading platform to access market information and that connects actors in the agricultural value chains and agricultural service providers, processors, and buyers by taking advantage of the intervention of the International Trade Center (ITC) which set up a platform in Ndzuani to communicate price information of Comorian products to cooperatives (to be identified in the baseline). Support has been limited to Ndzuani so far because ITC targeted well-established cooperatives and avoid opportunistic ones set up to benefit from project support. The project will draw on this experience to replicate the successful interventions as well as the platform set up by UNDP to improve the competitiveness and accessibility of products and services. This platform can be used to provide agricultural advice and information by experts, and to offer services for the development of profitable agriculture. The connection of producers and traders makes it easier to find all the information on innovations and business opportunities in the agricultural and agrifood sector and facilitates the necessary dialogue to develop equitable benefit sharing agreements.
2.4 Awareness campaign conducted to enhance understanding by institutional and private actors of the sector of the climate change risks and adaptive measures. The project will carry out an awareness campaign targeting institutional and private actors involved in the agriculture sector, including smallholder farmers, and the general public, especially young people, on the ongoing and imminent devastating effects of climate change on agriculture and on new opportunities identified through the project interventions. The goals of the campaign will include demonstrating the potential revenue that can be generated to spark interest from young people and the private sector. This campaign will be conducted in collaboration with the chamber of commerce and business incubators. The awareness campaign will be an opportunity to promote the profession of farmer, by highlighting champion farmers and their success stories.
2.5 Negotiation and signature of agreements ensuring fair benefit sharing among actors in climate-resilient value chains. The project will identify and set up necessary processes and mechanisms required to ensure tangible and maximum benefits accrue to farmers through: (a) Dialogue facilitation between the private sector and representatives of local farmers to strengthen and formalize the links between these parties for the development of products that are integrated into value chains; (b) Development of business models (through which prices are determined) integrating the optimization of benefits for local farmers, rules for benefit sharing, and incentives to comply with the rules associated with targeted certifications. These models may provide for a contribution to the financing of CRDEs based on the user-pays principle; (c) Negotiation and signature of agreements with relevant actors in each value chain.
Component 3. Implementation of agroecological practices adapted to climate change in targeted intervention areas includes one outcome: Outcome 3. Increased adoption of climate-resilient practices and crops/varieties by smallholder farmers and value chain actors facilitated by support systems and adequate provision of inputs and resources. This outcome will be mainly the result of investments on the ground, following approaches to mitigate the risks associated with climate change, to develop a local, quality and low-cost supply of agricultural inputs, climate-adapted seeds, tools and small equipment to enable the adoption of climate-smart practices, and to support the implementation of a set of practices and approaches that strengthen the climate resilience of agricultural and livestock production. The strategy to achieve this outcome is based on initiating smallholder farmers to the concept of risk management, identifying approaches and practices whose effectiveness in reducing climate vulnerability has been demonstrated by CRDEs and supporting their adaptation by farmers, facilitating access to microcredit on terms adapted to the conditions of farmers, improving the local supply of agricultural inputs for increased adaptability, and developing incentives linked to effective and proven adoption of sustainable and climate-adapted production. To contribute to the sustainability of this outcome, the project will adopt an approach where any project contribution for protective structure (such as goat sheds, greenhouses and shade shelters) and equipment (such as micro-irrigation systems, small tools) will involve a counterpart (in-kind contribution as work) from the beneficiaries in order to promote ownership and maintenance. In addition, the income from part of the agricultural production linked to the use of the infrastructures will be allocated to the maintenance and renewal of the infrastructures. Maintenance will be carried out by an infrastructure management committee comprising users supervised by CRDE staff, such that the government should not have to invest further beyond the project for their replacement. The project will include training on maintenance and the importance of savings not only as a risk management strategy but also to ensure the maintenance and renewal of equipment and infrastructure that contribute to strengthen climate resilience of agricultural production.
3.1 Agronomic approaches and practices (e.g. water and soil conservation, crop diversification, mixed production systems, fodder cultivation and conservation, protective structures) developed and piloted by CRDEs to reduce climate vulnerability of the agricultural sector. The CRDEs will identify and pilot promising approaches to reduce the climate vulnerability of the agricultural activities of farmers in their territory. Successful practices will be promoted to farmers by relay farmers. Project interventions to better manage the risks associated with climate change will focus on: (a) raising awareness among farmers of the concept of risk management in the face of climate change and the adoption of sustainable strategies and practices that contribute to the health of agroecosystems and related services on which they depend (soil conservation, protection of pollinators, mixed production systems such as agroforestry, hedging and agropastoralism); (b) diversification of agricultural production and sources of income for households and small farmers in their plots (e.g., new climate-resilient crops and poultry breeding); (c) investments in protective structures such as greenhouses, shade shelters and goat sheds, and (d) the adoption of approaches and practices whose effectiveness in reducing the vulnerability of agriculture and livestock to new climatic conditions has been demonstrated by pilot tests carried out by the CRDEs.
Approaches to be tested and piloted by CRDEs include : (i) Wherever appropriate, the project will encourage the development of agroforestry systems where various associations of cash crops, fruit, food crops or livestock will be tested. Agroforestry systems provide multiple economic, environmental, and social benefits in a context of climate change through the protection of crops, livestock, soils and rivers, the diversification and spreading out of agricultural income through short, medium and long-term production of food products, fodder, wood and other non-timber products, in addition to other significant benefits such as the creation of habitats for biodiversity, landscape improvement, as well as carbon sequestration. Agroforestry can play a crucial role in improving resilience to uncertain climates through microclimate buffering and regulation of water flow. Promoting diversity through agroforestry systems will also increase the availability of alternatives for birds and reduce predation on valuable crops (which is aggravated by extended droughts). (ii) Diversification of tree and shrub species and establishment of living hedges to reduce exposure to strong winds whose frequency is increased by climate change. (iii) The construction of goat sheds for farmers communities to protect animals from extreme weather conditions, hedging (embocagement) and agropastoralism to reduce climate vulnerability and reduce pressures on natural ecosystems, growing legumes as fodder in the bocages, growing and storing dry fodder (hay) and producing silage for livestock feed. (iv) Practices for improving the moisture holding capacity of the soil (organic mulch and gravel), the use of compost to increase soil organic matter, and micro-irrigation to lengthen cultivation period and diversify the cultivated varieties. (v) Water and wind erosion mitigation by the adoption of practices that promote soil cohesion, such as the use of cover crops, compost and green manure, the use of soil conservation and restoration techniques such as the construction of stone walls and anti-erosion lines planted with vetiver. Vetiver is a beneficial, inexpensive, and easy-to-maintain means of protection. Thanks to its resilience capacity in a wide range of ecological and climatic conditions, vetiver is effective in preventing and combating soil erosion in a climate change context. Yet, its use is not known in the Comoros and it is currently difficult to find. (vi) To help maintain healthy populations of pollinators, the project will conduct an assessment of threats affecting them (e.g. bee parasites, bushfires and pesticides such as neonicotinoids), identify control measures to be implemented, required resources, and actors to be mobilized.
3.2 Financial products developed and made accessible to smallholder farmers to support the adoption of climate-resilient practices. Project interventions will involve (a) raising smallholder farmers’ awareness on savings and credit as a risk management approach, building on interventions planned under the WB PIDC project (identified as co-financing to this project) which aim to encourage savings in the SANDUKs micro-credit institution, and providing financial education; and (b) facilitating access to suitable financing through negotiations with local micro-credit institutions (SANDUKs) for the development of credit products adapted to the reality of farmers, i.e. credit at low rates tied to firm loan conditions to invest in climate-smart productive activities, and repayment schemes adapted to agricultural production cycles, thus contributing to reducing the risks for farmers’ investments. Risk reduction measures (eg capacity building of micro-credit institutions, communication and marketing support) to be put in place will be examined within the framework of the PPG.
3.3 Local supply of agricultural inputs, small-scale equipment and climate-resistant varieties seeds developed. The project will help reduce dependence on external supplies and increase the autonomy and adaptability of farmers to climate change by: (a) strengthening CRDEs capacities to produce quality seeds of climate-adapted crops and varieties meeting the needs of farmers (for self-sustaining agriculture) and the needs of the target markets (for cash crops), and by supporting this production, (b) supporting artisanal microenterprises involved in the recycling of metal waste for the manufacture of tools and adapted micro-irrigation systems (recovery of metal waste and abandoned car wreck) to manufacture agricultural tools meeting the needs of smallholders, (c) improving the capacities of microenterprises currently involved in the artisanal making of low-cost drip irrigation systems to meet the needs of farmers and cooperatives involved in the project; (d) developing capacities to produce organic fertilizer and supporting this production. The capacity development needs and resources available to support trainings will be identified during the project preparation (PPG).
3.4 Agricultural practices to strengthen agriculture and pastoral resilience, including the provision of climate-adapted crop varieties and breeds, implemented. The project will provide support for the implementation of farm and agro-pastoral plans at the individual and cooperative levels (developed under Output 1.3) through the adoption of practices and approaches that strengthen climate resilience (as identified and demonstrated under the output 3.1), for the establishment of nurseries and seed reserves, for soil conservation and restoration activities, including composting and green manure, and for implementing micro-irrigation systems. The project will support the use of protective structures and the adoption of mixed systems combining livestock, agriculture, fodder cultivation and trees, including agroforestry, hedging (embocagement), agro-pastoralism, and soil conservation and restoration, helping to restore soil productive capacity and other ecosystem services (water, fodder, pollinators, and carbon capture) that contribute to climate resilience of agroecosystems. The solutions proposed by the project will be to reduce soil erosion and increase diversity within crop plots and agroforestry systems, which in turn, will reduce the vulnerability of agricultural systems to pests and diseases which occurrence is increased as a result of climate change (as presented in the section on Effects of climate change on the agroecosystem and agricultural practices as experienced by smallholder farmers - Part II: Project Justification, 1a. Project Description) as fields that support a variety of crops are less attractive to predatory insects. The project will contribute to halt agricultural encroachment at the expense of forests (mostly within protected areas) by improving the productivity of agricultural plots, by restoring plots where soil is degraded, by collaborating with the authorities responsible for protected areas to ensure that agricultural activities within village terroirs are conducted in harmony with the conservation objectives of protected areas, and by promoting mixed systems such as agroforestry that promote biodiversity.
Under the PPG, the need to invest in infrastructure to channel water from structures set up by the UNDP-GEF CRCCA and UNDP-GCF projects to the plots of CRDEs and farmers will be assessed.
3.5 Incentives (traceability and certification) in place to foster the adoption of climate resilient and sustainable practices across traditional and new value chains. This will include the following: (a) Certifications. The introduction of incentives to encourage the adoption of high-quality standards including climate-smart practices and varieties, organic farming and fair trade, to access higher added value niche markets, will help encourage farmers to maintain practices that promote resilience to climate change and ensure the financial sustainability of these adaptation measures. The selected certification will define a set of criteria that will be integrated into specifications to be followed by the various actors involved in the various stages of the value chain. These criteria should include adaptation measures to ensure climate resilience. A national committee composed of independent experts will be responsible for verifying the compliance of the various stages related to production (including cultivation, harvesting, storage, processing, transport) with the requirements of the specifications for the product to be eligible for certification. The criteria to be met for certification will be distributed to the producers concerned. The project will support value chain actors to gain access to these certifications and will also support the integration of climate resilience into the certification processes set up as part of the projects supported respectively by the WB and AFD (source of co-financing) for cloves and vanilla in other intervention sites. (b) Transparency and technology. Technology (e.g. blockchain) is available and can be used to ensure transparency through product traceability at all stages of the value chain by tracking the social and environmental impacts of products at every stage of their value chain, from local farmers to consumers, and thus support certification process. The project will assess the relevance, applicability (with users) and profitability of using a platform (via an application) to track and verify that each step in the value chain throughout the production process, meets adaptation criteria that can make these value chains more climate resilient. Using this tool, each step in the process is verified and recorded with time, date and geolocation as a secondary means of verification. (c) Facilitating change. To reduce farmers' reluctance to change and improve the efficiency of the transmission of technical knowledge to illiterate farmers, the project will adopt a strategy to through demonstration at the level of CRDEs, close supervision and long-term follow-up ensured by relay farmers. This transmission will be supported by the production of illustrated technical sheets, and the organization of visits - by and for the farmers - of sites where successful practices have stood the test of time, such as the plots developed through embocagement in the Nioumakélé (Ndzuani). The relay farmers involved in such a scheme will be identified and remunerated by the CRDE and thus become key partners in providing local support to farmers. At the same time, the project will put in place incentives to make the sector more attractive to young people. (d) Improvement of the perception of the farming profession. In order to change the negative perception of the farming profession by young people, the project will support an awareness campaign led by young people involved in value chains which will highlight the potential medium and long-term benefits of this profession. The awareness campaign may be supported by spot messages in the media and on the packaging of commonly used agricultural products.
Component 4: Knowledge Management, Monitoring-Evaluation, and Gender and PWDs’ Inclusiveness. This component will enable mainstreaming transversal issues of knowledge management and gender and PWDs inclusiveness into other project components and outputs focusing on knowledge and on gender. Knowledge management is critical not only for the achievement of the project’s objective, but for the sustainability of achieved results and replicability of climate-resilient solutions. Documenting, analysing and addressing gender and PWD issues as cross-cutting elements will allow to develop inclusive solutions to the climate adaptation challenge in agriculture, and ensure that men, women and PWDs benefit equally from the project support and that the concerns and experiences of women and of PWDs are an integral part of the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the project. Lessons and successful experiences will be captured through the participatory monitoring and evaluation as part of the project annual planning process, through the participatory development of agroclimatic knowledge involving actively farmers, CRDEs, and researchers in a co-learning process, and recording and disseminating successful experiences among CRDEs, and with other relevant stakeholders in the country and in the region.
Outcome 4 Improved development, management, and dissemination of knowledge related to adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change to support the replication of climate-resilient solutions among CRDEs, and at national and regional scale. This outcome will be achieved through the following outputs:
4.1 .Lessons learned from the project interventions documented and disseminated. This will be achieved through the annual monitoring and evaluation of project achievements using the indicators of the strategic results framework, and the identification and dissemination of related learnings with project partners, including projects in areas aimed at strengthening the climate resilience of agriculture, in the Comoros and in the countries of the region. Along with capacity building of CRDEs, and interventions on knowledge development and improvement of access to information, the project will support the management of knowledge developed through participatory monitoring and evaluation (involving beneficiaries) of project interventions, including the development of climate-adapted agricultural practices and their adoption by farmers, the improvement of the climate resilience in all segments of the various value chains and the development of new value chans for climate-resilient crops.
4.2 Agro-climatic knowledge for climate adaptation developed through strengthened monitoring and research-action involving farmers. CRDEs must become a place of experimentation, development, demonstration, teaching and promotion of new climate-adapted practices and crops and thus be at the heart of the generation and dissemination of technical knowledge allowing to adapt the agricultural sector. This learning and dissemination mechanism must also be deployed outside the CRDEs and set up within the plots of farmers who are experimenting with new approaches, techniques and varieties in order to involve them in the monitoring and evaluation of the results of these innovations and thus encourage their appropriation of successful approaches. Knowledge development may be based on interventions such as the following: (a) Contribution to the national database on agricultural yields and production developed by the FAO. This will involve training technicians within CRDEs on data collection, the use of GPS and entering observations into the database at the level of each CRDE, and the compilation of simple statistics to generate and disseminate technical knowledge and enable the agricultural sector to adapt to climate change. (b) Action-research programs involving farmers. This will involve establishing the necessary partnerships with INRAPE, the UdC including the University of Patsy (Ndzuani), the National Horticultural Center of Mvouni (Ngazidja), the CRDEs, relay farmers and farmers to carry out participatory action-research programs to generate new technical knowledge to adapt the agricultural sector to climate change. The possibility of associating one or more regional institutions to support research and training will be explored during the PPG (University of Reunion, National Center for Applied Research in Rural Development (FOFIFA) (Madagascar) and CGIAR (Réunion).
4.3 Tools for experience and knowledge-sharing among CRDEs and actors in value chains are developed and operationalized. This will include the following: (a) The project will recruit a communication officer to coordinate the sharing of information through the development of short, practical guides in the form of booklets or illustrated sheets for farmers to record best practices and facilitate their adoption and follow-up in the local communities served by the targeted CRDEs as well as in all the CRDEs. (b) The project will support the experience-sharing mechanism among CRDEs and between CRDEs and farmers through a platform specific to CRDEs (under development with the support of a Comorian office). The project will support the consolidation of the digital platform set up within the CRDE network to, among other things, facilitate the exchange of information and the sharing of experiences between all actors in the value chains and create bridges between different segments, namely between producers and buyers. (c) The project will support the production of an online newsletter to share information relating to the adaptation and climate resilience of the agricultural sector, including activities and events linked or not to the project, including thematic articles, reports and interviews produced by CRDEs teams.
4.4 Gender and PWDs action plans based on comprehensive analyses are implemented, monitored, and evaluated to promote an inclusive approach to the adoption of a climate-resilient agriculture. During the PPG, an exhaustive gender analysis will be carried out to document gender issues in the agricultural sector and identify specific gender barriers. Based on this analysis, a gender action plan will be developed to be implemented, monitored, and evaluated as part of the project. Also, an analysis of the issues related to people living with disabilities (PWDs) in the agricultural sector will be carried out to identify the barriers specific to PWDs and to develop an action plan to increase their inclusion in the efforts to adapt the agriculture sector to climate change. The adoption of an inclusive approach towards gender, PWDs and youth to improve equity in value chains and access to income-generating activities, will involve the following: (a) The project will seek to improve income equity within value chains and improve the involvement of women, especially the elderly, and PWDs, in income-generating agricultural activities by promoting small scale family farming (e.g., family garden near the house, poultry farming). The project will promote the adoption of a more inclusive approach in identifying solutions designed within families. (b) The importance of demonstrating new practices and varieties will be essential to increase the motivation of young family members to support older ones. The development of specialized professions within value chains, such as the production of seeds, artisan scrap metal workers, or manufacturing biodegradable packaging, will diversify the types of jobs accessible to different segments of society. (c) In certain sites, according to their will, the project could support groups and associations to set up cooperatives (dairy, food, market garden cooperatives) or to strengthen their capacities allowing certain sections of the value chain to be integrated within of the cooperative, for example collection or processing, and improve profitability for all members of the cooperative.
 Bourgoin C, Parker L, Martínez-Valle A, Mwongera C, Läderach P. 2017. Une évaluation spatialement explicite de la vulnérabilité du secteur agricole au changement climatique dans l'Union des Comores. Work Document No. 205. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Wageningen, Les Pays-Bas. Available from: www.ccafs.cgiar.org
 Mwongera C. Nowak A., Notenbaert A.M.O, Grey S., Osiemo J., Kinyua I. Lizarazo M. et E. Girvetz. 2019. Climate-Smart Agricultural Value Chains: Risks and Perspectives. in T.S. Rosenthal et al. (eds.) The Climate-Smart Agriculture Papers.
 ECOCROP is a software tool that identifies 2568 plant species for given environments and uses (food, fodder, energy, erosion control, industrial purposes) which also contains a library of crop environmental requirements.
 The tool could present the following information: 1. Crop calendar indicating for each month what must be done for each crop (sowing, cultivation, flowering, harvesting), taking into account current meteorological data and, if relevant, the various cultivation areas. 2. Agroecological practices sheets covering, as useful, the following subjects: a) Culture sheets (for all traditional and new crops supported by the project): botanical information, cultural practices, pests and diseases, physiological disorders (symptoms, possible causes, solutions); b) Cultivation without harmful pesticides: control methods, natural or low impact pesticides; c) Plot maintenance; d) Irrigation: practices to minimize water requirements, rainwater harvesting, manual watering systems and micro-irrigation; e) Fertilization: knowledge of the nature of the soil, assessment of needs and different options for amending it; f) Composting: Preparation of various types of compost to meet different needs; g) Seed production. 3. Diseases, pests, weeds and invasive alien species (IAS): Sheets on the main problems affecting crops, including new diseases and pests recently introduced or favored by climate change: a) identification of the problem: description of signs and symptoms, photos of the effects on the different plants affected by the pest or disease; b) advice for prevention and control (favorable conditions, screening, preventive measures, physical and biological control)
 For example, compared to clove and ylang-ylang which require large areas (6m x 6m) and which cannot be harvested for several years after planting, ginger can be grown on an area of 0.25m x 0.25m, pepper and coffee can be integrated into agroforestry systems, and all can be processed locally to create local added value.
 For example, endemic varieties of bananas, yams, aromatic and medicinal plants, low caffeine coffee, high vanillin vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, aloe vera, large thyme, vetiver, turmeric, Plectranthus both Cuban Oregano type and Indian Borage type
 National Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment
 With its developed and resistant roots, vetiver protects embankments and terraces, fertilizes and improves soil structure, and fights against pollution, erosion and flooding. It tolerates acid or alkaline soils (with pH from 3.0 to 10.5), saline soils or soils with high levels of metals and resists extreme climatic variations such as prolonged drought, floods, submersions as well as extreme temperatures ranging from 14°C to 55°C. After being affected by drought, salinity and other adverse conditions, this plant has the ability to re-grow very quickly when conditions improve.
 Bushfires can be started by pastoralists and by farmers who practice slash-and-burn agriculture. Since herders do not cultivate fodder, they depend on natural fodder which is increasingly affected by the lengthening of the drought period. Herders thus resort to bushfires, despite being illegal, to improve the palatability of pasture grasses. Often left unattended and uncontrolled, they spread over large areas and are harmful to the biodiversity of the affected forest areas, including pollinator species.
 The protected areas of the Comoros have been delineated by integrating villages and agricultural lands within their boundaries.
 FOFIFA is Madagascar's main agricultural research organization and conducts research on coffee varieties in the region including the Comoros
Outcome 1: Enhanced capacity of national institutions and actors involved in agricultural development to guide, plan, supervise and implement climate-resilient practices.
Outcome 2: Increased resilience of agricultural actors through the identification and promotion of new climate-resilient value chain options with good prospects for profitability, increased access to national and international market information and equitable benefit sharing.
Outcome 3: Increased adoption of climate-resilient practices and crops/varieties by smallholder farmers and value chains actors facilitated by support systems and adequate provision of inputs and resources.
Outcome 4: Improved development, management and dissemination of knowledge related to adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change to support the replication of climate-resilient solutions among CRDEs, nationally and in the region.
Barrier 1. Insufficient capacities at different levels to plan and implement innovative agro-pastoral practices adapted to changing climatic conditions, oversee their adoption and train relevant parties.
(i) Limited capacities of CRDEs to provide local advisory, extension and agricultural support services to adapt practices to climate change: The weak capacities of CRDEs do not allow them to adequately fulfill their mandate, which is to supervise agricultural development, due to i) insufficient staffing caused by the constraint of hiring staff within the civil service, and ii) deficient skills. In some cases, the staff in place do not have the skills required to fulfill the functions entrusted to them (especially in the case of partisan recruitment) and certain profiles defined within CRDE staff - in particular planning and monitoring-evaluation - are not fulfilled. On the one hand, many technicians working in CRDEs are inadequately trained and have clearly insufficient technical capacities. On the other hand, technicians with adequate skills are available but are not recruited due to recruitment constraints within the public service. The CRDEs do not have the necessary resources to ensure the salary of the technicians who have acquired relevant work experience through their involvement in the CRCCA project. As a result, some CRDEs are not sufficiently operational, are understaffed and have insufficiently qualified staff. Continuing education opportunities for staff, especially to be better able to face the challenges of climate adaptation, are limited by the lack of a relevant curriculum in academic institutions. (ii) Insufficient capacities of the various actors responsible for planning, developing, disseminating climate-resilient practices is another key obstacle to their widespread adoption and implementation. Such capacity gaps exsit for the following actors and include: Insufficient technical capacity of state actors (DNSAE, regional directorates of Agriculture, CRDEs), local authorities (municipalities - mayors and councillors), non-state actors (national NGOs), and the private sector (especially for cash crops: collectors, vanilla preparers, exporters) to identify, develop and implement strategies and tools to oversee the adaptation to climate change of long-term agro-pastoral activities. (iii) The vulnerability of farmers is linked in particular to a lack of know-how and adaptive capacity and weak entrepreneurial capacities. Farmers and breeders have little mastery of sustainable cultivation techniques (soil preparation, organic fertilization, selection and access to adapted varieties, fodder cultivation, irrigation, pest and disease control), and lack the knowledge, know-how and models to adapt their practices on land that has lost its fertility, in unpredictable and restrictive hygrometric conditions, and to develop sustainable agriculture that strengthen climate resilience, including agro-pastoralism and agroforestry. The practices and calendars that have traditionally guided farmers are no longer adequate in the face of new climate conditions. The poor computer literacy and lack of openness to technological innovation of older farmers further limit their ability to adapt their practices to the challenges posed by climate change. (iv) There is insufficient technical knowledge and access to guidance /advice and information on technical pathways, technologies, infrastructure and markets to support the transition of agricultural systems to greater climate resilience based on healthier ecosystems. The traditional cropping calendar is inadequate; farmers still rely on predictions of elders based on unscientific practices, lack the knowledge for the identification and treatment of diseases and pests, and do not know enough about the diversification opportunities achievable in the Comoros. Short-term weather conditions are available and adequately cover the country, but the data is not translated into a crop calendar. Knowledge of parasite and disease infestations is insufficient and inadequately disseminated (mandate of INRAPE). Lack of information on prices (especially for cash crops) limits negotiating capacities. Access to information about market opportunities and requirements is inadequate.
Barrier 2. Lack of knowledge of alternative climate-adapted options with the potential to support a prosperous, diversified and equitable agricultural economy and insufficient political and private support for their adoption.
The vulnerability of Comorian agriculture to the effects of climate change is largely due to its lack of diversity and lack of knowledge and capacity to identify and develop alternative climate-resilient value chain options, and to assess their productive and commercial potential. In fact, the agricultural sector in Comoros is based on a narrow base limited to three cash crops and a few vegetable and food crops vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Furthermore, Comorian food products, which are mainly de facto organic, are more expensive than imported products despite the transport costs associated with imports. Imported food and vegetable crops, mainly from Tanzania and Madagascar, are grown industrially and therefore at lower cost. Consumers who can afford it prefer local products because they recognize the superior quality of organic terroir products. However, consumers with limited means are more likely to be reluctant or unable to buy it. The higher cost of local Comorian products is explained by the artisanal nature of the work, the remoteness of certain production areas which hamper access to local markets, and lack of access to market information for CRDEs, farmers, cooperatives, and other value chain actors. As a result, traditional agriculture is unprofitable, particularly in rural areas remote from urban markets, which limits young people's interest in this profession. Constraints to the fluidity of national markets, limited market connectivity (national and international), and lack of access to market information limit sustainable economic opportunities for smallholder farmers, due in particular to the country's insular nature, geographic remoteness, lack of reliable and regular transportation means between islands and suitable port infrastructure and lack of connection with reliable and predictable buyers. The profitability of agricultural activity is even more limited for smallholder farmers who are not integrated into cooperatives. They are therefore particularly vulnerable to other actors in the value chains who may take precedence in determining the conditions of production and the prices granted for the products, resulting in an inequitable sharing of profits. Another significant limitation to the profitability of Comorian agricultural products is the lack of processing and marketing capacities.
The diversification of agriculture through the development of new climate-resilient options that would give an edge in international markets, such as uniqueness of properties, is hampered by the lack of analytical capacity to perform the required characterization analyses. The Comoros agrobiodiversity, e.g. local coffee and ginger varieties, have unique characteristics that could be leveraged in niche markets. These characteristics must be documented and certified on the basis of biological and physico-chemical analyses which, currently, must be carried out by laboratories located in countries whose commercial interests may be in competition with Comorian interests, in addition to requiring complex logistics for the transport of samples to be analyzed.
Public and private investments for building the climate resilience of agricultural value chains and their diversification are limited due to the widespread negative perception of agriculture in Comorian society, coupled with the lack of awareness of its vulnerability to climate change and of its potential to evolve into a productive and resilient sector by decision-makers and investors disconnected from the reality on the ground. Another obstacle to improving the climate-resilience of agricultural practices is linked to the low attractiveness of agricultural activity for the younger generations who perceive the profession as obsolete and too risky because they do not have the assets or capital to deal with the risks inherent in adopting innovative agricultural practices. Faced with the urgency of daily needs, the elderly - who constitute a large part of the smallholders - are reluctant to adopt new practices because of resistance to change when facing new technologies, of too large gap between significant labor-intensive investments for soil conservation and restoration and other climate-adapted practices and the achievement of tangible effects, in a context where their livelihoods are precarious and known alternatives limited, leading them to pursue unsustainable land management practices for small short-term gains.
Barrier 3. Limited use of technologies and approaches to mitigate climate-related risks and low access to credit on appropriate terms to support smallholder farmers’ shift towards climate resilient agricultural value chains.
The adoption of resilient agricultural practices and approaches is hampered by the weak capacity to manage risks and uncertainties generated by climate change which is linked to the lack of knowledge on alternative options (barrier 2), on risk management approaches and on agricultural practices that increase resilience to climate change. Low financial autonomy and the difficulty of access to credit on appropriate terms for farmers, especially for men, worsens vulnerability to climate risks, and the culture of savings is insufficiently widespread in rural areas. Insufficient or lack of savings makes smallholder farmers very vulnerable to the effects of climate change since they do not have the resources to, for example, buy seeds for a second sowing following the failure of the first due to shifted or adverse weather conditions, or to purchase the equipment needed to adopt agricultural practices that increase climate resilience.
Lack of timely access to affordable agricultural inputs: Micro-irrigation equipment, tools, and seeds of varieties resilient to the new climatic conditions are difficult to access because they are imported and expensive. The lack of autonomous and timely local production of quality seeds and local supply of low-cost equipment maintains the dependence of farmers on external suppliers and results in prohibitive costs for the supply of suitable seeds, micro-irrigation equipment and with suitable tools
Lack of access to arable land due to the shortage and degradation of agricultural land and land tenure insecurity: Many plots are no longer fertile due to unsustainable soil management and support is needed to ensure restoration of soil fertility by techniques of soil conservation and restoration, agroforestry and agropastoralism, such as hedging. Also, the farmers who operate the state plots rent them out on the basis of an annual contract which allows them to cultivate them (about 10,000 KMF (≈ $ 23) per year). This situation is not conducive to the investments needed for the adaptation of agricultural practices.
Barrier 4: Limited consolidation and dissemination of knowledge on successful models and strategies (including developed by farmers) for the adaptation of agricultural practices to climate risks hinders their large-scale replication and limits the impact of efforts aimed at climate adaptation of agricultural value chains. CRDEs and national institutions concerned with climate adaptation of the agricultural sector do not have access to a sound knowledge base built from reliable data to support expert advice to manage climate risks appropriately and integrate it into agricultural land development plans and other guidance tools to support farmers in their decision-making. Farmers are thus left to resort to their traditional knowledge and non-adapted crop calendars and tools leading to inappropriate timing for agricultural works and maladapted practices, which results in a significant decrease and even a loss of yields.
Knowledge of climate-smart practices by all agricultural stakeholders is limited and not adequately recorded and disseminated. Also, the limited access of actors in agricultural value chains to appropriate information on agriculture, livestock, and climate prevents them from integrating climate risks into their decision-making. There is hardly any research being done in agriculture, and even less on the adaptation of the agricultural environment to climate change, whether by INRAPE, the University of the Comoros or the National Horticultural Center. In recent years, rare agricultural censuses have been carried out sporadically. There is currently no systematic monitoring of agricultural production at the national level, nor involvement of producers in the monitoring and evaluation of productions resulting from the adoption of new practices. Currently, the collection of agricultural data is limited to farmers supervised by CRDEs and to the production of CRDEs. Each CRDE collects data separately following a protocol defined by partners (through projects), so that the data cannot be compiled to give an overview of agricultural production in the country. The dissemination of knowledge developed by CRDEs is mainly through relay-farmers and limited to farmers in their territory and is not shared with all other CRDEs, even less so with other farmers, so that farmers who depend on poorly performing CRDEs have limited exposure to adaptation solutions that could improve the climate resilience of their agricultural activities. Capacities to develop and access best practices, information and technical know-how to support the development of guidelines for climate change adaptation in agriculture are nascent and need to be strengthened.
Barrier 5: Limited understanding of challenges and barriers specific to women and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in adopting practices that promote agricultural climate resilience. Limited understanding of women and PWDs specific challenges and barriers limits the design and implementation of appropriate measures to address them and adopt an inclusive approach when strengthening agricultural resilience. Statistics show that the agricultural sector employs more women than men in the Comoros (CDN 2021). According to an ongoing project, 75% of farmers in Mwali are women. However, although women work more than men, men are much more often the owners of agricultural land and cultural traditions reduce the participation of women in decision-making. Women are mainly responsible for food crops and market gardening and in poultry farming. They also work in cash crops but very little in their marketing. Gender-specific differences, needs, roles, climatic and socio-economic vulnerabilities and priorities regarding different tasks across agricultural value chains have evolved in recent years, may vary among islands, and are not clearly documented. People living with disabilities (PWDs) are present in all communities but are mostly kept out so that they cannot earn a fair living, nor contribute to the economy and national growth. Although their representation within the population is not adequately documented in the absence of a comprehensive demographic census, it is estimated that over 60% of PWDs have never attended school and 67% are inactive. Although new approaches and techniques that are less labor intensive are now available, PWDs are not encouraged to get involved in value chains. Lack of awareness of the obstacles to the integration of PWDs into agricultural value chains and their equitable access to the resulting benefits limits the development of solutions.
Such knowledge is essential for designing interventions where women and PWDs will be fully involved in all stages of the project, including those that involve decision-making and planning, capacity building that meets their specific needs, and concrete support for the application of climate-resilient agricultural practices. Also, women representation in governance bodies within CRDEs, cooperatives, unions, and other instances across the value chains is not representative of their actual participation in the sector. Without adopting a fully inclusive and participatory approach with particular attention to women, youth and PWDs, projects cannot ensure that vulnerable community members benefit equitably from the CRDEs extension services, such as demonstrations and close support for the adoption of climate-adapted practices and varieties that contribute to a sustainable development of agriculture in the future. A specific focus on women and PWDs and their economic empowerment is crucial for the sustainability of the long-term solution proposed by the project and, more generally, for the resolution of gender-related issues for a climate-resilient development.
T The use of pesticides is limited in Comoros due to their unavailability and high cost.
 PREFER project, quoted on March 13, 2022 in the Gazette des Comores.
 UNDP 2021, Country Programme Document
Enhancing Climate Resilience in Thailand through Effective Water Management and Sustainable Agriculture
While Thailand has made remarkable progress in social and economic development over the last four decades, rising temperatures and more frequent and extreme droughts and floods driven by climate change pose an increasing threat to the country’s economy. Water management has emerged as a leading concern.
This project will help build the resilience of farmers in the Yom and Nan river basins (Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and Uttaradit provinces) through improved climate information and forecasts, the introduction of more climate-resilient agricultural practices, and expanded access to markets and finance.
At the same time, it will work with subnational and national agencies to improve risk-informed planning and decision-making, promote cross-sectoral coordination, and upgrade critical infrastructure such as irrigation canals and floodgates, taking advantage of ecosystem-based adaptation approaches.
Thailand’s extreme vulnerability to climate change is shaped by an extensive coastline, a large rural population highly dependent on agriculture, and extensive populous urban areas located on flood prone plains.
Severe rain, flood and drought events are expected to increase in the near and longer-term future. The country’s agricultural sector will be particularly impacted by changing patterns of precipitation, with implications for agricultural livelihoods and local and national economies. Between 2040 and 2049, the projected negative impacts on agriculture are estimated to induce losses of between $24 billion and $94 billion.
In 2011, 66 out of the country’s 77 provinces were affected by flooding, with over 20,000 square kilometres of agricultural land damaged, and nearly 900 lives lost. The following year, Thailand suffered $46.5 billion in damages and loss, and required an estimated $14 billion in loans for rehabilitation and reconstruction as a result.
The recent drought in 2015-2016 is estimated to have resulted in losses of $3.4 billion.
Poor households will suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change. Poverty in Thailand has a predominately rural profile, which fluctuates according to vulnerabilities in the agricultural sector, such as faltering economic growth, falling agricultural prices, and droughts.
Proportionally, the Central and Northern Regions of Thailand have the highest levels of poverty. Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, and Uttaradit provinces – those covered by the project – have higher poverty levels compared with other parts of the country.
Climate-informed water management and climate-resilient water infrastructure are critical to Thailand’s preparedness and response to climate change. Thailand’s National Adaptation Plan 2018, highlighted flood control and drought management as key priorities, with a focus on Chao Phraya River Basin.
Given the cost of upgrading existing water infrastructure across the country, the Royal Thai Government is seeking to complement its grey infrastructure with ecosystems-based adaptation measures. As agriculture households are the most vulnerable to changing climatic conditions, an integrated solution which brings together water management and agriculture is key.
This project therefore focuses on adapting water management and agricultural livelihoods in the Yom and Nan river basins to climate change induced extreme weather events (droughts and floods), through interventions across three outputs:
· Output 1: Enhancing climate and risk informed planning in the water and agricultural sectors through improved climate information and cross sectoral coordination
· Output 2: Improving water management through strengthened infrastructure complemented by EbA measures, for greater resilience to climate change impacts
· Output 3: Reducing volatility of agriculture livelihoods in drought and flood prone areas through strengthened extension support and local planning, investment in on-farm adaptation measures and greater access to finance and markets
Better integration of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) measures will have environmental benefits, while capacity-building interventions will support cost-efficient and effective water and agriculture planning.
The project design – which includes artificial intelligence to support climate-informed planning, precision agriculture for efficient water use and applies the internet of things (IoT) concept for sharing and applying data – has been guided by Thailand 4.0, which aims to shift Thailand’s agriculture sector towards an innovation-driven and interconnected sector.
At the same time, the project also supports low-tech interventions to help farmers respond to changing rainfall patterns. These include on-farm ecosystem-based adaptation measures (for example, farm ponds), small-scale equipment to support water saving farming practices (for example, system for rice intensification) and community nurseries.
Training will be provided to ensure that extension services can support farmers with adaptation measures, and the project will provide support to market access for products resulting from climate resilient practices.
The project builds on existing initiatives, including work by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to enhance Thailand’s agriculture sector adaptation planning (supported by UNDP and FAO through a BMU funded project) and work by the Ministry to implement the Agricultural Strategic Plan on Climate Change 2017-2021 whereby the Royal Irrigation Department takes the lead for the Strategy 2 (Adaptation Actions).
The Office of National Water Resources – which functions as the regulating agency in proposing policies, formulating master plan on water resources management, responsible for management and supervision as well as integration on the implementation plan of water related-agencies in accordance with the Water Resource Management Act (2018) – has developed the 20-year Master Plan on Water Management (2018-2037), aimed at solving Thailand’s chronic drought, flood and wastewater problems. The Master Plan also stresses the importance of the need to bring in new ideas and technologies to address water related challenges which are exacerbated by climate change.
Output 1: Enhance climate and risk informed planning in the water and agricultural sectors through improved climate information and cross sectoral coordination
Activity 1.1 Strengthen capacity to generate tailored climate information to inform water management and agriculture planning
Activity 1.2. Facilitate inter-ministerial coordination for climate-informed and integrated planning
Activity 1.3. Expand access to climate information for application at the household level
Output 2: Improve water management through strengthened infrastructure complemented by EbA measures, for greater resilience to climate change impacts
Activity 2.1. Climate-informed engineering designs for the 13 schemes of the Yom-Nan river basin, and upgrade of 2 water infrastructure
Activity 2.2. Complementing of grey infrastructure with EbA measures and integration of EbA approaches into water management policy and planning
Output 3: Reduce volatility of agriculture livelihoods in drought and flood prone areas through strengthened extension support and local planning, investment in on-farm adaptation measures and greater access to finance and markets
Activity 3.1. Application of climate information in household agriculture planning and strengthening related support through extension services
Activity 3.2. Implementation of on-farm climate resilient measures to improve drought and flood resilience and improved access to finance for sustainable agriculture
Activity 3.3. Capacity building for farmers to support market access for climate resilient agriculture products
UNDP will perform monitoring, evaluation and reporting throughout the reporting period, in compliance with the UNDP POPP, the UNDP Evaluation Policy.
The primary responsibility for day-today project monitoring and implementation rests with the Project Manager. UNDP’s Country Office will support the Project Manager as needed, including through annual supervision missions.
Key reports include annual performance reports (APR) for each year of project implementation; an independent mid-term review (MTR); and an independent terminal evaluation (TE) no later than three months prior to operational closure of the project.
The final project APR along with the terminal evaluation report and corresponding management response will serve as the final project report package and will be made available to the public on UNDP’s Evaluation Resource Centre.
The UNDP Country Office will retain all M&E records for this project for up to seven years after project financial closure in order to support ex-post evaluations.
Output 1: Enhance climate and risk informed planning in the water and agricultural sectors through improved climate information and cross sectoral coordination
Activity 1.1 Strengthen capacity to generate tailored climate information to inform water management and agriculture planning
Activity 1.2. Facilitate inter-ministerial coordination for climate-informed and integrated planning
Activity 1.3. Expand access to climate information for application at the household level
Output 2: Improve water management through strengthened infrastructure complemented by EbA measures, for greater resilience to climate change impacts
Activity 2.1. Climate-informed engineering designs for the 13 schemes of the Yom-Nan river basin, and upgrade of 2 water infrastructure
Activity 2.2. Complementing of grey infrastructure with EbA measures and integration of EbA approaches into water management policy and planning
Output 3: Reduce volatility of agriculture livelihoods in drought and flood prone areas through strengthened extension support and local planning, investment in on-farm adaptation measures and greater access to finance and markets
Activity 3.1. Application of climate information in household agriculture planning and strengthening related support through extension services
Activity 3.2. Implementation of on-farm climate resilient measures to improve drought and flood resilience and improved access to finance for sustainable agriculture
Activity 3.3. Capacity building for farmers to support market access for climate resilient agriculture products
Enhancing climate resilience of rural communities and ecosystems in Ahuachapán Sur, El Salvador
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....
 Sönke Kreft and David Eckstein, “Global Climate Risk Index 2014,” Germanwatch, 2013, 28, http://germanwatch.org/en/download/8551.pdf.
 (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
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
Coastal Resilience to Climate Change in Cuba through Ecosystem Based Adaptation – ‘MI COSTA’
The Green Climate Fund-financed project 'Coastal Resilience to Climate Change in Cuba through Ecosystem Based Adaptation (‘MI COSTA')’ 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.
MI COSTA JÚCARO | January 2023
1,300 km of coastline, 24 communities, and 1.3 million people will directly benefit from the GCF-funded 'Mi Costa' 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.
Mi Costa Impactos | January 2023
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. The 'Mi Costa' project will focus on actions along Cuba’s Southern Coast that has been selected due its high vulnerability to climate change.
Mi Costa Oficial | January 2023
The 'Mi Costa' project in Cuba 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).
MiCosta Manzanillo Mangle | January 2023
The Green Climate Fund-financed project 'Coastal Resilience to Climate Change in Cuba through Ecosystem Based Adaptation (‘MI COSTA')’ 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.
Mi Costa por la educación ambiental | February 2023
La educación ambiental es una de las prioridades del proyecto Mi Costa en Pinar del Río, como parte de sus acciones para la adaptación al cambio climático.
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
‘Manglar Vivo, trabajo en conjunto entre hombre y naturaleza (+Fotos)' (15 Feb 2021) (English translation here)
'This village needed this project, and it arrived in the right moment' - Restoring natural habitats and protecting coastal communities in Cuba, UNDP (26 July 2020)
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.
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 "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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Enhancing Whole of Islands Approach to Strengthen Community Resilience to Climate and Disaster Risks in Kiribati
The Republic of Kiribati is a small island state with 33 low-lying and narrow atolls dispersed over 3.5 million km² in the Central Pacific Ocean and a population of approximately 110,000 people.
Climate change and climate-induced disasters are projected to exacerbate the vulnerability of Kiribati’s people by causing more frequent inundations leading to damage of coastal infrastructure and exacerbating already problematic access to clean water and food.
Despite an existing strong policy framework and previous efforts, several barriers exist that prevent Kiribati from achieving its adaptation goals.
Implemented with the Office of the President (Te Beretitenti), this project aims to benefit 17,500 people (49% women) on the five pilot islands of Makin, North Tarawa, Kuria, Onotoa and Kiritimati.
It is expected to contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals: SDG5 Gender Equality, SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG13 Climate Action.
Background: Projected impacts of climate change on coastal infrastructure, water and food security in Kiribati
Climate change and climate-induced disasters are projected to cause more frequent inundations leading to damage of coastal infrastructure/ community assets and exacerbating the already problematic access to clean water and food.
Geographically, Kiribati’s narrow land masses and low-lying geography (in average 1-3 meters above mean sea level other than Banaba Island) results in almost the entire population being prone to flooding from storm surges and sea-level rise.
The low-lying atoll islands are already experiencing inundation leading to a loss of land, buildings and infrastructure. Mean sea level is projected to continue to rise (very high confidence) by approximately 5-15 cm by 2030 and 20-60 cm by 2090 under the higher emissions scenario.
Sea-level rise combined with natural year-to-year changes will increase the impact of storm surges and coastal flooding. This will lead to increased risks of damage to coastal homes, community infrastructure (community halls, schools, churches) and critical infrastructure, such as health clinics and roads. Further, increasing damage and interruption to roads, causeways and bridges, might lead to isolation of communities.
Sea-level rise also results in greater wave overtopping risk, and when marine flooding occurs, saltwater infiltrates down into the freshwater aquifer causing contamination. This risk will increase with sea-level rise and increased flooding and impact both water security and food security from agricultural production.
With limited groundwater reservoirs, access to clean water and sanitation is already a serious problem in Kiribati, impacting health and food security. Agricultural crop production can be expected to be increasingly affected by saltwater inundation, more extreme weather patterns, pests and diseases. This negative impact on food security is further exacerbated by the projected impact on coastal subsistence fisheries, affecting the main stable food source and livelihood.
Barriers and challenges
While Kiribati has a strong policy framework around climate adaptation – with adaptation and disaster risk management recognized as national priorities within the Kiribati Development Plan and Kiribati’s 20-year Vision (KV20), and a national Climate Change Policy and Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2014-2023 – several barriers exist that prevent Kiribati from achieving its objectives, including:
- Limited integration of CCA&DRM in national and sub-national development plans and frameworks;
- Insufficient institutional coordination at national, sectoral and sub-national levels;
- Limited technical and institutional capacities at national and sub-national levels;
- Weak data management, monitoring and knowledge management (due in part to challenges in gathering and analysing data from dispersed and remote island communities without effective communication and information management systems); and
- Limited community knowledge and adaptive solutions for CCA&DRM at outer island level.
This project will address the exacerbation of climate change on coastal infrastructure, water security and food security by increasing community resilience to the impacts of climate change, climate variability and disasters and building capacities at island and national levels, with benefits extended to household level and in community institutions/facilities such as schools, health clinics, community halls, agricultural nurseries, and Islands Councils.
It is expected to deliver adaptation benefits to the entire population on the five islands of Makin, North Tarawa, Kuria, Onotoa and Kiritimati, estimated at approximately 17,500 people (49% women).
The Project will address key challenges and vulnerabilities to climate change through four interrelated components:
- Component 1: National and sectoral policies strengthened through enhanced institutions and knowledge
- Component 2: Island level climate change resilient planning and institutional capacity development in 5 pilot islands
- Component 3: WoI-implementation of water, food security and infrastructure adaptation measures
- Component 4: Enhanced knowledge management and communication strategies
It is expected to support progress towards the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
- SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women, by ensuring women’s equitable participation in Project planning and implementation and by actively monitoring gender equity and social inclusion outcomes.
- SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all;
- SDG 12: Achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Key implementing partners
- Office of Te Beretitenti (OB – Office of the President) - CC&DM division
- Kiribati National Expert Group on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
- Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development
- Ministry for Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy
- Ministry for Women, Youth and Social Affairs
- Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development
- Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives
- Ministry of Line and Phoenix Islands Development
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Information, Transport, Tourism and Communication Development (MITTCD)
- Parliament Select Committee on Climate Change
- Island Councils
- Extension officers
- Village Elders and Leaders
- Women and Youth
- Community-based groups
- KiLGA (Kiribati Local Government Association)
Component 1: National and sectoral policies strengthened through enhanced institutions and knowledge
Outcome 1 Capacities of national government institutions and personnel is strengthened on mainstreaming climate and disaster risks, supporting the operationalization of the Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2014-2023 (KJIP)
Output 1.1.1 National and sectoral level policy, planning and legal frameworks revised or developed, integrating climate change and disaster risks
Output 1.1.2 National, sectoral and island level monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes, related data-gathering and communication systems enhanced and adjusted to support KJIP implementation
Output 1.1.3 Coordination mechanism for the Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2014-2023 (KJIP) enhanced
Output 1.1.4 Tools and mechanisms to develop, stock, and share data, knowledge, and information on climate change and disaster risks enhanced at the national level
Component 2: Island level climate change resilient planning and institutional capacity development
Outcome 2 Capacity of island administrations enhanced to plan for and monitor climate change adaptation processes in a Whole of Islands (WoI) approach
Output 2.1.1 Island and community level vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) assessments revised and/or developed for 5 targeted islands
Output 2.1.2 Island Council Strategic Plans developed/reviewed and complemented with Whole of Islands (WoI)-implementation and investments plans in 5 targeted islands
Output 2.1.3 Tools and mechanisms to develop, stock and share data, knowledge, and information on climate change and disaster risk enhanced at island level to strengthen information, communication and early warning mechanisms
Output 2.1.4 I-Kiribati population on 5 targeted islands receives awareness and technical training on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management
Component 3: Whole of Island implementation of water, food security and infrastructure adaptation measures
Outcome 3 Community capacities enhanced to adapt to climate induced risks to food and water security and community assets
Output 3.1.1 Climate-resilient agriculture and livestock practices (including supply, production and processing/storage aspects) are introduced in 5 outer islands
Output 3.1.2 Water security improved in 5 targeted project islands
Output 3.1.3 Shoreline protection and climate proofing of infrastructure measures implemented at 5 additional islands and communities
Component 4: Knowledge management and communication strategies
Outcome 4 Whole of Islands (WoI)-approach promoted through effective knowledge management and communication strategies
4.1.1 Whole of Islands (WoI)-communication, engagement and coordination strengthened at national, island and community levels
4.1.2 Whole of Islands (WoI)-lessons learned captured and shared with national and regional stakeholders
The project results, corresponding indicators and mid-term and end-of-project targets in the project results framework will be monitored annually and evaluated periodically during project implementation.
Monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken in compliance with UNDP requirements as outlined in UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) and UNDP Evaluation Policy, with the UNDP Country Office responsible for ensuring full compliance with all UNDP project monitoring, quality assurance, risk management, and evaluation requirements.
Additional mandatory GEF-specific M&E requirements will be undertaken in accordance with the GEF Monitoring Policy and the GEF Evaluation Policy and other relevant GEF policies.
The project will complete an inception workshop report (within 60 days of project CEO endorsement); annual project implementation reports; and ongoing monitoring of core indicators.
An independent mid-term review will be conducted and made publicly available in English and will be posted on UNDP’s Evaulation Resource Centre ERC.
An independent terminal evaluation will take place upon completion of all major project outputs and activities, to be made publicly available in English.
The project will use the Global Environment Facility’s LDCF/SCCF Adaptation Monitoring and Assessment Tool to monitor global environmental benefits. The results will be submitted to the GEF along with the completed mid-term review and terminal evaluation.
The UNDP Country Office will retain all M&E records for this project for up to seven years after project financial closure to support ex-post evaluations undertaken by the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office and/or the GEF Independent Evaluation Office.
Results and learnings from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project through existing information sharing networks and forums.
M&E Oversight and Monitoring Responsibilities
The Project Manager is responsible for day-to-day project management and regular monitoring of project results and risks.
The Project Board will take corrective action as needed to ensure the project achieves the desired results. The Project Board will hold project reviews to assess the performance of the project and appraise the Annual Work Plan for the following year. In the project’s final year, the Project Board will hold an end-of-project review to capture lessons learned and discuss opportunities for scaling up and to highlight project results and lessons learned with relevant audiences.
The Implementing Partner is responsible for providing all required information and data necessary for timely, comprehensive and evidence-based project reporting, including results and financial data, as necessary. The Implementing Partner will strive to ensure project-level M&E is undertaken by national institutes and is aligned with national systems so that the data used and generated by the project supports national systems.
The UNDP Country Office will support the Project Manager as needed, including through annual supervision missions.
Local Project Appraisal Committee (LPAC) Meeting TBC
Inception workshop TBC
- Component 1: National and sectoral policies strengthened through enhanced institutions and knowledge
- Component 2: Island level climate change resilient planning and institutional capacity development in 5 pilot islands
- Component 3: Whole-of-Islands (WoI)-implementation of water, food security and infrastructure adaptation measures
- Component 4: Enhanced knowledge management and communication strategies