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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.  

 

 

 

 

 

English
Region/Country: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (100.54687496761 13.768731166253)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
This project will directly benefit 62,000 people in the provinces of Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, and Uttaradit in the northern region of Thailand of the Greater Chao Phraya River Basin, at the confluence of the Yom and Nan Rivers. Approximately 471,561 people in the project districts are also expected to indirectly benefit, with wider benefits for 25,000,000 people living in the Greater Chao Phraya River Basin.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$17,533,500 GCF grant
Co-Financing Total: 
US$16.264 million from the Royal Thai Government through the Royal Irrigation Department | $113,000 Krungsri Bank | Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives $16 million line of credit to help farmers invest in adaptation measures
Project Details: 

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.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

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

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

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.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Charles Yu
Regional Technical Advisor - Climate Change Adaptation
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Programme Meetings and Workshops: 

Inception workshop, 2022 TBC

Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

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

Project Dates: 
2022 to 2027
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
October 2021
Description: 
GCF Board Approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
5923
SDGs: 
SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 10 - Reduce Inequalities
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-88.395996099475 13.433791341118)
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$8.4 million
Project Details: 

National Background

  1. 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[1]. 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[2]. 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[3]. 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[4]. 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.

 

  1. 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[5]. 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[6], 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[7]. 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.

 

  1. 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[8].  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

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. In 2014, the average accumulated rain for July ended as the lowest in the last 44 years[9] 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.

 

  1. 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

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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

  1. 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[10].

 

  1. 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).

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

  1. 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.         

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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).

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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%.

 

  1. 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:
  1. increased soil erosion as a result of reduced vegetation cover;
  2. reduced infiltration of water in degraded watersheds and catchment areas, thereby resulting in reduced recharge of groundwater and an increased incidence of flooding; 

 

  1. 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

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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 

  1. 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.

 

  1. A particular focus was provided to key agroecosystems sites (these account for 60% of the national territory) with the potential land use/cover transitions[11] 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.

 

  1. 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.[12]

 

  1. 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.[13] 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.



[1] 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.

[2] 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....

[3] Sönke Kreft and David Eckstein, “Global Climate Risk Index 2014,” Germanwatch, 2013, 28, http://germanwatch.org/en/download/8551.pdf.

[4] (Cai et al., 2015; Harger, 1995; Neelin et al., 1998; Takahashi et al., 2011; Torrence and Webster, 1999; Wolter and Timlin, 2011)

[5] Ministry of Economy; General Directorate of Statistics and Census –DIGESTyC; El Salvador: 2014; Estimates and Trends of Municipal Population 2005-2025

[6] 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.

[7] 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.

[8] 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.

[9] For example, accumulated rainfall in the southeast area of the country was less than 10 mm, representing a 95% deficit from average rainfall

[10] Almanaque 262. State of human development in the municipalities of El Salvador, 2009.

[11] Defined as the non-linear land use change process associated with societal and biophysical system changes.

[12] 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).

[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.

 

Location: 
Project Status: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

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

 

 

 

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2024
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
June 2021
Description: 
Project Launch
Proj_PIMS_id: 
6238
SDGs: 
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Advancing Climate Resilience of Water Sector in Bhutan (ACREWAS)

Bhutan is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. This landlocked least developed country has a fragile mountainous environment and is highly dependent on agriculture. Hydropower plays a significant role in the country’s economic development, placing increased challenges for the management and use of water. The country also faces increasing threats from climate hazards and extremes events such as flash floods, glacial lake outburst floods, windstorms, forest fires, landslides, and the drying-up of streams and rivulets.

As a result of climate change, summer months are predicted to become wetter and warmer while winter months are expected to be drier. These result in the abundant availability of water in warmer months but decreased accessibility during winter months. Despite being endowed with the highest per capita water availabilities, Bhutan suffers from chronic water shortages, and access to water is a key determinant of people’s vulnerability. Given the mountainous terrain, climate-induced hazards like flashfloods and dry spells during winter, are likely to deteriorate the quality and quantity of water required to meet hygiene and sanitation needs. Inability to meet the demand is likely to further accentuate the impacts of climate change on the local communities.  The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security.

In the face of water scarcity there are opportunities to enable adequate, clean, and assured water supply to the population and increase climate resilience for rural and urban communities. The Royal Government of Bhutan has prepared a water flagship programme to provide assured drinking and irrigation water for the country in the face of climate change.

The proposed “Advancing Climate Resilience of Water Sector in Bhutan (ACREWAS)” project will form a core part of the national plan to provide integrated water supply for four Dzongkhags (districts) in Bhutan that comprise the major parts of the upper catchments of the Punatsangchhu River Basin management unit. The project interventions will increase the climate resilience of rural and urban communities. Considering the spatial interlinkages and dependencies between land use, ecosystem health, and underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change, this approach will ensure that targeted catchment watersheds are managed to protect and restore their capacity to provide sustainable ecosystem services and bring about efficiency, effectiveness and climate resilience within the drinking and irrigation water infrastructure network. The project will support critical catchment protection by adopting climate-resilient watershed management principles. Such practices are anticipated to reduce threats from climate-induced hazards such as floods, landslides and dry spells, while at the same time improving the overall adaptive capacity of project beneficiaries. Additionally, these measures will also ensure that downstream climate-resilient infrastructure development works are managed in tandem with upstream initiatives.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (90.560302667852 27.451739763379)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
34,029 direct beneficiaries, 38,660 ha of land managed for climate resilience
Financing Amount: 
US$8.9 million

Climate Resilient Irrigation Channels

In water-rich Bhutan, some communtiies are suffering chronic water shortages, with severe impacts on agricultural livelihoods. With a government-led project supported by UNDP and the Global Environment Facility, farmers now have ample water to irrigate their fields, and are seeing crop yields increase as a result. The new system - based on pressurized piped irrigation channels - is more efficient and easy to maintain, producing uninterrupted flow, and zero loss of water. 

Co-Financing Total: 
US$25.1 million
Project Details: 

Country profile

Bhutan is a small, landlocked country with an area of 38,394 km2 in the Eastern Himalayas located between China in the north and India in the south, east, and west. The dominant topographic features consist of the high Himalayas in the north with snowcapped peaks and alpine pastures; deep north-south valleys and hills created by fast-flowing rivers forming watersheds with temperate forests in the mid-range; and foothills alluvial plains with broad river valleys and sub-tropical forests in the southern part. With about 50% of the geographical area under slopes greater than 50% and about 52.45% of the land area lying above 2600 meters above mean sea level (RNR Statistics, 2019), Bhutan’s topography is almost entirely mountainous and rugged. The mountainous landscape also makes the delivery of infrastructure and services difficult and expensive. Due to its fragile mountainous ecosystem, the country is highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. The situation is further worsened by the country’s low adaptative capacity, poor economic status constrained by limited financial, technical, and human capacity.

It is one of the least populated countries in mainland Asia with a total population of 727,145 with a growth rate of 1.3% out of which 47.7% and 56.71% of the population under the age of 29 (PHCB, 2017). About70.77 % of the total land area is under forest cover and 51.44% of the total area is designated as protected areas comprising of national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries, a strict nature reserve, biological Corridors, and a botanical park (FRMD 2017). The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (2008) mandates 60% of the country to remain under forest cover for all times to come. Some of the rarest flora and fauna on earth flourish within its high forest cover and pristine environment supported by strong conservation efforts and a good network of Protected Areas. The country’s biodiversity includes 15 vulnerable, 20 endangered, and 13 critically endangered seed plants; 13 vulnerable, 11 endangered, and two critically endangered mammal species; 22 vulnerable, four endangered, and four critically endangered bird species; eight vulnerable and three endangered fish species; 11 vulnerable, five endangered and two critically endangered amphibians, and one vulnerable butterfly (MoAF, 2018).

Agriculture is a very important economic activity for Bhutan. The agriculture sector comprises of farming, livestock, and forestry which continues to be a major player in the country’s economy. With only 2.75% of the total land area used for agriculture, the sector accounted for 15.89% of GDP in 2018 and employs about 48.63% of the total economically active population. With the majority of the population relying on agriculture, the sector is highly vulnerable to climate change. Also, characterized by remoteness and inaccessibility, marketing and large-scale commercialization are significant challenges for Bhutan. About 56% of the economically active population engaged in agriculture are female rendering women more vulnerable to impacts of water shortages in agriculture (RNR Statistics, 2019). Hydropower and tourism are the other key economic drivers.

The proposed project will intervene in four Dzongkhags (districts) that form a major part of Punatsangchhu river basin, one of the five main river basin management units in Bhutan as well as the largest in terms of geographical area and among the most climate-vulnerable watersheds in the country. The project area covering 883,080 Hectares comprising 23  percent of the total land cover of Bhutan, and 22 percent of all water bodies in the country. The project area covers 16,693 hectares or 16 percent of cultivated area in Bhutan (Agriculture Statistics, 2019). The majority of the population within the project Dzongkhags are engaged in agriculture. Overall, the agriculture sector has engaged 47 percent of the total employed population in the project area comprising 67.71 percent of the female population and 34.34 percent of the male population. Other major sectors of employment include construction which engages 13 percent of the population and electricity/gas/water which engages 10.72 percent of the population. These two sectors employ only 2.5 percent of the female population and 19.4 percent and 15.7 percent of the male population respectively. Agriculture, the main sector of employment in the project area is dominated by women. The project areas have a total population of 97,254 comprising 45.5 percent females. The population of the project area constitutes 13.4 percent of the national population (PHCB, 2017). The Dzongkhags in the project areas include Gasa, Punakha, Wangduephodrang and Tsirang.

Gasa Dzongkhag is spread from elevations between 1,500 and 4,500 meters above sea level. The Dzongkhag experiences extremely long and hard winters and short summers. The Dzongkhag has four Gewogs namely Goenkhatoe, Goenkhamae, Laya and Lunana. The people of Laya and Lunana are mostly nomads. Over a hundred glacial lakes in the Dzongkhag feed some of the major river systems in the country, including the Phochhu and the Mochhu rivers which join further downstream to form the Punatsangchhu river basin. The whole Dzongkhag falls under the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park. Dzongkhag is popular for its hot springs and series of other springs which are considered for their medicinal properties (Menchus). The region’s high altitude and extreme climate make it difficult to practice agriculture but livestock is a mainstay, particularly the rearing of yaks.

Punakha Dzongkhag is located south of Gasa and is bordered with Wangduephodrang to the east and south and is part of the Punatsangchhu river basin. The Dzongkhag has eleven gewogs, namely Baarp, Chhubu, Dzomi, Goenshari, Guma, Kabjisa, Lingmukha, Shengana, Talo, Toepisa and Toedwang ranging from 1100 - 2500 m above sea level. Punakha is well known for rice, vegetables and fruits.

Wangdue Phodrang is one of the largest dzongkhags in Bhutan and has fifteen Gewogs which are Athang, Bjena, Daga, Dangchu, Gangtey, Gasetshogom, Gasetshowom, Kazhi, Nahi, Nysho, Phangyuel, Phobjkha, Ruebisa, Sephu, and Thedsho. The Dzongkhag ranges from 800 - 5800 m above sea level and has varied climatic conditions ranging from subtropical forests in the south to cool and snowy regions in the north. The Dzongkhag forms parts of Wangchuck Centennial Park in the north, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park in northwestern pockets, and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in the southeastern end. One of the most notable sites in the district is Phobjikha Valley which is the habitat of the rare and endangered black-necked cranes during winters. The Gewogs of Phangyuel & Ruebisa are included as part of the project area.

Tsirang is noted for its gentle slopes and mild climates suitable  and well-known for agriculture as well as livestock products. It is one of the few dzongkhags without a protected area. The Dzongkhag has twelve gewogs which are Barshong, Dunglagang, Gosarling, Kikhorthang, Mendrelgang, Patshaling, Phuentenchu, Rangthaling, Semjong, Sergithang, Tsholingkhar and Tsirangtoe.

The problem

As a result of climate change, summer months are predicted to become wetter and warmer while winter months are expected to be drier (See para 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17). These result in abundant availability of water in warmer months but decreased accessibility due to flooding and erosions exacerbated by the hostile terrain (See para 18, 19, and 21) and scarce availability and accessibility of water in winter months due to drying of water sources (See para 18). Therefore, despite being endowed with the highest per capita water availabilities, Bhutan suffers from chronic water shortages as follows. Water is a key determinant of people’s vulnerability. Given the terrain climate-induced hazards like flashfloods, dry spells during winter, are likely to deteriorate the quality and quantity of water required to meet hygiene and sanitation needs. Inability to meet the demand is likely to further accentuate the impacts of climate change on the local communities.  The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security. Frequent handwashing is widely recommended by WHO to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reliable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities are essential to containing the spread of the virus.  The stocktaking for National Adaptation Plan (NAP) formulation process in Bhutan carried out in 2020 clearly recommends instituting indicators, among others, such as number of people permanently displaced from homes as a result of  floods, dry spell or other climate events, number of surface water areas/ springs subject to declining water quality/quantity due to extreme temperatures. In an agrarian and predominantly rural nature of the Bhutanese communities, inadequate access to water can further accentuate the vulnerability  to climate change. Climate-smart and resilient agriculture is particularly  dependent on adequate water. The project, by instituting and ensuring climate-resilient practices in the whole supply chain of water (sourcing, supply, maintenance, governance, and ownership), will address the current problems caused as results of climate change.

Drinking water shortages and Degrading water quality: A 2014 inventory of rural households carried out by the health ministry found that 17% of rural households (13,732) across the country faced drinking water problems and 18% of regular households (29,340) in Bhutan reported that the source of drinking water is unreliable[1]. According to the National Environment Commission’s 2018 Water Security Index, more than 77.5% of households in the urban areas of Thimphu have resorted to portable water supply as the taps are running dry. Most of the urban areas have access to only intermittent water supply. The duration of supply generally ranges from 4 to 12 hours daily. More than 46% of the urban population have 8 to 12 hours and 11% have less than 8 hours of water supply. According to the National Water Flagship Program, 58 rural communities comprising 751 households in the country have no water source, and 49 villages comprising 1,051 households have inadequate water source. These households depend on water harvested during rainy days. Dried up sources have also been reported in 29 communities, comprising 527 households where the Rural Water Supply Schemes have been implemented. Drying up of water sources is attributed to the extended period of the drier winter season with high evaporative demand. The Water Act of Bhutan, 2011 and as well as the Bhutan Water Policy, 2003 consider water for drinking and sanitation for human survival as the first order of priority in water allocation.

Water contamination is considered to occur at water sources due to seepage from agriculture and household effluents as well as due to lack of standard water treatment and quality assurance leading to poor water quality levels across the country, particularly in urban areas. As agriculture expands upstream, farm runoff could become a consideration for water quality downstream.

About 50% of the geographical area of Bhutan is under slopes greater than 50% (RNR Statistics, 2019). The predominant mountainous and rugged topographic features render the country highly vulnerable to climate change-induced disasters, mainly in the form of landslides, erosions, and siltation which also seriously impact on water availability and quality. Climate change, through erratic rainfall and flooding in steep slopes, exacerbates water quality as running streams and rivulets tend to become muddy affecting drinking water quality. A rapid assessment of rural drinking water quality in 2012 indicates that 17% of the stream water sources and 28% of the spring water sources are safe for consumption (RCDC, 2012). The test is conducted through the assessment of microbiological parameters. Domestic sewage and improper disposal of waste oil and other vehicle effluents from workshops located close to rivers are also a serious environmental concern, especially in places like Thimphu and Phuentsholing. While the use of pesticides and herbicides is also a potential source of water pollution, RGOB has a dedicated program on organic agriculture which is expected to address this in the long run while also improving agro-ecosystems. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security. Frequent handwash is widely recommended by WHO to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reliable WASH facilities are essential to containing the spread of the virus.

Irrigation water shortages: Of the 900 schemes surveyed at the national level, only 372 schemes have an abundance of water, 272 schemes got adequate irrigation water. About 27% of the total schemes suffer from either “inadequate” or “acute shortage” of irrigation water[2]. Assessment has shown that water shortages for agriculture, and hence even for drinking, is likely to become critical, as historical data clearly demonstrate that the evaporative demand of the atmosphere has been significantly increasing, decreasing the amount of rainfall available for growing crops during both in the months of December to February (DJF) and March to April (MAM). The assessment also shows that it will likely no longer be feasible to plant rice, a staple crop, without supplemental irrigation during DJF. The findings reinforce and validate the reported water shortages noted by farmers during the dry season. These climatic changes during the dry season are expected to continue and are consistent with climate change projections, reinforcing that it will become increasingly difficult for farmers to grow crops without suitable adaptation measures.

According to RNR Statistics (2019), of the 976 irrigation schemes across the nation, 88% are functional, 2% are semi-functional and 10% are non-functional. This is largely attributed to damage to the infrastructure due to landslides and flooding due to extreme weather events. A study in Punakha, Wangdue, Tzirang, Paro, Sarpang, and Samtse carried out from March-May in 2019 indicated that the most important consequence of climate change impacts on crop production was the drying of irrigation water sources[3]. The farming communities reported on experiencing significant frequency and severity of extreme weather events in the form of untimely rain and drought. The farmers in the study districts felt that the irrigation sources were affected the most as a consequence of climate change impacts. The study also documents data over last over the last 20 years (1996–2017) in the study area which shows a decreasing rainfall and an increase in temperature.

The COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic has affected Bhutan like any other country. The science-based response measures and early recognition of its impact have managed to contain without major health impact on the Bhutanese. However, the economic repercussion continues to be severe. For a country, that relies heavily on the importation of essential goods such as food items and fuels, prices have risen by manifolds. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously constrained food imports. (Imported food accounts for 16.0 percent of total imported value amounting to Nu. 66.92 billion in the year 2017[4]). It disrupted  supply chains due to higher transport costs caused by the reduced volume of imports and establishment of additional safety protocols through supply chains. COVID-19 has also triggered reverse urban-rural migration, where urban dwellers have started to move to rural homesteads to pursue agriculture resulting in further pressure on irrigation water needs in rural agriculture areas. The pandemic reinforces the need for access to adequate and clean water for health as well as food and nutrition security. Frequent handwash is widely recommended by WHO to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reliable, WASH facilities are essential to containing the spread of the virus. Further, the challenge posed by the pandemic has underscored the need to build a resilient domestic and local agriculture system with a shorter supply chain, efficient water management and irrigation system, etc to adapt to the impending crisis of climate change.

The proposed alternative

In the face of water scarcity there are opportunities to enable adequate, clean, and assured water supply to the population and increase climate resilience of rural and urban communities. The RGOB has prepared a water flagship program to provide assured drinking and irrigation water for the country in the face of changing climate. This proposed intervention will form a core part of the national plan to provide integrated water supply for four Dzongkhags. The project interventions will enable adequate, clean, and assured water supply to the population of four Dzongkhags of Gasa, Punakha, Wangduephodrang (two gewogs of Phangyuel and Rupisa), and Tsirang. These four Dzongkhags from major parts of the upper catchments of Punatsangchhu river basin management unit. The project interventions will increase the climate resilience of rural and urban communities in these Dzongkhags. Considering the spatial interlinkages and dependencies between land use, ecosystem health, and underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change, this approach will ensure that targeted catchment watersheds are managed to protect and restore their capacity to provide sustainable ecosystem services and bring about efficiency and effectiveness and climate resilience of infrastructure network for drinking and irrigation water supplies. The Project will support critical catchment protection by adopting climate-resilient watershed management principles. Such practices are anticipated to reduce threats from climate-induced hazards such as floods, landslides, and dry spells and overall improvement of the adaptive capacity of the project beneficiaries. Additionally, these measures will also mean the downstream climate-resilient infrastructure development works are in tandem with upstream catchment protection.


[1] Population and Housing Census of Bhutan (PHCB), 2017

[2] Report on the National Irrigation Database and Canal Alignment Mapping, 2013,  DoA, MoAF.

[3] Ngawang Chhogyel,  Lalit Kumar and Yadunath Bajgai; Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan, Sustainability, 25 May 2020 (

[4] Imported food control in Bhutan, National Situational Report, FAO, 2019


 

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Outcome 1: Strengthened water governance, institutions, and financing mechanism in support of climate-resilient water management.

In order to address the issues related to institutional and governance structure on water resource management, services and its associated barriers, the project will aim to strengthen climate resilient water governance and coordination systems including the establishment of an agency for water utilities and one that will pursue integrated water sector development, management and provision of water related utility services. Based on an Institutional and analysis including feasibility assessment of the proposed national agency during PPG phase, the establishment of such an agency will be proposed with clear mandates, organizational structure and clarified linkages with the NECS, competent authorities and local governments.

Further, the component will also support institutional arrangements to enable establishment of River Basin Management Committees (RBMCs), Dzongkhag Water Management Committees (DWMCs) and Water User Associations (WUAs).

Through this, the project will support clarifying on policies, regulations & planning processes as well as on financing of operations of RBMCs and DWMCs as it relates to water sector planning, development and management, promoting community participation, monitoring and reporting and resolving cross-sectoral issues to fully embed climate risk considerations. The project support will include review of the Water Act of 2011 to incorporate the changes in the mandate and institutional setup within the water sector that will enable climate risk management policies and functions across mandated institutions. It will support integration of Key Results Areas (KRAs) for water security and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on national Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRMP) in the national and local planning guidelines with appropriate responsibility and accountability frameworks so that NIWRMP and RBMPs can be mainstreamed into sectoral and local development plans. Through this, the project will support enabling appropriate institutions and clarify on policies, regulations & planning processes as well as on financing of operations of RBMCs and DWMCs as it relates to water sector development and management, promoting community participation, monitoring and reporting and resolving cross-sectoral and cross- administrative boundary issues.

The lack of capacity for climate-smart operation and maintenance of water supply systems, water conservation/efficiency technologies, and adoption of IWRM approaches have been bottlenecks in building resilience in the water sector. To overcome the barriers related to limited capacity on climate-resilient water/watershed management this component will support effective capacity for climate-resilient water and watershed management as well as for taking forward the concept of IWRM at various levels including institutional & community level capacity.

The project will also test and demonstrate financing instruments or models engaging private sector through PPP and PES to embed sustainability dimensions in watershed and water infrastructure management. To promote water conservation as an adaptation mechanism and reduce overconsumption and water, a water pricing policy will be supported.

The main deliverables under this outcome will include:

Support to the Government’s priority to establish an autonomous national government agency for water to provide access to adequate, safe, affordable and sustainable water for drinking, sanitation, waste water and irrigation services considering climate change impacts on hydrological systems. The agency will operate and function on a corporate mode and will sustain its operations on service fee/tariff on water utilities and services in the long term on Government budgetary support in the short term. The project support in this will include the design of the organizational setup and capacity building to ensure that the new agency has  organizational profile and human resources competency to consider climate change impacts on hydrological systems. Clear mandates, organizational structure and clarified linkages with the NECS, competent authorities and local governments for planning, development, coordination and management of water utilities and services. The water agency will be a corporate entity owned by the government, sustaining on government grant initially and on service fee/tariff on water utilities and services in the longer term. The Government contribution in this will include establishment of the agency and provide operational mandate, resources, and legitimacy.

Entities that represent the stakeholders to be engaged actively in the development of watershed management plans through RBCs, DWMCs and WUAs.

Adequate and gender-balanced human capacity and skills available for climate-resilient water resources and water management at central, local, community levels including the private sector.

A revised water act, water policy and regulations supported and policy environment for sustainable and climate-resilient water management

While climate change clearly impacts the supply-side affecting availability of water resources. Human demands for water also interact with climate change to exacerbate the pressures on the water supply. In order to rationalize water use and reduce the demand-side pressures on water, the project will promote water thrifting as an adaptation mechanism through a water pricing policy. The policy will consider better access to water, improved quality of water, reduce over consumption and reflect the actual cost of production including ecological costs. It will also consider appropriate pricing for rural households and lower-income households in urban areas.

Conducive environment for corporate and private sector engagement, enterprise development, and public-private partnerships demonstrated. Private sector participation in drinking water and irrigation management initiated in at least 4 water infrastructure operations and maintenance. Green Bhutan Corporation Limited (GBCL) engaged in plantation and agroforestry activities with support from the project establishing a modality for  GBCL to collaborate with the Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC). Post project, the DGPC will support plantation activities of GBCL for watershed restorations.

Beneficiaries/users of ecosystem services pay to the provider of services contributing to sustainable watershed management and sustenance of ecosystem services. The project results will include establishment of PES schemes contributing to sustainable watershed management in water catchment areas.

Outcome 2: Vulnerable natural water catchments in the target river basin (Punatsangchu River Basin) restored, sustainably managed, protected and their ecosystem conditions improved.

This outcome will support participatory assessment, identification & declaration of critical water sheds/catchment areas/spring recharge areas. The project will support soil & water conservation interventions, bio-corridors/setbacks and wetlands/spring augmentation activities for water catchment /spring recharge areas including soil/moisture retaining agro-practices and climate-resilient crops in settlements near catchments. These interventions will aim to restore and improve ecosystem conditions of vulnerable natural water catchments.

Further, implementation of afforestation, reforestation and agroforestry interventions will improve forest and/or ground cover and enhance water infiltration in catchments. Overall, this component will address the problem related to drying up upstream water sources and reduced/erratic downstream water availability by improving the catchment watershed conditions and enabling sustainable and resilient watersheds yielding stable spring/stream flows.

 The main deliverables under this outcome will include:

Improved water security as and biodiversity/ecosystems safeguards with additional co-benefits in carbon sequestration and storage, improved soil fertility, biodiversity conservation, and improved community livelihoods. Catchment watersheds restored with vegetation to enhance infiltration, reduce run-off and peak flows, and stabilize slopes, soil fertility improved over 37,530 hectares of forest land/watersheds

Improved ecosystem conditions of 42 watershed areas as well as 147 spring sources to improve water availability and quality at source.

Local sites for nature-based solutions identified and at least 12 start-up enterprises on based solutions promoted to incentivize and enhance watershed conservation such as fodder development, catch and release fishing, water sports, tourism, hot stone bath, etc. These enterprises can operate as per the framework developed through the GEF ecotourism project and provide concessions for these nature-based enterprises (private sector) to participate in watershed management activities.

Outcome 3: Enhanced adaptive capacity of water infrastructure to climate-induced water shortages and quality deterioration through climate-proofing, private sector engagement, and technology deployment.

This outcome will address barriers related to inefficient and inadequate surface water storage and distribution, breakage and leakage of water pipelines and tank overflows, illegal tapping of waterlines and breakdown of pumps and blackout of electricity during summer, lack of standard water treatment and quality assurance in drinking water supply systems and water contamination are major issues leading to irrigation and drinking water shortages as well as poor water quality. The component will focus on establishment and demonstration of adequate climate-smart and efficient water infrastructure. The water tapping, storage, and distribution system under this component will integrate multi-purpose water storage and distribution to the extent possible. In order to improve monitoring of infrastructure failures for both volume and quality of water supplies, the project will support on boarding of new/improved technologies to be deployed so that vulnerability of the infrastructure to failures due to climate-induced hazards or through man-made disturbances on the system are detected and solutions provided in a timely manner. The project support under this component will include supporting startups to install and manage efficient technologies in the operation and management of the infrastructure. The collaboration with the DRIVE center of the InnoTech Department of the Druk Holding & Investments Ltd (DHI[1]) will be leveraged to promote private start-up enterprises with IT-based solutions for water management (See box below). Overall, the outcome through this output will enable efficient, adequate, and sustainable supply and distribution of water.

Flooding and erosion due to hostile terrain exacerbated by climate change in the form of landslides, erosions and siltation seriously impact on water availability and quality. For drinking water, the project will aim to improve water quality as affected by water pollution through flooding and siltation and enable meetin Bhutan Drinking Water Quality Standard, 2016 and WHO guidelines for drinking water quality.

 The main deliverables under this outcome will include:

Community resilience improved covering 2,567 households with access to adequate irrigation water and be able to bring about additional area of 559.9 Hectares of agriculture land under sustainable agriculture production.

Source of water supply would have extended beyond surface water to include ground water and rainwater enhancing resilience of water sources and human hygiene and sanitation improved covering 7,435 households with access to 24x7 drinking water of quality that meet Bhutan Drinking Water Quality Standard, 2016 and WHO guidelines for drinking water quality.

Outcome 4: Strengthened awareness and knowledge sharing mechanism established.

The limitations in public awareness on the impacts of climate change on water resources, communities and on overall on climate-resilient water/watershed management practices are a concern. To overcome the barriers related to limited awareness programs and lack of data on climate-resilient water/watershed management practices, the project support under this component will include documentation and sharing of knowledge and practices as well as effective capacity for climate-resilient water and watershed management. A Communication strategy developed and implemented on water conservation and sustainable management developed and implemented which will lead to publication of a State of the Basin Report (SOBR) for the Punatsangchu River Basin. This component will enable meeting the requirements of the National Environment Protection Act and the Water Act of Bhutan to regularly publish information on the environment, including periodic state of the environment reports and to provide access to water and watershed-related information. The publication of a State of the Basin report (SOBR) for the five river basins at the national level. The SOBR will include;

Overall situation of river basin in terms of its ecological health and the social and economic circumstances including water security index and impact of climate change on water sector in Bhutan

Highlight of key issues faced in establishment and functioning of  the agency for water utilities  at national level, River Basin Management Committees (RBMCs), Dzongkhag Water Management Committees (DWMCs) and Water User Associations (WUAs)

Establish gaps and needs for the development of relevant River Basin Management plans and its effective implementing.


[1] DHI is the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan established to hold and manage the existing and future investments of the Royal Government for the long-term benefit of the people of Bhutan. DHI, the largest and only government-owned holding company in Bhutan. Its InnoTech Department is responsible for strategizing technology and innovation pathways to enhance access and diffusion of the technologies across DHI. To address the national socio-economic challenges, the department is also undertaking applied and fundamental research and development in the field of science and technology to create ventures and start-ups, build national intellectual property and establish a platform for innovation, creativity and jobs for the next generation. The Department’s division called DHI Research and Innovation Venture Excellence Center (DRIVE), has  developed a prototype on IT based solution for water management. The PIF process has consulted with the management of the InnoTech Department based on which it has been agreed to test, validate and upscale the technology in the proposed project. Youth based enterprises can be engaged to on-board of this technology into the project area so that these youth-based enterprises can be engaged as private entities to handle the monitoring and providing advisory on maintenance of the infrastructure.


 

 

Contacts: 
UNDP
Jose Padilla
Regional Technical Advisor
UNDP Bhutan
Mr. Chimi Rinzin
Portfolio Manager
UNDP Bhutan
Mrs. Sonam Rabgye
Programme Analyst
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Outcome 1: Strengthened water governance, institutions, and financing mechanism in support of climate-resilient water management.

Outcome 2: Vulnerable natural water catchments in the target river basin (Punatsangchu River Basin) restored, sustainably managed, protected and their ecosystem conditions improved.

Outcome 3: Enhanced adaptive capacity of water infrastructure to climate-induced water shortages and quality deterioration through climate-proofing, private sector engagement, and technology deployment.

Outcome 4: Strengthened awareness and knowledge sharing mechanism established.

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2026
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
June 2021
Description: 
Project Approval
SDGs: 
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13 - Climate Action

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. 

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (35.512023861135 -15.315446057148)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
40,000 direct beneficiaries, 1.5 million indirect beneficiaries
Financing Amount: 
US$4.4 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$21.4 million
Project Details: 

Country overview

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[1]. 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 [2]. 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[3], 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[4]. 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)[5].

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[6],[7]. 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[8]; ii) increasing levels of malnutrition[9],[10]; 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)[11] and high annual ranking on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI)[12]. 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[13], 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)[14]. 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[15]. 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[16]. When the lake’s levels decrease, fish stocks can take several years to recover, which disrupts fishing communities' livelihoods for extended periods[17]. 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[18]. 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[19]. 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[20].

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[21]. 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[22] — 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[23].

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[24]). 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[25]. 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[26]. 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[27]. 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[28]. 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[29]. These warming water temperatures combined with the abovementioned fluctuating water levels already present in lake Chilwa, will exacerbate threats to the lake’s productivity[30]. 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[31]. 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[32].

Root causes

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.




[1] 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.

[2] Ibid.

[3] UNFCCC. 2006. Malawi NAPA. Available at: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/napa/mwi01.pdf

[4] Jeggle, T. and Boggero, M., 2018. Post-disaster needs assessment: Lessons from a decade of experience. World Bank.

[5] Ibid.

[6]Government of Malawi (2019) Malawi 2019 Floods Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report. Available at: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Malawi%202019%20Floods%20Post%20Disaster%20Needs%20Assessment%20Report.pdf

[7]Government of Malawi (2018) Natonal Resilience Strategy 2018–2030. Available at: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1860/Malawi_National_Resilience_Strategy.pdf

[8] 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.

[10] 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.

[14] Njaya, F et al. (2011) ‘The natural history and fisheries ecology of Lake Chilwa, southern Malawi’. Journal of Great Lakes Research 37 (2011) pg. 15–25. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2010.09.008. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/251590706_The_natural_history_and_fisheries_ecology_of_Lake_Chilwa_southern_Malawi

[15] Kafumbata, D., Jamu, D. and Chiotha, S., 2014. Riparian ecosystem resilience and livelihood strategies under test: lessons from Lake Chilwa in Malawi and other lakes in Africa. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences369(1639), p.20130052.

[16] 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.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Kafumbata, D., Jamu, D. and Chiotha, S., 2014. Riparian ecosystem resilience and livelihood strategies under test: lessons from Lake Chilwa in Malawi and other lakes in Africa. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences369(1639), p.20130052.

[23] Kafumbata, D et al. (2014) ‘Riparian ecosystem resilience and livelihood strategies under test: lessons from Lake Chilwa in Malawi and other lakes in Africa’. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369: 20130052. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0052

[25] 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

[26] 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

[27] Ibid.

[28] Thiery, W., et al. 2015. The Impact of the African Great Lakes on the Regional Climate. J. Climate, 28.

[29] 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

[30] Thiery, W., et al. 2015. The Impact of the African Great Lakes on the Regional Climate. J. Climate, 28.

[32] Ibid.

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

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[1]. 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[2]. 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[3]; 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[4]. 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[5].

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[6]. 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.




[1] UNDP. 2014. Malawi Government launches National Climate Change Investment Plan.

[2] Republic of Malawi. 2017. Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience: Malawi.

[3] Reduced wastage improves efficiency, which reduces the need for expanding agriculture to meet demand.

[4] 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

[5] 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.

[7] 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

[8] Please refer to Section 6: Coordination.

 

Contacts: 
UNDP
Muyeye Chambwera
Regional Technical Advisor
Location: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

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

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2026
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
June 2021
Description: 
Project Approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
6608
SDGs: 
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) for resilient natural resources and agro-pastoral communities in the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve and Plateau of Thies in Senegal

The proposed “Ecosystem-based adaptation for resilient natural resources and agro-pastoral communities in the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve and Plateau of Thies” project supports the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of the forests and savanna grassland ecosystems in the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve and Plateau of Thies in Senegal. Ecosystem-based adaptation approaches will sustainably increase the resilience of agropastoral populations in the project areas, by providing climate-resilient green infrastructure that enhances soil water storage, fodder availability and water for livestock; and developing alternative livelihoods which value is derived from the conservation and maintenance of these local forest and savannah ecosystems (e.g. timber and non-timber forest products, native climate-adapted vegetable gardens and eco-tourism).

The project will reach a total of 310,000 direct beneficiaries (half of whom are women), with a focus on land managers, local authorities, local elected officials, agropastoralists, farmers, local entreprenuers and small and medium enterprises, local organizations and NGOs. The project will support the direct restoration of forest and rangelands over 5,000 ha to ensure these natural landscapes and productive areas are made more resilient to the expected increasing adverse impacts of climate change. An additional 245,000 ha of land in the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Nord and the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Sud, and the protected Forest of Thies will be put under improved sustainable management to maintain adaptive ecosystem services in the context of climate change.

In addition, introduced climate-resilient green infrastructure (i.e. well-managed forests, natural earth berms, weirs, basins) will provide physical barriers against climate change-induced increased erosion and extreme weather events, particularly flooding. The Ferlo Biosphere Reserve is located in the area of Senegal where the Great Green Wall (a pan-African initiative to plant a wall of trees from Dakar to Djibouti as a tool to combat desertification) is being implemented. The project is currently in the PIF stage.

 

 

 

 

 

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-14.660888780215 14.42049332649)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
310,000 direct beneficiaries
Financing Amount: 
US$8.9 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$26.4 million
Project Details: 

Impacts of climate change

The Republic of Senegal (hereafter Senegal) is a coastal Least Developed Country (LDC) in West Africa, where agriculture accounts for more than 70% of the workforce. Agropastoral communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to their dependence on natural resources for food and livelihoods. The extreme poverty rate in Senegal is reported at 35.7% (2015 data), and multi-dimensional poverty at 46.7% (2013 data) and is concentrated in the Northern dry desert landscapes used by pastoralists. While its Human Development Index (HDI) value has shown a favourable trend – increasing from 0.367 in 1990 to 0.514 in 2019, Senegal currently still ranks low at 166th among 189 countries.

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, in particular droughts, heavy rains, periods of high or low temperatures has been observed and is predicted to increase due to climate change. A current rise in temperatures by +1°C has been recorded, with forecasts for 2020-2029 of 1 to 1.5°C and 3 to 4.5°C for 2090-2099, which would generate situations of severe thermal stress that could seriously jeopardize plant (increased evapotranspiration) and animal productivity. These climate changes are translated into the increasing occurrence of dry years (in 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2014), further exacerbated by the increased evapotranspiration caused by higher temperature.

In parallel, maladaptive practices are adopted by agropastoral communities and other natural resource users (such as overgrazing and deforestation), in particular as was initiated following the extreme adverse impacts of the Sahelian droughts of the 70s and 80s on traditional livelihoods. These practices tend to exacerbate the impacts of climate change, further damaging the ecosystems they depend on, and having far reaching consequences for other stakeholders in both urban and rural settings. The interrelation of climate and anthropogenic impacts are reflected by the widespread degradation with 64% of degraded arable land, of which 74% results from erosion and the rest from salinization. The annual cost of land degradation in Senegal is estimated at USD $ 996 million, including deterioration in food availability, and reduction of soil fertility, carbon sequestration capacity, wood production, and groundwater recharge. Anecdotally, social conflict between migrant herders and sedentary farmers is occurring as both expand their use areas to compensate for climate impacts that considerably aggravate the main drivers of degradation and loss of productive land.

The climate change-induced increased rainfall variability, translated into more frequent dry years and intense rainfalls, combined with anthropogenic factors (i.e. forest clearing around the city, bush fires and overgrazing, rapidly growing urbanization, extensive mining) are leading to land degradation, loss of biological diversity, reduction of agricultural production areas, loss of ecological breeding sites (many animal species have seen their habitats disrupted) as well as social instability. In turn, these climate and anthropogenic impacts are reducing the adaptive services of critical ecosystems, such as water supply and quality regulation or the moderation of extreme climate events (more details on the project targeted areas are available below).

COVID-19

In addition, COVID-19 severely impacted most vulnerable people and communities, that are already under stress as a result of the climate crisis and global biodiversity losses. Since March 2020, the local governments in Senegal have banned large markets (loumas) selling livestock, cutting off agropastoralists’ key source of income. In addition to the direct impact of COVID-19 on Senegal’s economy in terms of illness and deaths (reportedly 13,655 and 284 as of September 1st, 2020) and government-imposed restrictions, Senegal is also dependent on remittances from abroad and is therefore exposed to worldwide job losses and a global recession. In 2019, Senegal received an estimated US$2.52 billion in remittances, representing 10% of the country’s GDP. These are likely to shrink dramatically in the short term and highlights the vulnerability of the country to future global emergencies. Additionally, land mismanagement, habitat loss, overexploitation of wildlife, and human-induced climate change have created pathways for infectious diseases to transmit from wildlife to humans.

In this context, the Government of Senegal, through the Agence Sénégalaise de la Reforestation et de la Grande Muraille Verte (ASRGM), identified two project sites (the Ferlo Biosphere Reserve (FBR) in the North and Thies in the East of the country) considered a priority in terms of climate vulnerability, environmental degradation and high socio-economic importance, as well as the opportunities to address these vulnerabilities through ecosystem restoration and regeneration. In addition, the implementation of EbA practices in both landscapes (urban and rural) will provide lessons learned and best practices to be replicated at a larger scale and introduced into NAP priorities. Indeed, the FBR is a rural, biodiverse zone, and Thies is in and around a large urban population center. This will enable the project to build a strong knowledge base for future scale-up of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) across both urban and rural landscapes.

The Ferlo Biosphere Reserve (FBR)

The FBR was selected to represent the rural landscape zone in this project, as identified as a priority by the Government of Senegal, due to the climate change vulnerability of its communities, its economically important livestock industry and its high biodiversity and due to its location within the Great Green Wall corridor.

The FBR is located in Northern Senegal and covers an area of 2,058,216 ha, split into three zones of which (i) 242,564 ha is wildlife reserve for conservation and protection of the biodiversity of endemic and threatened species, (ii) 1,156,633 ha is a buffer zone, with ecologically important habitats and (iii) the remainder are transition or cooperation zones, where natural resources can be harvested and used towards sustainable development, following a set of regulations. It is home to 120 herbaceous species in 69 genera in 23 families; 51 woody species in 35 genera in 19 families; 37 animal species and a large bird population. The FBR was officially recognized by UNESCO in 2012, following a decade of work by UNDP, IUCN and other key stakeholders to establish the reserve. The FBR is located in the area of Senegal where the Great Green Wall (a pan-African initiative to plant a wall of trees from Dakar to Djibouti as a tool to combat desertification) is being implemented..  In addition to its very rich biodiversity, the wider Ferlo Basin is of strategic importance in Senegal, producing 42% of the cattle supplying Dakar; within the FBR 90% of the 60,000 inhabitants are involved in pastoralism. The FBR is central to the mobility strategies of pastoralists in their search for fodder resources for their herds. Their pastoral activity is characterized by a large herd, large forage resources and good milk production during the winter. Subsistence farming is the second most important activity, and generally involves rain-fed household agriculture and livestock farming, with little diversification. The harvest of timber and non-timber resources is also important for the local rural economy.

The FBR is already subject to an ongoing process of desertification caused by more frequent climate change-induced rainfall deficient years. Over the period 1960-2018, average annual rainfall was only 411 mm in Linguère and 383 mm in Matam, and while average rainfall has increased since the late 1990s compared to the previous decades, data shows significant variability with more frequent dry years.

Studies have shown fodder availability for livestock (biomass) is directly correlated with rainfall in the Sahel, and data from the 2005-2015 period shows an incremental decline in biomass production in the Ferlo region. Bush fires (and therefore decreased fodder availability) have exacerbated the impact of biomass loss, which predominately occur in Ferlo-South. Furthermore, some herbaceous and woody species with high forage value for livestock are threatened by maladaptive practices including deforestation and competition over land uses that hinders the mobility (and therefore resilience) of herds: between 1965 and 2019 increase in land use were +112% for housing and +47% agriculture. Rainfall variation also has a direct effect on milk production. For example, the volumes of milk collected by Laiterie du Berger (LDB) dropped by 33% in 2014, following another exceptionally rainfall deficient year.

The City of Thies and surrounding area

The City of Thies was selected to represent the urban landscape zone in this project, providing a parallel perspective on EbA next to the rural zone of FBR. It was identified as a priority by the Government of Senegal  due to the climate change vulnerability of its large urban population, in particular to the severe impacts of flooding, the link between exacerbation of the climate impacts and the pastoral activities outside the city, and the opportunity that EbA offers to address observed and forecasted climate impacts.).  

The City of Thies is located in the Region of Thies, in the Western part of the country, approximately 70 km east of Dakar. It is Senegal’s third largest city and oversees seven municipalities (Kayar, Khombole, Pout, Fandene, Mont Rolland, Notto-Diobass and Keur Moussa) with an estimated population of 496,740 inhabitants (in 2020).

Geographically, the city’s dominant feature is the Plateau of Thies, running across its Western edge with an elevation of approximately 130 m. The Plateau of Thies extends beyond the boundaries of the city, and straddles the administrative regions of Thies and Dakar, covering an area of more than 4,000 km². It has an important ecosystem function in terms of water supply, as many rivers and wetlands of importance have their source on the Plateau, including the Somone River, Lake Tanma, the Fandene Valley, the Diobass Valley, and much of the water consumed in and around Dakar comes from the Plateau. Once an extensive green ecosystem, it is now degraded, though still offers many opportunities in agriculture, pasture, forestry and mining activities.

Project overview

The problem this LDCF project seeks to address is the increasing vulnerability of the rural populations in the FBR, and in the area of influence around the City of Thies (hereafter referred to as “Thies”), to the increasing climate variability and the associated risks of annual droughts and floods caused by climate change. More specifically, the FBR population includes rural agropastoralists, whose livelihoods are particularly vulnerable to climate change, due to their dependence on reliable rainfalls for fodder supply and rainfed agriculture. In contrast, the urban population of the City of Thies is heavily impacted by flooding, which disrupts transportation and local commerce. Additionally, the population under the wider area of influence of the City of Thies includes agropastoralists and other natural resources users, which are vulnerable to the changes in rainfall patterns, and whose maladaptive practices may directly impact the flooding in the city. The vulnerabilities of these livelihoods have been significantly exacerbated by the degrading of the ecosystems as a result of climate change and human-induced impacts. In particular, the loss of forest cover to respond to changes in land use have had adverse consequences on the capacity of the ecosystem to provide services such as rainwater supply and quality regulations as well as the moderation of extreme events, critical to address the climate-induced increased occurence of dry years and heavy rainfalls. Urgent adaptive practices, (i.e. forest clearing for agriculture or fuelwood production, use of chemicals, bushfires, overgrazing etc.) adopted by local communities were observed to have further threatened these ecosystems, showcasing a vicious cycle of climate vulnerability.

An underlying root cause of maladaptive practices is poverty (up to 45% of inhabitants in some areas of the FBR[1]) that prevents targeted communities to implement longer-term and more protective responses to climate shocks and changes. In addition, current development interventions from the government and technical and financial partners, often fail to associate the introduced adaptive practices to improved livelihoods and revenues, reinforcing the disconnect between sustainable adaptive practices and livelihood enhancement.

The preferred solution is the adoption of an EbA approach through conservation, sustainable management and restoration of the forests and savanna grassland ecosystems in the FBR and in Thies. EbA will sustainably increase the resilience of agropastoral populations in the project areas, by (i) providing climate-resilient green infrastructure that enhances soil water storage, fodder availability and water for livestock; and (ii) developing alternative livelihoods which value is derived from the conservation and maintenance of these local forest and savannah ecosystems (e.g. timber and non-timber forest products, native climate-adapted vegetable gardens, eco-tourism). In addition, introduced climate-resilient green infrastructure (i.e. well-managed forests, natural earth berms, weirs, basins) will provide physical barriers against climate change-induced increased erosion and extreme weather events, particularly flooding. 

However, the adoption of an EbA strategy in the FBR and Thies has been hindered due to the following barriers:

·  Barrier#1: Data on the economic value of functional ecosystems and natural resources are limited and regional public sector institutions do not have sufficient technical capacity to implement EbA interventions. Empirical knowledge and experience about the environmental and economic benefits of an EbA is not available to support the decision-making at the regional and local level and the funds allocated to the management of these resources in national budgets and the private sector are insufficient to enable large-scale investment in an EbA program;

·      Barrier#2: Past interventions in the project areas adopted a siloed approach that did not link restoration and conservation activities with economic incentives for local populations. While the Government of Senegal, with the support of technical and financial partners, implemented restoration and conservation activities over the last three decades (including managed reforestation, establishing no-go areas etc.), there was a lack of coordination between actors and stakeholders. Restoration and conversion activities were not associated with evident economic value to those depending on the resource area, therefore the activities were not offering clear incentives for their sustainable maintenance. In addition, small producers and other users of natural resources have a limited knowledge of the climate change drivers/threats and the benefits of restoration and conservation;

·        Barrier#3: The communities have limited financial resources which they use to respond to immediate climate threats (floods and droughts) and are unwilling or unable to take financial risks to invest in or adopt alternative resilient practices. Adoption of new EbA strategies are not an investment priority for agropastoralists, small producers and other users of natural resources. They also lack access to financial services such as insurance, which could help address the risk that an extreme climate event can result in the loss of the investment;

·        Barrier#4: Lack of an enabling environment for mobilizing private sector investment in EbA interventions, projects and programs for resilient natural assets. There has been limited investment from international and national private sector in natural resources-based enterprises, as there has not been a systematic analysis of the EbA opportunities and subsequently little promotion by competent national institutions.

The funded LDCF project will complement the existing baseline by promoting long term planning on climate changes and facilitating budgeting and establishment of innovative financing mechanisms to support climate change governance at communes’ levels

The alternative scenario is that the main barriers to adoption of EbA in the FBR and Thies will be addressed, leading to a  shift from unsustainable natural resource management practices and climate-vulnerable livelihoods to a sustainable, green economy based on an EbA approach with sound resource management. This will lead to increased resilience of livelihoods for agropastoralists and reduced flooding in the City of Thies.

This will be achieved by anchoring livelihoods in the maintenance of ecosystem services through restoration and conservation activities in the FBR and Thies. This EbA approach – and the delivery of associated goods and services – responds to the increasing climate variability and associated risks of droughts and floods caused by climate change. EbA is increasingly recognized as a highly cost-effective, low-risk approach to climate change adaptation that builds the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the long term.

To achieve these objectives, the project will support the development and implementation of local EbA strategies in the two project zones through (i) the capacity building and strategy development for the management, governance and development of forests and pastures; (ii) the restoration of arid and semi-arid lands and degraded ecosystems; (iii) the development and market access of economically viable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based on the sound use of natural resources and (iv) dissemination of results, aiming to scale-up the adoption of EbA in Senegal.

*References available in project documents.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Component 1: Developing regional and local governance for climate resilience through EbA

Embedding EbA approaches in the regional and local governance creates an enabling environment that will help secure climate resilient-livelihoods in the FBR and Thies. This requires significant capacity building of key stakeholders to understand the economic value of functional ecosystems and natural resources and strengthening of institutional and regulatory frameworks. While EbA has been recognized as a priority for adaptation interventions in Senegal, limited understanding of the concept and opportunities for local application has resulted in a very restricted adoption of these approaches. At the same time, the accelerating and uncontrolled degradation of critical ecosystems in Thies and the FBR is leading to an exponential loss of the adaptive benefits of these ecosystems. Biodiverse ecosystems provide future adaptive capacity and economic resilience, however the maintenance and restoration of ecosystems has not been embedded in the regional and local strategies designed to adapt to the impacts of climate change (i.e. more intense and less regular rainfalls, increased temperatures or more frequent dry years) which ultimately leads to the increasing climate vulnerability of the communities. Over the recent years, a number of initiatives were developed to introduce climate change concerns into policies and regulatory frameworks and protective measures for critical ecosystems were designed and enforced, but links between improved adaptation and healthy ecosystems failed to be established or systematized in the FBR and Thies.

By introducing EbA concerns into regional and local governance priorities, as informed by the assessments to be conducted under this component, and the lessons learned from outcome 2, the approach under Component 1 will reduce the impacts of climate change-induced heavy rainfalls and dry years exacerbated by land degradation, and as such contribute to the project objective. The activities under this component will also be informed by the results of ongoing interventions such as the Great Green Wall initiative, and lessons learned from the recently closed GEG-LDCF project “Strengthening land & ecosystem management under conditions of climate change in the Niayes and Casamance regions (PRGTE)” as well as the studies supported through the GEF-LDCF ‘Senegal National Action Plan’ project.

An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the FBR and the Plateau of Thies governing bodies  (output 1.1.1) – including stakeholders in Silvipastoral Reserves and Pastoral Units (UPs), forests, Wildlife Reserves and Community Natural Reserves (RNCs) – will be conducted to better understand the barriers to the introduction of climate change adaptation in rural and urban settings, in particular EbA practices, into planning and budgeting. As part of the PPG stage, more in-depth analysis of the gaps, root causes and opportunities will be undertaken to guide the assessment. In addition, existing local committees will be reinvigorated, strengthened and where appropriate re-structured to enable climate-resilient governance and participatory consultation processes for better decision-making (output 1.1.2).

Based on the assessments conducted under output 1.1.1, training sessions will be organized (output 1.1.3), targeting local land-management bodies and key stakeholders (land managers, local authorities, local elected officials, pastoralists, farmers, local organizations and NGOs) in the two project areas, including and in coordination with those involved in the five baseline projects. The training will focus on building an in-depth understanding of the existing and potential climate change adaptive capacity provided by biodiversity and ecosystem services in the project zones, the potential economic value of climate-resilient livelihoods linked to these ecosystem services, as well as the importance of integrating community and cultural buy-in to the development of green infrastructure and alternative livelihoods. 

A multi-stakeholder committee of technical experts will be set up (output 1.1.4) , including experts from various institutions and national and international networks to advise and support local land management organisations in mainstreaming the EbA approach into local adaptation policies and strategies, as well as into the baseline projects. It will also support the development of key indicators for the assessment of climate vulnerabilities at local level and will strengthen local capacities to implement standardized monitoring protocols. Support for observation and dissemination of climate data will enable science-based management decisions (output 1.1.5). This will include the procurement of equipment and measuring instruments to strengthen the early warning system of the Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie (ANACIM) in the target project areas.

Based on the different assessments and capacity building, and following a participatory approach, land use and management plans will be reviewed and updated to incorporate EbA approaches (output 1.1.6). More specifically, the EbA actions will be based on (i) extensive consultations with stakeholders at the regional and local levels, (ii) climate change vulnerability assessments of the biodiversity, ecosystems and local communities (socio-economic vulnerability) including the surrounding gazetted forests, as well as green spaces within the city, (iii) climate data (i.e. rainfall, temperature and other weather data) made available to stakeholders, using data provided by national institutions such as ANACIM and (iv) the Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) framework results set out in Component 3. These local resilience strategies will include activities to build the resilience of livelihoods, as linked to the ecosystem services provided through restoration and conservation of the ecosystems and biodiversity. These will be developed, adopted and implemented with the continuous engagement of local communities in the sustainable management of natural resources.

These activities above all involve a degree of stakeholder engagement and meetings. If the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting project activities at the time of execution, then alternatives to in-person meetings will be explored, including introduction of technology as well as an up-front focus on capacity building of local leadership.

Outcome 1.1 Stakeholders' capacities in planning and implementing EbA to maintain and/or create climate-resilient natural capital are strengthened.

Output 1.1.1. Functional analysis of the key institutions to formulate and enforce EbA policies conducted;

Output 1.1.2. The participatory governance bodies of the FBR and the Plateau of Thies are restructured/revitalized and strengthened for better coordination of decision-making in response to climate change risks;

Output 1.1.3. Stakeholder training programs are conducted to instill the skills and knowledge for climate-resilient decision-making;

Output 1.1.4. A technical expert committee is set up to advise on the mainstreaming of EbA into local land management strategies;

Output 1.1.5. The EWS under the ANACIM is equipped to strengthen the observation and dissemination of climate data in the project areas

Output 1.1.6. Land use and management plans are reviewed and updated on the basis of participatory consultations to mainstream the EbA approach within regional and local regulations, policies and systems of decision-making

Component 2: Restoration and conservation management to increase resilience of natural assets and ecosystem services

By implementing restoration and conservation in the FBR and Thies, the climate resilience of natural assets and ecosystem services will be ensured. This component will be implemented in coordination with the creation of the enabling environment under component 1, to provide empirical knowledge, drawn from experience in the project’s targeted restoration natural ecosystems and productive areas. Experience under component 2 will inform and strengthen land use and management plans as well as the training programmes for local and regional stakeholders. This accumulated knowledge will respond to barrier #1, which identified a lack of data on the economic value of functional ecosystems and natural resources. In turn, Component 1 is expected to facilitate the replication of practices beyond the specific project sites and ensure the monitoring and advisory capacity of key stakeholders, avoiding the reintroduction or continuation of malpractices.

Currently EbA is quite nascent in Senegal, with some projects supporting the restoration of forests, watersheds, etc. as well as other practices associated with EbA. However, these initiatives rarely refer to EbA, and focus more on the broader protective benefits of these interventions, consequently failing to integrate climate change adaptation aspects. This is the case for the “Great Green Wall” initiative, which is led by ASRGM and includes the FBR: it aims to strengthen the capacities of local communities to help boost investments in land restoration and created employment opportunities or ‘green’ jobs but does not specifically address ecosystem based adaptation approaches. Similarly, the project “Management of the ecosystems of the Plateau of Thies” (which will end in 2021) has focused on water management and erosion, without linking to EbA or adapted livelihoods. While in the short-term the benefits appear to be comparable, the lack of understanding of the climate-change driven impacts on livelihoods and natural landscapes can be problematic and restrictive in the longer term. Therefore, as the project implements EbA practices, an emphasis on climate change awareness needs to be made.

This component will support the direct restoration of forest and rangelands over 5,000 ha to ensure these natural landscapes and productive areas are made more resilient to the expected increasing adverse impacts of climate change. An additional 245,000 ha of land in the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Nord and the Wildlife Reserve of Ferlo Sud, and the protected Forest of Thies will be put under improved sustainable management to maintain adaptive ecosystem services in the context of climate change. This will include (i) reforestation,  re-vegetation and assisted natural regeneration (ANR) of arid and semi-arid lands and degraded ecosystems with climate resilient plant species that provide goods for consumption and/or marketing; (ii) restoration of soil and vegetation cover, to preserve adaptive ecosystem services and (iii) sustainable land management measures engaging local communities, including with the adoption of climate-resilient crop varieties, demarcating multi-stage production plots by defensive quickset hedges, the use of organic fertilizers, sustainable NTFP harvesting practices, methods for improved processing, packaging, storage and marketing practices for transformed products. The role of IUCN, as both a GEF agency for this project and an expert in conservation, will be key to ensure social or environmental safeguards risks are controlled and are not triggered during the implementation of restoration activities, especially in the FBR. In addition, by concentrating restoration activities only in the “transition zone” of the FBR, instead of the “conservation areas” or the “buffer areas”, safeguards risks will be minimized. The restoration activities in the FBR will also directly contribute to the GGWI, as it is located in the same zone and both are led by ASRGM.

Restoration and conservation activities will take into consideration the potential for improved access to water resources by pastoralists as a result of forest and rangeland restoration, taking into account extreme weather events and rainfall variability. This is expected to include installation of infrastructure using essentially natural materials such as for bunds, embankments, weirs, earth dams and other water management structures (output 2.1.3).

Improved access to water resources (output 2.1.2) will form a key part of the EbA strategy in both project areas as it is expected to reduce the reliance of farmers on increasingly unreliable rainfalls as a result of climate change. Indeed, during the droughts in the 70s and 80s in Senegal, poor and unreliable access to water was observed to lead to increased deforestation to compensate for the reduced productivity of existing croplands. Safe access to water is therefore critical for the protection of forests and other highly productive ecosystems and will be included in the assessments and strategies formulated in Component 1.

An anti-erosion scheme for the area of the Plateau of Thies that affects the City of Thies will be developed and implemented (output 2.1.4). This includes restoring the surrounding native forest ecosystems, as well as other water management measures to reduce erosion, gullying and flooding exacerbated by rainfall variability and extreme weather events as a result of climate change, and in turn reduce the vulnerability of the population in the city of Thies.

Finally, this component will support the restoration of a green belt by replanting khaya senegalensis and other endemic trees alongside roads and in public green spaces (output 2.1.5.) for drainage control and the reduction in hydrological disaster risks, thus reducing flooding from extreme weather events in parts of the City of Thies, and decreasing the population’s vulnerability to these climate change impacts. In particular, this output could be conducted in partnership with the phase 2 of the “Program for the Modernization of Cities (PROMOVILLES)” that intends to support the construction of roads across Senegal, including around Thies, to improve the connectivity to poorly connected areas.

In the context of COVID-19, experience to date of other restoration and planting programmes which took place during the first stages of the pandemic have shown that it is still reasonable to undertake these: research suggests that the risk of infection is lower outside, and when measures such as mask-wearing and hand-washing take place. Therefore, it is expected that these activities could still be implemented, though may be delayed in the case of a full lockdown or if significant numbers of workers become ill.

Outcome 2.1 Agropastoralists' livelihoods, natural ecosystems and productive landscapes in project sites are more resilient to climate change through the adoption of EbA practices.

Output 2.1.1. Degraded agropastoral rangelands (including pastoral routes) are regenerated

Output 2.1.2. Degraded FBR agropastoral ecosystems are restored using nature-based solutions;

Output 2.1.3. Green infrastructure (i.e. bunds, embankments, weirs, earth dams) will be installed to sustainably improve access to water resources for local producers

Output 2.1.4. EbA measures are implemented on the Plateau of Thies to reduce flooding in the city of Thies.

Output 2.1.5. A programme to restore a climate-resilient green belt is implemented in the commune of Thies

Component 3: Investment in climate-resilient value chains

Through the creation and strengthening of viable SMEs that rely on biodiversity and ecosystem services, this component seeks to establish climate-resilient value chains. Currently, local communities do not have the resources to move away from their traditional livelihoods to adopt more climate resilient and protective EbA practices (barrier#3). In addition, as noted above, there is limited documented and disseminated EbA practices in the project areas and in Senegal more broadly. This lack of evidence limits the incentives for local populations to invest in restoration and conservation activities in order to improve their livelihoods in the long-term (barrier#2). This component, together with the governance incentives established under component 1 (policies, support from existing structures) and the lessons learned capitalized and disseminated under component 4, will promote private sector investment in relevant value chains (outcome 3.1) and support local entrepreneurs and SMEs to produce goods and services based on the sustainable use of natural resources (outcome 3.2).

More specifically, target value chains will include agricultural production (field crops, market gardening, arboriculture, fodder crops), forestry (timber and non-timber forestry products), and other economic activities as will be further detailed out during the feasibility studies of the PPG phase. At this point, significant potential has been identified for the development of forest value chains using species such as: Balanites aegyptiaca, Acacia Senegal, Adansonia digitata, Ziziphus mauritiana and Boscia senegalensis (ndiandam). By including the dual focus on private sector investment and support for SME development, this component will ensure market demand and economic viability for these climate-resilient value chains is embedded in the approach. This component will also build on experiences and lessons learned from multiple ongoing initiatives such as “The Agricultural Development and Rural Entrepreneurship Support Program” and the second phase of the “The Emergency Community Development Program (PUDC)”. There will be ongoing coordination with the GEF-LDCF project led by UNDP “Promoting innovative finance and community-based adaptation in communes surrounding community natural reserves (PFNAC)”, intervening in the Ferlo, which is detailed below in output 3.2.3.

Under this component, and to respond to the gaps and contribute to the initiatives presented above, a private sector platform will be set up to better coordinate value-chain activities promoting EbA (output 3.1.1), with the objective of identifying existing and new business opportunities and facilitating market linkages for nature-based products that provide adaptive benefits. Following the MA&D framework, opportunities will be identified by (i) assessing the existing situation, (ii) identifying products, markets and means of marketing and (iii) planning for sustainable development.[1] IUCN, as both a GEF agency for this project and an expert in conservation, will advise on the identification of opportunities that are compatible with the protection of the FBR. As for the component 2, all economic activities supported in the FBR are expected to take place in the ‘transition zone’ of the reserve, where natural resources can be harvested following precise standards and regulations already defined and enforced. Regional, national and international private sector players will be engaged through the platform, with the objective of coordinating value chain activities through identification of investment opportunities in material sources (livestock, forestry products, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients), improvements in existing supply chains (reduction in post-harvest losses, aggregation and bulk storage, new / improved processing facilities, cooling chain improvements), or the investment in improved agricultural practices leading to increased yields.

In addition, a strategy will be developed to catalyze private sector investments in natural resource SMEs (output 3.1.2). This will include the organisation of forums for private sector stakeholder to exchange ideas and discuss common interests and potential opportunities. A publicly accessible database will also be developed to compile, organize and share identified opportunities and benefits from investment in the sustainable use of natural resources in the two project areas. This platform will both be used to lead discussions during forums and be updated based on the results of these encounters.   The approach may need to be adapted to online forums, if COVID-19 measures prevent large meetings.

Local entrepreneurs, community organizations and SMEs, in particular women- and youth-led businesses, will also be directly targeted under this component with the set-up of business incubation schemes (i.e. structured support programmes that recruit and support participants) to develop and commercialize products based on the sustainable use of natural resources (output 3.2.1). The incubation schemes will serve as a platform to support local entrepreneurs and SMEs to adopt innovative practices, strengthen their managerial, entrepreneurial, and business management skills, education on saving, support in drafting business plans, and identifying potential national, international and multilateral financing mechanisms to support investments in EbA and on the sustainable use of natural resources. SMEs supported by these activities will be subject to a risk assessment to ensure environmental and social safeguards are met. This is expected to be delivered by teams located in the field, and in the context of COVID-19 team members may have to limit movements between regions (especially between Thies and the FBR), and as part of the PPG phase, options will be reviewed for how to set-up the incubation programme to reduce the risk of delay if key personnel cannot travel or are infected.  The development of the nature-based businesses will further have to take into account the impact COVID-19 had on market demand and seek opportunities that are both climate and pandemic resilient.

Finally, the project will equip local SMEs with infrastructure and resilient materials for the adoption of climate-adaptive activities (establishment of nurseries, village multi-purpose gardens, fodder reserves and integrated model farms) as well as relevant agriculture and forestry equipment that support EbA (output 3.2.2).

The adoption of new adaptive practices and alternative climate-resilient livelihoods will be incentivized through financial services (output 3.2.3) such as micro-credit and insurance products, to reduce climate-related financial risks, e.g. crop failure due to extreme weather events. Innovative financing may include for example development of financial products specific to climate-resilient SMEs, provision of both short and long term (micro) finance, flexible payment terms linked to cash flow, risk-based credit scoring and ICT data capture, alternative collateral and guarantee options, group lending, financing via downstream buyers, and risk sharing between Multi-lateral Finance Institutions (MFIs) and  national banks. institutions. The GEF-LDCF project led by UNDP PFNAC, intervening in the Ferlo, is in the process of setting up innovative and sustainable finance mechanisms, and is working to improve the capacity of local credit and saving mutuals to finance adaptation projects, both of which have strong potential to directly benefit the SMEs supported under this EbA project.  These activities will depend on coordination with the UNDP project as well as the development of partnerships with the National Agricultural Insurance Company of Senegal (CNAAS) and other national, multilateral and international financiers. Furthermore, access to pricing information, marketing and commercial transactions of nature-based products will be facilitated through mobile phones, in a partnership with SONATEL (the leading telecommunications company in Senegal)

Outcome 3.1. Private sector investment in value-chains producing goods and services based on the sustainable use of natural resources in a climate change context. 

Output 3.1.1. A private sector platform is set up to better coordinate value-chain activities that promote EbA;

Output 3.1.2. Stakeholder forums are organised to catalyse private and public sector investments towards the creation of resilient natural capital;

Outcome 3.2. Local entrepreneurs and SMEs produce goods and services based on the sustainable use of natural resources

Output 3.2.1. The managerial and entreprenarial capacity of local entrepreneurs, in particular women and youth, are supported to develop and commercialize products based on the sustainable use of natural resources, taking into account climate change

Output 3.2.2. SMEs based on the sustainable use of natural resources are provided with  equipment (i.e. for the establishment of nurseries, village multi-purpose gardens, fodder reserves and integrated model farms) and agriculture and forestry inputs.

Output 3.2.3.  SMEs based on the sustainable use of natural resources are provided with training to access financing opportunities to promote the adoption of resilient practices that protect and conserve targeted ecosystems

Component 4: Knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation

This component seeks to secure the long-term adoption of climate-resilient approaches within the two project zones, as well as laying the foundation for scaling up EbA in Senegal. This is achieved through use of the M&E data and lessons learned from the first three components to develop a strategy for scale-up. This knowledge will be particularly relevant to inform planning and budgeting at the local, regional and national levels and for the continuous capacity building of stakeholders to support the scale-up beyond the life of the project. While this component is preparing the exit strategy of the project by capitalizing the knowledge acquired in the three first outputs, the activities will be carried-out all along the project implementation. More specifically, the following outputs will enable the replication and upscaling of EbA practices at the local and national level:

ASRGM, the city of Thies, UNDP, IUCN and technical partners will provide training and assistance to the project team and local and regional actors to develop a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan, including a set of indicators, data collection and processing protocols to categorize, document, report and promote lessons learned at national and international levels (output 4.1.1). The M&E mechanism will put communities at the heart of participatory research processes.

In addition, a communication strategy will be developed to collect, analyze, compile and disseminate the theoretical concepts of EbA (including from outside the project areas and Senegal) as well as practical results of project activities to relevant national, regional and local stakeholders (output 4.1.2.). The strategy is expected to build an institutional memory on the opportunities for EbA to enhance the climate change resilience of biodiversity and the livelihoods of local communities in the two project areas, amongst targeted stakeholders including the local authorities, local elected officials, pastoralists, farmers, local organizations and NGOs and managers of the Wildlife Reserves, Community Natural Reserves (RNCs), Silvipastoral Reserves and Pastoral Units (UPs) and forests of the FBR and Plateau of Thies.

An online platform will be developed as a repository of project results, training, tools and initiatives for experimentation and demonstration of pilot actions, and the results of the project will be disseminated at local, national and sub-regional levels through a number of existing networks and forums. At the end of the project, a national forum, gathering all technical and financial partners as well as the actors involved, will be organized. Building on the results from the forum and discussions , a guidebook/manual will be produced to disseminate the achievements, difficulties, lessons learned and good practices for the implementation of EbA in the project areas, to facilitate the replication of the results (output 4.1.3). If the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting the project activities at the time of execution, then an alternative approach to a national forum will be developed, which could include several smaller regional meetings restricted in size (in case of travel restrictions between meetings), broadcasting presentations on TV or through meeting software or other approaches that reduce travel between areas and close contact.

A strategy for scaling up EbA approaches and developing natural resource-based SMEs will also be developed, including long-term financing options (output 4.1.4). This strategy will include approaches for developing climate-resilient natural resource-based SMEs, using the M&E results and lessons learned from implementation of the project, and will set out key recommendations for mainstreaming the approach in other regions in Senegal.

Outcome 4.1 Relevant local and national stakeholders incorporate climate-resilient EbA approaches into their land management activities, drawing on the experience from the FBR and Thies.

Output 4.1.1. An M&E plan, including a set of indicators, and data collection and processing protocols, is developed and implemented;

Output 4.1.2. A communication strategy aimed at the relevant local and national stakeholders is developed and implemented

Output 4.1.3. A summary and dissemination document (report, manual or guide) of the project outcomes, lessons learned and good practices is produced and disseminated;

Output 4.1.4. A strategy for scaling up the EbA approached and developing natural resource-based SMEs, including long-term financing options, is developed and the implementation of key recommendations is supported.

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Component 1: Developing regional and local governance for climate resilience through EbA

Component 2: Restoration and conservation management to increase resilience of natural assets and ecosystem services

Component 3: Investment in climate-resilient value chains

Component 4: Knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2026
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
October 2020
Description: 
PIF Approval
SDGs: 
SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land

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.

Undefined
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (39.292967305264 7.8270963920238)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
The project will target close to 60,000 (52% women and 48% men) beneficiaries in twelve Woredas across six regions
Financing Amount: 
US$5,836,073
Co-Financing Total: 
$10,450,000
Project Details: 

Context

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.

Barrier #1:

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.

Strategy

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.

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Strengthened capacity of development agents (DAs)[1] and government officials to support the implementation of climate change adaptation practices at the woreda and regional levels.
  3. Community action plans for adaptive crop production and animal husbandry developed using a participatory approach in twelve Woredas.
  4. 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[2] 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:         

  1. Nine Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) installed and linked to the national meteorological network and protocols for use and maintenance established in each woreda.
  2. Appropriate weather and climate monitoring and forecast technologies acquired by representatives of the beneficiary communities and maintained through a functional and durable partnership.
  3. Climate-risk assessment and decision-making tools developed and used in collaboration with local communities in twelve woredas.
  4. Climate-risk assessment and decision-making tools are pilot tested and periodically improved using the results thereof in each of the twelve woredas.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Community-based enterprises established and operationalized in each woreda to develop and strengthen climate resilient local business.
  5. 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.




[1] 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.

 

[2] 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.

 

Location: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

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

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2027
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
October 2020
Description: 
CEO Endorsement
Proj_PIMS_id: 
5630
SDGs: 
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Improving Adaptive Capacity and Risk Management of Rural Communities in Mongolia

With an observed temperature increase of 2.1°C over the past 70 years , Mongolia is among the countries most impacted by climate change. Increased temperatures, coupled with decreased precipitation, have resulted in a drying trend impacting pastures and water sources, and shifting natural zones. Changes have also been observed related to the frequency and intensity of extreme events, including disasters brought about by dzud (summer drought followed by harsh winters), drought, snow and dust storms, flash floods and both cold and heat waves.

Responses to climate impacts by herders have not been informed by climate information or by the potential impact of those responses on land and water resources. Unsustainable herding practices and livestock numbers are further stressing increasingly fragile ecosystems and related ecosystem services.

Livestock productivity and quality has been declining in the changing landscape due to drought conditions, heat stress, harsh winters and unsustainable practices, resulting also in reductions in outputs for subsistence and important income sources. Studies indicate that livestock sector production decreased by 26 percent compared to that of the 1980s, along with its contribution to the country’s economy.

Herder households make up one third of the population in Mongolia, approximately 160,000 households or 90 percent of the agriculture sector. Around 85 percent of all provincial economies in are agriculture-based.  While herder households are the most exposed to climate risks, their scale and thus potential impact also means that tailored interventions can support transformational change towards more climate-informed and sustainable herder practices, benefitting the sector, the economy and the environment.

Led by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Light Industry as a key partner, this 7-year project project, seeks to strengthen the resilience of resource-dependent herder communities in four aimags (provinces) vulnerable to climate change: Khovd, Zavkhan, Dornod and Sukhbaatar, thus covering steppe, desert steppe, mountain, mountain steppe and forest steppe zones. 

With funding from the Green Climate Fund, the UNDP-supported project focuses on three complementary outputs:

  • Integrating climate information into land and water use planning at the national and sub-national levels
  • Scaling up climate-resilient water and soil management practices for enhanced small scale herder resource management
  • Building herder capacity to access markets for sustainably sourced, climate-resilient livestock products

 

It is expected to contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals: SDG1 No Poverty, SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG13 Climate Action, SDG15 Life on Land and SDG17 Partnerships for the Goals.

English
Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (105.11718747398 46.867702730128)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
The direct beneficiaries of the project will be 26,000 herder households (130,000 people) in the four target aimags. As Output 1 national policy, indirect beneficiaries include all 160,000 herder households (800,000 people). The project will directly benefit 4.5% of the Mongolian population and indirectly 26%.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$23,101,276 GCF grant
Co-Financing Total: 
Co-financing of US$56,200,000 from the Government of Mongolia including $20,000,000 from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism | $3,000,000 from the National Emergency Management Agency | + $33,200,000 Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry
Project Details: 

With the objective of strengthening the resilience of resource-dependent herder communities in four aimags vulnerable to climate change, this project seeks an integrated approach to address climate change impacts on herder livelihoods and on the natural resources on which they rely. 

This requires strengthening capacity to generate climate models for longer term climate resilient planning, while reconciling the ambitious economic development goals of livestock sector with the limits of increasingly fragile land and water sources due to climate change.

To do this, the project complements significant investment from the Government of Mongolia related to the livestock sector and natural resources management, while addressing key barriers through strengthening the computing and capacity needs for long term climate-informed planning, investments in water access points, and support to the policy transformations needed to remove incentives for maladaptive herder practices.  

The project will strengthen capacity of the National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring (NAMEM) to collect and analyze the data necessary for climate-informed planning. 

This will include investments to computing equipment and data storage, as well as technical training to enable climate-informed and risk-informed livestock planning.  Support will also be provided to integrate climate change into aimag and soum level development plans to ensure that local planning considers climate change in regards to carrying capacity of land resources and guidance to herders on Integration of climate change and climate-informed carrying capacity into aimag and soum level development plans

The project will apply Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) measures to protect land and natural water resources, while also establishing or rehabilitating water wells for livestock.

Using community-based resources management, herders will coordinate on rotational pastures and sustainable use of water resources, as well as establishing means of maintaining EbA results and water well investments.  This will relieve pressure on rivers, streams and ponds as well as on over-utilized pastures which are increasingly fragile due to climate change.

Support to haymaking and pasture reserves, and related storage, will ensure livestock are better able to survive increasingly harsh winters, and losses to subsistence herders are reduced. Stronger and healthier animals are not only able to survive the harsh climatic events (i.e. dzud) but also are less likely to be affected by outbreak of infectious diseases. 

The project will also support the planned policy transformations under the National Mongolian Livestock Programme, by ensuring that changes are informed by climate risk. 

Analytical products will be developed to inform related programmes, such as government investments in livestock commodities development and dzud relief programmes to ensure that support does not inadvertently incentivize growing livestock numbers against land and water resources which are increasingly drying due to climate change. 

The project will also identify public-private-community partnerships for sustainably-sourced, climate-resilient livestock products; and in association with this, support the establishment and training of Herder Producer Organizations (or cooperatives) with support to include general business and market specific training in production, post-harvest processing, post-harvest value addition and on-site storage specific to the commodity value chain.

For more project details, please refer to the project Funding Proposal.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Output 1: Integrate climate information into land and water use planning at the national and sub-national levels

Activity 1.1. Enhance technical capacity for long-term climate resilient development planning, and medium-term response planning capacity

Activity 1.2. Integration of climate change and climate-informed carrying capacity into aimag and soum level development plans (incl. Integrated River Basin Management Plans (IRBMP))

Activity 1.3. Analytical products to support policy and regulatory transformation promoting sustainable land and water management and resilient herder livelihoods

Output 2: Scaling up climate-resilient water and soil management practices for enhanced small scale herder resource management

Activity 2.1. Enhance cooperation among herders on sustainable use and stewardship of shared land and water resources (formalized through Resource User Agreements)

Activity 2.2. Reforestation of critical catchment areas to protect water resources and ecosystem services

Activity 2.3. Establish haymaking and pasture reserve areas, and emergency fodder storage facilities to reduce volatility to livelihoods related to climate change induced extreme events

Activity 2.4. Improve water access through protection of natural springs, construction of new water wells, rehabilitation of existing wells and water harvesting measures

Output 3:  Build herder capacity to access markets for sustainably sourced, climate-resilient livestock products

Activity 3.1. Identify public-private-community partnership for sustainably sourced climate resilient livestock products

Activity 3.2. Establishment and training of Herder Producer Organizations (or cooperatives)   

Activity 3.3. Improve traceability for sustainably sourced, climate resilient livestock products

Activity 3.4. Generation and dissemination of knowledge products to support private-sector engagement and herder enfranchisement in climate-resilient and sustainable production in Mongolia

 

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

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.

An impact evaluation (within the project duration) will also be designed and conducted under Output 3, to assess project interventions. Results will be documented and used to inform implementation, as well as further programming. The evaluation will also contribute to the evidence base related to interventions to address climate challenges on land and water resources and climate-sensitive herder households. 

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.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Mariana Simões
Regional Technical Specialist for Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP
UNDP
Bunchingiv Bazartseren
Programme Analyst, Climate Change, UNDP Mongolia
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Programme Meetings and Workshops: 

Inception workshop 2021, TBC

Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Output 1: Integrate climate information into land and water use planning at the national and sub-national levels

Activity 1.1. Enhance technical capacity for long-term climate resilient development planning, and medium-term response planning capacity

Activity 1.2. Integration of climate change and climate-informed carrying capacity into aimag and soum level development plans (incl. Integrated River Basin Management Plans (IRBMP))

Activity 1.3. Analytical products to support policy and regulatory transformation promoting sustainable land and water management and resilient herder livelihoods

Output 2: Scaling up climate-resilient water and soil management practices for enhanced small scale herder resource management

Activity 2.1. Enhance cooperation among herders on sustainable use and stewardship of shared land and water resources (formalized through Resource User Agreements)

Activity 2.2. Reforestation of critical catchment areas to protect water resources and ecosystem services

Activity 2.3. Establish haymaking and pasture reserve areas, and emergency fodder storage facilities to reduce volatility to livelihoods related to climate change induced extreme events

Activity 2.4. Improve water access through protection of natural springs, construction of new water wells, rehabilitation of existing wells and water harvesting measures

Output 3:  Build herder capacity to access markets for sustainably sourced, climate-resilient livestock products

Activity 3.1. Identify public-private-community partnership for sustainably sourced climate resilient livestock products

Activity 3.2. Establishment and training of Herder Producer Organizations (or cooperatives)   

Activity 3.3. Improve traceability for sustainably sourced, climate resilient livestock products

Activity 3.4. Generation and dissemination of knowledge products to support private-sector engagement and herder enfranchisement in climate-resilient and sustainable production in Mongolia

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2028
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
November 2020
Description: 
GCF Board approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
5873
SDGs: 
SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Building resilience in the face of climate change within traditional rain fed agricultural and pastoral systems in Sudan

Increasing climate variability is leading to major changes to rainfall and temperatures across Sudan’s arid and semi-arid drylands, exceeding the limited capacity of rural households to cope. Drylands are home to nearly 70 percent of the population of Sudan and there are places where increasingly erratic rainfall has resulted in recurrent drought episodes, together with associated crop failures, livestock deaths, and deepening of the already profound poverty levels. Climatic shocks, particularly drought, are occurring in the absence of adequate social safety nets in rural areas, forcing subsistence agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist households living under deep-rooted levels of poverty into making livelihood decisions out of desperation because their co-dependence on water, agriculture and rangelands is becoming unsustainable. State and federal government budgets, already under strain with development challenges unrelated to climate change, are unable to cope with mounting tolls of a changing climate.

The "Building resilience in the face of climate change within traditional rain fed agricultural and pastoral systems in Sudan" project supports climate change adaptation efforts among subsistence agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist communities in dryland zones across nine states (West Darfur, Central Darfur, East Darfur, Western Kordofan, South Kordofan, Kassala, Red Sea , Northern and Khartoum state). The project will build climate resilience, health, well-being and food and water security for approximately 3.8 million people - almost 1.2 million direct beneficiaries and 2.5 million indirect beneficiaries - accounting for more than 32% of the total population across the nine targeted states, and about 9.2% of the total population of the country.

Its overall goal is to promote a paradigm shift in dryland pastoral and farming systems through i) an integrated approach by increasing resilience of food production systems; ii) improving availability/access to climate resilient water sources; and iii) strengthening capacities of institutions/communities on climate resilience. The project capitalizes on synergies in climate risk management practices across agriculture, water, and rangelands to enhance water and food security under changing climate conditions. Key results are enhanced resilience to climate risks among subsistence farmer and nomadic pastoralist communities and promoting an enabling environment for long-term (post-project) adaptation activities in Sudan. Moreover, the enhanced capacity of the state-level administration in areas of environmental governance, management of shared natural resources, inter- and intra-state relations and how to establish a network of early warning systems will help prevent conflicts and out-mitigation in the targeted areas.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (31.552734354975 15.424028679987)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
1,181,538 direct, 2,499,712 indirect
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$25.6 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$15.5 million
Project Details: 

The project introduces several interventions among highly vulnerable communities in the target communities. First, the project disseminates a set of sustainable technologies and practices including drought-resistant, early maturing seeds, establishment of integrated women-led sustainable farms, rehabilitation of communal rangelands, development of multi-purpose tree nurseries, and the establishment of shelterbelts to shield cultivatable plots from dust storms. Second, the project increases the availability of water resources through the construction and/or rehabilitation of hafirs (i.e. dugout enlargements into which surface-water runoff is converged during the rainy season), water yards (i.e. water extraction and distribution facility which includes borehole, storage tank, animal watering basins and tap stands), and sand water-storage dams (i.e. rain water harvesting structures). Third, the project strengthens local governance by building capacity among local leaders and stakeholders (i.e. village councils, village development committees, popular committees) regarding best practices, as well as increasing capacity of extension agents from state-level offices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources  on sustainable technologies/practices suitable for dryland areas.

In introducing these interventions, the project builds upon the lessons learned from recent climate change adaptation projects such as: The GEF/LDCF-funded Climate Risk Finance for Sustainable and Climate Resilient Rain-fed Farming and Pastoral Systems; the CIDA-funded Implementing Priority Adaptation Measures to Build Resilience of Rainfed Farmer and Pastoral Communities; and the GEF/LDCF-funded Implementing NAPA Priority Interventions to Build Resilience in the Agriculture and Water Sectors to the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change in Sudan. The project complements these initiatives and applies a similarly integrated approach to crop, water and rangeland management that addresses recurring drought concerns and the linkages between agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist livelihoods.

The barriers addressed by the project include weak drought contingency planning; low institutional capacity; limitations in food security research capacity; limited smallholder access to financing; and limited data infrastructure. Micro-credit and micro-finance systems that have been piloted successfully in other regions have been incorporated into project design to promote financial sustainability and overcome some barriers. The project facilitates transformational change in the short-term by building community resilience against climate change impacts, primarily recurrent drought, and in the long-term by integrating lessons learned into state-level planning, budgeting and implementation of risk reduction measures that will ultimately improve livelihoods in the targeted communities.

Project activities will directly benefit nearly 1,200,000 people in over 211,000 subsistence agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist households. These direct beneficiaries are among 138 dryland villages across nine states. These households correspond to 10% of the total population in the targeted regions. Project activities will indirectly benefit an additional nearly 2,499,712 people through autonomous adoption by neighboring communities of the risk mitigation strategies that direct beneficiaries will implement. The project will take advantage of existing linkages with regional and global research institutions such as CGIAR and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa.

The project’s paradigm shift potential is rooted in the fact that that the specific adaptation interventions can be leveraged to empower women in large numbers across adjoining communities. Providing women with access to information and knowledge on climate change issues can help reverse their lack of power and build their autonomy. In parallel, the implementation of a suite of adaptation initiatives will build resilience among vulnerable rural communities from future climatic shocks that would otherwise deepen their poverty, while also enabling them to diversify household incomes and assets. Moreover, effective adaptation within traditional agricultural systems will not expand in the poorest states in the absence of catalytic donor support.

The project is aligned with Sudan’s priorities as outlined in its Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement and is line with Sudan’s Country Work Programme, as submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Based on a request made to UNDP by the Government of Sudan, Sudan’s National Designated Authority (NDA), the project is also a part of UNDP’s Entity Work Programme to the GCF and is fully aligned with Government priorities upon which UNDP is focusing.

Climate change challenges

Increasing climate variability is leading to major changes to rainfall and temperatures across Sudan’s arid and semi-arid drylands, exceeding the limited capacity of rural households to cope. Drylands are home to nearly 70% of the population of Sudan and there are places where increasingly erratic rainfall has resulted in recurrent drought episodes, together with associated crop failures, livestock deaths, and deepening already profound poverty levels. Notably, climatic shocks, particularly drought, are occurring in the absence of adequate social safety nets in rural areas of Sudan, forcing many subsistence agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist households into making livelihood decisions out of desperation because their co-dependence on water, agriculture, and rangelands is becoming less and less viable. State and federal government budgets, already straining to cope with numerous development challenges unrelated to climate change, are simply unable to cope with the mounting tolls of climate change.

There is strong evidence confirming that Sudan’s climate has been changing over the past decades. First, there has been a steady decline in annual precipitation throughout Sudan. This is most pronounced in the Darfur States, where the data record from the sole meteorological station over the 40-year period from 1952-1992 indicates that rainfall has been declining by about 5.12 mm per year on average. Other areas such as Khartoum and South Kordofan show similar rainfall patterns (decline of 4.90 and 3.99 mm per year, respectively). These trends are reflected by mean annual normal rainfall isohyets. A comparison of the isohyets for the period 1941-1970 and 1971-2000 show that there is a southward shift by hundreds of kilometers.[1]

Moreover, a rainfall trend analysis for 21 meteorological stations across Sudan confirm that mean annual rainfall for the past two decades has been both decreasing and intensifying relative to the 40-year period from 1960 to 2000. This is illustrated in Figure 1 which shows the location of the meteorological stations (top) and indicates that, when compared to the historical period, average annual rainfall declined by an average drop of 9.3 mm per year during the 1990s (middle) and by an average of 23.4 mm per year 2000s (bottom).

These changes have posed profound adverse impacts for rural livelihoods. For faming activities, roughly 90% of cultivated areas depend exclusively on rainfall, with fluctuations in crop yield attributed almost solely to fluctuations in rainfall patterns. While irrigated agriculture is also practiced, it is minor in scope and limited to small areas along wadis and in small plots near hand-dug wells. For pastoralist activities, increasingly erratic rainfall patterns, as well as drought episodes, have led to the deterioration of natural rangelands. Declining rangeland productivity has been accompanied by an increase in seasonal fires, excessive grazing in communal lands, and by large livestock populations unsustainably concentrated around perennial water sources.

Second, there has also been a steady increase in temperature throughout Sudan over the period 1960-2010.  During the March-June and June-September periods, temperatures have been increasing between 0.2°C and 0.4°C per decade, on average. The decadal trend of increasing temperature is more intense during the March-June period. When averaged across all seasons, temperatures in the 2000-2009 period are roughly 0.8°C to 1.6°C warmer than they were in the 1960-1969 period. Figure 2 illustrates annual average temperature trends for a subset of 6 meteorological stations located across Sudan (top) for the period 1960-2010 (bottom).

Third, the above adverse changes in rainfall and temperature have been accompanied by recurrent drought episodes across Sudan since the 1970s. There have been widespread recurring droughts across Sudan during the period 1967-1973 and again during the period 1980-1984, the latter period being the more severe. In addition, there have been a series of spatially localized droughts during the years 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1993. These drought episodes have occurred mainly in Kordofan and Darfur states in western Sudan and in parts of central Sudan near Khartoum.

Such mounting evidence of decreasing rainfall and increased temperatures, have reduced available grazing lands, have led to crop failures, high livestock mortality and increased rural to urban migration. These climate-related impacts have also aggravated urban health and sanitation concerns. Together this evidence suggests that drought has been a major stress factor on farmer and pastoralist communities and has worsened regional conflicts over environmental resources. Additional information on the climate rationale underlying project design is provided in Annex 19f.

In the future, these climatic changes are projected to intensify. Dynamic downscaling of an ensemble of General Circulation Modeling outputs suggests that over the next two decades, average annual surface temperatures across Sudan will increase significantly relative to the historical climatic baseline, with increasing levels of rainfall variability. This is illustrated in Figure 3 which shows an ensemble of temperature and rainfall projections under Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) for three meteorological stations with sharply differing annual historical rainfall regimes: Port Sudan (medium annual rainfall), Dongola (low annual rainfall), and Gedaref (high annual rainfall).

Baseline situation

The baseline situation is one in which rural households in Sudan are becoming increasingly unable to withstand and recover from climatic shocks, particularly drought. While there are other types of shocks that farmer/pastoralist households are forced to endure related to health, forced migration, or conflicts, they are largely derivative of an inability to effectively cope with recurring drought episodes. This vulnerability is likely to intensify for dryland households in Sudan in the absence of effective climate change adaptation interventions that build increased resilience to drought.

Since subsistence agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist households derive a large share of their income from crop- and/or livestock-related activities, they are also particularly sensitive to drought. Household income from rainfed agriculture and pasture-based livestock production is far more vulnerable to climatic shocks than, for example, irrigated agriculture or other less shock-impacted activities such as the so-called cottage industries (i.e. a business activity carried on in an agro-pastoralist’s home). At present and likely for the foreseeable future, sensitivity to drought among dryland households is largely determined based on prevailing risk-hedging strategies that regard land, water, and livestock – and the mix of those resources – as essential to livelihood preservation. To the extent that household incomes are not diversified, or alternative income-generating strategies not introduced, sensitivity to drought is expected to remain unacceptably high.

The ability of farmer/pastoralist households to cope with droughts has been compromised by the increasing frequency of drought episodes. In the baseline situation, the time between climatic shocks is becoming shorter and shorter, leading to inadequate time to rebuild household assets to withstand subsequent weather-related shocks. Given the lack of governmental safety nets and access to credit, households are forced to rely on their own already depleted savings and assets to try and make up as best they can for food/income shortfalls. Hence, the liquidation of household assets to limit the harmful impacts of a drought episode is becoming less and less of a viable risk-hedging strategy, forcing households into increasingly desperate circumstances.

Taken together, the exposure and sensitivity of farmer/pastoralist households combined with their compromised coping capacity infers that overall vulnerability to climatic shocks is high in the baseline situation. Assent effective adaptation measures, climatic variability has become largely incompatible with traditional agro-pastoralist practices regarding crop selection, water resource management, communal rangeland management, drought preparedness, and household income generation. Additionally, access to tools and extension services designed to build adaptive capacity remains quite low given the overall lack of knowledge to make informed decisions under climate change.

States targeted for project activities

The target region of the project consists of 138 villages in dryland zones across 9 states in Sudan. The selection of these villages has been based on several common characteristics, namely subsistence agro-pastoralists and nomadic pastoralists who are highly vulnerable to climate change, with few opportunities for household income diversification and adaptation. Despite their vulnerability, local populations have little access to measures and practices that can increase their resilience in the face of climate change. A brief description of the major targeted state characteristics, together with key dimensions of vulnerability to climate change, is provided in the bullets below.

West Darfur: West Darfur is characterized by great environmental diversity with seasonal valleys that can sustain forests, rangelands, and agriculture. About 80% of the state's economy is based on cash crops and livestock production. Nevertheless, the state has a history of chronic food insecurity - it is the most food insecure region in Sudan with greater than 40% of the population unable to obtain a health daily diet.

East Darfur: East Darfur is largely characterized by nomadic tribes facing acute water scarcity. Increasingly rainfall variability has led to serious rangeland degradation and in some cases, the disappearance of essential grasses and herbs. Nomads who rely on these resources have been forced to cope by resorting to inferior options for feeding their livestock, namely lower quality tree leaves; limited crop residues, or moving across the border to South Sudan. East Darfur has become the home for significant numbers of displaced people from other Darfur states, all suffering from reduced rainfall. This has amplified the consequences of climatic change for the state and further exacerbated environmental degradation and socio-economic disruption.

Central Darfur: Central Darfur is characterized by diverse climate and soils, including volcanic soils in Jebel Marra (a mountainous area) sandy, clay and alluvial soils in the different valleys traverse the state towards the west to Chad and Central African Republic. Most economic activities are focused on agriculture and pastoralism, with 80% of the population comprised of farmers and pastoralists. Communities are suffering from recurrent droughts, increasing temperature and rainfall variability, which together with high poverty rates have led to a growing misuse of resources as evidenced by overgrazing and denuding of forests.

South Kordofan: The state is characterized by widespread poverty, lack of basic services, poor infrastructure and continued land disputes. While South Kordofan is less prone to drought conditions than its northern counterpart, the state is vulnerable to the impact of forced migration. That is, as agricultural regions in other parts of Sudan become less productive, South Kordofan may see an influx of climate refugees while lacking the infrastructure to accommodate rapid population growth. 

West Kordofan: West Kordofan is characterized by nomadic and transhumant tribes that concentrate in areas where water and other services are available. For farmers, higher temperatures and increased rainfall variability has led to crop failure, increased pest incidence, and out-migration by farmers. For pastoralists, lower humidity levels and higher temperatures have led to grassland degradation and animal diseases. The state has experienced diminishing levels of healthy drinking water due to lower rainfall as well as a higher incidence of certain climate-related epidemics.

Kassala: Kassala is characterized by widespread poverty and lack of basic services. Roughly 85% of the population live below the poverty line and rely on traditional rain-fed agriculture. Flash flooding is a growing risk with frequent seasonal flooding from the Gash and Atbara rivers in the western part of the state. While floods have occurred every 6-7 years over 1970-2000, they have been recently occurring every 4-5 years. Drought frequency has also been increasing, with two major droughts occurring in 2008 and 2011.

Red Sea: The Red Sea state is distinguished from other states in the Eastern region as the only state with a coastline (750 km).  The region supports varied and diverse coastal and marine habitats, including coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. Many species of birds and fish are supported by these ecosystems, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. These resources also provide food and income for the communities living along the Red Sea coast. Water scarcity is a persistent problem across inland and coastal areas, while overgrazing is rapidly degrading rangelands.

Northern: The Northern state is characterized by an economy that depends upon both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. In this region, rainfall is typically very low, temperatures are high in the extreme, and vegetative cover is sparse outside the immediate vicinity of the Nile. Rising temperatures, decreasing rainfall, fluctuations in River Nile water levels, and increased wind speeds have combined to result in a mix of drought and flooding with adverse effects on crop yields, rangelands, animal production, and riverbank erosion. Shifting climates have also hastened the arrival of new plant diseases, such as the date palm disease in the Elgab area, and new skin diseases, such as Jarab, which are not historically common in the state.

Khartoum State: Khartoum is the capital of Sudan and is in the tropical zone around the River Nile. It is characterized by rapid urban growth and the largest concentration of infrastructure. About 20% of the state population is located in rural areas and practice traditional cultivation and pastoralism. Dust storms are regular occurrences and river fluctuations threaten riverbank erosion and flooding. Increasing climatic variability have placed serious pressure on Khartoum’s crop yields, rangelands, and natural forests.

Related projects/interventions

The project builds upon the lessons learned from recent climate change adaptation projects such as: 1) The GEF/LDCF-funded Climate Risk Finance for Sustainable and Climate Resilient Rain-fed Farming and Pastoral Systems; 2) the CIDA-funded Implementing Priority Adaptation Measures to Build Resilience of Rainfed Farmer/Pastoral Communities; and 3) the GEF/LDCF-funded Implementing NAPA Priority Interventions to Build Resilience in the Agriculture and Water Sectors to the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change in Sudan. The project complements these projects and applies a similarly integrated approach to crop, water, and rangeland management that incorporate recurring drought concerns and understanding linkages between agro-pastoralist and nomadic pastoralist livelihoods. Some of the specific lessons that have been directly accounted for in project design are outlined below.

Rural water supply for domestic and small-scale irrigation using solar pumping has been readily adopted and effective in several rural settings, resulting in availability of water for agriculture and clean water for human an animal use and saving time of getting it;

Cultivation of drought-resistant horticultural crops (e.g., introduction of new vegetables and practicing cultivation in 3 seasons instead of one season cropping system in Gerf area in Gedarif State) has resulted in improved crop productivity;

Rehabilitation and improvement in irrigated agricultural production (e.g., in Wad Hassan village of Gedarif State) contributed to the creation of new income sources and labor opportunities, which contributed to improved socio-economic status of communities;  

Shelter belts around some farms in River Nile State demonstrably protected farms from hot wind and also created favorable microclimates, which helped to increase productivity and yields;

Afforestation in North Kordofan State - where 7 community nurseries were established, and 53,000 trees were planted – effectively protected agricultural lands and residential areas; and

Awareness-raising and capacity building through demonstration women’s farms led to improvement in crop productivity (e.g. fava beans) in river Nile State and led to women being more oriented to climate change adaptation practices.

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Output 1: Resilience of food production systems and food insecure communities improved in the face of climate change in Sudan, benefiting at least 200,000 households of farmers and pastoralists with 35 percent women

Activity 1.1:  Introduce drought-resilient seed varieties of sorghum, millet groundnut and wheat that have demonstrated greater yields in the face of climatic changes through village procurement systems;

Specifically, Activity 1.1 will involve a) developing and implementing a programme for drought tolerant and early maturing certified seed distribution; b) replicating successful implementation of drought tolerant and early maturing seed varieties of sorghum, millet, groundnut and wheat to neighboring communities through participatory process; c) establish climate adapted seed multiplication farms; d) conducting community-based drought tolerant and early mature seed procurement by ensuring farmer knowledge of technical aspects of seed production, handling and exchange, including establishment of seed multiplication farm at village level; and e) facilitation of access to micro-financing schemes . Drought tolerant and early maturing seeds constitute crop varieties that can better cope with heat, drought, flood and other extremes and help farmers adapt to climatic changes and lead to increases in agricultural production and productivity. The focus of seed varieties will be on adapted food and cash crops seed varieties that are currently available in Sudan that have shown desirable traits in withstanding climatic stresses such as drought, heat, and waterlogging. Seeds will be procured based on community-based procurement protocols that promote the role of the local farmers in procurement of quality seeds of improved varieties at household and community levels. It is predicated on the frequent circumstance of seed supply from the formal sector unable to reach or meet traditional farmers’ demand. The viability of community-based seed procurement programs is well established in rural Sudan thanks to past projects and local resource management practices. Seed multiplication farms consist of community-based drought-resistant seed supply on local farms through introducing improved seed varieties and strengthening farmers’ capacity and knowledge regarding technical aspects of seeds such as quality control, testing, storage, and certification. These farmers subsequently become a source of quality seeds of improved climate-smart varieties to the communities. The community–based seed supply can be a reliable and efficient way to access high quality seeds. Finally, micro-financing schemes (i.e., sandugs) will be established will be established through the village communities with mechanisms in place to facilitate access to funds.

Activity 1.2:  Introduce sustainable practices in agricultural production at the community level. This involves the introduction of greater irrigation efficiency in the management of water resources through the introduction of integrated women’s farms, home gardens, and demonstration plots;

Specifically, Activity 1.2 will involve a) establishing integrated women sustainable agriculture farms with access to micro-financing schemes; b) establishing sustainable women-centered home gardens, with access to micro-financing schemes; c) training farmers on sustainable wadi cultivated practices and subsequent cultivation in at least 5 specific wadi/depression zones; d) preparing technical manual and provide trainings to farmer groups on water management under climate change (for integrated farmland; home garden and Wadi); and e) setting up climate adaptation-oriented Farmers’ Field Schools. Women-run farms and gardens are enterprises for cultivation of a small portion of land which are around the household or within walking distance from the residence. They will be planted with vegetables and fruits and as well as extra-early maturing crops that can serve as a supplementary and urgent source of food and income during period of food scarcity. Women’s farms and gardens have proven to be a promising approach to enhance food security and wellbeing of resource-poor households in vulnerable areas, offering benefits of security, convenience, and marketable items. Sustainable wadi cultivated practices involve the implementation of climate-adapted technologies and practices that address the challenge of how to transition to a climate-adapt agriculture at needed scales for enabling agricultural systems to be transformed and reoriented to support food security under the new realities of climate change in rural Sudan. Two main categories of sustainable agriculture are the focus of project activities: a) improving water/soil management practices through the introduction of small scale irrigation and conservation tillage techniques and b) improving crop production practices through seed priming, fertilizer micro-dosing, adjusting planting density, and changing planting dates to conform to new climatic trends. Farmers’ field schools (FFSs) are based on the FAO’s Farmer Field School methodology[1] and have been introduced successfully in other parts of Africa to increase farmers awareness about climate change and climate-smart technologies. Among other things, they help farmers learn to integrate weather and climate information with disaster management and agricultural planning while creating awareness about disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The project will address the short time frame to develop climate information by incorporating protocols and lessons learned from the GEF-funded Climate Risk Finance (CRF) project mentioned in Section B.1. That is, the logistical challenge of the time it takes to get climate data, then the time to build climate advisories and then the time to disseminate in FFSs and expect usage for impact will be overcome by the head start provided by the CRF project through the mobile-phone partnership established between the Sudanese Meteorological Authority, the Agriculture Research Center, extension service representatives, and a mobile phone company to develop and distribute climate information to local communities across 6 states in Sudan. As a result, rain-fed farmers and pastoralists now receive forecast/climate information and risk / agricultural / pest / livestock advisories by Short Message Service (SMS). At the same time, the CRF project is developing a Mobile Based Application comprising weather information, agriculture practices, crop insurance scheme, marketing information and advisory services that should be readily available by the start of project activities. Such information will be integrated into the FFS programme.

Activity 1.3:   Introduce rangeland management practices that reduce pastoral stress on communal lands through demonstration farms and rangeland rehabilitation techniques;

Specifically, Activity 1.3 will involve a) the development of technical guidelines for climate adaptive rangeland management; b) establishment of communal rangeland reserves for drought resistant ranged seed production; and c) Rehabilitation of 2,000 hectares of degraded rangelands and an additional 2,500 hectares of strategic rangelands by using site-suitable types of soil conservation and water harvesting techniques Technical guidelines will focus on climate-adaptive rangeland management techniques. Rangelands are a crucial resource for the poorest people in Sudan’s drylands, representing the major source of fodder in livestock production systems. Today, however, these areas are threatened by severe livestock population pressures and environmental degradation New rangeland management practices to be implemented include rotation grazing, reduced burning, reseeding, brush control, and scheduled rest periods.  Rangeland rehabilitation will consist of four main activities: reseeding, water harvesting, grazing management, and fire control. The modalities for introducing and sustaining these new practices will be addressed in Output 3 capacity building activities to ensure that the need for vegetation/soil recovery is community-learned and community-practiced.

Activity 1.4:   Establish shelterbelts/agroforestry to improve productivity and reduce land and environmental degradation.  This involves the plantation of trees to absorb energy from dust storms and protection of cultivatable areas

Specifically, Activity 1.4 will involve a) developing and implementing a programme for a total of 30 multi-purpose tree nurseries to be run by women groups; b) establishing shelterbelts with drip irrigation system; and c) establishing climate adaptive community-based afforestation. Shelterbelts will be equipped with drip irrigation systems to act as a barrier to reduce the harmful effect of wind velocities, wind erosion and sand drift and heat waves while improving existing harsh environmental condition. Community based afforestation will involve the planting of climate-resilient tree species and greater and continued community participation in the development of tree nurseries and the management and long-term protection of new forest cover. In addition to increasing resiliency against climate-related impacts, afforested areas will provide an important co-benefit of carbon sequestration. Principal species to be planted include Acacia Senegal with other Acacia species planted as needed, with a rotation of about 15 years and an uptake period of 30 years. Post-project sustainable management of nurseries, shelterbelts and afforested areas will rely on community mobilization/engagement, awareness-raising, and village institutional capacity building that has been achieved as part of Output 3.

Output 2: Improved access of water for human, livestock and irrigation to sustain livelihoods in the face of climatic risks in the nine targeted states benefiting at least 200,000 households

Activity 2.1:  Construct/rehabilitate water yards and drilling of shallow/borehole for drinking water for human and livestock and small-scale irrigation in targeted locations. This involves increasing the access to water by installing communal water infrastructure;

Specifically, Activity 2.1 will involve a) rehabilitation work for existing water yards to repair/replace components as needed (e.g., borehole, storage tank, animal watering basins, tap stands, solar pumps); b) drilling of new water yards, including boreholes, solar pumps, storage tanks and small-scale irrigated plots in vicinity of water yards; and c) conducting community training for maintenance in water yards, including access to micro-financing schemes. A total of 30 existing water yards will be rehabilitated, together with the installation of 50 new water yards among the targeted communities. Water yards are essentially a water extraction and distribution complex which includes borehole, storage tank, animal watering basins and tap stands. The borehole is equipped with a pump, typically powered by a diesel engine although in the proposed project, solar-powered pumping is the chosen alternative in order to avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Project activities include both rehabilitation of existing water yards and the installation new ones. The installation of new water yards requires approval from State Water Councils which are part of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources (MIWR), one of the Responsible Parties of the project. The MIWR has already committed to providing permission for the installation of new water yards. The procurement of all materials (i.e. pipe, fencing, solar panels, water storage tank, cement, sand, stone aggregate) for rehabilitating or installing new water yards are locally available, obviating the need for importing any goods from abroad.  The 80 new and rehabilitated water yards will each provide a daily storage capacity of 50 m3, or 1.46 Mm3 per year. Specific locations for rehabilitated and new water yards are indicated in Annex 2.

Activity 2.2: Establish sand water-storage dams in support of small-scale irrigation in targeted localities and villages. This involves the blocking seasonal wadis for groundwater storage and exploitation;

Specifically, Activity 2.1 will involve a) constructing sand water-storage dams in drought-prone areas; b) installing small pumping units around sand water-storage dam for sustainable agriculture; and c) providing training for operation and maintenance of sand water-storage dam and solar pumps for water management scheme, including access to micro-financing schemes. A total of 30 new sand water-storage dams and 50 solar-powered pumps will be installed at selected locations within the project sites. These are cost-effective rainwater harvesting structures which are used as a response to conditions of water scarcity due to severe drought and climate extremes in drylands. They are simple structures that consist of a reinforced concrete wall built up to 5 meters high across a seasonal water stream that transports runoff-water from catchment areas to streambeds. They are designed like ordinary dams, but the spillway is raised to enable sediments to sit in the dam. Project activities include constructing new sand water-storage dams which do not require a permit or approval from State Water Councils. The procurement of any materials for constructing sand water-storage dams are locally available, obviating the need for importing any goods from abroad.  Each sand water storage dam has an annual design capacity of 20,000 cubic meters. The 30 new sand water storage dams will contribute a total of 0.6 Mm3 in new annual water storage capacity. Specific locations for the new sand water-storage dams and pumps are indicated in Annex 2.

Activity 2.3:  Construct improved Hafirs and upgrade existing ones, excavating natural pond and cistern to increase availability of drinking water. This involves the construction of water storage infrastructure

Specifically, Activity 2.1 will introduce 75 new hafirs at selected locations within the project sites.  A hafir is simply an artificial excavation designed for harvesting rainwater. During the rainy season it will be filled by the discharge from seasonal streams and enhances the access of vulnerable communities to drinking water. Hafirs are usually constructed big enough to cater for the needs of the villagers/nomads and their livestock during the dry season.  Each improved hafir has an annual storage capacity of 50,000 cubic meters. The 75 new improved hafirs will contribute a total of 3.75 Mm3 in new water storage capacity.Project activities include both constructing improved Hafirs and upgrading existing ones. The installation of new hafirs does not require approval from State Water Councils. The procurement of any materials for rehabilitating or constructing new hafirs are locally available, obviating the need for importing any goods from abroad.

Output 3: Strengthened capacities and knowledge of institutions and communities on climate change resilience and adaptation

Activity 3.1: Train extension officers and other government stakeholders on climate change resilience and adaptation related issues.  This involves the development of training materials tailored to local circumstances and delivered through a series of workshops;

Specifically, Activity 3.1 will involve a) conducting a training needs assessment for executing and concerned government agencies; b) developing manuals and technical guidelines for strengthening technical capacity for expanding climate-resilient practices throughout other communities; c) training extension staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and concerned government agencies; d) developing guidelines on adaptation measures for up-scaling to other localities; and e) developing a manual of best practices on climate change adaptation measures

Activity 3.2: Build capacity of beneficiaries for coping with climate change risks and local operation & maintenance of project interventions. This involves a series of seminars and workshops to raise awareness among village leaderships councils about climate change coping strategies

Specifically, Activity 3.2 will involve a) conducting climate resilience training of village extension networks, including role of micro-financing schemes; b) conducting training of village development committees, including role of micro-financing schemes and community procurement processes; c) carrying out awareness-raising campaigns on building resilience to climate change, including role of micro-financing schemes; and d) facilitating exchange visits of communities and extension staff across localities. A fair and transparent selection process will be established regarding beneficiary selection for capacity building. Several criteria will be employed to select training beneficiaries including specific level of stakeholder engagement; specific level of vulnerability, status as female-headed household, and other criteria to be determined.

 

Contacts: 
Tom Twining-Ward
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Signature Programmes: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Output 1: Resilience of food production systems and food insecure communities improved in the face of climate change in Sudan, benefiting at least 200,000 households of farmers and pastoralists with 35 percent women

Output 2: Improved access of water for human, livestock and irrigation to sustain livelihoods in the face of climatic risks in the nine targeted states benefiting at least 200,000 households

Output 3: Strengthened capacities and knowledge of institutions and communities on climate change resilience and adaptation

Project Dates: 
2020 to 2025
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
June 2020
Description: 
GCF Board Approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
5813
SDGs: 
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 13 - Climate Action

Integrated Water Resource Management and Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Xe Bang Hieng river basin and Luang Prabang city, Lao PDR

Lao PDR is vulnerable to severe flooding, often associated with tropical storms and typhoons, as well as to drought.

Increases in temperature and the length of the dry season are expected to increase the severity of droughts and increase water stress, particularly in cultivated areas. The frequency and intensity of floods are also likely to increase with climate change.

Led by the Government of Lao PDR with support from the UN Development Programme, this proposed 4-year project will increase the resilience of communities in two particularly vulnerable areas – Xe Bang Hieng river basin in Savannakhet Province and the city of Luang Prabang – through:

  • Strengthened national and provincial capacities for Integrated Catchment Management and integrated urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation for climate risk reduction;
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions with supporting protective infrastructure and enhanced livelihood options;
  • Community engagement and awareness-raising around climate change and adaptation opportunities, as well as knowledge-sharing within and outside Lao PDR; and
  • The introduction of community-based water resource and ecological monitoring systems in the Xe Bang Hieng river basin.
English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
The proposed project will directly benefit 492,462 people (including 247,991 women) by increasing the climate resilience of communities in nine districts in Savannakhet Province, as well as the city of Luang Prabang, through facilitating the adoption of ICM at the provincial and national level and urban EbA at the local level. Government ministries at central and provincial levels will also benefit from capacity-building; development of relevant plans; technical support; coordination; and mobilisation of human and financial resources.
Financing Amount: 
GEF-Least Developed Countries Fund: US$6,000,000
Co-Financing Total: 
Government of Lao PDR: $19,500,000 (in-kind) | UNDP: $300,000 (in-kind) + $200,000 (grant)
Project Details: 

General context

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a landlocked Least Developed Country in Southeast Asia. It has a population of ~7.1 million people and lies in the lower basin of the Mekong River, which forms most of the country’s western border with Thailand.

Its GDP has grown at more than 6% per year for most of the last two decades and reached ~US$ 18 billion in 2018 (~US$ 2,500 per capita). Much of this economic growth has been dependent on natural resources, which has placed increasing pressure on the environment. Agriculture accounts for ~30% of the country’s GDP and supports the livelihoods of 70–80% of the population.

Impacts of climate change

The country is vulnerable to severe flooding, often associated with tropical storms and typhoons, as well as to drought.

In 2018, for example, floods across the country resulted in ~US$ 370 million (~2% of GDP) in loss and damage, with agriculture and transport the two most affected sectors.  Floods in 2019 — the worst in 4 decades — affected 45 districts and ~768,000 people country-wide floods, resulting in US$162 million in costs.

An increase in the frequency of these climate hazards, including floods and droughts, has been observed since the 1960s, as well as an increase in the average area affected by a single flood.

Following the floods, the Government identified several priorities for responding to flood risk in the country, including:

  1. Improving flood and climate monitoring and early warning systems;
  2. Public awareness raising to respond to disasters and climate change;
  3. Building resilience at community level; iv) improved risk and vulnerability mapping; and
  4. Strengthening the capacity of government at the provincial, district and community level for better climate change-induced disaster response.

 

In addition, average increases in temperature of up to 0.05°C per year were observed in the period between 1970 and 2010. These trends are expected to continue, with long-term climate modelling projecting: i) an increase in temperature between 1.4°C and 4.3°C by 2100; ii) an increase in the number of days classified as “Hot”; iii) an increase of 10–30% in mean annual rainfall, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country and concentrated in the wet season (June to September); iv) an increase in the number of days with more than 50 mm of rain; v) a 30–60% increase in the amount of rain falling on very wet days; and vi) changing rainfall seasonality resulting in a longer dry season.

The increases in temperature and the length of the dry season are expected to increase the severity of droughts and increase water stress, particularly in cultivated areas. The frequency and intensity of floods are also likely to increase as a result of the projected increase in extreme rainfall events — associated with changes iv) and v) described above.

About the project under development

The proposed project focuses on strengthening integrated catchment management (ICM) and integrated urban flood management within the Xe Bang Hieng river basin in Savannakhet Province – a major rice-producing area and particularly important for the country’s food security, as well as one of the areas in the country which is most vulnerable to droughts and experienced severe flooding in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – and the city of Luang Prabang – one of the cities in Lao PDR which is most vulnerable to flooding, as well as being an important cultural heritage site – for increased climate resilience of rural and urban communities.

The approach will ensure that water resources and flood risks are managed in an integrated manner, considering the spatial interlinkages and dependencies between land use, ecosystem health and underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change.

The protection and restoration of important ecosystems will be undertaken to improve the provision of ecosystem goods and services and reduce the risk of droughts, floods and their impacts on local communities, thereby increasing their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Improved hydrological and climate risk modelling and information systems will inform flood management as well as adaptation planning in the Xe Bang Hieng river basin and Luang Prabang. This information will be made accessible to national and provincial decision-makers as well as local stakeholders who will be trained to use it.

Using the ICM and integrated urban flood management approaches and based on integrated adaptation planning, on-the-ground interventions to improve water resource management and reduce vulnerability to floods and droughts will be undertaken, including ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA).

These interventions will be complemented by capacity development and awareness raising as well as support for rural communities to adopt climate-resilient livelihood strategies and climate-smart agricultural practices.

Addressing gender equality

The proposed project will promote gender equality, women’s rights and the empowerment of women in several ways.

First, the proposed activities have been designed taking into account that in Lao PDR: i) women’s household roles should be considered in any interventions concerning natural resource management, land-use planning and decision-making; ii) conservation incentives differ for men and women; iii) gendered division of labour needs to be understood prior to the introduction of any livelihood interventions; and iv) women need to have access to, and control over, ecosystem goods and services.

Second, an understanding of gender mainstreaming in relevant sectors and associated ministries will be developed, and gaps in gender equality will be identified and addressed in all aspects of project design.

Third, women (and other vulnerable groups) will be actively involved in identifying environmentally sustainable activities and interventions that will support them in safeguarding natural resources and promoting their economic development, with specific strategies being developed to target and include female-headed households. To ensure that the project activities are both gender-responsive and designed in a gender-sensitive manner, a gender action plan will be developed during the project preparation phase.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Component 1: Developing national and provincial capacities for Integrated Catchment Management and integrated urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation for climate risk reduction

Outcome 1.1: Enhanced capacity for climate risk modelling and integrated planning in the Xe Bang Hieng river basin and Luang Prabang urban area

Outcome 1.2: Alignment of policy frameworks and plans for land and risk management to support long-term climate resilience

Component 2: Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions, with supporting protective infrastructure, and livelihood enhancement

Outcome 2.1: Ecosystems restored and protected to improve climate resilience in headwater areas through conservation zone management

Outcome 2.2: EbA interventions supported/complemented with innovative tools, technologies and protective infrastructure

Outcome 2.3: Climate-resilient and alternative livelihoods in headwater and lowland communities, supported through Community Conservation Agreements

Component 3: Knowledge management and monitoring, evaluation and learning 

Outcome 3.1: Increased awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities in target rural and urban communities

Outcome 3.2: Community-based water resource and ecological monitoring systems in place

 

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

The overall monitoring and evaluation of the proposed project will be overseen by the Department of Planning under the Ministry of Planning and Investments, which carries out M&E for all planning processes in the country.

Contacts: 
Ms. Keti Chachibaia
Regional Technical Advisor for Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Component 1: Developing national and provincial capacities for Integrated Catchment Management and integrated urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation for climate risk reduction

Outcome 1.1: Enhanced capacity for climate risk modelling and integrated planning in the Xe Bang Hieng river basin and Luang Prabang urban area

Output 1.1.1: Central and Provincial training program implemented to enable climate risk-informed water management practices in target urban and rural areas

Output 1.1.2: Current and future zones of the Xe Bang Hieng River catchment at risk of climate change-induced flooding and drought mapped, based on hydrological models produced and protective infrastructure optioneering conducted

Output 1.1.3. Economic valuation of urban ecosystem services in Luang Prabang and protective options conducted.

Outcome 1.2: Alignment of policy frameworks and plans for land and risk management to support long-term climate resilience

Output 1.2.1: Fine-scale climate-resilient development and land-use plans drafted and validated for Luang Prabang and in the headwater and lowland areas of the Xe Bang Hieng and Xe Champone rivers.

Output 1.2.2: Current Xe Bang Hieng river basin hydrological monitoring network — including village weather stations — assessed and updated to improve efficiency.

Output 1.2.3: Early-warning systems and emergency procedures of vulnerable Xe Bang Hieng catchment communities (identified under Output 1.1.2) reviewed and revised

Component 2: Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions, with supporting protective infrastructure, and livelihood enhancement

Outcome 2.1: Ecosystems restored and protected to improve climate resilience in headwater areas through conservation zone management

Output 2.1.1:  Xe Bang Hieng headwater conservation zones restored to ensure ecological integrity is improved for delivery of ecosystem services

Output 2.1.2: Headwater conservation zone management supported to improve resilience to climate change

Outcome 2.2: EbA interventions supported/complemented with innovative tools, technologies and protective infrastructure

Output 2.2.1: Protective infrastructure constructed to reduce flood (cascading weirs and drainage channels) and drought (reservoir networks and rainwater harvesting) risk

Output 2.2.2: Implementation and distribution of communication and knowledge management tools and technologies (e.g. mobile phone apps, community radio) to increase climate resilience of agricultural communities to floods and droughts

Outcome 2.3: Climate-resilient and alternative livelihoods in headwater and lowland communities, supported through Community Conservation Agreements

Output 2.3.1: Market analysis conducted, including; i) analysing supply chains for climate-resilient crops, livestock, and farming inputs; ii) assessing economic impacts and market barriers; and iii) drafting mitigating strategies to address these barriers.

Output 2.3.2: Community Conservation Agreements process undertaken to encourage climate-resilient agriculture, fisheries, and forestry/forest-driven livelihoods and practices

Output 2.3.3: Diversified activities and opportunities introduced through Community Conservation Agreements (developed under Output 2.3.2) in agriculture (livestock and crops, including vegetable farming) as well as fisheries, non-timber forest products (NTFP), and other off-farm livelihoods.

Component 3: Knowledge management and monitoring, evaluation and learning 

Outcome 3.1: Increased awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities in target rural and urban communities

Output 3.1.1: Training and awareness raising provided to Xe Bang Hieng and Xe Champone headwater and lowland communities on: i) climate change impacts on agricultural production and socio-economic conditions; and ii) community-based adaptation opportunities and strategies (e.g. water resources management, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, alternatives to swiddening ) and their benefits

Output 3.1.2: Project lessons shared within Lao PDR and via South-South exchanges on  strengthening climate resilience with regards to: i) catchment management; ii) flash flood management; and iii) EbA.

Output 3.1.2: Awareness-raising campaign conducted in Luang Prabang for communities and the private sector on urban EbA and flood management.

Outcome 3.2: Community-based water resource and ecological monitoring systems in place

Output 3.2.1: Community-based monitoring systems developed and implemented to measure changes in key ecological determinants of ecosystem health and resilience in the Xe Bang Hieng river basin

Project Dates: 
2020
Proj_PIMS_id: 
6547
SDGs: 
SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Strengthening the climatic resilience of the drinking water sector in the South of Haiti

Haiti is part of the most beautiful island in the Caribbean and yet the most vulnerable to Climate Change due to economic and social issues combined with the problem of access to safe drinking water. Access to safe drinking water is an ongoing issue in Haiti that is being exacerbated by climate change. The problem will only get more critical with higher temperatures, decreased precipitation, and a rise in extreme weather events. The water issue affects the safety and health of Haitians and was one of the causes for the Cholera outbreak that began in 2010 as well as reduced resilience to prevent the spread of other bacterial and viral diseases. Only 1 in 4 Haitians have access to basic water services, over half have limited access, and 22 percent have no access at all. Over 80 percent of the small island developing state’s population have limited access to sanitation, while 18 percent have no access to sanitation services at all.

The ‘Strengthening the climatic resilience of the drinking water sector in the South of Haiti’ project will focus on improving the resilience of the drinking water supply in Haiti to the effects of climate change by improving conservation and management of water supplies, improving understanding and awareness of vulnerabilities in the water sector, strengthening regulations and policies..

The project addresses water stress due to climate change. Projected climate change will increase the duration and intensity of droughts in Haiti and consequently reduce water yields in springs, wells and rivers on which the population of rural areas and small urban centers depend. This will further exacerbate existing water supply deficits resulting from increased demand due to population growth and degradation of vegetation in aquifer recharge zones (which may also be exacerbated by climate change due to increased frequencies of drought-related wildfires). Climate changed induced floods and landslides will also further impact water stress and increase the risk of water-borne diseases.

The 60-month GEF Least Developed Countries Fund-financed project develops capacities, tools and infrastructure that will provide 90,000 individuals as direct beneficiaries in 86 communities and small urban centers to enjoy reliable access to drinking water throughout the year, despite the increases in the intensity and duration of droughts that are expected from climate change. The project promotes the adoption of improved water management and conservation practices across a 700-hectare area in the project target area (the arrondissement of Jacmel in the Southeast region). The project delivers cross-cutting benefits on economic, social and environmental levels.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Thematic Area: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-72.905273438814 18.277345216103)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
90,000 direct beneficiaries
Financing Amount: 
US$4.5 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$31.6 million
Project Details: 

The socio-economic profile of Haiti

Over 58 percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day (under the 2012 national poverty line)[1] and 23.8 percent are extremely poor (cannot satisfy their nutritional needs). Poverty is highest in rural areas where 52 percent of the population and 63 percent of extremely poor households reside. GDP per capita stood at US$730 in 2017. Haiti has a population of approximately 11 million people (55 percent women) and population is projected to increase to approximately 14.0 million in 2050 (UN, 2017)[2].

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) global targets and indicators include, by 2030: i) ensuring all men and women, in particular the poor and vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services and;  ii) achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report under their Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) [3], data from 2014 indicate that only 25 percent of Haiti’s population have access to basic water services as established in the SDGs[4]; 53 percent have  limited access[5] and; 22 percent have no access to water services[6]. Regarding sanitation, 82 percent of Haiti’s population has access to limited services and 18 percent have no access to sanitation services at all. This is comparable to some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but far below the regional average in Latin America and Caribbean, where 63 percent of the population have basic sanitation services available and 65 percent have access to safely managed water. The overall coverage figures also show disparities between urban and rural areas in Haiti, especially for access to improved water sources. Sixty-two percent of urban and 34 percent of rural residents have access to distributed water[7].

The South-East Department has a total area of 2,034.10 km². It is bounded to the south by the Caribbean coast and to the north by the Massif la Selle mountain range, which includes the country’s highest peak, 'Pic la Selle' (2684 m). It is divided into eight river basins, of varying size, draining into the Caribbean, with mostly steep topography and only a narrow littoral strip. There is a steep rainfall gradient between mountainous and more western areas. In mountainous areas annual precipitation varies between 1,250 and 2,500mm and in the coastal strip, especially the south-eastern extreme of the area, annual precipitation ranges between 500 and 750mm with very pronounced seasonal variations.

On the ridge top of Massif la Selle there are two significant forest remnants, Macaya and La Visite National Parks. Besides these two forest areas, higher parts of the Massif are characterized by a largely treeless altiplano, which are used for vegetable production. There are some significant areas of tree cover at lower and middle altitudes, associated in some cases with coffee plantations, while the drier south-east part of the Department is largely dominated by Prosopis scrub which is mainly used for the cyclical extraction of wood for charcoal production. Middle and lower altitude areas are heavily impacted by smallholder food production and extensive livestock raising.

The population of the Department was 632,601 people in 2015, of which around 85 percent is rural and 40 percent is less than 18 years old[8]. In the South-East Department, 56 percent of the population obtains their drinking water from springs, 20 percent from communal water fountains, 12 percent from household water tanks (connected to piped water systems[9]) and 6 percent from rivers. Water is normally free, but the high levels of dependence on springs and rivers means that water supply is typically of poor quality and is highly vulnerable to seasonal variations in runoff and the level of the water table. In rural areas, the water supply systems generally consist of water points equipped with handpumps, while small towns are served with gravity-fed piped systems supplied by spring catchments, from which water is delivered through standposts, kiosks and household connections. A substantial portion of systems isn’t functional for lack of sufficient funds for operation and maintenance (O&M) and less than 10 percent are equipped with chlorination devices[10].

This lack of water and sanitation services contributed to the severity and rapid spread of the cholera epidemic that began in Haiti in October 2010, and had resulted in approximately 820,000 reported cases of cholera and 10,000 reported deaths as of December, 2018[11]. The primary means of cholera transmission is through consumption of water contaminated with human waste. With low sanitation coverage and inadequate availability and treatment of drinking water, few barriers were in place to stop the rapid spread of the epidemic, especially in a population that hadn’t been previously exposed to this disease[12]. Haiti therefore has all key risk factors UNICEF cites for cholera transmission[13]. Increasing temperatures, severe heat waves and prolonged flooding due to climate change are likely to spur cholera and exacerbate health and social conditions of already vulnerable segments of the population. The National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera (managed by DINEPA) established the goal of almost eradicating the cholera rate incidence by 2022. However, no planned or ongoing water sector investment will succeed in sustaining safe water access unless intensified climate variability and long-term change are duly taken into consideration.

The effects of climate change in Haiti

Haiti has a tropical climate, with some variation based on altitude. The average temperature at Port-au-Prince in January ranges from a minimum average of 23°C to a maximum average of 31°C. In July, it varies from 25–35°C. The average annual rainfall is 1,400-2,000mm, but it is unevenly distributed. Heavier rainfall occurs in the southern peninsula and in the northern plains and mountains. Rainfall decreases from east to west across the northern peninsula. The eastern central region receives a moderate amount of precipitation, while the western coast from the northern peninsula to Port-au-Prince, the capital, is relatively dry. There are two rainy seasons, April–June and October–November.

Global climate change is expected to affect Haiti in the following ways:

  1. Increases in temperatures: climate change projections indicate an increase in the average temperature of 0.8-1oC by the year 2030 and 1.5-1.7oC by the year 2060, with the highest increases expected in the months of June or July[14].
  2. Decreases in precipitation: precipitation is expected to decrease by 5.9-20 percent by 2030 and by 10.6-35.8 percent by 2060[15], leading to increased evapotranspiration and water demand, with the greatest decreases also expected in the months of June or July. Agriculture on the hill lands is mainly rain-fed, and therefore highly vulnerable to variations in timing and amounts of the rainfall which determine sowing and harvesting periods. A combination of increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation, especially in June and July, is likely to impose particularly severe stresses on agricultural systems, especially given the highly degraded nature of soils and vegetation in the target area. Climate change predictions for 2050 and beyond suggest that more than 50 percent of the total area of Haiti will be in danger of desertification.
  3. Extreme weather events: according to the IPCC[16], the Caribbean region is likely to be exposed in the future to more intense and frequent extreme weather events. The impacts of the climate change induced extreme weather events can be exemplified by the 10 cyclonic floods have occurred in Haiti since 2000, resulting in 155 live losses and affecting 277,498 people. In the same period, 16 non-cyclonic floods have occurred in Haiti, affecting 88,466[17] people and killing 2725. Another example was Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which led to physical damages totaling of US$1.9 billion (23 percent of GDP), in addition to substantial loss of lives.[18]

The problem this project aims to address is water stress due to climate change. Projected climate change induced increases in the duration and intensity of drought periods in Haiti are expected to result in reduced water yields in springs, wells and rivers on which the population of rural areas and small urban centers depend. This will further exacerbate existing water supply deficits resulting from increased demand due to population growth and degradation of vegetation in aquifer recharge zones (which in itself may also be exacerbated by climate change due to increased frequencies of drought-related wildfires). Climate changed induced floods and landslides will also further impact water stress and exacerbate the risk of water borne diseases.

According to DINEPA, there are no regular measurements made on water sources that would enable knowing the seasonal and interannual variations of the quantity of water, which is mainly captured for food production and drinking water supply in the Southeast Department. However, in some observations made by DINEPA-Sud in the region, some sources have dried up completely while for others the flow has dropped considerably. Observed climate effects on water sources has weakened an already worrying structural situation regarding access to water. The scarcity of resources generated by drought has been reinforced by the advanced state of degradation of existing supply systems in both rural and urban areas. In some localities the resources are exhausted or very weak and cannot cover the minimum needs of the population: some communal sections simply do not have access to drinking water. This is the case, for example, of the Bodarie spring which supplies the population of Grand Gosier, the source Domingue in the locality of Lafond in Jacmel, as well as water sources in Bainet.

In Haiti, precipitation is expected to decrease by 5.9-20 percent by 2030 and by 10.6-35.8 percent by 2060 due to the effects of climate change. In 2015, the Southeast department was the most affected by the great drought which affected Haiti and droughts that occurred in 2013 and 2016 affected 1,000,000 and 3,600,000 people respectively throughout the country. According to UNDP, due to climate change, precipitation is expected to decrease in several areas of the country by 6 to 20 percent, which would lead to a reduction in groundwater levels of around 70 percent, severely reducing resources available for the population.

 

The baseline scenario and associated baseline projects

Given a full recognition and urgency of the mounting water stress, accelerated by climate change, a high investment has been made nationally in the expansion and improvement of water supply systems in both rural and urban areas (see baseline description below).

The AECID (USD 100,359,000)[19] bilateral program, implemented in partnership with DINEPA (2009-2021) aims at promoting access to drinking water and sanitation and strengthening of national institutions in charge of reforming the water and sanitation sector. This proposed LDCF project will complement it by strengthening institutional capacity at national, regional and local levels to inform water governance and water related decision making for addressing needs and conditions resulting from CC.

GCF-NAP project (US$2.8 million) implemented by UNDP aims at strengthening institutional and technical capacities for iterative development of NAP for an effective integration of CCA into national and sub-national coordination, planning and budgeting process.

DINEPA’s project financed by the Swiss Cooperation (2018-2030), “Strengthening local governance of water and sanitation in Hait (REGLEAU)” aims to meet citizens’ drinking water and sanitation needs by strengthening the local governance in the communes of Bainet, La Vallee de Jacmel, Jacmel and Marigot, in the South-East region. The proposed governance involves local authorities (mainly municipalities), citizens and the private sector engaged for managing the water and sanitation services in each target commune. The proposed LDCF project will fill institutional, information and capacity gaps to ensure that CC effects and adaptation needs are taken into consideration in decision-making and to promote climate proofing of water supply infrastructure.

Finally, IDB’s program implemented by DINEPA “Improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for urban, peri-urban and rural areas of Northern Haiti” aims at improving the technical and commercial management and works of companies of potable water and sanitation, promoting a PPP for the Cap Haitien water company and; investing in potable water, sanitation and hygiene in urban and rural areas of the department. The objectives of the “Port-au-Prince water and sanitation project III” are to i) improve water and sanitation coverage, quality of service, and hygiene practices in Port-au-Prince; ii) improve water coverage and hygiene in rural areas affected by Hurricane Matthew and in OREPA West; iii) improve the financial sustainability of CTE-MRPP[20] and;  iv) achieve an effective regulation of the sector by DINEPA and the de-concentration of the OREPA West[21]. This LDCF-financed project will ensure, through the implementation of a continued information and knowledge generation system to inform water governance and water related decision making, that considerations of climate change resilience are adequately provided for the implementation of both IDB projects. Furthermore, the three projects will collaborate for strengthening DINEPA in its regulatory functions as well as the OREPAs. IDB will also support the LDCF project component related to adapting and strengthening regulatory measures by providing inputs from lessons learned in the discussion on PPP possibilities for the water sector and its systematic inclusion on discussions and planning.

Despite the wide scope of the baseline initiatives, these will not be sufficient to ensure local community’s access to clean and reliable drinking water, given the additional stresses that will be imposed by climate change, in particular the impacts of increased drought frequency on water yields in springs, wells and rivers, and damage to vegetation in aquifer recharge zones as a result of increasingly frequent wildfires. However, the existing baseline includes a very important initiative pertaining to the National Adaptation Planning that creates conducive environment for LDCF project to complement and introduce additional adaptation measures for consolidated impacts in water availability and access to particularly climate vulnerable communities.

The LDCF investment will be additional and complementary to these baseline investments by using a long-term resilience approach that focuses on response mechanisms to the impacts climate change is having and will have on budgets required for guaranteeing water access and water quality. This will be achieved by supporting local communities’ empowerment to improve their institutional organization for the management of catchment areas and water sources that are critical for freshwater availability in the long term, in light of climate change impacts.  Management practices, informed by climate risks, are critical to reinvigorate and reinforce the water yield capacity and the drainage control functions of the catchment, as well as the protection of water sources that are critical for ensuring local communities’ water security and safety.

The solution proposed by this project in response to this baseline scenario, aims at ensuring that the location, design and management of local drinking water supply systems are functional and sustainable in order to deliver the required water quantity and quality to local communities in the Southeast Department of Haiti. This will be complemented by restoring and improving the protection of vegetation in aquifer recharge areas, in order to optimize infiltration and stabilize water yield. The social acceptance, sustainability and equity of these measures will be ensured through strong, well-informed and representative local governance structures.

Project details

Project results will be achieved through actions structured under three components:

Component 1. Improved understanding and awareness of the water sector vulnerability to climate change

The project will make use of environmental information managed by ONEV and SNRE (building on and complementing the CCCD project initiative in relation to the generation and management of environmental information), in order to develop analyses of CC implications for drinking water access. To this end, it will calibrate climate change projections with local hydrogeological and hydrometeorological data, and with the registers of water sources in the south-east. In addition, activities under this component will give strong emphasis on supporting the interpretation and application of existing and new information generated by the project.

This will allow the identification, for example, of springs and wells that are likely to dry up and provide guidance regarding different possibilities for guaranteeing quality water access (for example stakeholders - including government and water users - will have the elements to guide their decision of either abandoning and replacing the wells/springs by alternative sources, or making investments to increase resilience through promoting aquifer recharge and the protection of water sources). Information generated and managed will also help identify the most reliable water sources on which it would be suitable to base piped water systems, in order to ensure the sustainability of these investments under conditions of climate change. Such decisions will further be supported by analyses of the cost-benefit implications of these alternatives, and by scientific and technical studies as necessary. These analyses will also feed into participatory community-based Vulnerability Assessments that will enable community members and their organizations to visualize, in locally understandable terms, the impacts of CC on drinking water access and its implication on their household welfare. The project will support the development of methodologies and capacities for carrying out these assessments.

In order to promote sustainability, this support will be complemented by the implementation of a continued information and knowledge generation system as a mechanism to inform water governance and water related decision making. Additionally, training activities will be provided to staff of key institutions on the magnitude and nature of CC impacts under different scenarios and on methodologies for the development and application of vulnerability assessments. This training will focus, in particular, on staff representing key national organizations (DINEPA, MDE and MARNDR), as well as staff members of regional and local government, and representatives of community organizations such as Water Committees (CAEPAs). The specific priorities for capacity development and strategies to be used for its successful delivery will be confirmed during the PPG phase together with the key institutions and staff members in order to maximize the impact and sustainability of this activity.

Integrated water resource modelling of the projected long-term impacts of CC on biodiversity, ecosystems, and urban systems, as well as of the implications of the interactions between these aspects on drinking water availability at a landscape level will be carried out.

Component 2. Strengthening of the framework of regulations, policies and institutional capacities at national, regional and local levels for the rational management of drinking water under CC conditions

The project will provide technical recommendations, facilitation and drafting support to enable the adaptation of the existing framework of regulatory and policy instruments to the changing circumstances caused by climate change. This will address issues such as the normative provisions and approval criteria for the establishment and management of water supply systems and watersheds, as well as priorities for action provided for in key policy instruments of the water, environment, agriculture and rural development sectors. The precise needs for intervention in these regulatory and policy frameworks will be confirmed through detailed analyses, with the participation of Government actors, during the PPG phase.

The strategic plans of DINEPA, and of regional and local governments in the target area, will also be the subject of mainstreaming support in order to ensure that they incorporate and respond to a range of plausible climate change scenarios in relation to freshwater availability (component 1), and that the proposed adaptation measures are based on rigorous cost-benefit analysis and technical feasibility studies. The result of this activity will be the optimization of the results to be achieved by these plans in terms of resilience, cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

The project will also support improved coordination of planning and investments between the key institutions with responsibilities related to the management of drinking water resources and other associated natural resources, including DINEPA, MDE (including ONEV) and MARNDR (including SNRE), as well as regional and local governments. This support will focus on minimizing the risk of conflicts or duplication between different institutions’ approaches to natural resource management in drainage basins and recharge zones (MDE), agricultural land use in these zones (MARNDR), local development and infrastructure initiatives (regional/local Governments and the Ministry of Public Works) and the installation of and management of water supply systems (DINEPA/OREPAs), guaranteeing that involved institutions include climate change adaptation into their approaches and activities in the water sector.

A targeted programme of capacity development will be formulated and applied, aimed at strengthening key institutional actors in technical aspects of CC adaptation in the drinking water sector, including aquifer management, land use planning, headwater protection and specific technical practices for water conservation and increased resilience. This will complement the capacity development proposed under component 1 and will similarly be based on specific needs assessments to be carried out during the PPG phase. The project also invest in  equipment required to effectively enforce adaptation practices. Such equipment will be used for groundwater level monitoring, rainfall gauges and discharge measurements and other functions that will be additionally identified during the PPG as being essential for the effective planning and enforcement of adaptation measures to secure freshwater availability.

Local actions for the conservation and sustainable management of water and target sub-catchment areas to increase resilience to climate change will be carried out within the framework of community-based strategic and operational plans, to be developed under a participatory approach to be facilitated by the project. Community-based strategic and operational plans will define priorities for action and investment, together with corresponding timelines, responsibilities and funding options. Plans focusing on adaptive water management options will be developed on top of and aligned to local land use plans, based on the same principles as those commonly developed at municipal and regional levels, but adapted to the local cultural context. This activity will give particular emphasis on identifying zones of importance for water supply (aquifer recharge zones and water sources and their protection zones), and defining adequate uses for the sustainability of water supply under climate change conditions.

A necessary complementary action to the plans that will be developed under this component will be the support to the strengthening of local governance structures in order to promote their effective implementation and improve the control of activities that negatively affect water sources conditions and recharge zones (such as the establishment of dwellings, tree felling, chemical pollution and road construction). This support will also focus on improving mechanisms for consensus-based community-level decision-making and norms, related to the distribution of responsibilities and benefits associated with climate-proofing drinking water supply (for example, in-kind contributions of community members to the construction of water supply infrastructure in collaboration with and under the supervision of trained technicians and workers or the establishment and maintenance of protective vegetation, and the application of governance rules to determine allowable levels of offtake by different stakeholders for domestic, agricultural and other uses). In certain cases, governance strengthening may extend to the facilitation of inter-community coordination and collaboration, in order to address upstream-downstream impacts on water supply. Key entities to be strengthened in relation to such governance roles will include community-level Water Committees. The project will also strengthen their technical and organizational capacities, in order to allow them to manage water resources and water supply infrastructure effectively and equitably under CC conditions. The strengthening of Water Committees will also help them to carry out their roles of overseeing and controlling construction work, O&M requirements, user right enforcement and equitable and fee-based distribution as well as source protection through the enforcement of agreed land use plans.

Project support will also promote the discussion on how to address mechanisms for charging for water services and for managing the resulting income to finance the maintenance and improvement of the water supply systems, as well as the reforestation and protection of water sources and recharge zones (including, where appropriate, “payment for environmental services”). This will build on the support provided to date by the existing LDCF project to the installation of water meters and water payment systems, seeking to improve the mechanisms by ensuring that payment levels and systems adequately reflect the additional costs of water supply resulting from the need to adapt to climate change. This approach will necessarily be accompanied by investments in awareness raising among community members on the need for financial sustainability of water supply, especially under conditions of climate change, comparing these costs with those of the eventual alternative which may involve the purchase of water from tanker trucks (an option on which many urban areas already depend). During the PPG phase, analyses will be carried out to compare alternative modalities and mechanisms for charging for water services, taking into account the balance of costs and benefits of each option in terms of, for example, operational and administration costs vs. the economic implications of the health benefits generated through access to reliable clean water. These analyses will also examine how charging systems will be set up and how they will function, based on information sources such as household surveys and discussions with Water Committees (CAEPAs) and other relevant members including government, private sector, CSOs)[22].

In addition, this project aims at encouraging the dialogue between the government, the civil society and the private sector to explore the possibility of engagement of small and medium local private enterprises in the water management sector. Dialogue will be promoted through workshops organized by DINEPA for ensuring coordination between the different entities (government, civil society organizations and private sector actors) and exploring the possibility of an appropriate inclusion of water management PPP[23] schemes in the review of the regulatory and policy framework of the water management sector. A participatory analysis will be conducted of existing needs/gaps of the water sector that could be addressed through the participation of existing local small and medium sized private enterprises. Discussion will involve the participation of other partner projects (i.e IDB) and Water Committee representatives for promoting an improved operational performance in the sector and the implementation of a climate change responsive, safe and affordable water service.

Component 3. Identification and promotion of practices for the conservation, management and supply of drinking water adapted to predicted CC scenarios

Under this component, concrete physical investments will be financed in order to promote the CC resilience of communities by improving drinking water access. These investments will build upon the lessons learned in Haiti, for example through the previous DINEPA/AECID/UNDP project and the UNDP/LDCF project on Strengthening Adaptive Capacities to Address Climate Change Threats on Sustainable Development Strategies for Coastal Communities in Haiti (GEF 3733; 2010-2018), and on international best practice in adaptive water management options and conservation. Activities under this component will also be oriented and validated through participatory analyses of needs and priorities involving the local communities and supported by technical and socioeconomic studies of their feasibility and cost-effectiveness.

Subject to validation of these studies and consultations (which will be carried out during the PPG phase), the practices to be implemented are likely to include the following:

  • Protection and reforestation of water sources and aquifer recharge zones. This Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) approach will focus on promoting infiltration of rainfall and runoff water, and consequent aquifer recharge, using local species and management models that are locally acceptable. Systems implemented will be resilient to climate change, capable of facilitating infiltration and providing shade to reduce evaporation, without negatively affecting water yield through evapotranspiration demands.
  • Establishment/expansion of cisterns and small storage reservoirs with sufficient capacity to last through extended drought periods.
  • Perforation/deepening of wells allowing falling water tables to continue to be accessed.
  • Establishment of physical measures to promote aquifer recharge (e.g. percolation tanks, gabions and contour bunds).
  • Establishment/improvement of roof top water capture systems, together with associated household rainwater storage cisterns.
  • Filters to allow grey-water to be recycled and thereby reduce overall household water demand.

 

Adaptation benefits

The project will develop capacities, tools and infrastructure that will enable 90,000 individuals as direct beneficiaries in 86 communities and small urban centers to enjoy reliable access to drinking water throughout the year, despite the increases in the intensity and duration of drought periods that are expected as a result from climate change. In addition to concrete investments to support climate-proofing drinking water supply (such as reforestation and protection of water sources, percolation tanks and rainwater capture systems), the project will contribute to the increased resilience to climate change achieved through baseline investments in water supply by ensuring that they are based on water sources that are least vulnerable to climate change-related failure, and will develop sustainable capacities for institutional adaptation to climate change through the strengthening of decision-making systems capable of responding to emerging information inputs on climate change and water resource status.

Innovation, sustainability and potential for scaling up

The project will be innovative in as much as it will apply a multi-sector approach to promoting climate resilience to water supply, involving actors beyond the water sector itself. It will confer added value to previous investments by ensuring that decision-making on water supply investments is sound, evidence-based and adaptive, taking into account multiple information sources and by complementing traditional approaches to water supply based on piped water with alternatives including rainwater capture and grey water recycling to reduce competition in household irrigation demands. Hence the diversification of potential water sources by the protection and mobilization of ground, surface, harvested rainwater and recycled household greywater will maximize local water availability, taking into consideration current and projected climate change impacts.

Sustainability of the field-level resilience measures proposed will be promoted by the use of low cost, locally appropriate technologies that have been subject to prior consultation and validation of engineers and target communities. Institutional sustainability will be promoted through the development of in-house capacities in key institutions for scenario analysis, monitoring and decision-making in accordance with principles of adaptive management, and by promoting inter-institutional collaboration in relation to climate change adaptation. Options for financial sustainability to be explored will include the implementation of locally-negotiated and consensus-based systems for water charges to cover the costs of operation and maintenance of water supply systems, taking into account the additional costs implied by climate change adaptation and including, when possible, the use of  a mechanism of payment for environmental services.  

The measures to be implemented by the project for increasing the resilience of communities to climate change by improving drinking water access will be highly replicable throughout Haiti, given the universally poor coverage and vulnerability of water supply in the country. The project will be of particular strategic value by functioning as a testing ground for models capable of being subsequently applied at larger scale in other areas in the country (such as the North-West and the metropolitan zone of Port au Prince), which face similar and even more severe problems, and which may be addressed in the future, by other projects, once the required institutional conditions and co-financing opportunities are in place for this to happen.

The achievement of the project’s objective of generating multiple environmental and social benefits through the preservation of water resources will be achieved by associating GEF resources with significant co-financing. GEF resources will be used to mainstream environmental considerations into a number of the ongoing initiatives described above, with the result that these initiatives will come to contribute actively to the generation of GEBs. These co-financing sources are as follows:

  • Ministry of Environment and DINEPA: Government recurrent budget for building capacities on climate change adaptation, water management, vulnerability and hydrometeorology[24].  
  • IDB’s programme aiming at improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services within the framework of SDGs for urban, peri-urban and rural areas and implementing with DINEPA the water sector reform in the areas of regulation, planning and operation[25]; along with another programme aiming at improving the quality of life and sanitary conditions of the population of Port-au-Prince and rural communities through the provision of sustainable water and sanitation services[26].
  • UNDP: Support to capacity building and local governance strengthening, mobilization of partners and knowledge sharing towards sustainable development goals[27].

 

 




[1] World Bank, Haiti - Systematic Country Diagnostic 2015.

[2] United Nations. 2017. World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. New York: United Nations. https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2017_KeyFindings.pdf

[3] World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines. 2017.P.46. Available at: https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/launch-version-report...

[4] Water from an improved source is available on premises.

[5] Water from an improved source is available off premises; or an improved source is on-site, but no water is available.

[6] Unprotected dug well or spring, surface water, or no water source.

[9] Between 22 and 40 percent in three of the communes but in the other 7, between 1 and 6 percent.

[10] Project Appraisal Document for Sustainable Rural and Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project, World Bank, 2015

[11] Republic of Haiti: Ministry of Public Health and Population. National Monitoring Network Report, December 2018.  2018. http://mspp.gouv.ht/site/downloads/Profil percent20statistique percent20Cholera percent2050SE percent202018.pdf

[12] Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Haiti: Past, Present, and Future. Richard Gelting, Katherine Bliss, Molly Patrick, Gabriella Lockhart, and Thomas Handzel. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Oct 9; 89(4): 665–670. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3795096/

[13] Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector Status and Trends Assessment in Haiti. Final Report. Mohamed Chebaane, Assessment Team Leader, Stéphanie Maurissen, WASH Sector Expert, December 2014. USAID. http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00K9CK.pdf

[14] National Adaptation Programme of Action- NAPA. 2006. https://www.preventionweb.net/files/8526_hti01f.pdf

[15] National Adaptation Programme of Action- NAPA. 2006. https://www.preventionweb.net/files/8526_hti01f.pdf

[17] NATHAN 2

[18] UN News Centre. “UN calls for support to recovery plan as Haiti loses $2.7 billion in Hurricane Matthew.” http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56294#.WYseP-nRaUl

[19] AECID. Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. Bilateral Program.

Bilateral Programmes. Partnership with DINEPA. South-East Department. https://www.aecid.ht/fr/secteurs/eau-et-assainissement

[20] CTE-MRPP. Centre Technique d'Exploitation of the Metropolitan Region of Port- au-Prince.

[22] SPIRAL Group; UNICEF; USAID/WATSAN projet; OREPA Ouest; DINEPA/CNRC; Clio-PEPA; DINEPA/Communication; MICT/DCT; Habitat for Humanity; Maltheser International; UNICEF Régional; Helvetas.

[23] Public-Private-Partnerships.

[24] A USD 600,000 cofinance is being provided by DINEPA and USD 500,000 from the Ministry of Environment.

[25] IDB. HA-L1135. Approved. To be executed by DINEPA. North Department. A USD 15,000,000 cofinance is being considered from this project.  https://www.iadb.org/en/project/HA-L1135

[26] IDB. HA-L1103. Executed by DINEPA. Port-au-Prince and West Department. A USD 15,000,000 cofinance is being considered from this project. https://www.iadb.org/en/project/HA-L1103

[27] UNDP provides a USD 200,000 cofinance for this project.

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Outcome 1: Improved understanding and awareness of the vulnerability of the water sector to climate change

1.1. Improved awareness, knowledge and information management systems for the water sector to plan and respond to the risks of climate change.

1.1.1. Analyses carried out at national level to have climate change scenarios constructed and show their implications for the availability of water to inform communities and government on adaptive water management options,  resilient water supply and implementation of a continued information and knowledge generation system to inform water governance and water related decision-making.

1.1.2. Cost-benefit analyses of alternative adaptation strategies under different climate change scenarios.

1.1.3. Training programmes implemented for regional and national institutions on the magnitude, nature and implications of climate change on freshwater availability, including methodologies and application of vulnerability assessments, and adaptation solutions.

1.1.4. Scientific and technical studies carried out regarding the implications of climate change and options for management and adaptation in the target area, feeding effectively into decision-making on climate change-resilient water supply.

1.1.5. Inventory and quality characterization of subterranean water resources carried out in the area served by OREPA Sud.

1.2. Target communities are prepared to effectively plan their responses to the impacts of climate change on drinking water

1.2.1. Methodologies and instruments developed for Vulnerability Assessment of drinking water supply at community level.

1.2.2. Participatory Vulnerability Assessments carried out in 86 target communities.

1.2.3 Integrated water resource modelling exercises carried out of the projected long-term impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and urban systems, and the interactions between these aspects and drinking water availability at a landscape level.

Outcome 2: Strengthening of the framework of regulations, mechanisms, policies and institutional capacities at national, regional and local levels for the rational management of drinking water under climate change

2.1. Key regulatory and policy instruments take into account the implications of climate change for drinking water supply and promote adaptive community-based management.

2.1.1. Two regulatory instruments adjusted to take into account the evolving needs and conditions resulting from climate change.

2.1.2. Plans (developed by DINEPA OREPA Sud and 60 local Water Supply Action Committees (CAEPA), oriented by the results of evaluations and analyses of climate change and its implications for water supply vulnerability, providing for adaptation and the prioritization of investments in drinking water supply under conditions of climate change

2.1.3. Frameworks and instruments developed and applied for planning and coordination between national, regional and community organizations.

2.2. Increased levels of capacities in priority institutional stakeholders (DINEPA, OREPA, and 60 CAEPA) in relation to technical aspects of water resource management, territorial land use planning, management and application of information (on water resources, climate change and related threats).

2.2.1. Applied programmes implemented for the strengthening of capacities (precise capacity development needs to be confirmed during PPG phase)

2.2.2. Key equipment needs provided (to be defined during PPG phase)

2.3. 86 target communities, with 338,728[1] beneficiary individuals including 90,000 direct beneficiaries, with instruments and mechanisms that ensure the sustainable management of water resources and associated infrastructure.

2.3.1. Community-based strategic and operational plans developed for ensuring the resilience of drinking water access to the impacts of climate change.

2.3.2. Consensus-based community-level territorial planning carried out, providing for permitted land uses in drainage and recharge zones in order to ensure resilience of drinking water access to the impacts of climate change.

2.3.3. Programmes applied for the strengthening of the technical and organizational capacities and awareness of community level stakeholders and organizations, motivating and enabling them to manage water resources and supply infrastructure effectively and equitably under conditions of climate change.

2.3.4. Water consumption metering systems developed and installed in order to improve water use efficiency and distribution, accompanied with awareness-raising and advocacy programme

2.3.5 Programme for treatment of water supplies with hypochlorate in order to reduce pollution-related health risks.

Outcome 3: Identification and promotion of practices for the conservation, management and supply of drinking water adapted to predicted climate change scenarios

3.1. Local communities and households with reliable access to drinking water due to the implementation of climate change resilience measures.

3.1.1     86 water sources and aquifer recharge zones protected and reforested, covering 700 ha, using climate-resilient and locally acceptable species.

3.1.2. Physical measures established to reinforce protection of water distribution systems in disaster-prone areas (either flooding or landslides) (e.g. gabions, contour bunds), in 86 communities.

3.1.3. Roof top water capture and household cisterns installed in 350 households.

 

Contacts: 
UNDP
Simone Bauch
Regional Technical Advisor
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Signature Programmes: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Outcome 1: Improved understanding and awareness of the vulnerability of the water sector to climate change

Outcome 2: Strengthening of the framework of regulations, mechanisms, policies and institutional capacities at national, regional and local levels for the rational management of drinking water under climate change

Outcome 3: Identification and promotion of practices for the conservation, management and supply of drinking water adapted to predicted climate change scenarios

Project Dates: 
2020 to 2025
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
June 2020
Description: 
PIF Approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
5628
SDGs: 
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 13 - Climate Action