Climate Change Adaptation in the News

February 2021

February 2021

COP26: One Earth One Future


Wednesday 17 February 2021

Thank you very much to the organizers for hosting this timely ‘Dialogue on nature and adaptation and resilience’, and for inviting UNDP.

During this Decade of Action, we strongly believe we need to amplify the importance of integrated solutions to address the multiple crises facing us – the crisis of biodiversity loss, degraded ecosystems and landscapes, climate change, and poverty and persistent inequality, all compounded in the last year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know well, more than ever, that the solutions are interlinked - we cannot solve one crisis without addressing another. And, to do so we must begin by ‘working with nature’.

By safeguarding natural ecosystems and harnessing nature-based solutions, we have the opportunity to build a truly sustainable pathway for a climate resilient development. Well-designed, nature-based solutions can deliver multiple benefits – they support climate adaptation and mitigation, and they protect biodiversity and the valuable ecosystem services, on which our humanity depends to survive and prosper.

Scientists tell us that nature can provide us with almost 40% of our climate solution, through forest conservation, restoration and sustainable land management, and through climate smart agriculture. The Global Commission on Adaptation estimates that ecosystem-based adaptation can yield as much as 1 trillion US dollars in net benefits by 2030.  Yet, nature receives only 2% of all climate finance.

UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative recently estimated that the world invests around 121 billion dollars per year on nature - not a small amount. However, the OECD data show that investments that harm nature are well over US$ 500 billion per year. Clearly there is work to be done, to both invest in nature and reduce negative impacts on nature as a result of economic activities.

With funding from the Adaptation Fund, Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund, UNDP has supported governments to restore mangroves and forest, protect land, coastline and marine habitat, while supporting resilient livelihoods for vulnerable communities on the frontlines of climate change. UNDP also works closely with governments to support mainstreaming of adaptation across national and sub-national level policy, planning, and budgeting processes.

Last year, we worked with Paul Allen Family Foundation, Prince Albert the Second of Monaco Foundation, BNP Paribas, Althelia Funds, UN Environment Programme, and UNCDF to establish the new Global Fund for Coral Reefs.

It is urgent that we tie our major global agendas together for nature, climate, COVID-19 recovery, health and poverty reduction. We have the evidence for effectiveness of nature-based solutions.  Now, we must remove the barriers to putting these solutions in place, unlock finance and encourage investments, while ensuring that sustainability do – to ensure that  solutions serve to improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity and chart a pathway to a just transition for sustainable development.

Thank you very much!

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Kiribati: Fishing for food and resilience, sowing seeds for people and the planet


Monday 15 February 2021

No longer simply a poster child for climate risks, Kiribati is pushing to meet the challenges, adopting a comprehensive approach to resilience.  In addition to a Climate Change Policy, National Framework for Climate Change and Climate Change Adaptation and Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, the issues have also been woven into development policies and strategies, including Kiribati’s long-term development blueprint 20 Year Vision KV20 (2016 to 2036). In 2016, with the backing of the Global Environment Facility-Least Developed Countries Fund and UN Development Programme, Kiribati launched a five-year initiative to specifically address the issue of declining coastal ecosystems and food security due to climate change. Here is what it has achieved so far.

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More than 400 scientists brainstorm on GEF investment priorities

Global Environment Facility

Friday 12 February 2021

For its first 30 years, the Global Environment Facility has worked on all environmental fronts to support a productive, resilient planet that benefits human health and well-being. Over the decade to come, these efforts will also include a high-ambition drive to underwrite a clean, resilient, green, and blue recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Making that recovery stick and endure is among the ambitious goals of the multilateral trust fund’s next four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-8, which runs from 2022 to 2026, and will also shape the next one, GEF-9, leading to 2030.

To lay the groundwork for these new phases of action with clear, science-based objectives, GEF Chairman and CEO Carlos Manuel Rodriguez convened a group of more than 400 leading scientists and environmental experts from Feb. 8-11 to share their perspectives on the top priorities and opportunities to seize at a critical moment.

“There is no doubt to me that the COVID-19 recovery is a once in a lifetime opportunity to achieve breakthroughs in how we manage forests, the land, the water, the ocean, how we produce and consume, and even how we live,” Rodriguez told the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting, which was held over Zoom because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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