Taxonomy Term List
Ecosystems/Landscape approach to climate proof the Rural Settlement Program of Rwanda
Rwanda is among the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change in the world. Higher incidents of irregular rainy seasons, droughts, landslides and floods have exacerbated the impacts of historically degraded ecosystems to significantly increase vulnerability to climate risks for most rural households. COVID-19 has arisen as a challenge that amplifies the vulnerability of the country, which also poses a risk to efforts to addressing climate change impacts. These changes will affect agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, energy systems and human health, causing an estimated annual economic cost of about 1% of GDP by 2030. Left unchecked, these impacts will particularly erode the benefits of the rural settlement programme (Imidugudu), adopted by government to catalyse urbanization and economic development in the rural areas. Such loses can be avoided by integrating climate risks and adaptation measures during the planning, design and implementation of the programme, to avoid maladaptation and ‘lock-in’. Uptake of these measures are hampered by four barriers: i) Technical institutions and communities have limited technical capacity to generate current and diversified knowledge and climate information to integrate climate risks into the planning, design and implementation of the Imidugudu program. ii) The resource poor beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme lack the means to invest in available climate smart technologies and solutions to integrate climate risk into the Imidugudu and diversify and sustain livelihoods in the face of climate change; iii) the country’s policy space inadequately caters for the integration of climate risks into the Imidugudu programmes, exacerbated by weak capacity for cross sectoral coordination at District level; iv) Beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme and their supporting technical institutions have inadequate knowledge management and M&E.
The "Ecosystems/Landscape approach to climate proof the Rural Settlement Program of Rwanda" project puts Rwanda’s Rural Settlement Programme (Imidugudu) on a climate-resilient pathway to secure the programme’s development gains in the face of uncertainties emanating from climate change, and contributes to the country’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. This project will demonstrate how a climate-resilient pathway can be achieved at the national level by implementing four outcomes that collectively tackle exposure and sensitivity to climate risks at the landscape. The project will provide technical skills, more accurate and relevant short to long-term climate information, tools, plans, methods and institutional and policy conditions to create and sustain climate resilient livelihoods for select communities, benefiting a total of 2,211,600 people (50% women). It will be implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in partnerships with the Rwanda Housing Authority, Meteo Rwanda and the Local District Councils (Kirehe and Gakenke).
Outcome 1: Institutional and community capacities for planning for landscape approach enhanced to climate-proof Imidugudu.
This outcome will support climate informed planning as the basis for integrating climate risks into the rural settlement programmes and the associated livelihoods. It will provide communities in the four project areas, their supporting technical institutions and the private sector (builders, suppliers of building materials, contractors within the Imidugudu programme) with skills, awareness and decision-making tools to advance understanding of how vulnerability of livelihoods, local economies and the Imidugudu program are intertwined with the state of the natural systems. The stakeholders will use the information and knowledge to design alternative “climate proofed” Imidugudu plans; develop ecosystems-based adaptation plans as the basis for nature based solutions to flood and erosion control, including river bank and land stabilization in catchment areas; and design climate advisory services as decision-support tool to manage negative impacts of risks to livelihoods. The outcome will therefore lay the basis for the implementation of the other three outcomes (2 to 4), which will utilize the skills and tools throughout the project, thus contributing to, and integrating with all other outcomes. It will also lay the foundation for scaling up of the climate-proofing models throughout the country (by training staff and the relevant private sector players at the national level). Outcome 1 is delivered through five outputs, described below.
Output 1.1: Training programmes and their sustainability mechanisms designed and delivered to provide specialized technical skills and awareness on landscape approaches to climate risk management for technical staff of all relevant Departments and community groups: Enhancing capacities for planning, coordination and implementation in a sustained process at the local level is critical to guarantee effective climate adaptation. Under this output, the project will provide gender and COVID-19 responsive training to government technical staff, communities and the relevant private sector (serving the building sector) in climate risk management within the EbA and climate proofing Imidugudu contexts for implementation, further scaling up and sustainability. To ensure the sustainability of the training and skills development, the programme will be embedded into the Twigire Muhinzi extension services described under Box 3. The following themes will be covered, with each module integrating relevant gender aspects and any new measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the response measures:
Downscaling climate information for local level planning – National and district level training to support outputs 1.3, 1.4 and 2.3
Developing ecosystems-based adaptation plans – Community level training to support output 1.4, 2.1 and 2.2.
Climate-risk assessments methods – district and community level training to support outputs 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5.
Climate proofing Imidugudu models – definition of concept and requirements for its roll out – national level training to support output 1.1, 2.3 and outcomes 3 and 4.
Participatory Integrated Climate Smart Agriculture (PICSA) as a tool for climate information and decision-making tools to support planning of Imidugudu and community-based adaptation measures applied in four communities – local level training to support output 1.5 and implementation of outcomes 2 and 4.
Climate smart technologies for rehabilitating degraded/ unproductive land via agro-ecological interventions to reverse the effects of unsustainable agricultural practices – local level training to support output 2.1.
Climate smart technologies to protect and rehabilitate ecologically sensitive segments of the landscape such as hills, river banks and lake shores, wetlands, watersheds, etc. – local level training to support output 2.2.
Practical measures to green the rural settlements in line with an updated Greening and Climate Proofing Toolkit – district and local level training to support outputs 2.3.
Diversifying livestock management systems – district and local level training to support output 2.1.
Financial literacy - existing value chains and their requirements, existing financial institutions and their loan/subsidy packages and tips on how to practically join/engage with them – local level training to support implementation of output 2.5.
Radical and progressive terracing techniques, other soil and water conservation techniques, agroforestry, plant husbandry and watershed services – district and local level training to support outputs 2.1 and 2.2.
Gender mainstreaming in development programmes – importance, methods and benefits – local level training to support the whole project.
Policies and local level implications on livelihood systems, why it is important that everyone pays attention to, and contributes to policy reforms e.g. awareness raising on the on-going land reforms - the new restructuring of land use planning and implementation from national to local levels, revised land policy and land law (2019), which have impacts on the implementation of the Imidugudu programme. Local level training to support the all the outputs.
Training on ecosystems based adaptation will be conducted in very close coordination with two on-going projects - Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in North West Rwanda through Community-based Adaptation and Building the capacity of Rwanda’s government to advance the National Adaptation Planning process. It will utilize training materials developed under these two projects as well as under the LDCF 2 - Building resilience of communities living in degraded forests, savannahs and wetlands of Rwanda through an ecosystem management approach. Training on the reforms in land use will be conducted in close collaboration with the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA).
Training will take the form of training the trainer (ToT) and will be channelled through the Twigire Muhinzi system. For the technical institutions, training will target key staff in the local authority at District, Sector and Cell levels including Agronomist Officers, Environment Officers and interns, Cooperative Officers, Infrastructure Officers, Land Officers, Forestry Officers and RAB CIP Officers, crop intensification programme contractors (contracted service providers who organise seed and fertiliser distribution and provide extension advice). At the sector level, the training will target the Agronomist Officer who cover many of the above functions dealing with aspects of rural infrastructure, lands adjudication/title registration, forestry and environmental management (responding to the respective four designated officers at District level) in addition to the ‘primary’ focus on agriculture, livestock and horticulture. Livestock Veterinary Assistants and Forestry Officers deployed at Sector level will also be included in this training. At the Cell level, the training will target the Social Development Officers (better known as the Integrated Development Programme Officers or ‘IDPs’) as this is the main salaried post concerned with agricultural and development issues. Activities will include: a) Identify all the relevant groups that need to be trained (including architects, engineers, planners, community groups, etc.) and refine the capacity assessment undertaken during the project formulation (Annex 12) with emphasis on training needs assessment and identify further training needs; (b) Review existing training manuals and determine suitability for training under this project and/or modify as necessary, develop training modules with a clear and costed work plan for implementation; (c) Conduct training in a gender responsive and participatory process; (d) Reflect on the development and delivery of the training programmes and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 1.2: Climate-risk assessments methods provided to support adaptation planning as an on-going practice with a focus on the local level in the project areas: The main climate related disasters affecting the project area are floods, landslides and mudslides, droughts and famine. The country has recently established a clear, well equipped and coordinated institutional framework for disaster management and response (Box 4). The programme has established climate risk assessment methods and set up systems for information collection and dissemination linking national to district and sector levels. Under this output, the project will raise the awareness of the Imidugudu beneficiaries and local populations at the project sites to the existence of tools and systems assessing and addressing floods, landslides and mudslides, droughts and famine. It will train, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive manner, relevant groups on the use of the existing networks and information so they can utilize the same more effectively. Activities under this output include: a) Disseminate information to local communities on the climate risk assessment tools and methods developed by the Joint Program on Support to Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee; (b) Train relevant groups on the access and use of the existing information and networks (in conjunction with output 1.1); c) Reflect on the process and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 1.3: Climate-proofed Imidugudu models developed in a science-led, gender and COVID responsive highly participatory process and piloted in four landscapes: This model will be developed with participation of the entire country (national level); however, its implementation will be tested at the local level in the project sites as described under output 2.3. To ensure replication/upscaling, model development will be led by the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) with participation from all relevant sectors, including the private sector (builders, contractors, suppliers of building materials within the Imudugudu programme). With the support of a Project Technical Committee, RHA will lead a national discourse on climate proofing the Imidugudu aimed at creating understanding and buy-in of: a) definition of the concept; b) its importance in the efficiency and sustainability of resources invested in the Imidugudu programme; c) the requirements (costs, policies, rules, regulations and institutional arrangements) for its effective and widespread adoption including the trade-offs at different levels. This will lead to a stakeholder-driven and expert-informed model and guide for climate proofing Imidugudu settlements in Rwanda, addressing the entire process from planning the rural settlement programme to its operation. This model and guide will be designed with options that are applicable to different settings of Rwanda. To ensure that the development of the climate proofing model is informed by the best available technical expertise and science, a Project Technical Committee will be formed to lead the consultation, comprising of nominated/delegated persons from relevant institutions (Ministries and Agencies), civil society, academia and community organizations, who are mandated to represent the interests of their respective stakeholder groupings (with attention given to adequate representation by women, young people and other vulnerable groups).
To ensure systematized consultation and input by all relevant groups, this committee will map stakeholders and develop a strategy for consultation and capacity support for stakeholders who might require it to participate fully. It will adopt innovative measures to engage the youth, for example by organizing competitions and debates between various institutions (schools, universities). Input from communities will be secured during the process of formulating adaptation plans (output 1.4). Inputs from the scientific community will be secured via technical conferences while inputs from policy makers will be secured through several iterative workshops and policy dialogues. Activities under the output will include: a) Establish the Climate Proofing Technical Committee with clear Terms of Reference for its operations; (b) Undertake stakeholder mapping and identify relevant stakeholders to be consulted; (c) Design a stakeholder consultation strategy, identifying any specific capacity support required for effective participation of specialized groups such as Meteo-Rwanda, technical experts (climate scientists, infrastructure development experts, rural development experts), academia and students; (d) Undertake the consultative process in line with the stakeholder consultation strategy (at all levels); (e) Collate the inputs from the stakeholder consultations and develop the climate proofing models; assess the feasibility of the various models via cost benefit analysis including considerations of social, economic and environmental feasibility using multi-criteria approaches. Select one or several models and develop guidelines for their application; (f) Develop training materials that are deemed necessary to support the uptake of the model (to be incorporated in the training conducted under output 1.4 and for uptake by other relevant government programmes); (g) Develop and disseminate awareness raising material to popularize the model such as policy briefs (with recommendations for policy and regulatory changes that might be required – in conjunction with Outcome 3); h) Reflect on the process of model development and piloting and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 1.4: Four Ecosystems-based Adaptation Plans developed in a science-led, gender and COVID-19 responsive and highly participatory process: As explained in the strategy section, households are highly dependent on low technology, low input agriculture and other natural resources for their economic development and livelihoods. Mainstreaming climate risks into the Imidugudu programme requires improving the natural resources and healthy ecosystems. Healthy functional ecosystems are therefore the bedrock of climate resilience of the communities in the rural areas, as they buffer away climate hazards and widen the livelihood options in the face of climate change. Adaptation plans will therefore be developed to provide a systematic approach to address the vulnerabilities at the landscape level and promote healthy natural resources and ecosystems. This will underpin good adaptation policy, planning and delivery by the communities that are directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Informed by various technical assessments, analyses, data and maps, and expert knowledge to be provided by the Project Technical Committee, the EbA planning process will bring together and enable an open dialogue to take place between the population exposed to climate change, decision makers, development planners and climate change experts to: define the geographic scope of the plan; describe the environmental, social, economic and institution characteristics of the mini watersheds; articulate a vision and strategic management objectives; identify and prioritize strategies and methods for addressing the issues; identify, prioritize and depict spatially suitable areas for cost-effective land rehabilitation, soil and water conservation, protection of wetlands, sustainable agriculture and other land uses; present a detailed implementation plan, including: (i) institutional arrangements for governance, collaboration and monitoring; (ii) a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework; (iii) a financing strategy and sustainability plan.
The project will update (ground-truthing) the vulnerability assessment undertaken during the project formulation and use it as one input into the ecosystems-based adaptation (EbA) planning. EbA will be implemented using a community-based approach to adaptation (CbA) and will incorporate the concepts of Forest Landscape Restoration principles, to identify forested areas for protection and degraded forests for restoration. Adaptation planning will utilize suitable tools such as CRISTAL (https://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/), COBRA or any of the many other tools summarized here https://www.iied.org/tools-for-ecosystem-based-adaptation-new-navigator and here https://www.iied.org/sites/default/files/eba_tools_navigator_tutorial_sept_2019_en.pdf; file:///D:/2020%20Bids%20and%20carry%20over/Rwanda%20LDCF%203/Literature/Community%20Based%20Adaptation%20Practioner's_Guide.pdf.
To ensure effective uptake, the plans will be developed in a gender responsive and participatory approach, to engage a wide range of stakeholders in discussions about climate change in general and climate proofing the Imidugudu in particular. This is in line with the Land Use Planning Guidelines (2017). Particular consideration will be given to ensure meaningful participation of women, youth and other vulnerable or potentially marginalized groups. Activities under this output include: a) Mobilize communities and conduct training to ensure their effective participation in the design of the adaptation plans (in conjunction with output 1.4); (b) Review available EbA planning tools and select the most appropriate for application under the Rwanda pilot areas’ conditions; (c) Conduct planning meetings - facilitate a discussion on the importance of the landscape for each of the stakeholders and sectors and how the actions of one stakeholder group or sector can influence the vulnerability and adaptation prospects of others, either positively or negatively; (d) Review and stock taking of socio-ecological information and information on the institutional and regulatory context; (e) Analyse climate change scenarios and assess current and future vulnerabilities (includes updating/ground trothing the vulnerability assessment report); (f) Identify, select and appraise adaptation options – including trade-offs; (g) Develop a clear, long-term implementation strategy, a financing and sustainability strategy; (h) Develop an M&E system to support adaptive management, learning and upscaling; (i) Develop and disseminate guidelines to integrate the EbA plan into day to day activities of the local communities and the existing development programmes, policies, frameworks and planning mechanisms at the local level; (j) Design a sustainability strategy to ensure continued implementation of the EbA plans and start its operationalization before the end of the proposed project; k) Reflect on the EbA planning process and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 1.5: Meteo-Rwanda capacitated to provide high quality climate information to support uptake of gender and COVID-19 responsive adaptation measures in the four project sites and nationally: This output will increase the capacity of Meteo Rwanda to generate required climate information to inform decision-making at central and project levels. Traditional methods of producing weather/climate forecasts using synoptic chart analysis are approaching a limit above which they cannot be improved further for greater benefit to users, who demand more accurate forecasts of the local weather/climate events. Enhancing climate related research, modelling and prediction of weather and climate through Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate modelling is the only way to ensure decisions are informed by non-proxy data in mitigating climate risks. Numerical Weather Prediction products will inform not only policy makers at central level but most importantly at community level during their day-to-day activities, while climate projection information will guide policy and decision makers and interveners in their long-term plans, hence minimising costs and risk in the long-term.
To support the generation of numerical weather prediction and climate modelling products, the project will set up a centre at Meteo Rwanda, equipped with high capacity computers (2 mini cluster computers) and 4 desktops with super capacity to run mathematical and climate models and other relevant accessories. This centre will provide climate risk analysis and conduct climate sensitivity analyses. This information will be used in the development of the cost effective climate proofing models, defining climate proof settlements infrastructure, climate smart agriculture and resilience and in the assessment of long-term climate risk. Meteo Rwanda will be supported to actively contribute to downscaled weather and climate information which will be disseminated through regular channels nation-wide with a web portal created for online visualisation. The dissemination of the information will be accompanied by an awareness raising strategy to educate the public about the availability of the higher quality, more relevant interpreted climate information and the existence of the portal for the use/application of weather and climate information for day to day decision-making. This communication will be channelled through Communications companies (Television stations, radio stations, cell phone companies (Artec, Liquid Telecom and MTN Rwandacell), and newspapers.
Furthermore, Meteo Rwanda will partner with the Rwanda Agricultural Board and Twigire Muhinzi to further disseminate advisory services at the local level via the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA). PICSA will be used to reach out and empower farmers to interpret location specific weather and climate information in the project sites giving them options to cope with prevailing weather patterns amongst other factors so as to consider their implications on crop and livestock production. Lessons will be drawn from the four districts (Burera, Ngororero, Nyanza and Kayonza) who have benefitted from the Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture (RCSA) project. Activities under the output include: i) set up and equip the numerical weather prediction and climate modelling centre; ii) conduct climate risk and sensitivity analyses and provide input into the development of the cost effective climate proofing model/defining and PICSA advisory services; iii) develop and disseminate awareness raising strategy on increased quantity, quality, relevance and access of climate data for decision-making; iv) partner with RAB and Twigire Muhinzi of Kirehe and Gakenke and roll out PICSA advisory services; v) Reflect on the process and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Outcome 2: Gender and COVID -19 responsive adaptation measures implemented in targeted landscapes following the landscape-approach
This outcome will pilot practical gender and COVID-19 responsive climate-proofing of Imidugudus in the four pilot areas benefitting both the old and new IDP settlements. It will work alongside three villages that Government and the districts have already identified for resettlement into new more climate smart villages (Muramba, Gasharu and Muzo), and whose upgrade is already budgeted for by government (output 2.3). LDCF funding will support climate-proofing initiatives through ecosystem based and diversified livelihood activities for the beneficiary communities, building on the Government co-financing of USD 10 million. It will also work with Bukinanyana village, which is already resettled in a more climate smart village as well as the inhabitants of the rest of the 191 villages in the four mini-catchments to support the implementation of the EbA plans. This will including the rehabilitation of the degraded hotspots to restore ecosystems services, upgrading of housing and infrastructure around Imidugudu to more climate smart versions, adoption of climate smart agricultural practices to increase land productivity and food security, promote the uptake of water harvesting and efficient household energy options to reduce pressure on the forests and more effective utilization of existing value chains to increase household incomes and resilience. Collectively, these measures will enable the beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme to create, improve and sustain livelihood options that collectively reduce their exposure and sensitivity to climate risks at the landscape level while simultaneously increasing their adaptive capacities. The results of this pilot will inform the design of the entire settlement programme of Rwanda to include climate change adaptation.
Outcome 2 will utilize the results of outcome 1 (skills and tools); it will provide feedback to the planning process of outcome 1 and the policy reform under outcome 3, informed by on-the ground practical implementation. It will contribute to the formulation of the participatory monitoring and evaluation plan and generate the knowledge to be collated and shared via outcome 4. It therefore forms the core of the project, and will be delivered through six outputs, described below.
Output 2.1: Climate smart agricultural practices adopted to increase and sustain food production under uncertain climate and COVID-19 scenarios in the four pilot areas: Land productivity has declined significantly on isolated farms (outside the land consolidation system under the Crop Intensification Programme – CIP), with over 75% of the households reporting that they do not get surplus produce for sale, in an area where agriculture is the main source of livelihoods. The project will rehabilitate degraded and unproductive lands to increase land productivity and increase food production for consumption and sales, which increases adaptive capacity. The project will therefore support: a) households to consolidate farms and join the CIP; b) construction of radical and progressive terraces in degradation hotspots; c) diversify livestock farming systems; and, d) popularize crop and livestock insurance as measures to support climate responsive practices.
Under land consolidation, the project will assist households to consolidate their lands in order to start farming under the Crop Intensification Programme and take on other climate smart agricultural practices. It will therefore raise the awareness of the communities about the gender and COVID-19 responsive climate smart options available for adoption (for cropping, agroforestry and livestock systems) they can adopt. Individual households will be encouraged and supported to adopt the practices appropriate to their circumstances. Support for this output will be channelled through the Twigire Muhinzi structures whose functions are described in Box 5.
The project will also assist willing households to diversify livestock using the Girinka model. The Girinka provides one cow per household in a merry-go-round system. The project will work through producer cooperatives to facilitate households to engage in these alternative livestock production systems. The project will also train the households on practices to integrate pasture production and food production systems to increase availability of livestock feed.
The project will support households to adopt crop and livestock insurance schemes, offered by the private sector. The GoR has recently (2019) initiated a subsidized insurance scheme for selected crops (maize and rice) and cows under the Girinka, where it provides 60% of the premium. GoR has entered into collaboration agreements with three insurance companies (Radiant, SONARWA and Prime Insurance) to roll out these insurance schemes country-wide. Radiant Insurance Company has been designated (by GoR) to operate the programme in Kirehe and Gakenke. Many of the households in the project area are not yet fully conversant with how these insurance schemes will function. The project will mobilize farmers in the project area to join the insurance scheme, exploring means of raising the premium, e.g. through the SACCOs and VSLAs. Activities under this output will include: a) Confirm degraded agricultural lands and degradation hotspots (in conjunction with the EbA planning); (b) construct radical and progressive terraces on about 300ha, treated with manure and planted with crops such as beans, maize, bananas; (c) Rehabilitate the irrigation system in Bukinanyana by constructing at least one structure to capture and store rain water; (d) Facilitate land consolidation process for the resettled households (identify suitable crops, establish cropping cycles, in line with the adaptation plans and the established extension support cycle, mobilize farmers to participate (making their land available), facilitate the delivery of the extension services availed under the land consolidation programme; (e) Review the climate smart agriculture practices (many available online) and determine suitability for use by the project (taking into considerations gender and COVID-19 requirements); (f) Disseminate the information and make households aware of the various available options and support farmers to implement measures appropriate for them, through the regular extension service (Twigire Muhinzi); g) Update list of alternative livestock and the requirements for successful adoption and disseminate the information; h) Organize interested farmers into clubs and/or cooperatives which will generate initial funds (either through savings or link to micro loans), and support formulation of livestock merry-go-rounds (in the same manner as the one cow programme under Girinka); i) Collaborate with Radiant Insurance Company to disseminate information on crop and livestock insurance schemes and recruit households to register; j) Reflect on the process of facilitating adoption of climate smart agricultural practices to increase and sustain food production under uncertain climate scenarios in the four pilot areas and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 2.2: Degradation hotspots (forests, hilltops and wetlands systems) identified by the EbA plans are rehabilitated to restore ecosystems services as the cornerstone of resilient livelihoods – covering at least 500 ha distributed across the 23,560ha: The baseline assessment identified degradation hotspots across the landscape of the four pilot areas (Table 2 and map 2 of Annex 1). These hotspots will be confirmed by the ecosystems-based adaptation plans to be formulated under outcome 1. Informed by the Environmental and Social Impacts Management Plan (ESMP), Gender and Stakeholder Engagement Plans, the project will treat these hotspots to boost the sustained provision of ecosystems services under the EbA context. This includes restoring forests to provide nature-based flood and erosion control, land stabilization in catchment areas and rehabilitating river banks to protect the water catchment services, reduce incidents of landslides and protect rivers and wetlands from siltation. The project will: a) stabilize 46km of degraded riverbanks via enforcement of rules and regulations prohibiting encroachment into the river channels combined with planting bamboo and other protective vegetation along the channels. These rivers include Rwagitugusa, Kibaya, Kagogo, Murutagara, Cyacika, Sumo, Mugambazi, Nyabarongo; b) engage communities in community-based protection of the 7,000 ha of forests found in the four project areas; c) implement reforestation programmes for at least 200 ha of degraded forest using the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR guidelines) guidelines.
To ensure effective reforestation that balances trade-offs (economic, livelihoods needs and ecosystems restoration), reforestation will be guided by the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) Concept, where the villages will produce FLR plans following the methodology introduced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and IUCN, as recently modified and applied for the Gatisbo FLR baseline conditions assessment. Under these guidelines, no known invasive species will be introduced. Species whose potential for invasiveness are unknown will be carefully assessed to avoid accidental introduction of invasive species. The project will specifically promote research on indigenous trees and grass species which balance quick growth rates, economic potential and protection of the environment. This is necessitated by the fact that high levels of poverty, high population densities and associated land shortage present a significant challenge to establishing/expanding indigenous forests, since they are seen to compete with food production. Agroforestry is currently the more feasible option for producing wood products and ecosystem goods and services. The major agroforestry practices to be promoted by the project will include boundary planting, contour hedgerows, home gardens, silvopastoralism and woodlots. Activities under this output include: a) Confirm the degradation hotspots and determine the community groups to actively participate in each of the rehabilitation works; (b) Undertake assessment of potential for invasiveness of all species considered for reforestation and promote research on indigenous species for rehabilitation, identify candidates and integrate them into the rehabilitation packages; (c) Mobilize/sensitize local communities in the hotspots, and refine training on specific rehabilitation measures/works (tree husbandry, terrace making and reestablishment of cropping systems on the new terraces, riverbank protection, etc.); (d) Establish tree nurseries (preferably via business arrangements, encouraging farmers who lose use of their lands for about a year (while establishing terraces) to take up such income generating activities; (e) implement land use zones in line with the EbA plans – e.g. survey and mark river channel boundaries to ensure clarity on all parties where utilization (annual crops, livestock rearing, etc.) should not cross; (f) Rehabilitate riverbanks by planting suitable grasses/trees, encouraging farmers who lose use of their lands for about a year (while establishing terraces) to take up such income generating activities; Maintain and protect seedlings (protect from grazing by livestock, monitor to replant if seedlings die off, weeding) for 2 years after planting; (g) Plant selected seedlings to reforest 200 ha; maintain and protect seedlings (protect from grazing by livestock, monitor to replant if seedlings die off, weeding) for 2 years after planting; h) reflect on the process of rehabilitating degradation hotspots (forests, hilltops and wetlands systems) to restore ecosystems services as the cornerstone of resilient livelihoods and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 2.3: Upgrading of housing and communal facilities around the Imidugudu to more climate smart versions in four villages benefitting about 500 households: Output 2.3 will test the implementation of the Imidugudu climate proofing model developed under output 1.3. The project will support the climate proofing of the IDPs, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive processes. The support will be spearheaded by the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) under the District Development Strategies (DDS) of both Kirehe and Gakenke, informed by the findings and recommendations of the ESMP. It will support the RHA and the Districts to refine the selection of the sites for the new villages, ensuring that medium to long-term climate information and the status of the ecosystems inform the choice. It will work on the designs of the new homes, ensuring that climate risks are factored into the building plans, thereby testing, or contributing to the development of building codes for climate proofed Imidugudu to be developed under outcome 1. It will ensure that all the stakeholders engaged in the building process, including the private sector contractors, have been trained on climate proofing (training provided under output 1.4). The project will also upgrade communal facilities by implementing the greening measures outlined in the IDP Greening Toolkit (which will be updated by the project under output 3.1). Improving communal facilities will be contracted to the relevant private sector and will include upgrading roads, installing waste management systems, electricity installation (including solar power), establishment of tree nurseries and reforestation of the new villages, community halls and early education support systems. The project will explore geo-tagging of all climate proofed infrastructure, water bodies and other resources under the programme to enable interested stakeholders (communities and other decision makers) to track progress and better planning of resilient infrastructure. Activities for this output include: a) Provide technical input into the selection of sites, design and building of the new IDPs and climate resilient access roads, ensuring that each step incorporate measures to climate proof the process and the settlement programme; (b) Organize beneficiaries to establish nurseries, grow and plant various materials to green the public places in the new villages; (c) upgrade communal facilities to incorporate climate risks (roads, installing waste management systems, electricity installation (including solar power), d) reflect on the process of collaborating with government co-finance to upgrade houses to more climate resilient versions and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2). The design of the infrastructure and housing will deliberately integrate resilience and fit for healthy living in response to COVID-19, minimizing exposure to and community spread of diseases such as COVID-19. Consultations with health professionals will be done in the design of the housing and infrastructure.
Output 2.4: Rainwater harvesting and alternative energy options piloted in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process to increase resilience of livelihoods under the Imidugudu programme: Under this output, the project will support the beneficiaries of the resettlement programme (described under output 2.3) to acquire water harvesting structures to increase water available to households for domestic use and/or irrigation to counter the effects of irregular rainfall patterns. Implementation of this output will be closely guided by the ESMP and the Gender Action Plan. The project will support the acquisition of water storage facilities, based on best practices available. These could be tanks (underground and/or above ground as appropriate) for rain harvesting (minimum 3,000 litres). The project will undertake an assessment of water storage options to support adaptive capacity which are incremental in nature and use the findings to guide selection of systems to be disseminated. It will also support the uptake of alternative household energy technologies, to increase clean energy options and reduce pressure on the forests and the ecosystems. It will assist households to construct at least thirteen communal cowsheds (each shared by about 40 households), acquire a cow per household (under the national Girinka Programme) and construct and operationalize biogas units for the homes. Households will be engaged in a participatory process to identify cattle breeds that meet a multi-criteria system (including sustainability).
Many households in the IDP villages have experienced challenges with the biogas; indeed observations during the project planning process (confirmed verbally by District and National Government Officers) show that many biogas units have failed due to a combination of facts: a) the fixed dome bio-digester commonly used tends to be expensive, is complex to build and operate, and has a high rate of failure within the Imidugudu setting, especially in very cold places (such as Muzo/Kagano); b) The beneficiaries of the IDP villages are the very poor, many struggle with resources to maintain these systems (inadequate land, pasture and labour to feed the cows that produce the feed for the biogas) and an absence of a culture of maintenance, exacerbated by few available technicians to offer such services. The project will therefore utilize a mixture of household energy solutions which will include the following: a) explore cheaper, more efficient and less complex biogas systems such as the flexi-polyethylene tube digesters which utilize a broader range of materials – including waste from pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, poultry, kitchen waste, market waste, grass, water hyacinth, farm weed and garden clippings. The project will review the outcome of several piloting initiatives undertaken in the country and if these are reliable and economically viable will actively support their uptake. (b) Biogas systems will be issued only to households who express the willingness and demonstrate abilities to maintain them. (c) Other households will be given the option of improved energy cookstoves. (d) Solar technologies will be promoted for both lighting and cooking. (e) At least 10 technicians will be trained on the biogas installation and maintenance as well as basic plumbing skills (for the maintenance of the water systems). The project will assist the communities to develop long term financing and business models for maintenance and replication of the technologies.
The project will further create awareness and demonstrate available solar technologies and improved cookstoves, encouraging local traders to supply them to increase availability locally. The Village Savings and Loans Clubs will be encouraged to use the joint savings to purchase solar equipment and the improved cookstoves under their normal mutual support systems, wherever appropriate. Activities under this output include: (a) Undertake an assessment of the different energy access options, including various biogas systems in use in the country and beyond and identify the appropriate system(s) for the households in the project areas; (b) Disseminate improved household energy options depending on the choices and abilities of households – includes construction of the selected biogas and BioSanGas toilets, improved cookstoves and solar technologies; (c) Construct thirteen communal cowsheds and link the households to the Girinka programme to acquire one cow per willing household; (d) Acquire 500 water tanks (each a minimum of 3000 litres); (e) Train (or provide refresher courses) for at least 10 technicians (5 of them females) on electrical, plumbing, biogas and road maintenance. These technicians will be engaged in the construction of these facilities to ensure practical on the job training; f) reflect on the process of providing improved water and energy systems and their role on increasing resilience and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 2.5: Beneficiaries of the Imidugudu supported to utilize existing value chains to increase resilience via higher household incomes: The project will support households to effectively utilize the many existing value chains, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process, to add value to produce and access markets, to increase household incomes and hence adaptive capacity, guided closely by the ESMP, the Gender Action Plan and the Stakeholder Engagement Plan. The value chains include milk, fruit processing, coffee, poultry, maize, beans and cassava sales. It will identify marketing cooperatives and increase their capacities to facilitate producers to cooperate, bulk and sell together, buy inputs together and add value through transforming together. The Table below shows an initial private sector mapping that will be expanded during project implementation and used to build stronger private sector engagement in project implementation. Annex 12 contains a list of other potential products and opportunities for bulking commodities with currently active value chains. Cooperatives will be provided with technical expertise (via training and coaching) to increase operational capacities and improve financial services to their members (improve financial literacy and savings). The project will refine the value chain and private sector engagement assessments undertaken during the project planning phase to create a list of active bulking and marketing opportunities and hence value chains and potential enterprises development opportunities; clear understanding of the challenges faced by households and potential entrepreneurs in accessing and utilizing current opportunities (in value chains and enterprise development); assess capacity needs and implement capacity building programmes and support the establishment of sustainable and scalable businesses. Activities under this output will include: i) analysis of market opportunities; ii) selection and implementation of income-generating activities to utilize the existing value chains (identified during the PPG and confirmed during inception phase), e.g. milk, coffee, fruits processing, poultry, mushrooms (detailed in Annex 12 – Baseline Assessment Report); iii) appropriate support to local communities on value-addition activities, including agro-processing and marketing skills; iv) financial education; v) formulation of sustainable financing options; vi) promote the development of local private sector agents such as agricultural service providers; vii) Establish an agribusiness forum for exchange on sustainable value chain development and private sector engagement; viii) reflect on the process of facilitating communities to utilize existing value chains and its contribution to building resilient livelihoods and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Outcome 3: Policies and cross sectoral coordination
Under this outcome, the project will provide a policy enabling environment and improve cross sectoral coordination to create pathways for replication and scale up of the climate proofing concept. The project will ensure that the concept of climate proofing the Imidugudu and other infrastructure is captured in the national and district planning, budgeting and public investment systems, to provide a basis for budgetary provisions for its roll out. It will update REMA’s environmental planning tools to include principles of climate proofing. It will also increase the skills of institutions and platforms recently created by the GoR for cross sectoral coordination and disaster risk reduction. Building on the increased understanding and appreciation of the health-climate-environmental linkages due to COVID-19, the project will facilitate the involvement of the health sector in the cross-sectoral coordination capacity building process. The outcome will be delivered through two outputs, described below.
Output 3.1: Strategic review of policies, national and district strategies, programmes and planning tools to ensure they capture climate proofing of Imidugudu and other infrastructure programmes in the investment decision-making processes: Annex 12 shows the extent to which policies relevant to the Imidugudu mainstream climate risks. The project will facilitate stakeholders, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process, to review the following strategic planning frameworks and to generate recommendations which will be provided to influence future planning cycles. These include the National Strategy for Transformation (NTS 1) 2017-2024, Rwanda’s National Investment Policy (NIP, 2017), the National Decentralisation Policy (2012), District Development Strategies (2018-2024), the Rural Settlement Strategic Sector Plan (2018-2024) and the Organic Law on State Finance and Property (No. 12/2013 of 12/09/2013 (Rationale for mainstreaming climate proofing Imidugudu in these instruments is provided in Box 6). The review of the Human Settlement Policy (2015) is currently under way, and likely to be completed by the time project implementation starts. The PIF and PPG processes informed the review of the policy. The project will therefore support the Rwanda Housing Authority to develop a strategy for implementing the revised policy, including aligning its budgets to the new policy provisions, to replicate and upscale the climate proofing concept. The project will also review the following relevant policies and programmes and make recommendations for reforms to ensure that they provide strong basis for integrating climate risk into development processes, hence promoting replication and upscaling of the climate proofing concept: National Urban Housing Policy (2008), National Disaster Management Policy (2012) and National Disaster Risk Management Plan (2013); the Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (SPCR) (2017); the National Strategy for Transformation (NST; 2017–2024); the National Land Use and Development Master Plan (2011) (under revision), Local Urban Development Plans (LUDPs), and Detailed Physical Plans /Area Action Plans (AAP’s) for local implementation. It will then ensure that relevant environment and building protocols further integrate climate risk considerations. These include the Green Village Toolkit by REMA / PEI and the REMA’s Environmental management Tools and Guidelines. Activities under this output include: a) Review policies relevant to the Imidugudu (listed above), in a participatory and gender responsive process, recommend changes and advocate for their adoption; b) Update REMA’s Environmental management Tools and Guidelines; c) reflect on the process of using strategic policy reviews to ensure budgetary allocation for the upscaling of the climate proofing model in the Imidugudu programme and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 3.2: Technical and community institutions trained to improve their effectiveness in the cross sectoral coordination units and networks recently created by the Government of Rwanda: The project will strengthen the systems for cross sectoral and District coordination (described in Box 4) created recently by the GoR to make it easy for technical departments to coordinate the multiple decisions needed to climate proof Imidugudu programmes. At the District level, these include the District Disaster Management Committees (DIDIMACs), Sector Disaster Management Committees (SEDIMACs) and the Joint Action Development Forums (JADFs). They also include community level institutions representing the communities – the Monthly Community Work (Umuganda), the parents evening forum (Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi) and general village assemblies (Inama Rusange y’Abaturage). Activities under this output will be implemented in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process and will include: a) Undertake training needs assessments for the disaster risk reduction and coordination committees, the JADF and the community institutions in the Kirehe and Gakenke districts and formulate a training programme, in conjunction with output 1.1; (b) Train the committees, JADF and the community institutions as per the training programme, in conjunction with output 1.1; c) reflect on the process of further strengthening capacities for the institutions mandated to coordinate cross sectoral and District coordination created recently by the GoR and the impacts on their capacities and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Outcome 4: Knowledge Management supported by participatory and effective monitoring and evaluation
This outcome will provide monitoring and evaluation systems, codify knowledge and promote its dissemination to further support replication and upscaling. The project will design, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process, a participatory M&E plan and integrate it into the M&E systems of the Twigire Muhinzi, District and/or relevant Sectors. It will also develop a comprehensive Communications and Knowledge Management Framework to coordinate communications and knowledge management (in a similarly gender and COVID-19 responsive manner). Knowledge products will be produced and disseminated targeting different audiences at all levels - local, national, international, including decision-makers, project partners, aligned programmes, community stakeholders. At least two knowledge sharing events will be held at the district level. This outcome is fundamental to monitoring the results of all the whole project, distilling and disseminating lessons. The outcome will be implemented through two outputs, described below.
Output 4.1: Development of participatory M&E plans and enhancement of communities’ capacities to monitor, learn and sustain the climate proofing initiative: The project will design a participatory M&E plan linked to the adaptation plans (in conjunction with output 1.4) and integrate it into the M&E systems of the Twigire Muhinzi, District and/or relevant Sectors. It will train community groups to provide the skills required for their effective participation in gathering data for monitoring, reporting it and using it to compile and learn lessons – to support adaptive management. The M&E system will take full cognizance of the complexity of ecosystems-based adaptation initiatives, especially the uncertainties of attributing improvements in environmental status to the outcomes in the short, medium and long-terms. At the district level, the implementation of the M&E system will link into existing GIS capacity in the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA).
A project-specific monitoring and evaluation plan has been developed (described in Section 6 of this Prodoc and Annex 3). Activities under this output include: a) Building on participatory M&E plan produced via the EbA planning process, identify, in a participatory and gender responsive manner, additional indicators for the comprehensive monitoring of the effectiveness of the rural settlement programme on adaptive capacities of its beneficiaries. (b) Design and implement a training programme to equip the beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme in the project area to participate in data collection, storage, analysis and use of the outcomes of the process (in conjunction with output 1.1). (c) Design and implement a training programme for the technical institutions supporting the rural settlement programme on M&E, linking them to the GIS capacity of the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (in conjunction with output 1.1). (d) Refine the project Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (annex 3) to incorporate any amendments that may be necessary based on data or issues emerging from the planning process, and any refinement of the gender mainstreaming indicators. (e) Track project performance against the M&E framework quarterly, using UNDP Standard tools. (f) Carry out MTR and the TE and share lessons to improve current and future programming and implementation. (g) Reflect on the process of participatory M&E for communities under the EbA and Imidugudu Programmes and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).
Output 4.2: Best practices, lessons collated and shared, KM products codified and disseminated to support continued adaptation planning and implementation for the imidugudu program: The outcomes of this project are designed to strengthen the foundational capacities required to continue implementing climate-proofing measures in the Imidugudu programme and for on-going replication of similar initiatives country-wide. The project is therefore expected to contribute to the sustainability of all adaptation projects in and outside of the country. This output will promote dialogue, learning and cooperation between the project participants and other stakeholders inside and outside Rwanda, to catalyse upscaling. This will be achieved by engaging in communications and advocacy, knowledge networking and management. A comprehensive Communications and Knowledge Management Framework will be developed in Year 1, which will include strategic objectives, costed activities, roles, responsibilities, timeframes, workflows and institutional linkages to coordinate communications and knowledge management. The main elements of the Framework will include: (i) raising awareness through an effective community-led advocacy campaigns, supported by appropriate awareness-raising materials; (ii) developing and sharing communications pieces and knowledge products targeting different audiences (decision-makers, project partners, practitioners, community stakeholders), and using multiple formats, platforms and media; (iii) engaging in local, national and regional adaptation knowledge-sharing events and communities of practice, ensuring that lessons learnt in the project pilot sites inform similar projects being implemented elsewhere, and that lessons from other projects are used in adaptive management of the proposed project; (iv) collating, organizing and making available all information relevant to the project – through a dedicated webpage linked to the websites of the key institutions engaged in the project – RHA, REMA, MINAGRI, Gakenke and Kirehe Districts Councils and UNDP. All relevant project documentation will be uploaded to the UNDP PIMS+ platform. All communications will adopt, to the greatest extent possible, digital technology including mobile based applications and use of social media to disseminate information to communities.
Activities under this output will include: a) Develop a Communications and Knowledge Management Framework for the project. (b) Guided by the Framework: i) Establish and support a community-led advocacy programme for the project, working through Farmer Promoters and FFS Facilitators. (ii) Prepare and disseminate communications pieces and knowledge products targeting different audiences (decision-makers, project partners, aligned programmes, community stakeholders). The products should include policy briefs, technical reports, best-practice case studies for release via various knowledge platforms, social media (which could include Facebook and Instagram, with postings released via UNDP and Government of Rwanda platforms), YouTube video clips that can be accessed on mobile phones, radio interviews, articles in the printed media. (iii) Facilitate stakeholders to participate in local, national and regional lesson-sharing events convened by related projects and programmes, and compile lessons learnt reports or communications pieces based on this participation. (iv) Convene at least two lesson-sharing workshops during the project’s lifespan (preferably linked to MTR and TE feedback sessions), and compile the proceedings into lesson-sharing reports. (v) Set up a dedicated knowledge management system (web-based) where all information relevant to the project can be accessed, in a well-archived form.
 The data is available in a database – to avoid unnecessary data collection
 PICSA was developed by a broad partnership including the University of Reading and the CGIAR systems and was successfully piloted in four districts – Burera, Ngororero, Nyanza and Kayonza.
 Ministry of Natural Resources – Rwanda (2014). Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunity Assessment for Rwanda. MINIRENA (Rwanda), IUCN, WRI. viii + 51pp.
 World Resources Institute, Ornanong Maneerattana, Fred Stolle, Tesfay Woldemariam; 2017: Baseline Conditions of Forests and Landscapes in Gatsibo District. Methodologies for Understanding Restoration Progress through Biophysical, Socioeconomic and Governance Indicators: Gatsibo District, September 2017.
 Climate proofing of infrastructure such as roads will include, but not limited to engineering and structural measures (such as Slope stabilization structures such as dry stone wall, gabion wall and jute bag wall; paving of roads with durable materials; improved drainage systems to avoid erosion of materials; planning and design with proper cross section and dimensions) and bioengineering measures ( such as use of vegetation, either alone or in conjunction with civil engineering structures such as small dams, wall and drains to manage water and debris thereby reducing instability and erosion on slopes). Specific measures will differ by site.
 Costing around Rwf 800,000 and Rwf 900,000 respectively (US$ 1260 and US$ 1410) for a 6m3 and 8m3 tanks, respectively
 The two digester sizes available, 6 and 16 m3, cost about $500 and $800 respectively (includes the stove, gas pipes, installation)
 Sample platforms on which technical publications could be shared include: Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE): http://www.cakex.org/ Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network (ELAN) http://www.adaptationportal.org Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) http://unfccc.int/nwp
Natureandpoverty.net The Nature Conservancy: http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/climateadaptation weADAPT - http://www.weadapt.org/
Outcome 1: Enhanced institutional capacities, knowledge & climate information to integrate climate risks into the planning and implementation of ecosystems-based adaptation in the Imidugudu programme
Outcome 2: Adaptation measures implemented via landscape approach
Outcome 3: Improved Policy and coordination for effective integration of climate risks into the Imidugudu program
Outcome 4: M&E and Knowledge management
Barrier # 1: Inadequate technical capacity to generate relevant climate information and integrate climate risks into the planning, design and implementation of the Imidugudu program
- To effectively climate proof the rural settlement programme will require that local communities fully understand the risks to the programme emanating from climate change. It also requires that they understand the benefits and opportunities presented by climate change and have the skills to adopt climate smart solutions and adaptation practices. In addition, they need to understand and to have access to up-to-date, downscaled climate information and the appropriate tools and advisory services at their disposal.
- Although the quality of climate information has increased in the recent past, there are misalignments and capacity gaps in the climate information products and services value chain, from the collection, analysis and packaging of such information to meet the needs of communities, to the application of this information at local level to support the integration of climate risks into the rural settlement programme and adaptation decisions and actions. Consequently, majority of the population tend to mistrust the available climate information and weather forecasts. About 75% of the respondents to the baseline assessment undertaken during the formulation of this project reported that they did not use climate information in decision-making. Meteo Rwanda has limited capacity (up-to-date skills and state-of-the art equipment) to generate, analyse and provide usable weather and climate information. Insufficient training of staff of relevant departments within the Ministries of Infrastructure, Agriculture and Animal Resources and Environment, and Community Groups facilitating development at local levels such as the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF), cooperatives (SACCOs), Twigire Muhinzi and the associated Farmer Field Schools exacerbates the challenge of using climate information in the planning and implementation of the Imidugudu programme. These institutions have limited capacity to offer needed advisories and effective extension support to the communities which would enable them to adopt more resilient and productive practices within the rural settlement programme. Consequently, communities have limited awareness of the risks that climate change poses to the Imidugudu and their livelihoods and are not familiar with climate smart solutions to build their resilience and adaptive capacity.
- Climate proofing the Imidugudu programme is further hampered by a lack of a clear, locally applied/tested model to guide climate-proofing the Imidugudu programmes. Thus, a working definition for the climate proofing is yet to be developed; the requirements for the widespread application of such a model(s) are not yet known including the policy framework, institutional coordination, budgetary provisions or the skills and capacities required for its successful uptake. As a result, there are no prototype climate-resilient settlement designs; and the facilitators of the Imidugudu programme – such as the private sector engaged in building the model villages (architects, contractors) - have little awareness of the necessity of climate proofing the process, and have no tools or skills for climate proofing.
- While it is widely accepted that healthy ecosystems provide a cost effective means of reducing vulnerability of livelihoods to climate risks, the technical staff and the communities do not have the skills or the capacity to generate this knowledge and utilize it in facilitating a landscape approach or community based adaptation plans, that would guide the climate proofing of the Imidugudu program. The four sub-catchments targeted by this project are host to important river systems, wetlands and forests, which would provide cost-effective adaptation measures to secure the Imidugudu programme. These natural resources are highly degraded (Table 2), which sets off a vicious cycle where degradation of natural resources further increases poverty, often leading to negative capacity and coping strategies. Despite the high levels of vulnerability reported during the baseline assessment, none of the communities had any comprehensive plan(s) to tackle climate risks systematically.
- Outcome 1 will provide skills, information and tools to reduce and/or manage climate risks and secure the benefits of the Imidugudu programme.
Barrier # 2A: Imidugudu beneficiaries lack the financial resources to invest in available climate smart technologies and solutions to integrate climate risk into the Imidugudu and diversify and sustain climate-resilient livelihoods.
- The communities in the four project areas are resource-poor and unable to invest in the available climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions for integrating climate risks into the Imidugudu and to diversify related livelihood systems. There are many opportunities to implement resilience building measures to existing and new Imidugudu, which include: a) rehabilitation of degraded ecologically sensitive resources to improve ecosystems services and the effectiveness of nature based adaptation technologies; b) uptake of climate smart agriculture practices to rehabilitate degraded agricultural land and increase food production and adaptive capacity; c) improved and climate smart livestock management practices such as uptake of Girinka programme (zero grazing system for cows) and diversification of livestock systems; b) use of improved household energy systems such as biogas, electricity (including solar); d) constructing water harvesting reservoirs that help address the prevailing water scarcity; and, e) utilization of existing value chains to add value to produce, access organized markets and increase household incomes, boosting adaptive capacity. Communities in the project area have underutilized these opportunities as explained below, further undermining their collective adaptive capacities.
- Increasing resilience of settlements by implementing village greening measures (measures outlined in Table 1): Muzo/Kagano and Muramba are not yet climate resilient settlements, Gasharu is an old Imidugudu site with only 120 families (with additional room for 400 more). Many of the homesteads are constructed with non-durable materials and are located in vulnerable sites, surrounded by degraded ecosystems, making them prone to climate risks (landslides and floods). Indeed, only one of the four pilot sites rated 50% along the criteria set by the government for a model village (Table 1). The RHA, in collaboration with the Kirehe and Gakenke Local Authorities, have identified many vulnerable households (categories 1 and 2) in the two districts. They have plans and budgetary provisions for settling many households into less vulnerable sites. However, the resettlement process is progressing slowly due to shortage of resources to build climate resilient houses and implement the greening processes simultaneously. Residents of these areas do not benefit from planned/consolidated dwellings and the associated access roads. More than 80% of the households do not have electricity or biogas, have no water harvesting facilities, and lack social amenities (community, health or technical training centres). Consequently, the beneficiaries of the new settlements to be established by RHA and the Local Councils will fall short of implementing these additional climate resilient measures, thus fall short of securing the benefits of the settlement programme from further climate risks.
- Ecosystems management to improve ecosystems services necessary to increase resilience: Ecosystem-based Adaptation is the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as part of an overall adaptation strategy, to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. It aims to maintain and increase the resilience and reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems and people in the face of adverse effects of climate change. However, the levels of ecosystems services at the project sites was reported to have deteriorated significantly due to degradation of ecosystems over the last decade (Table 2). Between 1990 and 2018, agriculture expanded by 8,439.70 ha and 5,140.20 ha of forests was lost. Currently, 10,410 ha of land faces moderate to extremely high risks of soil erosion and about 7,000 ha of forests are degraded. In addition, there are 288 ha and 47 kilometres of degraded wetlands and riverbanks, respectively. Despite these facts, there is limited protection and/or rehabilitation of these ecologically sensitive segments of the landscape, reducing the effectiveness of the natural capital in providing cost-effective adaptation infrastructure to the settlements and livelihoods.
- Limited uptake of climate smart livelihood support practices such as climate smart agriculture and diversification livestock systems, that would increase land productivity and diversify sources of household incomes, thus increasing resilience. Although the Crop Intensification Programme (CIP) was available in all four pilot areas, more than half of the households did not access the programme due to their inability to consolidate land with neighbours, a requirement for joining the CIP. In addition, many of the households cannot afford the 50% payment for irrigation equipment and technology (government subsidy covers the other 50%). Furthermore, although the Girinka Programme (one cow per family) is available in the four pilot areas, many respondents to the baseline assessment, especially women found it a challenge to keep cows. This is due to insufficient forage, lack of alternative choice (no small stock is offered to families who struggle to maintain the hybrid cows), limited consideration of gender aspect at project design level, limited land for eligible beneficiaries (families with less than 0.2 ha do not receive a cow while many teenage mothers fall in this category) and limited skills in the care and management of the given cows. None of the households had crop or livestock insurance, leaving them exposed to loss of capital due to unusual climate events.
Barrier # 2B: Low levels of community and local institutions’ capacity to add value to products and to effectively participate in existing value chains thereby limiting their access to high value markets
- Despite the presence of considerable number of value chains operating in the two districts (detailed in the baseline assessment report, example of coffee value chains in Box 2), households in the pilot sites found it challenging to utilize them to benefit from value addition and existing markets. This reduces their opportunities to diversify household incomes, thereby increasing vulnerabilities. The inability to link with value chains is attributed to weak cooperatives and absence of a culture of savings, exacerbated by high levels of financial illiteracy. Although savings would contribute to cushioning livelihoods against shocks from climate change, most people have very low levels of financial literacy which restricts their ability to save and access loans from formal financial services for improving agriculture and/or other income generating activities. Consequently, the number of people accessing these facilities is limited.
- There are many banks and financial institutions offering loans and investment packages (outlined in the baseline assessment report, example in Box 3). However, many people in the project areas are either unaware of these services, do not qualify for the services and/or belief the packages are too complex. Despite the many opportunities therefore, households in the target sites remain poor and outside this financial system. In Muramba, Muzo/Kagano and Gasharu, poor prices for milk sets a vicious cycle of weakening the milk savings and credit cooperative (SACCO) and irregular milk collection, high cost of transportation (3 hours to the processing unit). Furthermore, the local organizations had very limited capacities to undertake their stated objectives (particularly linking members to inputs, credits and markets), with a combined score of below 40% (using the modified UNDP Capacity Assessment System – Annex 12 ).
- Outcome 2 will support the practical implementation of measures to increase adaptive capacity, reduce exposure and sensitivity, thereby increase resilience.
Barrier # 3: Climate proofing Imidugudu is not recognized within the Rwanda Planning, Budgeting and Public Investment Systems
- The Government of Rwanda has taken keen interest in promoting strong adoption of adaptation and low carbon, climate resilience development strategies. Despite these advances, climate change is still seen as part of the environment agenda, rather than as part of the development or planning agenda. Furthermore, climate proofing the Imidugudu programme is not yet recognized within the country’s planning, budgeting and public investment system, limiting its national uptake. National priorities in Rwanda are implemented in accordance with planning frameworks that ensure coordination across all public institutions and adherence to national strategic objectives. This planning happens at three levels, namely: i) long-term planning at the national level; ii) medium-term planning at the national, sectoral and institutional level; and iii) annual planning at the institutional level. An issue that is not mainstreamed into these planning frameworks will not feature in the decision-making on national public investment, hence cannot be budgeted for, nor up scaled or replicated. The important planning frameworks include the National Strategy for Transformation (NTS 1) 2017-2024, Rwanda’s National Investment Policy (NIP, 2017), the National Decentralisation Policy (2012), District Development Strategies (2018-2024), the rural settlement Strategic Sector Plan (2018-2024) and the Organic Law on State Finance and Property (No. 12/2013 of 12/09/2013).
- Furthermore, important stakeholders involved in the planning and budgeting processes within the public sector investments are unaware of the importance of climate proofing the Imidugudu programme. They include Parliament, District Councils, Public Investment Committee (PIC), Local Government Projects Advisory Committee (LGPAC), Clusters, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), National Development Planning and Research Department (NDPR), National Budget Department (NBD), Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC), Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), budget agencies, line ministries and agencies and districts.
- Coordination of climate proofing development initiatives at the district level is further exacerbated by the out-dated tools for environmental planning and the limited capacity for coordination of the institutional framework for disaster management and response established by the GoR in 2018, which includes national, district and sector level coordination mechanisms (see details in Box 4). A National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NADIMAC) has been established and it provides interagency and multi-sectoral technical support to the Ministry in charge of emergency management (MINEMA) on disaster management, disaster risk management and risk reduction issues and concerns. District Disaster Management Committees (DIDIMACs) have been established by law in the 28 Districts; and, Sector Disaster Management Committees (SEDIMACs) have been established in all sectors of Rwanda. These two institutions are in charge of coordinating and implementing disaster management activities at the District and Sector levels. Nevertheless, these institutions are nascent and still require additional capacity to sustain the coordination role. Similarly, the Joint Action Development Forums and Monthly Community Work (Umuganda), the parents evening forum (Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi) and general village assemblies (Inama Rusange y’Abaturage), which provide important foci for cross sector coordination in the implementation of the rural settlement programme have limited require additional training to be carry out these roles more effectively.
- Outcome 3 will ensure that climate proofing of the Imidugudu programme is recognized within the country’s planning, budgeting and public investment systems and that key stakeholders in the district and national budgeting processes are aware of the importance of its mainstreaming, creating a sustainable pathway for its national uptake. It will also provide training to the district-level coordination institutions (DIDMACs, SEDIMACs, JADF and community institutions) and provide updated tools for environmental management - that mainstream climate risks related to the Imidugudu.
Barrier # 4: Inadequate knowledge management and M&E systems limit the use of experiences to improve rural settlement programme on a larger scale
- Robust M&E, knowledge management systems are critical; they would enable the beneficiaries of the Imidugudu and the technical institutions that support them to learn from experience and lessons generated in Rwanda and abroad to collectively improve climate proofing and adaptation actions. However, these groups are not adequately or systematically monitoring the impacts of the programme on adaptive capacities of the beneficiaries. This is because they have no systems for monitoring and evaluation or knowledge management. The M&E and knowledge management systems of the institutions supporting the rural settlement programme and the associated livelihoods, such as the Twigire Muhinzi and the Local District Councils also have limited capacities for M&E and KM, because these functions are inadequately prioritized in budgeting processes. Outcome 4 will create participatory M&E and KM systems and build the capacity for the same for local communities and the support technical institutions.
 For example, Meteorological Services of Rwanda (Meteo-Rwanda) has recently reconstructed rainfall and temperature data to compensate for the significant decline in meteorological station data coverage from the mid‐1990s to around 2010. In addition, Meteo Rwanda generates weather information at 4x4 kilometre grid and communicates it using the administrative boundaries as reference.
 An improved Imidugudu is expected to have basics such as: planned/consolidated dwellings constructed with good quality permanent materials, have access to modern energy systems such as electricity, biogas, liquid petroleum gas, solar technologies, be equipped with water harvesting systems such as water tanks, have an established Girinka programme (access to one cow per family with a communal shed) and other economic activities linked to vibrant value chains, be served by public facilities such as a community hall, health facility, Early Childhood Centre and a technical training centre, members have access to land under the land consolidation program (with its improved extension services, commercialization and access to value chains), have well developed access roads (tar, murram) and that members have insurance, preferably for crop and/or livestock.
 Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2009). Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Report of the Second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change. Montreal, Technical Series No. 41, 126 pages.
 Source - (Prime Minister’s order No006/03 of 30/01/2017 “Drawing a list of Swamp Lands, their characteristics and boundaries and determining modalities of their use, development and management
 48.8% of the men reported accessing land under the programme compared to 32.3 of the men and 14% of the youth
 Implemented since 2008, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has used the CIP to promote commercialization of agriculture products and boost economic development of famers, supported by input schemes and value chains.
 The baseline assessments undertaken during the project formulation revealed that: (i) over 85% of farmers in the pilot areas do not use irrigation currently; (ii) irrigation produces a significant increase in yields both in Kirehe (where the climate is dry) and Gakenke (less dry, but high rain variability); (iii) a typical 0.25 ha farm could spend in the range of RWF 930,000 (~USD 1,000) to purchase a pump, sprinklers, pipes and accessories; (iv) half of the investment is covered by the subsidy the government; the remaining half needs to be finance by the farmer (or cooperative) directly, through loans or, if available, contributions from donors and NGOs.
 Government of Rwanda, 2018. GENDER MONITORING OFFICE ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018. http://www.gmo.gov.rw/fileadmin/user_upload/reports/GMO_Annual_Report_2017-2018.pdf
Linkage of the proposed project to National Development Strategies and Priorities: Climate proofing the rural settlement programme and enhancing resilience of the livelihoods of the beneficiaries of the programme will to Government Priorities set out in key national programmes and development strategies including:
- the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy and National Strategy on Climate Change and Low Carbon Development for Rwanda (GGCRS), which provides a pathway to address climate change and low carbon development, with an aim of making a significant impact on adaptation, mitigation and economic development. The strategy was developed in recognition of the fact that if the country is to tackle climate change, it needs to be mainstreamed into Vision 2050 and Sector strategies. The GGCRS aims to guide the process of mainstreaming climate resilience and low carbon development into key sectors of the economy. With a focus on agroforestry, climate knowledge, irrigation and roads infrastructure as its main tenants for adaptation, it provides a strategy focusing on green, low carbon development, but does not explicitly provide mechanisms to deal with vulnerabilities, associated with climate change. The project will contribute to tackling some of the barriers hampering its full implementation, including inadequate awareness, lack of practical tools for mainstreaming in many sectors (e.g. the rural section of the human settlement policy) and capacity inadequacies amongst stakeholders.
- the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA): Objective four of the NAPA aims at providing assistance to districts of vulnerable regions to plan and implement conservation measures and water storage. Objective five aims to increase adaptive capacity of grouped settlement "Imidugudu" located in vulnerable regions by improving potable water, sanitation and alternative energy services, and the promotion of non-agricultural jobs. The project contributes to these objectives directly.
- Vision 2050 focuses on five broad priorities: High Quality and Standards of Life; Developing Modern Infrastructure and Livelihoods; Transformation for Prosperity; Values for Vision 2050; and, International cooperation and positioning. The project will contribute directly to the aims of vision 2050 - improved natural resources management, mainstreaming climate risk and gender, which are considered important foundational issues for the achievement of the Vision. The implementation instrument for the remainder of Vision 2020 (from 2017 to 2020) and the first four years of Vision 2050 (2021 – 2025) will be the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1). Priority Area number 7 of the NST1 recognizes sustainable management of the environment and natural resources as the pathway healthy lives and a Green Economy, focusing on Forestry, Land, Water, Environment and Climate Change. Under increased access to and use of sustainable and low carbon energy, the number of households depending on biomass as a source of energy for cooking is expected to reduce from 83.3% (2014) to 42% by 2024. This will be achieved by working with the private sector to increase the uptake of improved cooking stoves and to promote the use of alternative fuels such as cooking gas and biogas in both urban and rural areas
- National strategy for climate change and low carbon development (2020 to 2050). The strategy outlines actions that Rwanda can take in the short to medium term to ensure its future stability and prosperity in a changing climate and uncertain energy future. The strategy calls upon national planners to chart a new development pathway for integrated sector planning that balances cross-cutting issues of resource management. The project contributes to all the three core strategies of the National strategy for climate change and low carbon development: a) To guide national policy and planning in an integrated way; b) To mainstream climate change into all sectors of the economy, and (c) To position Rwanda to access international funding to achieve climate resilience and low carbon development.
- Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (SPCR): The objective the SPCR is to enhance integrated, economy-wide, multi-sectoral climate resilience and to drive climate-responsive investment in Rwanda. Funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the SPCR aims at transformative impact through: a) Increased resilience of households, communities, businesses, sectors and society to climate variability and climate change; b) Strengthened climate responsive development planning. The proposed LDCF project contributes to these two overall goals, as well as directly to the four strategic programmes of the SPCR, namely: i) Agriculture Driven Prosperity under which it will provide climate-smart strategic support to Rwanda’s agriculture and agroforestry sectors, while implementing participatory adaptation and climate resilient infrastructure in targeted areas. (ii) Water Security for All, under which it will enhance climate resilience of surface water and groundwater systems, promoting sustainable access to water, and reducing vulnerability in the face of increasing uncertainty in runoff. (iii) Climate Resilient Human Settlements under which it will build Rwanda’s population resilience to shocks and stresses, by securing more reliable infrastructure and service delivery, and integrating climate change considerations into urban development. (iv) Stable and Sustainable Landscapes under which it will safeguard Rwanda’s most fragile and disaster-prone landscapes, to reduce communities’ vulnerability to floods and landslides and to enhance preparedness for a wide range of climate change impacts.
 Republic of Rwanda, 2017: National Strategy for Transformation 1: THE 7YEAR GOVERNMENT PROGRAM 2017-2024
Strengthening the resilience of small farmers through Climate Smart Agriculture techniques in the Tahoua Region of Niger
The population of Niger more than tripled in 30 years. 51.6% of this population is under 15 years old. This population is essentially rural (83.8%) and derives most of its income from the exploitation of natural resources. The level of extreme poverty remains very high at 41.4% in 2019, affecting more than 9.5 million people. This poverty particularly affects woman-headed households. 60% of women and 75% of female-headed households are under the poverty line. The country’s economy, food security and the livelihoods of its rural communities are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with an increasingly hot and dry climate and major fluctuation in rainfall across years. Increasing temperatures and increasing rainfall variability have severe impacts on agriculture, which is the main source of income and livelihoods for 87% of the national population.
The proposed “Strengthening the resilience of small farmers through Climate Smart Agriculture (PRP-AIC) techniques in the Tahoua Region of Niger” project will support producers to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change on their production. Exposure of fields to flood and silting will be reduced through climate smart agriculture and restoration of production areas as well as surrounding ecosystems. Indeed, restoration practices are currently not systematically adopted by farmers due to the perceived loss of arable lands through these practices. With the visible impacts of climate change, farmers tend to seek expand their agricultural land, at the expense of surrounding ecosystems. This further increases their vulnerability, with the increasing risk of a total crop loss during climate shocks such as flood and drought. Restoration practices will be part of the project’s comprehensive approach, with complementary interventions that provide directly perceivable benefits. The project will provide more immediate solutions for farmers to climate change by introducing climate-smart agriculture practices, thereby increasing yields and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Projects outputs are closely related to land restoration, enabling farmers to organize into functional farmers groups to improve access to local finance, including government funding. A sustainable private financing mechanism will also be set up to finance agriculture practices resilient to climate change, benefiting vulnerable people, with a focus on women and youth.
Component 1: Land restoration for climate resilience of agricultural production systems
Outcome 1.1: Degraded land is restored to protect agricultural production systems against the adverse impacts of climate change
This component will align with the GGWI to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable farmers against the adverse impacts of climate change. While the GGWI has had limited results to date, with only 15% currently underway after more than 10 years of implementation, and most of the action plan for Niger still outstanding,, early experiences, including from other countries (in particular Senegal) will be highly relevant to identify sustainable and adaptive practices. The project will build on a combination of traditional practices and modern/innovative approaches to restore lands and benefit farmers, including lessons learned from ongoing projects such as the project to Strengthen the Resilience of Rural Communities to Food and Nutritional Insecurity in Niger which will support the recovery of degraded land in Tahoua (estimated co-financing of US$10,000,000). Projects supporting pastoralism, including addressing conflicts between farmers and herders, such as the Regional Project to support Pastoralism in the Sahel, will also complement the restoration activities under this component by creating a peaceful discussion platform for exchange, including for the protection of restored ecosystems (estimated co-financing of US$ 5,000,000).
Indeed, fully functioning ecosystems will improve water retention and reduce the impacts of floods and droughts on vulnerable farming land. During the PPG phase, an analysis of past and present land use and the restoration of degraded areas, taking into account the projected changes in climate will be conducted to better define restoration activities. Preliminary consultations during the PIF formulation phase identified past successful experiences implemented through past and ongoing adaptation projects such as the Community-based adaptation project (funded by the LDCF) with the introduction of farmer-managed regeneration, half moons, benches, rocky outcrops, planting of trees of adapted species and Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) practices. The illustrations below present some NbS successfully introduced in Tahoua, as observed during the field visits conducted in March 2022.
In addition, because of the importance of domestic fuelwood consumption in the project area, causing an overexploitation of wood resources, and in turn, soil and ecosystem degradation, the project will conduct trainings and awareness raising for the adoption of improved stoves and other fuelwood efficient practices within surrounding communities, where reforestation, afforestation and agroforestry will be implemented. This output will be conducted in close coordination with output 3.1.2. to support and provide incentives to local entrepreneurs to offer and disseminate a range of fuelwood efficient practices and equipment (including improved stoves) in surrounding villages. This will reduce the pressure on forest ressources and ensure the sustainability of the project. During the PPG phase, the project will also explore opportunities under the UNISS (UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel) programme, led by UNDP Energy offer for the Sahel. The project aims to increase access to clean energy for improved basic services and enhanced value chains, in particular in the agricultural sector. A pipeline of flagship joint projects is currently being developed to operationalize the offer and might offer potential for supporting the access to clean energy promoted under the LDCF project.
This component will have important mitigation and biodiversity co-benefits by restoring and preserving ecosystems that provide CO2 sequestration and provide living environments for the fauna and flora to thrive. It will also directly fits within the GGWI and aligns with its geographical and technical scope, including its focus on restoring ecosystems for food security. The project will be implemented through the following outputs:
Output 1.1.1. : Awareness raising and training programmes are conducted to sensitise local authorities and communities and equip them with information, skills and knowledge to support ecosystem restoration practices
Under this output, the project will work with local leaders as key partners during project design and implementation, to ensure their buy-in and their involvement in the sustainability and expansion of successful restoration practices. The engagement of local authorities and decentralized state agents will be ensured by setting up clear monitoring frameworks for the protection of restored ecosystems in the long-term. Local and regional planning and financing will be revised and supported to introduce the protection of ecosystems and the adoption and upscaling of NbS. In addition, the project will establish or strengthen local committees involving beneficiary farmer groups for natural resources management.
Community groups will be involved in the targeted areas to ensure a common understanding and engagement in restoration activities. These measures will be implemented and the upscaling of the restoration activities achieved through the funding mechanisms set up under output 3.1.1, thereby increasing the access to funding for these groups in the long-term and ensuring the sustained protection of restored ecosystems.
Awareness raising and sensitization will be conducted with local communities to discuss the long-term benefits of preserving ecosystems for the agricultural production and food security at the local level. The discussions will cover the impacts of climate change; key ecosystems such as wetlands, savannahs and forests; their linkages with production systems; the climate change adaptive benefits they offer. In addition, the discussions will support the documentation of existing traditional knowledge, sustainable practices and agriculture knowledge, to build on local experience for restoration activities.
Under this output, the project will also create links with the stakeholders involved with the GGWI, in Niger and in other regions. Effective communication will be built along the entire project to share lessons learned and results from the project and build on the results of other activities conducted under the GGWI. Effective communication channels will be established with the focal points in the ministries involved in the implementation of the GGWI (the National Agency of the GGW under the Ministry of Environment and the Fight against Desertification, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Community Development).
Output 1.1.2. Degraded ecosystems surrounding the farming areas are restored with the adoption of Nature-based Solutions
Based on the analysis of past and present land-use to be conducted during the PPG phase, restoration and protective practices will be introduced. The consultation conducted at PIF formulation stage identified a range of successful NbS that will be analyzed and considered to be introduced and/or upscaled in the project areas. Local communities will be engaged in the identification of restoration activities, as well as during the implementation of these activities, providing local employment and building on and strengthening local practices. NbS practices identified include Zaï technique, half-moons, ANR, surface water dissipation techniques,mulching techniques, stone cordons, stone walls and stone lockers.
NbS will be introduced to restore degraded areas, increase the vegetation cover, protect forests, savannahs and wetlands from conversion to other types of occupation and reduce silting and water erosion (gullying) along watercourses. These practices will be introduced in areas surrounding agricultural lands, in order to provide large-scale adaptive benefits. Restoring key surrounding ecosystems will provide important ecosystem services to farmers by increasing the water recharge, reducing land slides and water runoff during floods, increasing biodiversity.
Lessons learned will be systematically collected and compiled into actionable knowledge products and shared withe farming communities and other land users in the project intervention areas and other projects in Tahoua and in the GGW area. This knowledge will be particularly relevant for the community groups targeted under output 1.1.1 for the replication and upscaling of practices in the project area and beyond.
The Social and Environmental safeguards work conducted during the PIF and to be developed at PPG stage and during implementation will guide and recommend the selection process of degraded land plots to be restored. This work will ensure Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is obtained from beneficiaries and impacted communities. The necessary studies and assessments will be conducted to avoid the risk of land grabbing by the project and/or land used for other purpose by some communities to be turned into another land use, thereby adversely impacting their livelihoods, In addition, the project will support community land-use planning, through the consultations and local contracts and/or the formulation of local development plans.
Output 1.1.3. : Energy-saving equipment is promoted to reduce deforestation for firewood consumption
Considering the devastating impacts of increasing pressure on timber for household consumption and the consequences on protective ecosystems, this output will aim at changing the behavior of the rising generation in the use of wood energy. To do this, awareness-raising actions will be carried out throughout the project, targeting young people. A youth education campaign will be conducted to raise awareness of the accelerated depletion of local and national wood energy resources and its consequences on ecosystems and ecosystem services, and to advocate for the adoption of cooking equipment with low wood energy consumption and sustainable management. The project will closely coordinate with the activities conducted under the outcome 3 to incentivize supported MSEs to provide energy-efficient technologies to reduce fuelwood consumption. This will be ensured by conducting demonstration for the use and production of energy efficient equipment and demonstrate the viability of such investments. For instance, cook stoves are expected to reduce by 20% to 30% the wood consumption of beneficiary households. This campaign will be conducted through various channels: (i) trainings of young entrepreneurs, including through the presentation of economic potential of these activities, (ii) sensitization through the media (local radio, television, advertising posters); (iii) sports championships in the beneficiary localities; (iv) various school competitions and activities on the theme of wood energy resource management. The project will also identify the sites where these technologies will be most effective, including the availability of materials for their replication and maintenance. For cook stoves, the use of local materials such as banco (a local clay) is widely available and could ensure the dissemination of best practices.
In addition, during PPG phase, the project will map ongoing projects and interventions supporting the adoption of energy efficient technologies and seek partnerships with these interventions. For example, UNDP is leading an initiative on supporting clean energy access in the Sahel, which might offer potential collaboration in Niger.
Component 2: Promotion of Climate Smart Agriculture
Outcome 2.1. : Climate-smart agriculture techniques are promoted and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate
This component will promote climate-smart agriculture (CSA) techniques and technologies, adapted to the project intervention areas to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate change and enhance food security. Beneficiaries will be provided with practices and techniques for a comprehensive approach to tackle climate change. These practices will sustainably reinforce the resilience of communities against the adverse effects of climate change, improve agricultural production and beneficiary incomes, and contribute to carbon sequestration and thus GHG mitigation. Techniques and practices will include mechanical irrigation, with solar powered water pumps to reduce the impacts of water stress.
The project will build on the results of ongoing adaptation and food security projects implemented in Tahoua. to further improve the capacity to adopt CSA (barrier#2). Under the component 4 on knowledge management, the project will support the sharing of lessons learned and best practices and their introduction in the project design. In particular, the project will cooperate with the PIMELAN, which supports agricultural support services and agricultural policies, in order to disseminate lessons learned at the national level (estimated co-financing of US$15,000,000). The project will also work closely with the recently approved GCF project Hydro-agricultural development with smart agriculture practices resilient to climate change in Niger to avoid duplication and exchange knowledge. Beneficiaries will also be supported to access additional resources to expand their access to irrigation, for instance through the programme for small irrigation and food security (PISA 2) (estimated co-financing of US$5,000,000). The project will also coordinate with the recently approved GCF-funded project, the Hydro-agricultural development with smart agriculture practices resilient to climate change in Niger (AHA-AIC), supported by the BOAD (estimated co-financing of US$5,000,000). Other projects supporting the access to water will also be consulted and engaged.
While these projects provide important lessons learned, it appears from the PIF that they are only supporting the local agriculture sector, without taking into account the entire ecosystem on which they depend. This component will be strongly connected with component 1 and recognize the need for restored ecosystems. Component 2 will aim at increasing agriculture production and thereby food security, taking into account and, when possible, taking advantage of the impacts of climate change. This will only possible in an environment where surrounding ecosystems are offering protection against the increasing risks of floods and droughts, as addressed under component 1.
The component will also strengthen the capacity of local producer to access, understand and use agro-climatic and meteorological information, and contribute to producing basic local data (rainfall, humidity, temperature) to inform farming practices (barrier#4). This local data will be shared at the national level to increase the availability of local data for planning and projections.
Output 2.1.1. Climate-resilient farming techniques, including irrigation are adopted to reduce losses and food insecurity
In the context of climate change, access to water resources is increasingly scarce and less reliable, and current water practices often lack sustainability. To limit water losses and achieve sustainable water savings, the project will promote drip and California irrigation systems. These systems have an irrigation yield of 90% and 85% respectively, and will help save up to 50% of water. Under this output, boreholes with solar pumps (kits composed of solar pumps, solar panels, inverter, regulator, and connection accessories for pumping), storage basins, piezometers, drip and california irrigation network units, reservoirs for storing irrigation water, etc. will be installed. The project will support the procurement and installation of these irrigation systems, which will be the property of community groups. MSEs supported under the component 3 will be incentivized and trained to develop businesses for the maintenance of this equipment, thereby creating sustainable frameworks for the procurement of spare parts and technical knowledge for repairings at the local level. In addition, community groups will be strengthened for the basic maintenance of the equipment. The installation of the equipment will therefore be closely coordinated with the activities conducted under component 3, and contacts will be established between community groups and entrepreneurs.
In addition, the success of crop intensification in climate-smart farming practices is based on the control of varietal performance, rigorous management of irrigation water, soil fertility and ecosystems, efficient management of irrigation areas and mastery of different cultivation techniques. To facilitate the implementation of the actions promoted by the project, training will be organized for producers. Manuals/guides and training for good practices will be adopted in water management, soil restauration, water pumping energy management, crop planning will be developed and made available to producers’ groups. When extension services are not sufficient to ensure the adequate training and dissemination of these manuals, local stakeholders active in the area will be involved, this will include CSOs, NGOs or students and teachers from the Tahoua university.
Producers and community groups will receive training to design and implement a mechanism for servicing and maintaining sustainable infrastructure such as water-saving irrigation, solar water pumping equipment, etc. A technical study will be held at the PPG stage to clarify the sustainability use of underground water in the project zone. This study will also ensure FPIC from beneficiaries and surrounding communities who might be impacted by the pumps and the selection of sites for irrigation.
Output 2.1.2.: Micro-dams, dikes, bioengineering and other land stabilization methods are implemented to protect agricultural production from the increasing intensity and frequency of droughts and floods.
While the activities under component 1 are expected to provide protection against droughts and floods, considering the increasing intensity of both climate events, lowland works will provide an additional and more immediate protection to agricultural lands. In addition, restoration activities will only be fully functioning a few years after their start and communities need to be offered a more immediate solution to floods and droughts for the restoration activities to be successful and to avoid further encroachment on surrounding ecosystems.
Under this output, micro dams will be built to provide a reliable access to water for crops during drought pockets in the rainy season. In areas where flooding is increasingly recurrent, sites will be protected by dykes lined with channels and drainage equipment. This will include the preparation of sites, drilling and protecting sites from water erosion by building anti-erosion structures, flood protection infrastructures, implementation of processing koris and tree planting around project sites.
Similarly to the output 2.1.1, the maintenance and sustainability of these infrastructure will be ensured through the set-up of MSEs providing such services, with an access to the market for the procurement of spare parts or construction material and equipment. Community groups will also be entrusted the ownership of the infrastructure for their maintenance, and will be trained to provide small repairs. They will also be put in contact with the set-up MSEs for larger maintenance work.
Output 2.1.3.: Agroclimatic and meteorological information and early warnings are available and understood by farmers for climate-resilient decision-making
Access to meteorological and climatic information in real time allows better programming of agricultural activities and enhances agricultural productivity and production. It considerably reduces the risk of loss of agricultural investments due to lack of delay and / or irregular rains. Indeed, important losses are recorded in Tahoua due to the lack of adaptive practices to the changing weather events, that could be partly avoided by the timely availability of weather information. This output therefore plans to strengthen producers' access to suitable agro-meteorological information.
To eliminate information asymmetry, mobile phone services are becoming an important mean for providing farmers’ groups with weather forecasts and market data. In each locality, three to five farmers’ groups members will be identified by the beneficiary groups to receive timely weather information. They will be provided with mobile phones to disseminate the information received to the rest of the members of the group. Their capacities will be strengthened to ensure the flow of information in both directions. The dissemination of weather information through mobile phones will be reinforced by radio broadcasts in local languages. This activity will be implemented in collaboration with meteorological services, the National Center for Solar Energy (CNES), AGRHYMET and the Development Department. The project will also set up an early warning system to alert community members in case of disasters (floods, severe droughts, locust invasions, etc.), using a computer system,.
Farmers’ groups will be trained to: (i) acquire and install a direct-reading rain gauge kit, thermometer, and anemometric recorder in each beneficiary village, (ii) collect local weather information, and process and disseminate it using ICTs in a language understandable to producers, (iii) establish, in each village, a committee composed of at least 5 people (from different groups of producers) to ensure the relay of weather information to the rest of the producers, (iv) develop and validate an implementation plan for the operation of the committees, (v) establish an early warning system through a contract with the institution in charge of agroclimatic information production for treatment and analysis of data collected on site and the creation of SCAP-RU (Community System for Early Warnings and Emergency Response) and OSVs (Vulnerability Monitoring Observatories). Considering the lack of access to climate information and EWS is a key barrier deterring access to finance for beneficiaries, these interventions will also contribute towards de-risking lending to these communities from financial institutions, linking to the activities under Outcome 3.
The equipment introduced will be the property of the communities and the decentralized services of the meteorological department will be responsible for maintaining them. Equipment introduced as part of the project will be small equipment such as rain gauge kits, thermometers and anemometric recorders and are easy to maintain. In past projects, considering the seasonal need for these information, the equipment was cleaned and stored at the end of the farming season and re-introduced at the start of the following season. This ensured the good management of the equipment in the long term.
During the PPG phase, UNDP and the formulation team might also explore opportunities for the involvement of Niger into the Systemic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) which is still under design. This would engage the Government of Niger to maintain their meteorological equipment in the long term, receiving financial support for this maintenance upon the verification of the effective maintenance (through the effective transmission of climate information to the Global Basic Observation Network (GBON) under WMO.
Component 3: Facilitating the development of the private sector in local communities
Outcome 3.1. Women- and youth-led local Micro and Small Entreprises (MSEs) and entrepreneurs provide adaptive solutions to climate change with local banks and microfinance institutions sustainable facilities
Since the 1980s, several initiatives have been developed by the State and its partners to finance the agroforestry sector through banks, financial institutions and decentralised financial systems (SFDs). However, the financial resources mobilised are not accessible to producers and other value chain stakeholders and often do not meet their investment needs (barrier #3). Also, the access modalities and conditions developed by the projects and programmes are not always harmonised, creating confusion among the beneficiary actors. In order to establish a harmonised and formal framework for financing Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agricultural Development, the State, with the support of Technical and Financial Partners, has set up a secure fund for agricultural investments, which centralizes resources to finance vulnerable farming communities and individual farmers. This is the Food and Nutrition Security Fund (FISAN), which has three facilities: facility 1: support to agricultural financing, facility 2: financing of agricultural structuring investments and facility 3: financing of agricultural advice, research and capacity building.
The FISAN strategy is expected to combine classical financing systems with innovative facilities. The traditional approach refers to mechanisms for mobilising and administering public resources for the rural sector on the one hand, and private sector funding, notably through financial institutions, on the other. The innovative approach will be to set up the Fund through a public-private partnership. This fund is seen as a strategic instrument for sustainable financing of public investments for agricultural growth and food security. It provides banking facilities for private investments including: (i) subsidies to reduce the costs of agricultural inputs and materials so that they are more accessible to producers; (ii) incentive facilities for commercial banks to intervene in the financing of private investments: guarantee funds, calamity funds and interest rate subsidies; and (iii) lines of credit for direct bank financing and refinancing of SFDs. The FISAN works with banks, SFDs and other institutions in providing guarantees to deliver the activities under its first facility. Among them, the Agricultural Bank of Niger (BAGRI) signed a performance agreement with the FISAN to allocate up to US$8,000,000 (XAF 5.5 billion) for the agriculture sector in 2022. The bank, established in 2011, in spite of its mandate, has so far not been able to disburse a significant amount of credit to the agriculture sector (only 12,75% was allocated to the agriculture sector) and the rates offered are not affordable to smallholder farmers. The BAGRI is being supported in its engagement by the GCF-IFAD project “Inclusive Green Financing for Climate Resilient and Low Emission Smallholder Agriculture” , in particular in its aim to “establish a Financing Facility within BAGRI with a line of credit to support concessional loan to (…) women and youth organizations (…)”. The LDCF project will therefore collaborate with the General Direction of the FISAN, the BAGRI and the GCF-IFAD project to bridge the financing gap for farmers groups and other Economic Interest Group (EIG) by accessing credits under the BAGRI at concessional rates.
The PIMELAN also supports the financing of the FISAN to benefit smallholder farmers through MFIs present in Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéry. The project has set up two facilities that will provide (i) US$ 6million of grant funding for agri-food funding for most vulnerable farmer groups, women and youth and other SMEs and (ii) US$22 million of loans for producer groups and SME. As such, the PIMELAN is expected to provide significant opportunities for MSEs and vulnerable groups to access credits through MFIs such as Yarda- Tarka – Maggia, Capital Finance, ACEP or Daouré, operating in the region of Tahoua.
Under this component, the project will also collaborate with other ongoing projects that support the development of the private sector, including the project to Strengthen the Resilience of Rural Communities to Food and Nutritional Insecurity in Niger, supported by IFAD.
Through this component, and the establishment of partnerships with the FISAN, the BAGRI, MFIs, IFAD, the World Bank and other stakeholders (including UNCDF, pending further consultations), the project will address the barriers related to the limited access to funding from both public sources and private sources (barriers #1 and #3). Indeed, the project will collaborate with the FISAN, BAGRI and MFIs to support traditional and innovative approaches as defined in the FISAN strategy. The project will support banks and microfinance institutions, beyond the BAGRI, to develop customized financial products targeted towards smallholder farmers engaged in CSA, as well as alternative credit-scoring and collateral mechanisms that can ease lending to this cohort. Other activities that will contribute towards de-risking lending include the integration of individual farming units into community-based MSEs across the CSA and forestry value chains, training on both CSA and financial management, and the dissemination of climate information and EWS. The expected combined impact of these interventions will de-risk and unlock both existing financing available for the agriculture sector through BAGRI and catalyze new agriculture sector funding from other commercial banks.
An Agricultural Loan Facility will also be supported by the recently approved GCF project Hydro-agricultural development with smart agriculture practices resilient to climate change in Niger and lessons learned will be regularly shared with the project to adjust the approach and support farmers to access loans under this facility.
The MSEs supported through this component will be involved in the knowledge and lessons learned sharing activities conducted under the component 4. These activities will be based on the knowledge and lessons learned collected from the components 1 and 2. Indeed, supported MSEs will be exclusively involved in CSA and ecosystem restoration for climate change adaptation and will be embedded in the sustainability and upscaling strategy of the components 1 and 2. In particular, MSEs will be incentivized and supported to offer maintenance services for the irrigation and lowland development works introduced under the component 2. In addition, during the PPG stage, opportunities will be seeked to develop a business model for the development of MSEs for the provision of climate data, including by engaging with the PS in the targeted areas, who might benefit from improved climate information.
Output 3.1.1. Agricultural groups and community cooperative funds are strengthened to increase their financial sustainability for the adoption of CSA
One of the main challenges facing local communities with regards to adopting climate resilient agriculture practices relates to the lack of adequate funding. Individual farmers are usually subsistence farmers, or receive very low incomes from their agricultural practices and are therefore not able to save enough revenues and time to invest in new practices. However, Niger has strong community groups, including farmer’s groups, which the project can build on to mobilize larger funding. These groups also offer a platform for knowledge and adaptive practices to be disseminated to new members in the long term. This outcome will strengthen these groups through two interventions:
The reinforcement of farmers’ associations business management capacity: Knowledge of entrepreneurial tools is necessary to trigger the effective functioning of agricultural cooperative societies. The project will provide, in the first 3 years, support for the development of business plans and the linking of farmers groups with their target customers. Working and awareness sessions will be organized with farmers groups, including the development and dissemination of material on business planning and entrepreneurship. The farmers groups will be supported in the development of business plans adapted to each project site, building on the lessons learned from the component 3 on CSA. In addition, a selection of business plans supporting ecosystem restoration/protection and CSA will receive micro-grants for their implementation and will be technicall supported by the project during the project lifetime, including through the sharing of lessons learned from component 1 and 2.
The incubation of existing farmers vulnerable groups’ to become CSA enterprises: Technical support will be provided to improve the management of community funds and to create an enabling environment for vulnerable agricultural groups to access finance for their members. The long-term objective is to promote the incubation of vulnerable agricultural groups in micro and small businesses for larger access to financial resources adapted to poor and vulnerable populations engaged in CSA. These groups will also benefit from the sharing of lessons learned from the activities conducted under the component 2 as well as the benefit from the reduced exposure to climate impacts from component 1. It is expected that 60% of the total beneficiaries will be women and 50% youth groups.
Output 3.1.2. : In collaboration with the FISAN, the BAGRI and MFIs, MSEs are supported to access loans for climate resilient agriculture financing
Under the FISAN strategy, and in close coordination with key stakeholders involved in supporting access to finance for vulnerable communities (ie. the PIMELAN, the IFAD-GCF project, the BAGRI, UNCDF, the BOAD-GCF project), MSEs will be technically supported for their de-risking to access credits at concessional rates. This output will target exclusively MSEs involved in CSA (including the maintenance of equipment and infrastructures introduced under the component 2), and agricultural value chains using clean energy (including cookstoves), with a strong focus on women and youth. These vulnerable groups will be supported to open a bank account with financial institutions and access credit to finance their CSA activities – including by supporting them to develop bankable proposals and request for credit. MSEs will also be trained in basic business management and accountability principles in order to increase the trust of MFIs. This de-risking will serve MSEs and IEGs to access funding from local MFIs and the BAGRI in the form of an agricultural loan. Close coordination with the PIMELAN, IFAD-GCF and BOAD-GCF projects will be conducted to ensure the access to innovative financing for targeted MSEs and IEGs in Tahoua. The beneficiaries will additionally receive training during the project lifetime as needed – including group trainings or investment-specific advice or guidance, to ensure they remain bankable for MFIs and have a long-term access to credit for their agricultural activities.
The LDCF project will also continuously work with local communities and financing institutions to identify opportunities and access innovative financial mechanisms in the project sites. It is expected that the loans accessed will finance (i) climate-resilient techniques for irrigation, (ii) solar-powered Californian or drip irrigation system for water control, (iii) water and energy management systems and practices, (iv) inputs for CSA (seeds, equipment, etc.), (v) the maintenance of the equipment and infrastructure introduced under the component 2; and (vii) the development of energy-efficient practices to reduce fuelwood consumption and support the activities under component 1 (in particular output 1.1.3).
Discussions are currently ongoing with the FISAN, the PIMELAN, the GCF-IFAD project, the BAGRI, and UNCDF to explore opportunities for partnerships and will be continued during the PPG phase, including with the recently approved BOAD-GCF project. The LDCF project will have a focus on technically de-risking the financing of women and youth for CSA (through trainings and the introduction and adoption of resilient practices), which will create a more conducive environment for the investments provided by other stakeholders, while partners will be involved in financially de-risking beneficiaries through different financing mechanisms such as subsidizing refinancing mechanisms, providing interest rate subsidies or guarantees.
Component 4: Knowledge Management and Lessons Learned
Outcome 4.1: Lessons learned on climate resilient agriculture and land restoration practices inform future projects in-country and elsewhere
Lessons learned from the project will be compiled and shared. This will be relevant for producer groups and farmers. This will be disseminated to municipalities, local agriculture administrations, the Government, civil society, regional institutions and donors working in the sector of climate change adaptation. In particular, innovative CSA and land restoration practices will be assessed and results and lessons learned collected in a format that will help advance the GGWI and other national and regional initiatives as relevant. Indeed, considering its geographical and technical alignment with the GGWI, the project will specifically ensure its results are shared and, in turn, lessons learned from the GGWI in Niger and other countries will be used and built on.
Under this outcome, the project team will also build partnerships with CCA projects, in particular the GCF project, but also projects focusing on governance and security to ensure security risks are integrated into the project adaptive management and mitigation strategy, and a more wholistic approach is adopted.
Output 4.1.1. Project results are monitored and evaluated
The project will develop a close and permanent monitoring program of the physical investments made on the sites. The program will include a monitoring of networks, structures and other interventions. This continuous monitoring will be ensured by an M&E specialist, with support from the decentralized services of the Ministry of Agriculture, with support from local focal points if needed. These services will benefit from technical and material capacity building activities to carry out this monitoring program.
In addition, a Project Monitoring and Evaluation System will be designed and implemented in accordance with the requirements of LDCF (GEF) and UNDP to monitor: (i) the rate of execution of project activities, (ii) the evolution of the financial data of the project, (ii) regular and systematic recording and reporting of progress made against the planned project objectives through the establishment of a database, and (iii) evaluation of the impact of project activities on the target group and the environment; (iv) gender-disaggregated data collection and reporting system for each project component, (v) develop participatory tools to measure project performance, (vi) conduct beneficiary surveys to measure the effects/impacts (beginning, mid-term and completion), (vii) recruit a consultant in gender mainstreaming for supporting the executive entity, (viii) conduct an annual analysis/evaluation of the technical, economic and financial performance of the project, (ix) Undertake mid-term evaluation, (x) undertake final evaluation.
During the PPG phase, and assessment on the potential to use digital tools for a more effective and transparent M&E will be conducted.
Output 4.1.2. Lessons learned from the project are compiled, capitalized, and disseminated
The project monitoring and evaluation system will make a significant contribution to the management of technology performance and traceability of operations that have made it possible to achieve results and to make decisions useful for action. In this perspective, the results (outputs, outcomes and impacts) will be capitalized and archived electronically and physically to strengthen the documentation of lessons learned.
To guarantee the project contribution to local and national adaptation to climate change and the GGWI and improve ongoing practices, the different reports and studies supported by the project will be compiled to formulate a complete lessons learned document. This will contain, among others : (i) the efficiency and weakness of technologies and techniques, process, financial management and use at regional, national and local level; (ii) the best adaptation practices recommanded for local, national and regional adaptation project ; (iii) the adopted solutions to address the weaknesses identified during the project formulation and implementation. To allow a better assimilation and implementation of the lessons learned by farmers, farmers’ groups and cooperatives, the manuals will be translated into graphic images and into the official local language of Niger.
Field missions across different sites of the GGW (in Niger and abroad) will be organized to specifically participate to the advancement of the GGWI. This knowledge will also be shared during the participation to workshops and other events on the GGWI. In addition, the Project management unit will organise exchanges with beneficiaries to appreciate the lessons learned on a practical level by producers, support exchanges with the technical services involved in the project, this will be done in 2 steps:
Development of technical and manual sheets: This will involve the production and dissemination of documents and documentaries on lessons learned and best practices tested under the project in terms of on actions to strengthen resilience to the adverse effects of climate change, increase productivity and production and mitigation of GHG emissions in the agriculture sector. To this end, the project will develop several technical sheets on the technologies and practices implemented by the project. These sheets will be designed at the end of the third year of the project and disseminated in the fourth year of the project. At least, the project will develop: (i) a fact sheet on the drip irrigation system, (ii) a fact sheet on the Californian system, (iii) a fact sheet on the system of water pumping with off grid solar energy and the maintenance of solar equipment, (iv) a fact sheet on the sustainable management of hydro-agricultural development soils and the use of agricultural inputs, (v) a fact sheet on the optimal profitability of irrigation project activities with modern techniques, (vi) fact sheets on the degraded land and ecosystems surrounding farming areas restoration with Nature-based Solutions, (vii) fact sheets on efficient cooking stoves.
Knowledge sharing and dissemination of good practices for a climate resilient agricultural sector in Niger: This activity aims to share knowledge and disseminate good practices for a climate resilient agricultural for farmers groups and cooperatives (men, women, youth), local decentralized Authorities, local agriculture and environment offices, Private Banks and Microfinance Institutions executives,Niger's international technical and financial partners ; Great Green Wall initiatives in the State members, Economic Comunitiy of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regional and national research centers on Climate smart agriculture, Commissioner to the 3N (les Nigériens Nourissent les Nigériens) Initiative ; Ministries in charge of agriculture, plan, and finance; Directorate in charge of Microfinance Institutions, National Debt, agriculture investment, Rural Engineering ; National Office of Environmental Assessments, Project management Unit and Executing agency.
 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 Level of water stress freshwater withdrawals as a proportion of available freshwater resources. Target 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water use efficiency in all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawal and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and significantly reduce the number of people suffering from lack of water. Indicator 6.4.2 - Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources.
 For more details, please refer to the project strategy https://www.greenclimate.fund/sites/default/files/document/funding-sap01... , p22
Output 1: Degraded land is restored to protect agricultural production systems against the adverse impacts of climate change.
Output 2: Climate-smart agriculture techniques are promoted and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate.
Output 3: Women- and youth-led local Micro and Small Entreprises (MSEs) and entrepreneurs provide adaptive solutions to climate change with local banks and microfinance institutions sustainable facilities.
Output 4: Lessons learned on climate resilient agriculture and land restoration practices inform future projects in-country and elsewhere.
Barrier#1: Limited technical and financial support from the Government to address climate-induced land degradation: Agricultural fields are increasingly exposed to flooding, erosion and silting due to climate change and adverse practices such as deforestation. However, with limited public budget, only one agriculture advisor per 1,000 producer household is in place, and insufficient investment in infrastructure and restoration are undertaken. In addition, Niger's fiscal balance has been negatively impacted by the impacts of COVID-19 and sovereign debt became even more difficult to assume. The economic downturn, fiscal pressures, and tightening of financial conditions are giving rise to large financing gaps in Niger’s public finances and balance of payments. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country has a limited capacity to borrow additional loan financing, considering the overall fiscal balance including grants which is projected at -5% in 2020. In particular, the budget allocated to agriculture by the government remains well below the financing needs to adapt the agriculture sector to the adverse effects of climate change.
In addition, in spite of the food crisis the Sahel region is facing, the war in Ukraine has led to a large reduction in ODA following the reallocation of resources from important donor countries such as Denmark or Norway. Indeed, Niger does not have the resources in the national budget to address the climate crisis in the Agriculture sector and is highly dependant on international support. This is reflected in the NDC, with the distinction between unconditional adaptation and conditional adaptation, budgeted at US$2.4 billion for 2021-2040 and US$4.343 billion respectively – indicating that 64% of the needs for adaptation financing are expected to be met by external financing ;
Barrier#2: Low knowledge and technical and technological capacity to adopt climate-smart agriculture and ecosystem restoration practices. Even though some traditional practices in terms of ecosystem restoration and protection exist and have been reintroduced, there is a need to adjust these practices to the projected rapid impacts of climate change and to introduce CSA practices. Due to this lack of experience and adequate sensitization efforts, producers are reluctant to adopt new practices as such shifts are perceived risky. This is particularly true in the case of ecosystem restoration practices, which often do not yield immediately perceivable benefits due to the period needed for the ecosystems regenerate.
In addition, successful strategies (including developed by farmers) are not consolidated and disseminated to generate the larger replication of the practices within and outside the community. Due to the limited availability of deconcentrated state agents, the lack of communication networks and the poor management of lessons learned at the local level (within local authorities, CSOs, NGOs or community groups) and at the national level (within research institutions and universities), successful practices are not replicated beyond the areas of intervention. This also translates into a lack of data and knowledge at the national level on local agricultural production and the impacts of climate change, thereby adversely affecting the informed planning for adaptation at the national level – either using Government’s resources or external donors’ funding.
Even though progress was achieved under Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI), including in Niger and Tahoua, and the growing interest from Governments, donors and other stakeholders, key pressing areas of intervention still require support to implement the three strategic axis of the GGW in Niger: (i) promoting the good governance of natural resources and the Local Development with the involvement of local populations and for their benefit, (ii) the improvement of food security through the valuation and sustainable management of agrosylvopastoral production systems and (iii) knowledge management. The GGWI was envisioned as a large scale programme that would ensure the generation, compilation and sharing of knowledge and lessons learned, but climate risk management support is still urgently needed.
Finally, CSA and ecosystem restoration practices are not introduced as complementary measures and their self-reinforcing adaptive benefits are not always understood by communities and local stakeholders. The relationship between the pressure on surrounding ecosystems and the increased vulnerability to climate change is not clearly understood due to the delayed and indirect nature of the benefits of restored and protected ecosystems as opposed to the direct revenues and livelihood issued from new agricultural land;
Barrier#3: Vulnerable populations don’t have access to low-cost, long-term financing for innovative climate-resilient techniques including solar water pumping systems, water-efficient irrigation networks and other CSA practices. For the communities recognizing the impacts of climate change and wishing to invest in adaptive practices, they face barriers to access financing. Local communities are often perceived by traditional financing institutions (including Micro-Finance Institutions – MFIs) as too risky and notcreditworthy and in turn, local communities are not able to afford the high interest rates offered by these institutions.
Despite the availability of an estimated US$2.1 billion of total assets within the financial sector in Niger, constituting an important source of finance to catalyze in order to meet the investment gap for climate resilient agriculture, farmers are not able to access affordable financing for innovative climate resilient technologies. This can be explained by: i) the lack of capacity of Banks and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in green lending, ii) the high interest rates charged by banks and MFIs on lending products for climate resilient agriculture, iii) the weak and/or inexistent regulatory frameworks on agriculture resilience and renewable energy technologies financing. Niger's financial system does not provide adequate and sufficient financing that responds effectively to the needs of the national agricultural sector.
The financing available does not allow access to medium and long-term credit to finance equipment or structured finance to meet the sector's supply or value chain needs. While agriculture contributes more than 35% of GDP and employs almost 85% of Niger's working population, the proportion of the banking sector lending to agriculture is extremely limited (less than 1% of total lending). The factors that hinder the development of appropriate and accessible on-farm financial services are: (i) high credit interest rates (12% to 20%) with short-term maturities of under a year; (ii) insufficient supply of credit to meet demand ; (iii) non-financing of all agricultural sectors/activities due to the high risk perception and difficulties in debt collection, (vi) lack of guarantee mechanisms, and (vi) the lack of capacity of Banks and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) on financing small holder farmers, agriculture groups and cooperatives for climate resilient agriculture. Thus, it is necessary to create incentives for the financial sector to lower interest rates and make loans more accessible (with longer tenors) for agriculture groups and cooperatives and improve the profitability of their farms while increasing the resilience to climate change.
Even the Niger agricultural Bank’s (BAGRI) has not been able to sufficiently support the agriculture sector. As of 31 January 2020, total outstanding loans, all terms included, amounted to 81 million USD, of which 13 million USD were for agriculture (17% of the total portfolio), while the estimated costs of the Agricultural Value Chain Development of the Strategic Programme for the period 2016-2020 is estimated at more than 268 million USD. From 2021 to 2025, the estimated annual financial requirements for priority resilience, water management and sustainable land management programmes are estimated at $520 million. Given the aggravation of food insecurity due to climate change, the Government of Niger is implementing actions to migrate from rain-fed agriculture to CSA. While resources to support local communities adopt these practices are limited, there is a need to create an enabling environment for vulnerable subsistence farmers to develop into local MSEs, access microfinance, and replicate and scale-up the current investments. Currently, vulnerable farmers are not able to borrow due to the absence of sufficient guarantees and the lack of solvent organization of agricultural groups. There is therefore a gap to strengthen existing organizations and support the access to affordable credit.
Barrier#4: Unavailable, obsolete or inaccessible climate information. Currently, reliable climate information is not available or widely disseminated for local communities. The meteorological network is scattered through the country and does not provide data specific to the local level, preventing the adoption of adequate adaptive practices. When available, the shared information provides approximately downscaled warnings and forecasts that do not provide the needed accuracy to adapt the agriculture practices in a timely manner. In addition, forecasts and early warnings are not always disseminated in a way that is understandable by local communities – for instance, most of the information is only available in French and not translated in local languages.
Finally, the communication strategies often exclude most remote and isolated communities, who may not have access to phones or radios and are less accessible for scarce deconcentrated state services. There is a lack of locally-collected data, timely shared with meteorological institutions to issue agricultural advice, projections and early warnings. This communication channel also fails to share and consolidate lessons learned from CSA and other traditional and modern agricultural practices for a better management of knowledge at the national and regional level.
 According to the World Bank, to better cope with the Covid-19 crisis, Niger should primarily direct and strengthen its actions in favor of sensitive sectors such as food security. The cost of the COVID 19 Response Plan, estimated by the Government and its partners in May 2020, is $1.5 billion, or 18.4% of GDP.
 Niger’s NDC Chapter 5.7 Accent on Climate-Smart Agriculture. September, 26th, 2015
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.
Inception workshop, 2022 TBC
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
Transformational Adaptation for Climate Resilience in Lake Chilwa Basin of Malawi (TRANSFORM)
Across Malawi, local communities are increasingly affected by climate change and variability. In recent decades, a range of climatic changes have been observed across the country, including a reduction in average annual precipitation, an increase in average annual temperatures of 0.9°C since 1960, delays in the onset of the rainfall season, a decrease in the length of the rainfall season, and a longer dry season. While the direct impacts of extreme climate events are well documented, other negative effects are more challenging to quantify. These additional impacts include an observed increase in outbreaks of pests and diseases since the 1970s, increasing levels of malnutrition, and warmer temperatures making it increasingly difficult for farmers to work outside during the day, thereby reducing their ability to produce food.
These climate change impacts are particularly severe in the Lake Chilwa Basin and its catchment districts of Zomba, Phalombe and Machinga. Listed as a Ramsar site in 1997, Lake Chilwa and its surrounding wetlands provide habitats for a wide diversity of bird, fish and other fauna and flora, and is accordingly an area of considerable conservation value. Lake Chilwa is also the second largest lake in Malawi and a source of livelihoods for approximately 1.5 million people who depend on the lake and its catchments for fish and other resources such as grass, reeds and non-timber forest products.
Vulnerability to climate change impacts in Malawi and particularly in the Lake Chilwa basin is driven by chronic poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, overdependence on natural resources, high exposure to climate hazards and risks, ineffective early warning and disaster risk reduction systems, inadequate climate shock preparedness, weak adaptive capacity of households to withstand recurrent shocks and stresses, limited economic opportunities, and inadequate provisioning of, and access to, social services.
The proposed 60-month “Transformational Adaptation for Climate Resilience in Lake Chilwa Basin of Malawi (TRANSFORM)” project will build on existing initiatives aimed at the sustainable and
equitable use of natural resources within the Lake Chilwa basin. This will be achieved with a shift away from natural resource degradation and limited livelihood opportunities towards large-scale implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation and widespread adoption of alternative livelihoods and value chains that build adaptive capacity while contributing to reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The lessons learned from the Lake Chilwa Basin will be upscaled across the country through policy and private sector models that create green jobs particularly among small-, medium- and micro-enterprises — thereby contributing to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main interventions of the project include: i) enhancing the capacity of communities and institutions to plan, implement and monitor ecosystem-based adaptation interventions; ii) improving small-scale producers’ access to lucrative markets for climate-resilient products and value chains through diversification of product/service offerings and alternative livelihoods, as well as through a sustainable climate finance facility; and iii) facilitating the adoption of alternative livelihoods. These interventions will see more robust and coordinated relationships between the private sector and small-scale producers, facilitated by concessional financing, improved infrastructure and technologies. This could include, inter alia, roads and transportation infrastructure, telecommunication infrastructure, and equipment such as cold storage facilities to reduce post-harvest losses of harvested commodities.
The Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund-financed project will be implemented by Malawi’s Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources with support from UNDP. UNDP is providing US$2,000,000 in co-financing.
Transformational Adaptation to Climate Resilience in Malawi (Zomba)
The goal of the TRANSFORM project in Malawi is to enhance communities' resilience through ecosystem-based adaptation. The TRANSFORM project contributes to national development and resilience policies and strategies including the MGDS III, the National Resilience Strategy, NAP framework, and the National Climate Change Management Policy. It further contributes to SDGs 1,2,5,6,12,13 and 15.
In Malawi, local communities are increasingly affected by climate change and variability. In recent decades, a range of climatic changes have been observed across the country, including: i) a reduction in average annual precipitation; ii) an increase in average annual temperatures of 0.9°C since 1960; iii) delays in the onset of the rainfall season; and iv) a decrease in the length of the rainfall season, and a longer dry season. These increasingly erratic climate conditions are experienced by local communities across the country who have reported that rainfall has become increasingly unpredictable, and that the rainy season has become delayed, inconsistent and short. The 2011–2012 rainy season, for example, was expected to start in October/November of 2011, but instead only started in December and ended in February 2012 (short of the expected end in April). Moreover, the rainfall of this season was erratic and interrupted by frequent dry spells, which had a notable impact of natural resource-based livelihoods, shortening the growing season and reducing crop productivity . Across Malawi, shifts in rainfall contribute to an increased frequency and intensity of climatic hazards such as droughts and floods. Indeed, there has already been an observed increase in drought occurrences since the 1980s, severely impacting a large proportion of the country’s population. In a 2011 survey, 98% of farmers reported being affected by drought, and in 2016–17, approximately 6.5 million people (~40% of the country’s total population) were directly affected by the adverse impacts of drought — particularly through a decline in food security. In addition to droughts, several significant floods have also occurred across the country in recent years, with considerable impacts on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities. For example, flooding events in January 2012 and January 2013 washed away large volumes of soil and deposited debris on agricultural fields. These events also resulted in the loss of life, and damages to public and private property, as well as crops (totalling ~US$73 million in damages). This led to knock-on effects for food security, and public health (due to an increased incidence of vector-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and malaria).
In recent decades, the impacts of climate change have been intensified by the El Niño Southern Oscillation Cycle (ENSO). For example, in 2015, the most severe El Niño event in 35 years occurred, contributing to multiple droughts, as well as the country’s most damaging flood in 50 years. The recovery and reconstruction requirements of economic sectors affected by the 2015 floods totalled ~US$335 million (equivalent to ~5% of GDP at the time). Excluding housing, transport had the single largest financial need, at 32% of total recovery costs, followed by agriculture (16%), and water and sanitation (13%). The 2015 floods affected ~1.1 million people, displaced ~230,000 people and resulted in 106 deaths. Compounding the disaster, the onset of rains in 2015 was delayed by more than a month, which shortened the growing season and further impeded crop production and recovery in the years following the floods. This had a severely negative effect on the economy of Malawi because of its strong reliance on agriculture for economic growth and subsistence. Climate change is also increasing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, which are intensifying such flooding. The most recent event in Malawi — Tropical Cyclone Idai — occurred in 2019, affecting approximately one million people,. The cyclone caused floods that affected multiple districts across the country, which led to damages and losses totalling ~US$220 million. As a result, the Government of Malawi (GoM) had to spend ~US$370 million for recovery, reconstruction and rebuilding of resilience to disasters.
While the direct impacts of extreme climate events are well documented, other negative effects of climatic change in Malawi are more challenging to quantify. These additional impacts include: i) an observed increase in outbreaks of pests and diseases since the 1970s; ii) increasing levels of malnutrition,; and iii) warmer temperatures making it increasingly difficult for farmers to work outside during the day, thereby reducing their ability to produce food.
Given the adverse impacts of climate change on natural resources, the sustainable development of Malawi — and therefore the wellbeing of its population — is increasingly being compromised. This is reflected by the country’s low ranking (172 out of 189 countries) on the Human Development Index (HDI) and high annual ranking on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI). Malawi’s vulnerability to climate change is caused by interconnected climatic and non-climatic phenomena. For example, environmental degradation is occurring in combination with demographic pressures such as high population growth, causing an overreliance by communities on the natural resource base, and consequently further degradation, a decline in their livelihood productivity, and therefore deepening poverty. The worsening socio-economic situation for many vulnerable Malawians is occurring despite the country’s strong economic growth in recent years — particularly in its agriculture, energy, forestry, mining, industrial and services sectors. Many Malawians have not benefited from this economic growth because their livelihoods are primarily dependent on natural resources, which are being negatively impacted by the combination of environmental degradation and climate change.
Climate change and environmental degradation in the Lake Chilwa basin
Although climate change impacts are occurring across Malawi, they are particularly severe in the Lake Chilwa basin and its catchment districts of Zomba, Phalombe and Machinga — the target areas of the proposed project. Listed as a Ramsar site in 1997, Lake Chilwa and its surrounding wetlands provide habitats for a wide diversity of bird, fish and other fauna and flora, and is accordingly an area of considerable conservation value. Lake Chilwa is also the second largest lake in Malawi and a source of livelihoods for ~1.5 million people who depend on the lake and its catchments for inter alia fish and other resources such as grass, reeds and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). The primary livelihood strategies in the area involve agriculture and fishing, both of which are natural resource-based and strongly dependent on the flow of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and regulation of the hydrological cycle. This dependence exacerbates Lake Chilwa communities’ vulnerability to the impacts of climatic change. Indeed, there is growing evidence of the adverse impacts of climate change on the lake’s aquatic and surrounding terrestrial ecosystems, resulting in a considerable decline in biodiversity, with knock-on effects on the provision of ecosystem services underpinning communities’ livelihoods.
Along with erratic rainfall — and the subsequent drought and flood impacts on communities and agricultural production described above — the primary impact of climate change in the Lake Chilwa basin over the past decades has been the general decline of the water level within the lake. When the lake’s levels decrease, fish stocks can take several years to recover, which disrupts fishing communities' livelihoods for extended periods. A large proportion of women living in the basin are particularly vulnerable to drying of the lake, as fish processing — which is dependent on reasonably priced fish stocks — is their primary income-generating activity. A decline in fish stocks increases competition between fisherfolk and consumers for the remaining fish, driving up prices and reducing women’s income potential from fish processing. In response to the unpredictability of Lake Chilwa’s water levels and productivity, communities have developed diversified, mobile, and often unsustainable livelihoods — including charcoal production, which contribute to deforestation in catchment areas.
While Lake Chilwa has dried completely nine times in the last century (the last time in 2018), its capacity to recover from these events is decreasing. Although refilling of Lake Chilwa can occur in as little as one year — such as in the 2014–2015 rainfall season — it normally takes approximately two to three years to refill. However, this refilling of the lake is contingent upon the adequate infiltration of groundwater in its forested catchment areas, and the effective recovery of fish stocks depends on the management of remnant pools in the perennial rivers and streams that feed into the lake.
The above mentioned environmental degradation compromising Lake Chilwa’s water levels and fish stocks include: i) deforestation; ii) degradation of wetlands — particularly when the receding water level exposes land on the lake’s shores to crop and livestock production; iii) reduced flow of rivers; and iv) soil erosion which causes siltation of watercourses. These phenomena have had a considerable impact on agriculture in the Lake Chilwa basin, with a general decline in productivity and production recorded in both the crop and livestock sectors in recent years. Agricultural decline — in conjunction with the lake's drying — is also contributing to a rapid decrease in the productivity of fisheries. This results from the growing inability of communities to produce adequate amounts of food from agriculture in areas surrounding the lake, which leads to the intensification of unsustainable land-use practices, and further degradation of the terrestrial environment. The consequent decline in crop yields causes an overdependence of local communities on fish from the lake and increases competition for other aquatic resources. For example, there has been an observed increase in the clearing of reeds in riparian and coastal areas of Lake Chilwa — which are critical fish spawning habitats — further impacting the replenishment of fish stocks. Since the 1970s, catches in the lake have decreased considerably, from ~15,000 tonnes/yr to ~5,000 tonnes in 2014.
The slow recovery of fish stocks in recent years has also occurred in conjunction with an increase in the use of illegal fishing gear such as mosquito nets. The use of such indiscriminate equipment causes juvenile fish to be captured along with adults, thereby preventing juveniles from reaching maturity and therefore the size at which the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) would be obtained from the stock. While previous initiatives, such as the GEF-funded project entitled ‘Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management’ have included the establishment of community organisations — such as Beach Village Committees (BVCs) — to enforce regulation of natural resource use on the lake, these have had limited human resource and technical capacity to be effective.
Fish catches in Lake Chilwa comprise a large percentage of the total amount of fish caught within Malawi (~14% in 2003). In addition, a large proportion of agricultural produce is sourced from the lake’s catchment areas. For example, 50% of the rice produced in Malawi is grown in the Lake Chilwa basin. As a result, the decreasing productivity of agriculture and fisheries in the area is causing a rapid decline in food security both in the districts surrounding Lake Chilwa, and across Malawi. This subsequent food insecurity will be exacerbated by further reduced water levels in the lake under future climate change scenarios. Climate projections under both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 indicate further increases in average annual temperatures across the country, with mean annual surface air temperatures expected to rise by 1.1–3°C by 2060, and 1.5–5°C by 2090. Additionally, despite an anticipated increase in total annual rainfall volume, the number of rainfall events is expected to decrease, but with considerable increases in the intensity of each episode and prolonged dry spells between episodes. The frequency of droughts and floods is therefore expected to increase which will heighten the vulnerability of Malawi lake fisheries.
The water temperatures of lakes in Africa, including Lake Chilwa, are evidently also increasing. The full range of impacts of climate change on tropical lakes, however, are not well understood. Some research has indicated that the warming of the deep African rift lake, Lake Tanganyika, has reduced the cycling of nutrients from its depths as well as primary production in the water. In the Lake Chilwa basin specifically, results obtained from the IPCC Fifth Annual Report General Circulation Models (GCMs) under RCP4.5 and 8.5 suggest that water temperatures will increase by an average of 2.6–4.7°C, with carbon dioxide levels in the lake expected to double by the year 2075. These warming water temperatures combined with the abovementioned fluctuating water levels already present in lake Chilwa, will exacerbate threats to the lake’s productivity. Under current climate change conditions, there is already a significant risk of ecosystem collapse in Lake Chilwa — particularly as a result of declining fish resources. This not only exacerbates competition in fisheries as mentioned above, but also conflicts between traditional fisherfolk and newcomers to the area such as farmers who take up fishing. Climate change, therefore, will not only result in reduced fish stocks but also disrupt community relations, increasing the vulnerability of both subsistence farmers and fisherfolk.
Vulnerability to climate change impacts in Malawi and particularly in the Lake Chilwa basin is driven by inter alia: i) chronic poverty; ii) food and nutrition insecurity; iii) overdependence on natural resources; iv) high exposure to climate hazards and risks; vi) ineffective early warning and disaster risk reduction systems; vii) inadequate climate shock preparedness and weak adaptive capacity of households to withstand recurrent shocks and stresses; viii) limited economic opportunities; and ix) inadequate provisioning of, and access to, social services. The combination of these factors makes the implementation of climate change policy frameworks in Malawi challenging. For example, limited production by the country’s energy supplier — Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco) — has resulted in an increased demand for alternative energy sources. Howeveer, as 86% of the country’s population are reliant on subsistence agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods they have limited financial capacity to source alternative, energy-efficient technologies for, inter alia, cooking and heating. To meet this demand, forest resources are used intensively for fuel wood and charcoal production, supplying both rural areas and urban centres. This, in turn, places pressure on forest and wetland ecosystems, leading to catchment degradation. At the national level, limited financial capital available for the GoM results in insufficient budgetary allocation for climate-adaptive technologies. This financial constraint is exacerbated by extreme climate events that result in severe damages and losses to infrastructure, exposing the GoM to cycles of debt and short-term, reactive spending. As a result, the GoM is severely constrained in terms of allocating funds for climate change adaptation at a local level. Local-level adaptation is further hindered by constrained technical and institutional capacity for the implementation of policies from central government to district councils.
Chronic poverty remains the most severe challenge to improving climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin, as it exacerbates several of the other drivers of vulnerability. Because food security and household income are strongly affected by natural resource use and availability, they are major determinants of poverty. Food insecurity is also compounded by poverty because of the need for poor households to engage in livelihood strategies that adversely impact the natural environment. For example, the degradation of terrestrial ecosystems in the Lake Chilwa basin is causing a decline in livelihood productivity as well as a reduction in food security in the region. The decline in livelihood productivity and the continuation of inefficient livelihood strategies are exacerbated by existing development challenges in the Lake Chilwa basin, including inadequate infrastructure and poor linkages to lucrative value chains.
Within the basin, investment in the development of infrastructure — such as rural feeder roads, agro-processing facilities, agricultural technologies, storage facilities and improved markets — is necessary. The challenges around infrastructure are further intensified by high population density (at ~321 people per km2) in areas surrounding the lake, which is among the highest in Malawi. This population density, coupled with rapid population growth and decreasing livelihood productivity in terrestrial landscapes, is causing overcrowding in fishing villages around the lake, placing greater pressure on the aquatic resources within the lake. Moreover, the growing population is increasing the need for products derived from wetland and riparian areas adjacent to the lake. For example, the harvesting of reeds and other plant materials by local communities has contributed to environmental degradation, resulting in siltation of the lake, biodiversity loss and a decrease in fish habitats and spawning sites. The degradation of terrestrial and aquatic resources in the lake basin, in combination with climate change impacts, is resulting in several other challenges for local communities. Examples include: i) an increase in the occurrence of livestock diseases as a result of the degradation of terrestrial ecosystems in conjunction with rising temperatures; and ii) a rising incidence of diseases such as cholera.
Long-term preferred solution
To date, investments in adaptation in Malawi, including in the Lake Chilwa basin, have been largely once-off and sector-specific. The project’s long-term preferred solution to reduce vulnerability to climate change is consequently a sustainable, cross-sectoral transformation of the overarching development trajectory of the Lake Chilwa basin. This should be achieved by a shift away from natural resource degradation and limited livelihood opportunities towards large-scale implementation of EbA and widespread adoption of alternative livelihoods and value chains that build adaptive capacity while contributing to reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This solution will also see the lessons learned from the Lake Chilwa basin upscaled across the country through policy and private sector models that create green jobs particularly among small, medium and micro enterprises — thereby contributing to recovery from Covid-19 economic damages. The main interventions for achieving the preferred solution in the basin will include: i) enhancing the capacity of communities and institutions to plan, implement and monitor EbA interventions; ii) improving small-scale producers’ access to lucrative markets for climate-resilient products and value chains through diversification of product/service offerings and alternative livelihoods, as well as through a sustainable climate finance facility; and iii) facilitating the adoption of alternative livelihoods. These interventions will see more robust and coordinated relationships between the private sector and small-scale producers, facilitated by concessional financing, improved infrastructure and technologies. This could include, inter alia, roads and transportation infrastructure, telecommunication infrastructure, and equipment such as cold storage facilities to reduce post-harvest losses of harvested commodities. The legal formalisation of institutions and the roles of stakeholders in climate change adaptation and capacity-building processes will also emerge from these interventions.
To achieve the preferred solution, producers and enterprises in the Lake Chilwa basin need to be connected to local and regional markets through the development of climate-resilient technologies and infrastructure based on local knowledge and innovations, as well as improved information sharing around these innovations. For example, improving agro-processing as a value-adding activity for raw fish and agricultural produce would reduce post-harvest losses and enable higher quality products to be sold to lucrative markets through appropriate value chains, while also reducing GHG emissions. Creating effective knowledge-management information platforms targeting value-adding processes, in addition to highlighting the potential for private partnerships in these processes, would support their effective and sustainable uptake. Moreover, the preferred solution will strengthen the development pathway in the Lake Chilwa basin to focus on the most vulnerable communities — particularly women and other marginalised groups such as the youth. The abovementioned infrastructural interventions will be necessary to ensure producers in the basin are able to engage effectively with commercial entities and appropriate value chains. Specifically, small-scale producers in the region require adequate storage facilities, refrigeration equipment and processing machinery such as solar dryers. Additionally, information networks and partnerships are required to enhance collaboration between communities with potential for value chain enhancement and the commercial entities with which market linkages can be established.
A primary feature of the preferred solution would be that communities in the area are able to implement Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions and better manage the natural resource base on which they depend. This would include reducing the overexploitation of natural resources and restoring ecological infrastructure within forests, riparian areas and wetlands. These interventions would ensure the continued delivery of ecosystem goods and services which would, together with diversified livelihoods and value-addition services, enable vulnerable communities to build their resilience to climate change. Aside from the post-harvest storage and processing interventions already mentioned, communities’ livelihoods will be advanced under the long-term preferred solution through alternative options such as mushroom cultivation, and beekeeping. Widespread adoption of these livelihoods would greatly improve the capacity of vulnerable communities to adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change, in addition to recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 Jørstad, H. and Webersik, C., 2016. Vulnerability to climate change and adaptation strategies of local communities in Malawi: Experiences of women fish processing groups in the Lake Chilwa Basin.
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 Maloya, H., 2001. Community-Based Natural Resources Management - the case of Lake Chilwa Wetland, Malawi. Available at: https://www.ramsar.org/news/community-based-natural-resources-management-the-case-of-lake-chilwa-wetland-malawi
 Republic of Malawi. 2011. The Second National Communication of the Republic of Malawi to the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Available at: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/mwinc2.pdf
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 Republic of Malawi. 2011. The Second National Communication of the Republic of Malawi to the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Available at: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/mwinc2.pdf
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Component 1: Enhancing cross-sectoral technical capacity for climate change adaptation in Malawi
Under Component 1, the preparatory and institutional environment required for gender-sensitive climate change adaptation planning, implementation, monitoring and financing will be developed. This will be done by strengthening the capacity of community-level institutions to plan for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the Lake Chilwa basin area, and to develop the enabling environment for these actions under Components 2 and 3 of the project. Through the decentralisation of governance for climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability, district councils are responsible for identifying risks and responding to the climate crisis by using appropriate adaptation interventions. The additional resources from LDCF will enable the TRANSFORM project to support district councils to integrate climate change adaptation (including monitoring interventions and impacts) into their district development planning and budgeting. This will subsequently allow for the creation of effective systems to supporting communities in identifying and implementing community-based adaptation initiatives. The proposed project will also ensure that the relevant community- and district-level institutions obtain the required technical and operational capacity to coordinate responses across the district, as well as sustain innovations and infrastructure investments made during project implementation in the long term. These interventions will be implemented in a gender-sensitive manner, with equitable benefits provided to women and youth.
Outcome 1: Strengthened capacity of community-level institutions and non-state actors to plan, implement and monitor Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA).
Output 1.1. An EbA Plan — with an integrated management framework — that identifies climate change vulnerability and ecosystem degradation hotspots, developed for each target district through direct engagement of community stakeholders (including women and the youth).
Under this output, participatory cross-sectoral EbA plans — with a specific focus on women and youth — will be developed for each of the three target districts. These long-term plans will build on short- to medium-term plans developed during the PPG phase, with on-the-ground interventions as detailed within the plans finalised and rolled out during implementation. This will include the identification of climate change vulnerability and ecosystem degradation hotspots which will be targeted for the implementation of interventions under Outcome 2 of the project. In addition, a Community-Based Resilience Analysis (CoBRA) will be used to identify priority adaptation actions for each of the identified hotspots in line with national priorities and strategies such as the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy (NFLRS). The EbA plans will also include an integrated cross-sectoral management framework to ensure alignment between the individual EbA plan of each target district, as well as existing district planning frameworks, to ensure the effective implementation of EbA across the Lake Chilwa basin. Moreover, these EbA plans will use lessons learned from and build upon similar plans for natural resource management developed under the GEF-funded project entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project. These plans will strongly focus on improving the sustainability of fisheries in Malawi’s lakes through improved community-led and climate-smart catchment management. This will ensure complementarity with baseline investments in Malawian fisheries, while avoiding duplication of interventions. Moreover, in line with the transformative nature of the proposed project, the EbA plans under this output will draw on those from the previous GEF project to scale up EbA across the entire basin, and deliver community-wide benefits that ultimately have a major socio-economic and environmental impact across the entire area.
In preparation for the development of the EbA plans described above, district- and community-level institutions — particularly youth and women’s groups — will be trained to plan, implement and monitor EbA plans. This will improve the technical capacity of these institutions to enhance community resilience in a gender-sensitive manner. The scope of the training will include: i) interpretation of climate information and projections, as well as the expected impacts; ii) identifying feasible adaptation approaches to address the impacts of climate change with a focus on EbA; iii) planning the identified adaptation approaches in the local context; iv) overseeing the implementation of adaptation approaches at the district and community levels; and v) monitoring of interventions after implementation. Accordingly, the capacity-building activities will comprise education, information and awareness-raising sessions for priority institutions on the importance of EbA, as well as its relevance to reducing the vulnerability of these institutions. In addition, technical training workshops will be hosted in each district to subsequently enhance the technical capacity of these institutions to plan, monitor and implement EbA — building on the knowledge and understanding augmented by the educational sessions.
This individual and institutional capacity building will ensure the retention of institutional knowledge on EbA within the Lake Chilwa basin, and in turn, reduce the impacts of high staff turnover, that may threaten the sustained use of EbA. The retention of institutional knowledge will also be supported by the knowledge-management hub created under Output 3.5. The capacity-building training will focus on the natural resources within and around the lake and wetlands in the basin, with a specific emphasis on ecosystem services and long-term benefits of, for example, sustainable fishing practices. Training will be provided on the impacts of climate change on natural resources within the lake and surrounding ecosystems, the management and monitoring of these resources, as well as monitoring of climatic and non-climatic impacts to the natural resource base. This training will be supplemented by education on the provisioning of ecosystem services and how to maintain them not only for the benefit of livelihoods but also to reduce the risk of climate hazards on communities.
Output 1.2. Framework Investment Plan for sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods and value chains developed for each target district, in line with the EbA plans developed under Output 1.1.
Under this output, a climate-resilient Framework Investment Plan (FIP) will be developed for private sector investment catalysed under Component 3. Specifically, these FIPs will be operationalised using financial resources mobilised through a newly established Sustainable Climate Financing Facility (SCFF) under Output 3.1. Output 1.2 will include establishing partnerships between smallholder farmers and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to enable stronger engagement between communities and the private sector in the Lake Chilwa basin. The development of the FIP will be undertaken in a gender-sensitive manner and will include assessments on different investment opportunities, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different markets. Currently, vulnerable communities are not adequately engaging with lucrative value chains because of the limited availability of established networks and business relationships for connecting private sector investors to local-level producers. The FIP will catalyse a shift towards a scenario where improved linkages between these entities are established. Output 1.3 will include the identification of potential target areas for investment, as well as MSMEs that can be selected for technical support under Output 3.2, to enhance the climate resilience and environmental sustainability of their operations. Precedents have already been established in Malawi for the use of investment plans and funds towards climate change adaptation. For example, at a national level the National Climate Change Investment Plan was operationalised in 2014 to ensure that there is increased and coordinated investment in climate change. In addition, the Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (2017) includes potential entry points for investment and a framework for attracting financial resources from the private sector, international finance institutions (such as the GEF), national resources, and other financing windows. These strategies and plans will inform the design of the FIP under Output 1.2, ensuring they build on previous gains towards attracting external investment for increased climate resilience of livelihoods in Malawi.
Along with upscaling previous programmes, plans and initiatives, the proposed project will result in novel outcomes to ensure a transformative shift in concessional funding for enterprise development in the region. Specifically, transformation will be achieved through additional measures such as only allocating funds to MSMEs with enhanced technical capacity and financial literacy (developed under the proposed project) and therefore increased climate resilience. This will ensure the sustainability of business operations for selected ventures, thereby increasing the likelihood of success of their expansion/diversification activities as well as the impact that the concessional funding will have. Novel features of the FIP that will transform this output from a business-as-usual approach will be: i) financial literacy training (which has not been formally conducted in Malawi before); ii) planning for allocation of funds across a wide range of subsectors and business activities; iii) dedication of funds specifically for the adoption of innovative and energy-efficient technologies; iv) accelerated application processes for ventures with demonstrable skills and knowledge of adaptation options; and v) dedicated allocation of a considerable proportion of funds for women and youth-run enterprises.
Component 2: Implementation of EbA and sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods
Vulnerable communities in the Lake Chilwa basin strongly depend on ecosystem goods and services to support their livelihoods. The TRANSFORM project will complement the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy to protect and strengthen ecosystem health for the sustained flow of goods and services to local communities. Component 2 will enable the implementation of EbA plans developed under Component 1, in line with national priorities and strategies. In addition, Component 2 will include the development of a community-based ecosystem monitoring and reporting (M&R) system — leveraging support from extension services — which will ensure the sustainability and scalability of EbA interventions. Using an integrated, cross-sectoral approach, the project will also facilitate the implementation of viable, community-based adaptation practices which include alternative livelihoods, climate-resilient agricultural practices, and small-scale, nature-based businesses. Such activities will be undertaken by resource-poor members of the community, the majority of which are women and the youth. The community-based adaptation practices supported by the project will therefore specifically benefit these vulnerable community members, drawing on best practices and lessons learned from Adapt Plan’s promotion of diversified livelihoods, such as the processing and selling of NTFPs. In addition to upscaling the Adapt Plan project, the proposed GEF project will introduce new and alternative livelihood options to ensure a transformative shift away from unsustainable land-use practices. Novel to the proposed project will also be the enhanced capacity to maintain these livelihoods, through participatory community-based monitoring of natural resources.
Outcome 2. Reduced vulnerability of communities in target districts to climate change through the implementation of EbA interventions and the introduction of sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods.
Output 2.1. EbA interventions, such as catchment restoration, soil conservation techniques and water-efficient technologies, implemented in vulnerability hotspots.
Under Output 2.1, Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions such as the restoration of riparian areas, wetlands, and catchments will be implemented in a gender-sensitive manner. This will improve the flow of ecosystem services — including regulation of the hydrological cycle, soil conservation and erosion control — thereby building the climate resilience of communities surrounding the Lake Chilwa basin. Specific EbA-related activities to be implemented in each target district will be identified and costed during the PPG phase. As a co-benefit, EbA interventions will help to alleviate some of the primary drivers of environmental degradation in the region, such as deforestation caused by unsustainable charcoal production, which contribute to an overreliance of households on resources within the lake and surrounding areas. In particular, the negative impacts on fish stocks (linked to the decreasing productivity of surrounding agricultural areas) will be reduced. Additional EbA measures to reduce the dependence of local communities on the use of wood for charcoal production will include the introduction of processing technologies for fuel-efficient briquette production using agricultural waste products, such as rice husks. This will reduce the dependence on forest ecosystem resources as well as pressure placed on the wider natural resource base in the target area. To facilitate this shift, briquette-making communities will receive assistance from relevant, upskilled institutions, in particular on the construction of appropriate infrastructure such as beds for drying of agricultural waste. In addition, access to inputs such as water will be subsidised, highly concessional, or provided at a reasonable cost, thereby promoting fuel briquettes as a productive commercial sector. Further research will also be conducted to assess the potential supply of a wide range of biomass materials and quality of varieties of fuel briquettes. Increased demand for briquettes among communities will be achieved through marketing efforts and value-adding activities such as packaging, labelling and awareness-raising on the benefits of fuel-efficient briquettes.
Additional interventions that supplement EbA activities to increase water-use efficiency and improve the supply of water in the region, will include inter alia: i) household water harvesting systems and post-harvest storage; ii) the adoption of improved irrigation technologies (for example drip irrigation systems); iii) the stabilisation of riverbanks using green infrastructure to reduce erosion; and iv) a shift to agroforestry systems. Agroforestry will improve agricultural productivity, and ecosystem service provisioning, including soil conservation and erosion control regulation of the hydrological cycle — for example, through improvements in the quality and quantity of water resources in the region as a result of increased infiltration. Agroforestry-related activities under this output will build on interventions previously implemented under other projects, such as the GEF-funded project titled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project. These agroforestry and conservation farming practices will be implemented across 3,000 ha of agricultural areas. Under the proposed project, the land area under agroforestry systems will be expanded to include additional communities. This will contribute to increasing the area in the Lake Chilwa basin under improved management practices and extend the reach of direct and indirect adaptation benefits to more people in the Lake Chilwa basin. Moreover, novel agroforestry systems will be introduced to encompass a wide range of communities and ecosystems ensuring the unique needs of each target community are met and that their natural resources are appropriately managed.
Output 2.2. Community-based ecosystem Monitoring and Reporting (M&R) system established in each target district to support enhanced natural resource management and compliance with environmental regulations.
Under this output, an M&R system will be established in support of an integrated approach to the maintenance of ecosystem health, ensuring inter alia: i) effective environmental management; ii) compliance with relevant regulations; and iii) eventual self-regulation of communities surrounding Lake Chilwa. This will complement the EbA plans to be developed under Output 1.1, providing the means for not only supporting enhanced natural resource management, but also for establishing an evidence base from which EbA plans may be iteratively revised and refined to inform further action. The establishment of the M&R will include a comprehensive valuation of ecosystem services in the project area, informing the baseline upon which M&R will be undertaken, and to determine the contribution of the proposed project’s interventions over time.
The M&R system established under this output will be designed and operationalised in line with local and district planning frameworks to build on and improve previously established systems for monitoring natural resources and reporting on their overexploitation or unsustainable use. For example, communities will be trained on the importance of monitoring degradation or threats to the target areas’ natural resource base (such as the use of illegal fishing nets), as well as how to measure and report these threats to the relevant authorities. In addition, communities will also work towards ensuring that sustainable land-practices continue beyond the project’s lifespan to maintain benefits associated with adaptation interventions. Communities will be fully engaged in monitoring natural resources and ecosystem threats, as by understanding the associated benefits of adaptation they will be more invested in ensuring long-term sustainability of project interventions. Such community engagement in M&R will discourage perpetuating a ‘tragedy of the commons’ situation as community members will be reluctant to continue unsustainable practices if aware of being monitored and potential penalties for non-compliance. Not only will this apply to lake and wetland resources, but forest ecosystems as well, with individuals less likely to engage in charcoal production and other activities that degrade the landscape. This approach will be facilitated in particular by beach village committees (BVCs), who will assist with training alongside extension services.
BVCs — first established under the GEF-funded project entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project — will be used to operationalise the M&R system. These committees were selected because they possess the appropriate skills and knowledge, such as an understanding of the applicable environmental laws and regulations, for effective management of lake resources. The proposed project will in so doing align with previous investments working on enhanced compliance, thereby promoting the sustainability of interventions under both projects. In addition, this output will augment the achievements of previous projects by extending M&R responsibilities beyond BVCs to include community institutions around protected areas. This will be facilitated by the implementation of monitoring systems that are strongly technology-oriented and community-based. For example, the use of GIS-enabled incident-recording/reporting devices and unmanned arial vehicles (UAVs), such as drones, will provide information not only to communities for natural-resource management, but also to potential entrepreneurs and investors. The training will be delivered to enhance the technical and human resource capacity of communities surrounding Lake Chilwa for enforcement of relevant laws and regulations, as well as M&R. While the M&R systems will be designed for each individual district, knowledge-sharing and collaboration will be encouraged between districts through the knowledge management hub established under Component 3 of the proposed project. This will be done by ensuring that the information generated through M&R will be fed into the hub, and that provision is made for effective sharing of this knowledge between districts.
To provide comprehensive support to the community-based M&R systems, a training-of-trainers approach will be used to incorporate knowledge-management and -sharing into the proposed project by providing operational and technical support to extension services. This will be to allow extension service officers to transfer knowledge and expertise to BVCs, and other stakeholders operating within the M&R system, to ensure effective, on-the-ground implementation and maintenance of the system. During the lifetime of the project this training system will allow local communities to monitor the success of proposed interventions (for example, seedling survival rates for restoration efforts), as well as report on stakeholder engagement and other targets established to determine the success of the project. In addition, community members will be trained on reporting on the attendance of training sessions by various groups, as well as on whether gender-related targets are being met. This support will enable M&R efforts to extend beyond the project lifespan, ensuring the sustainability of interventions.
Output 2.3. Sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods implemented in target communities through the provision of training (including at least 50% women), provision of start-up inputs (such as beekeeping equipment) as well as the development of partnerships with local suppliers and value chain service providers (through technical advisory services).
Under Output 2.3, support will be provided to relevant stakeholders to enable vulnerable communities — particularly women and youth — to shift from unsustainable, climate-vulnerable livelihoods and income streams, such as charcoal production, to a situation where the adoption of climate-resilient livelihoods is a feasible and readily-available option. This will occur through, inter alia, the upscaling of existing initiatives for the production and sale of NTFPs — including mushroom cultivation and products derived from beekeeping enterprises — as well as the development of fishery and agricultural value chains. Specifically, the mechanism used to achieve the shift towards sustainable climate resilient livelihoods will include three stages across the development period. First, during the PPG phase of the project, information will be gathered on forest, wetland and lake users and resource use, extent of different ecosystems, the condition of natural resources in the ecosystems, and forest-based livelihood opportunities. The second stage will involve negotiation of ecosystem management plans and agreements (including rights and responsibilities of community-, district- and government-level institutions), and securing formal legal structures for these agreements. Finally, empowered communities will implement their management plans and uphold any legal agreements, with full local and national government support. During the PPG phase, appropriate alternative, climate-resilient livelihoods that align with the EbA action plans developed under Output 1.1. and are suitable for adoption by local communities will be identified using Community-Based Resilience Analysis (CoBRA). In addition, to ensure equitable and gender-responsive efforts towards the adoption of alternative livelihoods, local communities in target districts (including at least 50% women) will also be trained on sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods, with a focus on the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of EbA interventions, therefore complementing Outputs 2.1 and 2.2. This will build upon and expand the introduction of alternative and complementary rural livelihoods under a previous GEF-funded project. While this project focused solely on aquaculture-based livelihoods, the proposed TRANSFORM project will introduce and implement a wider variety of livelihoods, including beekeeping and mushroom farming. In addition, the proposed project will be implemented in communities that the previous GEF-funded project did not focus on. This will result in the provision of alternative livelihoods to the entire population of the basin. To further support livelihood security of vulnerable communities in the target area, rural-urban business linkages will be established. This will facilitate aggregation by enhancing the ability of MSMEs and other enterprises to access district and city markets by inter alia ensuring harvested commodities meet market standards.
To support the implementation and uptake of sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods in the Lake Chilwa basin, inputs will be provided to local communities who require improved equipment and infrastructure. This will take the form of ‘starter kits’ for the establishment of NTFP-centred businesses, and will include goods, materials and equipment such as beehives and protective beekeeping equipment, or mushroom-growing kits. These starter kits will enable communities to smoothly transition to alternative, climate-resilient livelihoods. Moreover, improved farming technologies, processing equipment and infrastructure to prevent post-harvest losses — which have been identified as barriers to enhancing the livelihood resilience in the target area — will be supplied. In addition, support will be provided to transfer appropriate knowledge and skills that will facilitate the establishment of partnerships between or across local communities, the private sector, government institutions and agricultural and fishery organisations. By establishing and strengthening connections between these entities, a collaborative environment will be fostered which will contribute to sustainably enhancing livelihood and climate-resilience across value chains and economic sectors — as opposed to limiting the uptake of climate-resilient livelihoods to unsustainable handouts from donors.
To increase the likelihood of success regarding the uptake of sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods, local communities will be trained on their adoption. By increasing the awareness and familiarity of the additional livelihoods, as well as the associated techniques and skills, local communities will develop confidence in the uptake and maintenance of those livelihoods. This will facilitate the effective and efficient transition away from current unsustainable fishing, farming and land-use practices. To complement this training on livelihoods, awareness will be raised surrounding climate change hazards, risks and impacts to better develop local communities’ understanding of the need for adaptation and the adoption of sustainable, climate-resilient livelihoods and technologies.
Component 3: Enhancing market linkages for private sector investment in adaptation options and climate-resilient enterprises
Component 3 of the proposed project will ensure the sustainability and replicability of interventions implemented under Component 1 and Component 2 by catalysing private sector investment in climate-resilient enterprises. These investments will lead to the upscaling of EbA and alternative livelihoods across the Lake Chilwa basin and the rest of Malawi. To achieve this, the proposed project under Component 3 will design and operationalise a sustainable funding facility, strengthen linkages between market actors across value chains, and share information between market actors through a market information hub. As a multifaceted approach will be adopted, beneficiaries will extend beyond formally registered businesses to include both artisanal producers as well as aspiring young and/or female entrepreneurs. These interventions will be complemented by the establishment of a knowledge management hub, which will enable the sharing of information between stakeholders to inform the development of similar projects in the Basin. Whereas the market information hub will benefit entrepreneurs and MSMEs, the knowledge management hub will primarily be used by local and national level decision makers when exploring potential development options for enhanced climate resilience. In so doing, the upscaling of previous investments in the project area and across Malawi will be promoted in a locally appropriate and context-specific manner. Details on these interventions are presented below.
Outcome 3. Enhanced private sector investment in and strengthened market linkages for sustainable, climate-resilient enterprises to provide communities with alternative sources of income.
Output 3.1 A sustainable climate finance facility established to stimulate private sector investment for MSMEs, with a new CCA funding window opened under the MICF, provision of technical assistance and strengthening of the microfinance industry, for innovation in climate-resilient livelihoods, enterprises and technologies.
Under this output, access to finance for building climate-resilient livelihoods and businesses will be enhanced for MSMEs, farmers and fisherfolk in the Lake Chilwa basin. This enhanced access to finance will be achieved by establishing a new adaptation finance facility, by providing technical training and support, and by facilitating access to microfinance. Details on each of these sub-components of this output are provided below. The baseline upon which the project will build includes existing credit lines provided by funds, commercial banks and microfinance institutions. The additional and innovative interventions to be implemented by the proposed project include: establishing funding windows and financial products dedicated to climate change adaptation investments; training a wide range of stakeholders to access the credit lines and to climate-proof their business operations and value chains; and establishing community-based credit and saving associations to facilitate access to microfinance for artisanal farmers and fisherfolk with negligible collateral to implement adaptation interventions.
Finance facility. A new facility — the Sustainable Climate Finance Facility (SCFF) — will be established to enable private sector investors to invest in innovative, climate-resilient livelihoods, enterprises and value chains. GEF resources will be used to establish the facility and provide technical support for its management, but will not be used to capitalise it. The capital will be sourced from the private sector (in accordance with climate-resilient Framework Investment Plans (FIP) developed under Output 1.3), and in particular through the existing and well-established Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) that is managed by UNDP. A dedicated window within the MICF will be created for climate change adaptation and for assisting in the capitalisation of the SCFF. While the MICF has already successfully launched and closed other funding windows — most recently for tourism — the SCFF will be focussed on the Lake Chilwa basin and will therefore be the first geographically targeted window under the MICF. This geographically targeted funding window will serve as a model for financing similar projects in the future. It should be noted that the MICF will only serve as the initial platform upon which the SCFF will be established, and that the SCFF will be upscaled nationally under the National Climate Change Fund (NCCF), which is currently under development. The vision of the GoM is that the operationalisation of the SCFF will be achieved under the MICF, but that the facility will be transferred to the newly established NCCF. The NCCF is envisioned to be financed through carbon levies collected by the GoM which have been earmarked for environmental actions, as outlined in the Environmental Management Act of 2017. Funds collected through these levies will be ring-fenced for these actions — including those aimed at improved climate resilience — which will ensure institutional permanence in the environmental sector. Currently, the NCCF is not yet fully operational, as further work on its governance arrangement and technical capacity for undertaking its work is required. Therefore, the MICF, which has a fully functioning institutional structure and comprehensive technical capacity, will be a more suitable platform for the initial stages of setting up the SCFF, until the NCCF has been fully operationalised. This arrangement will ensure the effective transfer of technical and institutional capacity from the MICF to the NCCF.
For the capitalisation of the SCFF through the funding window established under the MICF, the private sector in Malawi will be directly approached to assist in through, for example, socially responsible investment products within the banking sector. Such products include socially responsible mutual funds. If there is insufficient capital raised within Malawi, international banks and investors focussing on ethical investment strategies will be approached to invest in these products offered by the Malawian banks.
Based on extensive consultations during the PIF preparation it has been identified that there is considerable interest within the international community for investments that assist in uplifting poor communities in addition to providing nature-based solutions to climate change. However, given the limited technical and institutional capacity among local communities for engaging in high-value markets, such investments remain high risk. Consequently, there remains a need to de-risk investments into uplifting communities by increasing their knowledge of and skills for value-addition in agriculture and fisheries, as well as by improving their awareness of the impacts of climate change, and increasing social accountability in natural resource use. It is consequently envisaged that there will be a strong demand for well-structured, socially responsible investment products from Malawi. Such products would include a strong focus on gender and social safeguards. Local Malawian banks will benefit from the sale of these types of investment products, not only through the commissions earned on the products, but also because it will contribute to their corporate social responsibility objectives. The proposed project will assist the Malawian banks in developing the products in an appropriate manner for attracting local and international investors, and then in managing the products and disbursing loans to eligible stakeholders in the Lake Chilwa basin.
Technical training and support. The project will provide technical training and support — through, for example, workshops, training events and continuous technical advisory services — to the MICF, SCFF, MSMEs, artisans, farmers, and fisherfolk. This wide range of stakeholders is necessary to ensure that the funding mechanisms function effectively and that local communities will be in a position to use these mechanisms to finance their climate-resilient livelihoods.
The training for the MICF and SCFF will focus on climate change adaptation and investment opportunities for building climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin, but also Malawi as a whole. In this way, the project will support the upscaling of the MICF’s activities country-wide.
Training for MSMEs, artisans, farmers and fisherfolk in the project’s target districts (with a strong focus on women and youth) will be tailor-made for their individual needs in a particular district and will include topics such as: climate change; financial literacy; business operations, including basic accounting; opening of bank accounts; accessing micro-finance through organisations such as community-based village banks and saving associations; accessing commercial bank loans; compliance with legal requirements; registering of companies; reporting on the performance of their operations to funders; management of natural resources under climate change conditions; reducing post-harvest losses despite climate change conditions; meeting quality standards developed by buyers such as supermarkets and restaurants; diversifying products under climate change conditions; accessing new and higher value markets; and attracting investors. This training will be complemented by the partnerships established between local communities, extension services, CBOs, farmers, buyers and private sector enterprises under Output 3.2. Through the above-described training and these partnerships, a wide range of investments for MICF, SCFF, commercial banks and micro-finance institutions will be derisked.
Access to microfinance. Community-based credit and saving associations will be established by the project where local communities are supportive of such an intervention. Such associations have been demonstrated to be highly effective in similar rural settings in Kenya, where models known as the ‘village banking model’ and ‘self-help group bank’ have been adopted. The advantages of these associations include the following: little or no collateral is necessary to take out a loan, as the group as a whole provides the guarantee for each individual’s loan; records on returns on investment and performance of individual members are filed and can be used by individuals or MSMEs for accessing more traditional sources of credit through commercial banks; and records from the associations can be used to show private sector investors the impacts of their investments at a granular scale. In the past, the functionality of community-based credit and saving associations would have been compromised in rural areas because of difficulties in accessing banks. Today, however, remote mobile banking services are offered in Malawi through services such as Airtel Money or M-Pesa. Because these banking service providers use SMS’s to operate, it can provide village bank members with access to banking services, despite having no internet access or being in remote locations.
Examples of activities to build climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin that could be financed by the MICF, the SCFF or community-based credit and saving associations include: cold storage facilities to reduce post-harvest loss from fish catches under increasing temperatures; kilns used for the production of energy-efficient briquettes; beekeeping equipment, including processing machinery to derive multiple products from hives; mushroom-growing kits; and water-saving irrigation systems such as drip irrigation or micro-sprayers. These activities will not be considered in isolation, but rather analysed in relation to the value chains within which they are situated. The project will provide technical advisory services to assist the above funds and associations in ensuring that appropriate investments are made across entire value chains to prevent breaks in these chains having detrimental effects on businesses and operations situated elsewhere in the chains.
An important component of the training of MSMEs, artisans, farmers, and fisherfolk within the project will be to highlight how the long-term benefits from enhanced access to finance, the implementation of new technologies and improved efficiency of their operations will only accrue if there is sustainable management of their natural resources under climate change conditions. Through this training the project will ensure that the private sector in the basin understands that that natural resources underpin their businesses and livelihoods and that these natural resources are currently under threat from over-harvesting and climate change impacts. In so doing, the project will facilitate a shift in societal mindset so that private and public sector organisations and local communities work together to harvest the natural resources in the basin sustainably and seek to build the climate resilience of the various ecosystems present in the basin. This collaborative work will be undertaken in Output 1.1 and 2.1 through the development and implementation of participatory EbA plans with integrated management frameworks.
Output 3.2. Partnerships established between communities, extension services, CBOs, farmers, buyers and private sector enterprises, including through the development of a market information hub and introduction of technologies that will increase access to, and strengthen, high-value markets.
Building on Output 3.1, networks will be created to further encourage collaboration between and within all links in agricultural and fishery value chains. These networks will be developed in a gender-sensitive manner and will comprise partnerships that connect inter alia private sector entities, public institutions, small-scale producers and extension services, thereby enhancing interaction between currently siloed business operations within the Lake Chilwa basin. Partnerships will be fostered particularly through the establishment of information hubs, which facilitate knowledge transfer and provide networking opportunities. The hubs will promote the uptake of improved technologies, the accessing of support services (under Output 3.1) and other activities to enhance the investment potential of MSMEs and small-scale producers in the target area. This will in part be achieved by raising awareness on the potential economic and social development gains from increasing access of climate-resilient enterprises and alternative livelihoods to high value markets.
Output 3.3. Knowledge management hub established to enable documentation and dissemination of best practices generated under the project.
Under this output, knowledge-management and -sharing will be enabled through the collection and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned elucidated under the proposed GEF project. This will take the form of, inter alia, a knowledge-management hub that will gather, record and archive the successes and areas for improvement with regards to project interventions. As a result, communities within and between districts will be able to share information on enhancing the climate-resilience of alternative livelihoods, as well as advice on how to improve both the financial viability and environmental sustainability of their business ventures. In addition, an annual event will be hosted by the hub, bringing together local and national stakeholders. These stakeholders will include private sector entities, NGOs, CBOs, government departments, smallholders and MSMEs — as well as universities, and research and higher education institutions to spearhead knowledge generation. Knowledge management activities under this output will directly complement those implemented under the GEF-funded project entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project.
Complementarity will be ensured by using existing climate information services, developed under the previous project, to inform knowledge management and dissemination specifically for enhanced climate resilience of livelihoods. This will for example align with improved fisheries management through knowledge generation about climate risks and vulnerability in the fisheries sector at district level, under the previous GEF fisheries project. To provide a transformative approach, however, the proposed project will ensure the knowledge hub connects all value chain actors, using relevant technologies to establish and strengthen these linkages, as well as enabling communities to access high value markets. Finally, a further novel feature of the proposed project will be the development and integration of an IT-supported PC/smartphone application to drive the use of the hub.
 UNDP. 2014. Malawi Government launches National Climate Change Investment Plan.
 Republic of Malawi. 2017. Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience: Malawi.
 Reduced wastage improves efficiency, which reduces the need for expanding agriculture to meet demand.
 The previous project is entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project. Available at: https://www.thegef.org/sites/default/files/project_documents/d4c0fcd6-4bec-e911-a83a-000d3a375590_PIF_0.pdf
 As a traditional challenge fund, the MICF does not currently provide technical assistance to companies, but this may be redressed through a subsidiary contract with a technical assistance provider that will be identified during the PPG phase.
 FAO. 2019. Micro-finance for small scale fisheries. Available: http://www.ruralfinanceandinvestment.org/sites/default/files/Micro-finance%20for%20small-scale%20fisheries.pdf
 UNDP. 2015. Report on the review of the second national decentralisation strategy. Available at: https://info.undp.org/docs/pdc/Documents/MWI/Final%20NDP%20II%20Review%20Report%20-25%20July%202015.pdf
 Please refer to Section 6: Coordination.
Component 1: Enhancing cross-sectoral technical capacity for climate change adaptation in Malawi.
Component 2: Implementation of EbA and sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods
Component 3: Enhancing market linkages for private sector investment in adaptation options and climate-resilient enterprises
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.
Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro)
The Drin River Basin (DRB) is a transboundary river basin, which is home to 1.6 million people and extends across, Kosovo*, the Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece. Climate change and climate variability have been increasing the frequency, intensity and impact of flooding in the basin. Historical flood data from the Western Balkans suggests a more frequent occurrence of flood events, attributed to an uneven distribution of precipitation and torrential rain, particularly over the last decade. More and larger areas - and more people - are being affected by flooding with a strong impact on national economies. Future climate scenarios project a further increase in the likelihood of floods as well as in their destructive nature. Increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, increased water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, increased intensity of snow melt, sea level rise, and damage to water quality and ecosystems are forecasted. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water such as agriculture, energy and hydropower, navigation, health, tourism – as does the environment.
The objective of the "Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro)" project is to assist the riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the DRB to climate-induced floods. The countries will benefit from a basin-wide transboundary flood risk management (FRM) framework based on: improved climate risk knowledge and information; improved transboundary cooperation arrangements and policy framework for FRM and; concrete FRM interventions.
* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)
Climate change impacts
Climate change is already having an impact and is likely to intensify in the future. According to the national communications to UNFCCC from Albania, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as to the report ‘The state of water in Kosovo’, climate change will have serious negative impacts in the Drin river basin including increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, increased water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, increased intensity of snow melt, sea level rise, and damage to water quality and ecosystems. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water such as agriculture, energy and hydropower, navigation, health, tourism –as does the environment.
The DRB countries are increasingly exposed to the impact of climate change. They are experiencing increased periods of extreme heat in the summer months and increased rainfall during the cooler seasons. According to long-term projections, the average annual temperature will increase by 2° C to 3° C by 2050 and precipitation will decrease in the summer, resulting in longer dry periods followed by more sudden heavy rainfalls. This combination increases the likelihood of floods as well as their destructive nature.
Historical flood data from the Western Balkans suggests a more frequent occurrence of flood events, characterized by more extreme and more rapid increase in water levels, attributed to an uneven distribution of precipitation and torrential rain, particularly over the last decade. More and larger areas and, therefore, a greater population numbers are being affected by flooding with a strong impact on national economies.
In Albania, climate change projections indicate the intensification of heavy precipitation and an increase in the frequency of heavy rains with longer duration, causing flooding and economic damages. There is already evidence of increasing frequency of high intensity rainfall, which is increasing pluvial or flash flooding which inundates the floodplain in a matter of hours. In winter, longer duration rainfall causes flooding which lasts for several weeks during the winter period while long-duration spring rainfall combines with snowmelt to cause flooding. Flood risk is a combination of river flooding and coastal flooding due to sea water inundation (storm surges), both of which are increasing with climate change.
According to available climate change projections for Montenegro, there will be a sharp increase in variability of river flow, characterized by increased frequency and intensity of flooding and hydrological drought. In addition, coastal flooding and storm surges will also significantly increase. During this period the area of low air pressure develops in the coastal region of Montenegro and has a wide impact causing maximum precipitation in the southern areas. In the karst areas, during spring, there are periodic floods due to longer periods of precipitation, melting snow and high groundwater levels. Such floods have impacted the Cetinje plain several times and have caused severe damage to the buildings there.
The First and Second National Communications on Climate Change for FYR Macedonia outlined a number of scenarios related to water resources. The findings included a projection of a 15% reduction in rainfall by 2050, with a drastic decrease in runoff in all river basins. Although the long-term projection is for increased temperatures and a decrease in sums of precipitation, the past period studied shows significant climate variability with increased precipitation. The proportion of winter precipitation received as rain instead of snow is increasing. Such shifts in the form and timing of precipitation and runoff are of concern to flood risk.
The AF-financed project will build resilience of communities and livelihoods in the Drin Basin to climate-induced floods by catalyzing a shift to a holistic basin-wide climate-responsive flood risk management and adaptation approaches based on enhanced climate information, risk knowledge, and community structural and non-structural adaptationmeasures.
The proposed integrated approach to climate resilient flood risk management will encompass: a increased technical, human and financial capacities of relevant institutions within each Riparian country, with responsibility for flood risk monitoring, forecasting and management to enable implementation of climate resilient Integrated Flood Risk Management (IFRM). This would include strengthening of the a. hydrometric monitoring network, risk mapping, flood hazard and risk modelling capacity; b.an enhanced policy and risk financing framework for flood risk management based on enhanced understanding of climate risks; c.climate-proof and cost-effective investment into flood protection through enhanced capacities to design and implement structural and non-structural flood risk management measures, and to provide effective flood risk reduction measures to the population; d. enhanced awareness, response and adaptation capacity of the population; engaging private sector into climate information management and risk reduction investment.
The objective of the project is to assist the riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the DRB to climate-induced floods. The countries will benefit from a basin-wide transboundary flood risk management (FRM) framework based on: improved climate risk knowledge and information; improved transboundary cooperation arrangements and policy framework for FRM and; concrete FRM interventions. 100.As a result, the Adaptation Fund project will improve the resilience of 1.6 million people living in the DRB (direct and indirect beneficiaries). 101.The project will contribute to the strengthening of the current flood forecasting and early warning system by increasing the density of the hydrometric network, and by digitizing historical data for stations not currently in the existing forecasting model. The project will develop and implement transboundary integrated FRM strategies providing the national authorities with robust and innovative solutions for FRM, DRR and climate adaptation, including ecosystem-based gender sensitive participatory approaches. In addition, the project will develop the underlying capacity of national and regional institutions to ensure sustainability and to scale up the results. It will support stakeholders by providing guidance, sharing climate information, knowledge and best practices. The project will also invest in the priority structural and community-based non-structural measures. Importantly, the project is aligned with and will support the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EUFD) in DRB countries.102.The AF project will build upon experience of Regional UNDP/GEF Drin project (see baseline initiatives section above) and otherprojects25,26in the region and will include the following innovations:1) introduction of international best practice in flood hazard and risk assessment, modelling and mapping in line with EUFD; 2) innovative mix of structural and non-structural interventions based on climate risk-informed design; 3) agro-forestry measures and community-based flood resilience schemes. The socio-economic benefits include reduced damages and losses and improved food production (through protection of agricultural land). This will have direct and indirect livelihood protection and potential income generation benefits. Climate risk informed planning of the hydropower sector is important to enhance hydropower operations to include transboundary climate-induced flood risk management, thus ensuring the continued sustainable development of the hydropower sector which will help continue the shift to clean energy in the region. Climate risk information will also safeguard critical infrastructure assets such as transportation (roads and bridges) which are critical to the economic development and functioning of communities. Environmental benefits include improved ecosystem functions through better spatial planning and non-structural measures such as agro-forestry, which will provide water retention functions, regulation of hydrological flows (buffer runoff, soil infiltration, groundwater recharge, maintenance of base flows), natural hazard mitigation (e.g. flood prevention, peak flow reduction, soil erosion and landslide control), increased riverbed stabilization resulting in decreased erosion, habitat preservation, and reforestation. This project will directly benefit the most vulnerable parts of the population and will have significant gender co-benefits which will be ensured through close collaboration with a gender expert dedicated to ensuring that gender considerations are a key part of any consultation or activity planning process. Flooding and disasters in general, impact women disproportionately and the project will ensure that these differential impacts are taken account in all project interventions.
Component 1: Hazard and Risk Knowledge Management Tools
Component 2: Transboundary institutional, legislative and policy framework for FRM (Flood Risk Management)
Component 3: Community-based climate change adaptation and FRM interventions
Climate change adaptation in the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is among the most vulnerable countries on the African continent. Small-holder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists in the Ethiopian lowland ecosystem are particularly and increasingly vulnerable to climate change. Climate change has resulted in food insecurity and dependence on food aid, and limited awareness of its long-term risks hinders efforts to promote climate-smart solutions to build resilience and adaptive capacity.
Due to lack of weather information for the short, medium and long-term and limited knowledge of adaptation measures, land users follow unsustainable livelihood practices. As it currently stands, generating, interpreting, packaging and disseminating credible and timely weather and climate forecasts is challenging and faced with capacity limitations. Lack of access to timely and credible weather and climate forecasts has left land users with no option except to rely on traditional methods of weather prediction, which has proved ineffective in the context of a changing climate.
The "Climate change adaptation in the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia" project will strengthen the ability of land users to adapt to the discernible impacts of climate change by disseminating credible weather information and advisory services using locally suitable communication channels to inform the preparation and implementation of actions meant for building resilience and adaptive capacity at a watershed level; reaching a wider audience of land users and government stakeholders across the lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia through a Training-of-Trainers (TOT) approach; conducting a “learning by doing” training to promote clarity and commitment of land users; and by providing needs responsive support to diversify livelihood options in a way that leads to tangible and replicable changes.
The full and effective implementation of this project will deliver the following benefits to vulnerable communities in twelve Woredas (districts) across the six regions: i) increased understanding of key adaptation issues, including community-based adaptation techniques as a basis for incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices through a practical learning-by-doing approach; ii) enhanced capability to respond to ongoing and emerging threats through the development of climate adaptive action plans by utilizing early warning, downscaled weather information and climate change knowledge products and iii) enhanced capacity of land users to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options at the same time as rehabilitating degraded watersheds.
The project will promote climate change adaptation and sustainable economic growth among communities in Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems. In so doing, the project will target close to 60,000 (52% women and 48% men) beneficiaries in twelve Woredas across six regions.
Ethiopia has the second largest population of 102 million (2016) in Africa, making it the second most populous nation in the continent, after Nigeria. Ethiopia’s economy has grown rapidly primarily as a result of increased agricultural production. The agricultural sector in Ethiopia – which accounts for more than 80% of total employment and 45% of the country’s GDP is dominated by smallholder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists, (here referred to as “Land users”) that rely on rainfall and traditional farming practices. Current practices of cultivating crops and overgrazing of livestock contribute towards large-scale land degradation. Deforestation is taking place at a rate of about 140,000 hectares per year in Ethiopia.
At the national level, temperatures have increased by an average of around 1°C since the 1960s. Rainfall is subject to high variability between years, seasons and regions. Yearly variation around mean rainfall level is 25% and can increase to 50% in some regions. Extreme climate events are also common, particularly droughts and floods. Floods and droughts have resulted in severe losses of crops and livestock, leading to food insecurity. The economic impact depends on the extent of the variability and extreme events but droughts alone can reduce total GDP by 1% to 4%.
The rain in the lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia has often started later than expected over the last decade and has been mostly inadequate and unreliable. In many places water scarcity has increased. The unavailability of water imposes higher demands on women’s and girls’ time which would have otherwise been spent on other productive and human development activities. According to the views of land users, in 2018 alone, women and girls walked an average of 6kms a day to collect water. This is significant considering that the twelve woredas being targeted by this project consist of an estimated population of 600,000 people (or 120,000 households) and, according to the records of the concerned woreda administration offices, women represent about 49% of this population.
The land users rely on rain-fed agriculture and their crop production system has been buffeted by acute shocks related to climate. This has made it more difficult for them to grow crops or raise animals in the same way they have been doing. They stated that rain has been erratic, and when it comes it is too much and destroys their crops. They are now questioning the suitability of agriculture as an occupation in view of changing climatic conditions. The lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia is also home to significant livestock population which is characterized by low productivity, poor nutrition, low veterinary care and uncontrolled overgrazing. The grazing land has lower quality of pasture due to intensive grazing. The quality of the grazing land is progressively declining due to shorter rainy seasons, frequent droughts and overgrazing, causing cattle to graze before grasses have produced seeds, creating more shortages in subsequent seasons.
Changes in temperature coupled with frequency of extreme weather events have been damaging crops and reducing yields. Heat stress has entailed disease outbreaks, reduced milk production and resulted in extra expenditure or loss of income. In particular, prolonged dry seasons and droughts have become more frequent and severe. These risks are made worse by an upsurge in pests and diseases, especially the increasing threat of Fall Armyworm. Changes in pest and disease patterns have also threatened crop production and animal husbandry. The ranges and distribution of pests and diseases are likely to increase; causing new problems for crops and animals previously unexposed to these pests and diseases. These challenges are further aggravated by climate change and the absence of resilient alternative sustainable income generating activities.
Land users in the Ethiopian lowland ecosystems view climate change as a threat that has resulted in food insecurity and dependence on food aid. However, they also express having limited awareness of the long-term risks that climate change poses, and do not know how to respond to these risks and / or of the options available to adapt to them. Indeed, due to lack of reliable information as well as limited knowledge of, and access to a wide range of adaptation options they are forced to follow unsustainable livelihood systems as they use short term coping mechanisms. Generating, interpreting, packaging and disseminating credible and timely weather and climate forecasts is a challenge in Ethiopia. Lack of access to timely and credible weather and climate forecasts has left land users with no option except to rely on traditional methods of weather forecasting, which has proved ineffective given the context of a changing climate. Discussion with land users and government stakeholders revealed that the challenge of meeting poverty reduction and food security goals has been mainly associated with incapability to plan better so as to minimize climate related losses and damages.
The land users in the target project areas are resource-poor and their low income means they are unable to make investment and take on risk. In particular, the pastoralists in the Somali and Afar regions have seen their daily livelihood challenges being the constant need to cope with challenges like livestock feed, food, water shortages and migration from internal displacement among others. Moreover, because the main resources in the lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia are controlled by men, women rarely participate in decision-making and their contributions in building resilience and adaptive capacity are seldom recognized. In addition, the decrease in food in times of drought has affected human health especially among children under five years, pregnant women and old people, and reduced human disease resistance and productivity.
The focus group discussion (FGD) held during the PPG phase on impacts of and vulnerability to climate change with lowland farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists revealed that land users are taking actions to cope with climate change and related hazards. However, their current coping strategies such as charcoal and firewood selling are not effective in serving their long-term adaptation needs. These coping strategies are based on short-term considerations, and survival needs, leading to mal-adaptation.
Due to the limited support tailored to the needs of land users to maintain their livelihoods while adjusting to climate change, land users across the Ethiopian lowland ecosystems are at risk due to climate-change threats. They face several barriers to effectively managing these risks.
THE BARRIERS IN BUILDING RESILIENCE AND ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
The following three sets of overarching barriers stand in the way of advancing towards the project objective of building sustainable and climate-resilient economic growth among vulnerable communities, targeting lowland areas in Ethiopia. The full and effective implementation of this project will deliver the following benefits to vulnerable communities in twelve Woredas across the six regions: i) increased understanding of key adaptation issues, including community-based adaptation techniques as a basis for incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices through a practical learning-by-doing approach; ii) enhanced capability to respond to ongoing and emerging threats through the development of climate adaptive action plans by utilizing early warning, downscaled weather information and climate change knowledge products and iii) enhanced capacity of land users to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options at the same time as rehabilitating degraded watersheds.
Lowland communities lack knowledge on risks of climate change; and the benefits of climate smart solutions and adaptation practices.
The causes and implications of current and future climate change are not well understood within lowland communities. Therefore, the land users in these communities are not ready to adopt climate resilient farming and animal husbandry practices because their knowledge of the risk of climate change as well as how to minimize risks and take advantage of these opportunities are limited. The current coping strategies of land users are not also effective in serving their long-term adaptation needs. On the other hand, there are a number of interventions that can make farming and animal husbandry practices in the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia climate resilient and more productive. Yet, designing actions based on appropriate and participatory interventions that can steer course away from climate sensitive activities remain a challenge.
Although climate change is recognised as a matter of national importance within Ethiopia’s CRGE strategy, the Agriculture Sector Climate Resilient Strategy and the NAPA, the technical and scientific understanding of climate change and adaptation and its practical application is not well developed within government institutions. Gaps in the technical capacity can be attributed to insufficient training of staff employed in relevant departments within the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission as well as development agents and extension officers at Woreda-level. As a result, they lack the capacity to offer needed advisories and effective extension support to the land users that would enable them to adopt more resilient and productive practices. Consequently, the land users have limited awareness of the risks that climate change poses and are not familiar with climate smart solutions to build their resilience and adaptive capacity.
At present, there are few initiatives – either through the GoE or elsewhere – to conduct training activities supporting the implementation of the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE). In particular, there are few training programmes on land management practices for climate change adaptation that are appropriate for Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems. In addition, there are limited opportunities available for training on how to mainstream activities that are congruent with the CRGE strategy into decision-making and agricultural planning either at the federal or at the regional and woreda levels.
Government stakeholders and land users in the lowland communities require better understanding of community-based adaptation processes as a basis for incorporating climate smart solutions through a practical learning-by-doing approach in order to overcome the barrier. The proposed project activities under outcome 1: Technical capacity for implementing diversified climate change adaptation practices strengthened will address this barrier.
Barrier #2: Limited access to climate forecasts, decision-making tools and climate advisory services for Lowland communities
Effective adaptation requires farmers to have access to up-to-date, downscaled climate information, and the appropriate tools and advisory services at their disposal. Ethiopia’s Lowland communities do not have access to these, and are not connected to the climate information, products and advisory services. Technological and capability constraints have hindered the provision of weather and climate forecasts, including guidance and value-added advisory services to land users. In addition, information on how to adopt alternative and innovative farming, pastoral and agro-pastoral practices based on these climate forecasts is not available. This is a result of insufficient availability of climate forecast information, particularly at the local level and inadequate capacity of agricultural extension officers to guide farmers and other land users based on climate forecasts. Consequently, lowland farmers, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists can only undertake limited proactive measures in response to climate change.
At the level of overarching policies, plans and strategies, Ethiopia has made some progress in mainstreaming climate change considerations into national and regional frameworks. This has provided a good basis for the implementation of national adaptation priorities through existing LDCF projects. There is need to find more operational ways of influencing policies and actions on the ground. This requires expanding the capability to gather climate data and to share downscaled weather information and climate change information products with practical applications that combine climate predictions with advisory support services for vulnerable land users. However, the capacity at the national level to generate downscaled climate data and use it at local level is not yet well developed. Often, climate data is provided in complex scientific formats and at high resolutions. The generation of the data is also not informed by the needs of users on the ground.
Moreover, having the tools and undertaking climate information analyses is not in itself enough without the ability to use it to inform decisions at the farm level. Currently, there exists no climate advisory services tailored to the needs of Lowland communities. Practical application requires concerned government stakeholders and land users to have the capacity to use these information and analysis to respond to ongoing and emerging threats in the project area.
Overall, there is no alignment among the components of the climate information products and services value chain, from the collection, analysis and packaging of such information to meet the needs of communities, to the application of this information at local level to support adaptation decisions and actions. Along the chain, there are huge capacity constraints and disconnects in government institutions to provide the information, tools and advisory services synergistically.
The proposed project activities under outcome 2: Climate adaptive management adopted by local communities through accessible climate information and decision-making tools will address this barrier.
Barrier #3: Inability of land users to invest in climate smart technologies and solutions required to diversify and sustain their livelihoods in the face of climate change.
The land users in the project area are resource-poor and unable to invest in the available climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions for the diversification of their livelihood system. In the project area, there is potential for constructing reservoirs, ponds and boreholes that help address the prevailing water scarcity. Indeed, the land users in the project area have underutilized this potential and few of them rely on flowing streams/rivers and shallow wells with limited capacity to supply domestic water needed during the drought period. There are also opportunities for local communities to diversify their livelihood options thereby building their adaptive base and assets, but are not able to do so due to a number of reasons. They lack technical knowhow to tap into these opportunities, while the advisory services available to them from support institutions is largely lacking in these areas. These services also focus on traditional agro-based livelihoods which themselves are climate-sensitive. Opportunities in activities such as bee keeping, fish farming, processing and marketing of natural products are not fully tapped by lowland land users to diversify their livelihoods and incomes while building adaptive assets.
These opportunities also remain untapped as they are out of reach for the land users who are not able to access funding and technical knowhow. They are therefore not able to construct, own and operate integrated water storage facilities and reservoirs, including accompanying irrigation and solar pump support structures to enable the creation, improvement and sustenance of diversified livelihood options. Some of the investments especially in the construction of water storage facilities and reservoirs, including accompanying irrigation and solar pump support structures require a high up-front capital investment.
This has also become more difficult in the absence of appropriate financial capital especially for poor land users with limited access to the financial services (Ethiopia is one of the most under-banked countries in sub-Saharan level, with a bank branch to population ratio of 1:43912 in 2013/14). Small land users are also perceived as risky borrowers by the formal financial services sector, which is compounded by their lack of collateral, while the costs of finance from the informal financial services sector makes this source unaffordable to them.
The proposed project activities under outcome 3: Climate change adaptation practices adopted in communities in lowland ecosystems will address this barrier.
Although no single initiative can address all the barriers mentioned above, the LDCF-financed project will deliver complimentary outcomes to contribute towards overcoming these barriers. The theory of change (ToC) (Annex K below) underpinning the design of this LDCF-financed project includes the barriers discussed above and activities that contribute to the preferred solution discussed in section III through the delivery of the outcomes 1, 2 and 3.
The objective of the LDCF project is to promote climate change adaptation and sustainable economic growth among communities in Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems; which are selected using predefined criteria set by EFCCC through a bottom-up process. In so doing, the project will target close to 60,000 (52% women and 48% men) beneficiaries in twelve Woredas across six regions.
The proposed project will develop and implement a capacity building support programme to strengthen the ability of land users through i) reaching a wider audience of land users and government stakeholders across the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia using a TOT approach; ii) disseminating credible weather information and advisory services using a locally suitable communication channels to inform the preparation and implementation of actions designed for building resilience and adaptive capacity at a watershed level, iii) conducting a “learning by doing” training to promote clarity and commitment of land users and iv) providing needs responsive support to diversify livelihood options in a way that leads to tangible and replicable changes.
Accordingly, at the local-level, this project will deliver the following benefits to vulnerable communities in twelve Woredas across the six regions: i) increased understanding of key adaptation issues, including community-based adaptation techniques as a basis for prioritizing and incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices through a practical learning-by-doing approach; ii) enhanced capability to respond to ongoing and emerging threats through the development of climate adaptive action plans by utilizing early warning, downscaled weather information and climate change knowledge products and iii) enhanced capacity to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options at the same time as rehabilitating degraded watersheds in the project regions.
This LDCF project will also support the GoE in reaching its development targets such as those specified under the GTP II, the CRGE Strategy and the SDGs. The project will contribute to Ethiopia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) through inter alia: i) Key Adaptation Need 24 – Promotion of on-farm and homestead forestry and agro-forestry practices in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid parts of Ethiopia; ii) Key Adaptation Need 29 – Strengthening/enhancing drought and flood early warning systems in Ethiopia; and iii) Key Adaptation Need 32 – Enhancing the use of water for agricultural purposes on small farms in arid and semi-arid parts of Ethiopia.
In addition, the project will contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: i) SDG 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; ii) SDG 12 – Achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; iii) SDG 13 –Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; and iv) SDG 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
RELEVANT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL REGIONAL RELATED INITIATIVES
Ethiopia has undertaken several efforts to strengthen technical, financial and institutional capacities for enabling climate change adaptation. There are already a number of existing national policy initiatives, sectoral policies, programs and strategies that may directly or indirectly address climate change adaptation. The most relevant public documents that have relevance for climate change adaptation include Ethiopia’s National Economic Development Plan (The Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), Ethiopia’s Programme of Adaptation to Climate Change (EPACC), the Green Economy Strategy (GE), the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Ethiopia, the recently prepared National Adaptation Plan (NAP), the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia, the Agriculture and Rural Development Policy and Strategy, the Water resources Management Policy, the Health Sector Development Policy and Program, the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, the National Policy on Biodiversity Conservation and Research, the Science and Technology Policy, the Population Policy and National Agricultural Research Policy and Strategy. In Ethiopia, various international initiatives continue to strive for sustainable development.
In spite of these efforts, there is disparity between objectives and what has been implemented due to the technical capacity limitations of government stakeholders and land users to translate these public documents into on-the-ground action to the fullest.
In view of the recent development with adaptation project implementation in Ethiopia, the project will coordinate with the following relevant projects including; The Green Climate Fund (GCF) financed project-‘’Responding to the increasing risk of drought’’; the Adaptation Fund (AF) financed project- ‘’Building gender responsive resilience of the most vulnerable communities’’ and the USAID Financed FAO Project on Fall Army Worm with the Ministry of Agriculture.
All references available in project ProDoc.
Outcome 1: Technical capacity for planning diversified climate change adaptation practices strengthened (Co-financing for Component 1, Outcome 1: $2,099,702; LDCF grant requested for Outcome 1: $450,000)
This outcome will deliver strengthened capacity of farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists on planning, monitoring and evaluating diverse climate change adaptation approaches. To this effect, the project would develop targeted training modules to be eventually made available online by appropriate partner institution. The modules would be put online for wider use across the country. These modules would be based on agreed areas of interventions that help strengthen adaptive capacity of the pastoralist, farmer and agro-pastoralist communities. Key considerations would be given to community-based adaptation training that leads to the development of climate resilient action plans across the watershed. The training modules would also include community forecasting, monitoring and early detection of such risks as the Fall Armyworm infestation. Using the developed training modules (as listed below), sets of capacity building seminars and training workshops would be delivered to government officials and woreda development agents respectively.
Subsequently, specific learning by doing community adaptation and participatory trainings would be devolved to the local communities to help strengthen their adaptive capabilities.: More specifically, the training modules will include issues identified for training needs as detailed below. These trained communities from the twelve woredas will in turn develop their own respective water security focused climate adaptive action plans through incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices, as well as early response measures including community-based monitoring, forecasting and early warning initiatives using the guidelines developed by FAO and being implemented by the MoANR. In addition to the Fall Armyworm response plan, targeted community based adaptive response will be developed to include the flash flood risks adaptive response and grievance and response mechanism to address Farmers Pastoralist Conflicts at the community level. The early warning and response measure will depend on the need of each of the twelve project sites.
Furthermore, the results of project interventions implemented under outcomes 2 and 3 will be monitored and the results thereof would be used as an input for the development of best practice guidelines to promote the up-scaling of climate‑resilient farming, agro‑pastoralism and pastoralism in Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems. Best practices from the training and demonstrations would be documented across the twelve woredas. These experiences would be shared across the regions through effective television and radio documentaries, local language-based posters and other awareness materials.
During the PPG phase, the following training needs were identified to address specific needs of institutions and communities at regional and woreda/community‑levels:
- Training on climate smart technology and good practices for community adaptation (Regional Institution level training: support Output 1.1)
- Training on developing climate adaptive community-based action plan (Regional Institution level training; support Output 1.2)
- Responding to climate emergency at community level: early detection and monitoring training on Fall Armyworm, Pastoralist/farmers conflict and Emergency flood (Woreda and Community level training; support Output 1.3)
- Training session on adaptive soil and water conservation techniques, including rehabilitation, improvement and maintenance of a productive and healthy watershed (Woreda and Community level training; support Output 1.2, 3.3)
- Training on climate and weather information for planning and agricultural advisory support for the agro-metrology task force established and hosted by the MoANR (Regional Institution Level training; support Output 2.1)
- Training on climate smart technologies for adaptive capacities and diversified livelihoods, including provision of enhances the knowledge base and capability of land users, including women and youths, on the establishment of community-based enterprises like water storage and rainwater harvesting techniques, livestock fattening and agroforestry, poultry production, etc. (Woreda/Community Level training; support Output 3.2)
The outputs under Outcome 1 include:
- Training modules and platform for enhancing the knowledge and capability of government officials, DAs and local-communities in twelve woredas on the formulation and implementation of adaptation measures are established and sustained.
- Strengthened capacity of development agents (DAs) and government officials to support the implementation of climate change adaptation practices at the woreda and regional levels.
- Community action plans for adaptive crop production and animal husbandry developed using a participatory approach in twelve Woredas.
- Project benefits and climate change adaptation practices are documented and disseminated to local community members in twelve woredas through learning, using innovative and locally adapted means.
The strengthened technical capacity for planning climate change adaptation practices through the provision of targeted training under outcome 1 informs and contributes to Outcome 2 by enhancing the understanding of farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists as well as other stakeholders to generate the inputs required for the formulation and adoption of climate adaptive management plan. The capabilities built under outcome 1 for the provision of inputs to Outcome 2 will be achieved including through enhancing capacity of stakeholders on how to i) define the geographical boundaries of the project area; 2) identify and document climate-related challenges faced by stakeholders; 3) gather credible climate related data; 4) identify climate risks and prioritize climate-related challenges that are likely to affect the social, environmental and/or economic status of local communities and their watershed by considering drivers of future trends and how these issues are currently being addressed as well as 5) on how to plan, monitor and evaluate diverse climate change adaptation approaches.
Outcome 2: Climate adaptive management adopted by local communities through accessible climate information and decision-making tools. (Co-financing for Component 1, Outcome 2: $2,193,632; LDCF grant requested for Outcome 2: $681,782)
This outcome will deliver the adoption of climate adaptive management practices by local communities using climate information and appropriate decision-making tools. To this effect, functional Automatic weather stations (AWS) – that will complement and be connected to the on-going effort to extend Ethiopia’s climate observatory network will be installed. Protocols will be developed for climate data collection and analysis as well as on the provision of support regarding climate data storage and management for future reference and decision making in collaboration with the National Meteorology Agency (NMA). Climate monitoring technologies such as rain gauges and handheld climate forecast devices will be distributed to the woredas in the intervention sites. In addition, training on the use of these climate monitoring technologies will be provided to woreda-level officers and DAs. The data collected from the AWS and the household monitoring devices will be used to compile short‑term and seasonal climate forecasts meant for land users.
In order to down-scale the data, the project will work with the Agro-meteorology Task Force established and hosted by the MoANR. This task force currently meets every other week to manually compile agro-meteorology data. Partnership with the MoANR Agro-meteorology Task Force will be formed with the aim of enhancing efficiency and clarity on the implications of weather information and on the practical application of climate science and traditional weather forecast practices. This multi-stakeholders Task force team will ensure that weather and climate forecast services are made easily accessible. The project will also provide capacity building support to the Task Force. The project will facilitate the linkage of activities under this outcome with the Agro-meteorology Task Force Initiative and support the updating of the Task force decision tools to digitized tools. These tools will allow the effective use of climate forecasts provided by the AWS and the downscale of the weather and advisory information to farmers, pastoralist and agro-pastoralist in the project area. Once implemented, the decision-making tools will be tested for a two-year period. The results of this testing period will be combined with lessons learned from the project “CCA Growth: Implementing Climate Resilient and Green Economy plans in highland areas in Ethiopia” to inform national up-scaling of decision-making tools for agro-pastoralists, pastoralists and farmers.
Local weather forecasts will be made available to the land users through mobile phones in each woreda. This would complement the Task Force on Agro-meteorology on-going collaboration with Wageningen University, Netherlands and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) of Ethiopia. By providing end-users with information in a tailored, useable format, this outcome is building on the GEF financed LDCF project that is being implemented in the highland ecosystem of Ethiopia. This outcome will also build on the lessons learned through the LDCF-funded project “Strengthening climate information and early warning systems in Africa for climate resilient development and adaptation to climate change – Ethiopia” and solicit international expertise to develop climate forecast and decision-making tools.
The outputs under Outcome 2 include:
- Nine Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) installed and linked to the national meteorological network and protocols for use and maintenance established in each woreda.
- Appropriate weather and climate monitoring and forecast technologies acquired by representatives of the beneficiary communities and maintained through a functional and durable partnership.
- Climate-risk assessment and decision-making tools developed and used in collaboration with local communities in twelve woredas.
- Climate-risk assessment and decision-making tools are pilot tested and periodically improved using the results thereof in each of the twelve woredas.
- Proactive climate adaptive management plan prepared anchored on functional water storage infrastructure to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities in the twelve Woredas.
The formulation and adoption of climate adaptive management plan using an up-to-date, downscaled climate information, and the necessary tools and advisory services under Outcome 2 explicitly links the information gathered under outcome 1 for the formulation and adoption of proactive climate adaptive management that would also describe who will be doing what and when to deal with the prioritized climate challenge risks under Outcome 1. Outcome 2 in turn provides inputs that will be implemented by local communities in lowland ecosystem through investment in climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions as specified under Outcome 3.
Woreda level plans, climate risk assessments and data from AWS integrated with the Met department will inform the interventions under component 3 and the proposed special innovation direct investment.The uptake and use of data and information by local communities gives the AWS infrastructure its ultimate value, and is the purpose for having this infrastructure under the project. This has value both within the project areas as well as within the broader national network. In this regard, the project will facilitate the uptake and use of information and data by local communities through the Agro-Met Task Force Mobile Data provision to farmers and communities at large. It will also strategically support the relevant government institutions, including National Meteorological Agency and Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate community access and use of this information in decision making. This will not only be supported through this project, but through other projects as well thereby ensuring that the installed AWS serve the needs of farmers.
Component 2: Adaptation practices adopted at scale in lowland ecosystem
Outcome 3: Climate change adaptation practices implemented by communities in lowland ecosystems. (Co-financing for Component 2, Outcome 3: $5,956,666 ; LDCF grant requested Component 2, Outcome3: $4,426,383)
This outcome will strengthen land users capacity for the implementation of climate change adaptation practices for building resilience and diversification of their livelihoods options. This component of the project will thus support land users to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options through rehabilitating degraded watersheds in a way that would lead to tangible and replicable changes. This will be achieved through the provision of needs-based technical support for soil and water conservation activities (soil bund, afforestation, check dam, hill-side terracing, etc.) and construction, operation and utilization of water storage structures for the diversification of livelihood options. As a result of this, land users will be able to do supplementary irrigation and engage in creating alternative climate resilient income generating opportunities. Water storage locations would be identified through the development of climate adaptive community-based action plans from Outputs 1.3. The climate adaptive plan will be developed for each woreda in the 6 regions through a participatory consultation process with the aim of securing, in advance, the commitment of the local community to contribute labor during construction, operation and maintenance; as well as to conserve the entire catchment area for long time durability and functionality of the water storage structure.
Local communities in the woredas targeted under this component will benefit from the implementation of a number of on‑the‑ground activities including; increased adaptive capacity through implementation of adaptive farming, agro-pastoral and pastoral practices; improvement of land productivity through such agro-ecological interventions as the bunds, alley cropping and terracing techniques and enhanced availability of fodder crops for livestock feed through planting of drought-resistant and high yield and early maturing varieties. Furthermore, to enhance access to resources in order to scale innovation for climate adaptation in the lowland ecosystem, the project would assist land users to organize into groups to learn from each other and replicate resilient practices.
A range of livelihood improvement activities will be implemented based on the community action plans developed under Component 2, and will vary from community to community. Examples of activities that will be considered include growing, processing and marketing of fruits and vegetables, installation of technologies for water and energy provision such as solar powered water pumps and biogas to reduce deforestation for community groups, planting fast growing trees for firewood and construction, energy-efficient fuel-wood stoves for clean cooking solutions, growing area closure (fencing) plants using fruits trees, growing animal forage plants, poultry and animal fattening. The project will train beneficiaries, and especially empower women to engage in value chain business opportunities such as processing and marketing of milk and milk products. Location-specific alternative livelihood support activities such as tree nurseries, bee keeping, fish farming at natural and artificial lakes, edible mushroom cultivation, compost preparation or sustainable use of incense and gum to reduce deforestation and forest degradation would be supported in the intervention sites. To support the offtake and sustainability of these options, the project will support beneficiaries to initiate business enterprises, and will link them to financing schemes.
Following the initial assessments done during the PPG phase, the project will conduct in-depth, focused capacity needs assessments with the aim of strengthening the capacity of beneficiaries for the delivery of sustainable and scalable businesses. The in-depth assessments, based on the selected livelihood activities for each community, will strengthen community buy-in and increase the levels of uptake and sustainability of the adaptive practices and technologies. As well as providing entry points for the establishment of community-based enterprises and involvement of the private sector in running the business enterprises. The assessments will include: i) analysis of market opportunities; ii) identification and implementation of selected income-generating activities; and iii) appropriate support to local communities on value-addition activities, including agro-processing and marketing skills; iv) sustainable financing options. In addition, the development of community business enterprises (CBEs) will be supported to: i) increase local communities’ access to markets; ii) increase market efficiencies; and iii) promote the development of local private sector agents such as agricultural service providers.
The project will also support training of extension agents to follow-up on the implementation of the adaptation and livelihoods activities and review progress in each Woreda with the aim to i) review successes and failures from the LDCF and to suggest up scaling activities; and ii) develop training material and provide training workshops on developing bankable business plans It will also develop a long-term M&E strategy for each Woreda that will be followed up by the extension agents and other development facilitators at Woreda level.
The outputs under Outcome 3 include:
- Sites identified, through community planning processes, as critically degraded are rehabilitated in the twelve woredas anchored on functional water storage infrastructure designed, constructed and utilized to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities in the twelve Woredas.
- Alternative livelihood opportunities created, expanded and made more responsive to climate change through the implementation of community-led climate adaptive initiatives in the twelve woredas.
- Farm/pasture land rehabilitated through physical and biological soil and water conservation measures in degraded areas in each woreda for and by the vulnerable lowland farmer, pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities.
- Community-based enterprises established and operationalized in each woreda to develop and strengthen climate resilient local business.
- Woreda-level M&E and follow-up strategy developed and adopted by woreda development facilitators and extension agents.
The implementation of adaptation plans outlined under Outcome 2 by local communities in lowland ecosystem ensures that land users in the project area enhance their investment in climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions in order to diversify their livelihood system while mitigating risks and driving actual improvements in performance (Outcome 3). Project performance will be tracked periodically in order to learn from the outcomes and inform future climate change adaptation plans and actions within and outside the geographical boundaries of the Project area. Undertaking frequent evaluation in this way helps to generate and document knowledge and obtain good practice results that would be disseminated to strengthen capacity for the implementation of diversified climate change adaptation practices.
Outcomes 1 and 2 are intended to provide the basis for implementing climate adaptive solutions and practices (Outcome 3) through climate-informed planning at the local level as well as the use of climate information. For each community, the strategies and practices selected under Outcome 3 will be based on the skills and information from planning processes (Outcome 1) that take into account climate change considerations, as well as the capacity to generate provide and use climate information (Outcome 2) to come up with solutions that address climate risks and vulnerabilities. This will generate knowledge that will be applied in the long term. The implementation of Outcome 3 will follow a participatory process that involves communities as well as local level planning and development institutions in the application of climate-informed planning tools and locally relevant climate data. This structure and approach of the project is a deliberate strategy to ensure that planning capacity and the use of climate information are the basis for climate change interventions, and that there is capacity in the local planning structures to facilitate this process. A provision has been made for special innovation direct investment in community infrastructure and alternative livelihoods creation for Woredas with capacity to include additional site making maximum of 3 sites per woreda.
 At Kebele level, “development agents” are responsible for technical advisory services to farmers. At a Woreda-level, “extension officers” oversee the activities of and provide guidance to development agents. The term “extension agents” is used to refer to both levels throughout this document, as their roles often overlap.
 The partnership between MoANR and Wageningen University to develop downscaled weather and Agricultural advisory support to farmers and pastoralist would be explored further and supported by the project to achieve the objective set out in this component.
'Investing in the Lowlands of Ethiopia', UNDP Ethiopia, 2 September 2021
Outcome 1: Technical capacity for planning diversified climate change adaptation practices strengthened
Outcome 2: Climate adaptive management adopted by local communities through accessible climate information and decision-making tools
Outcome 3: Climate change adaptation practices implemented by communities in lowland ecosystems
Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa
Brochures, Posters, Communications Products
In Samoa, Vaisigano River Wall protects local residents during flooding event on December 18 2020
The Vaisigano River Wall, built under the GEF-funded Economy Wide Adaptation to Climate Change (EWACC) Project and continued with GCF funding, has proven to be a lifesaver for hundreds of residents in the area. This was especially highlighted during the recent floods that inundated most of the surrounding areas.
Vaisigano Catchment Project - Upstream from Leone village to Lelata village | December 2019
Baseline drone footage going upstream from Leone bridge to Lelata bridge. Associated with project 'Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa'.
Vaisigano Catchment Project (GCF-VCP) - Short film | August 2020
Managing floods and enhancing climate resilience in Samoa
As a small island developing state in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasing severe tropical storms.
GCF resources will be used to implement a combination of integrated watershed and flood management works including both hard and soft measures. This includes upgrading river works to cater to increased water flows during flood events (taking into account the likelihood of the increased frequency of extreme events), ensuring that infrastructure works, and home dwellings, government and private-sector buildings are made more secure and provide adequate shelter in case of floods and their aftermaths. Additionally, the project will ensure that when floodwaters occur, the excess waters are channeled away through an effective, efficient, and fit-for-purpose drainage system. The project will consequently play a critical role in assisting the urban population and economy to effectively manage the inevitable increased intensity and frequency of flooding.
Direct benefits from these interventions include reduced risk of damage to public and private infrastructure/assets; reduced possibility of loss of life; and enhanced land value in flood-prone areas. Indirect benefits include reduced losses in income/sales; reduced costs of clean-ups, maintenance and repairs; reduced costs of relief and response efforts; and reduced possibility of health hazards. In addition to these 26,000 direct beneficiaries, the general population of Samoa will benefit from the safeguarding of critical economic assets and learning that will be generated.
In addition, mid and upstream ecosystem and community-based adaptation measures will enhance capture, infiltration, storage and delayed release of rainwater in soils and biomass, and water retention ponds will serve both climate-smart agribusiness development and combat degradation of vulnerable ecosystems through appropriate agro-forestry land-use practices.
Addressing Climate Change in Samoa
Recent extreme events have resulted in approximately US$200 million worth of damages during each event. Climate projections for Samoa suggest that the risk of climate induced events will increase, potentially undermining development progress in urban Apia where the majority of the population and economic activity is located.
Given the topography of the country, extreme events result in significant river discharge that results in flooding of lowland areas. Recent tropical events such as Cyclone Evan have caused significant damage to both public and private assets as a result of flooding, resulting in serious health impacts. Urban infrastructure has suffered considerably from the recurrence of flooding and is unable to cope as climate change-related events are expected to become more frequent and intense.
Projected climate change scenarios cited by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) suggest that Samoa is expected to have more frequent and extreme rainfall events; more frequent and longer drought events; increased air and water temperatures; sea level rise; and more frequent extreme wind events.
The project represents the Government of Samoa’s initial steps in operationalizing a comprehensive flood management solution for the likely consequences of extreme events in Apia, the capital with about 80,000 people. In this project, three interlinked project outputs will be pursued:
- Capacities and information base strengthened for the Government of Samoa to pursue an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks;
- Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water; and
- Upgraded drainage in downstream areas to increase capacity and allow for more rapid outflow of flood waters.
'Launching of the Flood Alert Sirens (a first of its kind in Samoa) within the vicinity of the Vaisigano River Catchment Area', Government of Samoa, November 29 2022
'CSSP Market Day for Beneficiaries of the Green Climate Fund-Vaisigano Catchment Project (GCF-VCP) Ecosystem based Enterprise Development Programme (EbAEDP)', Government of Samoa, September 8 2022
'Celebrating the women at the helm of Samoa’s biggest ever climate change and disaster resilient project on International Women’s Day', March 8, 2019.
Monthly Project Newsletter, Issue 1, July 2019.
'Rebuilding the Lelata Bridge to be tougher and higher', Samoa Observer, January 23, 2019.
'GCF Vaisigano River Catchment Site Visit with Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific, Haoliang Xu', UNDP Samoa Facebook, June 2018.
'Samoa kicks off climate adaptation project to benefit 1 in 3 citizens facing flood risk' UNDP, October 25, 2017. In the lead up to COP climate talks in Bonn, the launch of a Green Climate Fund-financed US$65 million project signals strong global support for climate-resilient development in Small Island Developing States.
'Every dollar counts in fight against climate change - New GCF Funding for Samoa' - Samoa Observer, December 16, 2016. Op-ed celebrating Somoa's recently approved US$58 million Green Climate Fund project.
Learn more about the climate challenges facing Samoa, and how UNDP is working to address those challenges and reduce risks.
Samoa GCF-funded project to help address #climate-induced flooding
Flood Management in Samoa
Output 1. Strengthening capacities and mechanisms for integrated approach to reduce flood-related risks in place.
Output 2. Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water.