Climate Change Adaptation in the News

May 2020

May 2020

Mexico’s central bank, UNEP and UNDP call on financial sector to plan for environmental risks


Wednesday 20 May 2020

Mexico City - Today, Banco de México and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), presented the report "Climate and environmental risks and opportunities in Mexico's financial system: From diagnosis to action," which calls upon Mexican financial institutions to make a collective effort to incorporate environmental issues into their risk assessment and corporate governance strategies, as well as to take advantage of the opportunities that would result from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The report highlights that climate change and environmental degradation are critical challenges of our time, as they lead to loss of natural capital, ecosystem degradation, lower productivity, and a reduction of the population’s well-being, at both the national and global level.

As part of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), the central banks along with other financial authorities have become more involved in initiatives geared towards encouraging financial institutions to accurately acknowledge and assess the impact of environmental risks, in view that such phenomena can have significant consequences on credit risk, financial stability, and social development.

Read Article

Communities in Mozambique Inspired to Curb Deforestation

Indepth News

Wednesday 20 May 2020

In Mozambique's province of Gaza, 9,240 tons of charcoal are produced every year placing pressure on the region's natural resources. Wood burning for charcoal production has led to high rates of deforestation.

Unfortunately, what is happening in the Gaza province mirrors a nationwide trend. Data from the Global Forest Watch show that Mozambique has lost nearly 3 million hectares – or 10 per cent – of its forests since 2000.

The UNDP project on Adaption in the Coastal Zones of Mozambique reported that natural resource pressures are threatening biodiversity, damaging essential ecosystems, aggravating climate change and destabilizing livelihoods.

If current rates of deforestation continue, the population of Mozambique will endure increasingly uncertain environmental and economic conditions.

As much as 80 per cent of the population still rely on wood and charcoal to provide fuel for essential activities, such as cooking. Feliciano dos Santos, Executive Director of a local development and environmental protection NGO called ESTAMOS, claimed that high energy prices are one of the key reasons why curbing deforestation is so complicated.

"Since gas is expensive, people end up using charcoal, and the problem is that large areas of forest are being cleared without replacement of trees." What more, energy costs are on an upward trend, which means the country will need to find sustainable, affordable fuel alternatives to reduce the economic demand for wood.

Read Article

Curbing Land Degradation & Protecting the Environment in Mongolia


Wednesday 20 May 2020

Ulaanbaatar/ New Delhi/ Sydney/ London, May 15 2020 (IPS) - Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Yet, more than 70 percent of its surface is affected by land degradation. Mining activities in several parts of the country have been a source of humanitarian and environmental concern. However, different stakeholders are coming together to work towards restoration and rehabilitation.

The Mongolian economy has been dependent on the mining sector for many decades. Seven percent of the Mongolian territory is licensed for mining exploration and exploitation.

The operations of mining companies in Mongolia have negatively affected herder communities’ livelihoods, cultural traditions and access to fertile land and clean water. Increasing development of roads, railways and other infrastructures that support the mining industry in Mongolia is becoming another threat.

These constructions also infringe on the snow leopard’s habitat, an animal native to the western and southern parts of the country.

Read Article

For a lack of soap and clean water, disease flourishes


Monday 18 May 2020

A critical element of a successful virus containment must include frequent hand washing with soap and water. UNDP, through programmes such as GoAL-WaSH and its Climate Change Adaptation portfolio, plays an active role in helping countries improve access to safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene.

The coroanavirus COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the world in unprecedented ways, from the enormous health challenges to a dramatic slowdown in the global economy, which is jeopardizing the welfare, food and economic security of tens of millions of people.   

Governments are taking aggressive steps to contain and control the spread of the virus through social distancing, testing, and contract tracing. It is well established that a major vector for transmission is human to human contact as well as human contact with infected surfaces. A critical element of a successful virus containment must include frequent hand washing with soap and water.

Based on the latest estimates by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, three billion people don’t have soap and water at home, 900 million children don’t have soap and water at school, and 40 percent of health care facilities were not equipped to practice hand hygiene. There are also large inequalities between and within countries with some populations having extremely low coverage of this basic, and vital amenity. More than 400 million people in rural India have limited household hygiene facilities while 40 million people in rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo have no hygiene facilities at all; 100 percent of rural Gambians have no household hygiene facilities. Globally, 36 percent of schools have no hygiene services; in Yemen, it’s 84 percent.

Even before COVID-19, these gaps in access to hygiene services and safely managed drinking water and sanitation services were causing massive harm to people’s health, education, and economic opportunities in many of the world’s developing nations. The lack leads to increased incidences of water-borne diseases, particularly diarrhea which killed 829,000 people in 2016. Diseases like these also keep millions of children out of school and diminish women’s opportunities to create new economic enterprises. Overall, it’s estimated that even before COVID-19, inadequate hand hygiene resulted in nearly 300,000 deaths annually, with the majority of deaths being among children younger than five.

The critical importance of safe water, sanitation and hygiene to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development was recognized in UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6.1 and 6.2:

  • 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all;
  • 6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

Even before COVID-19, the World Health Organization estimated that universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene would reduce the global disease burden by about 10 percent. In urban areas, for every US$1 invested in basic sanitation, the return in saved medical costs and increased productivity is $2.5 while in rural areas, each $1invested returns on average more than $5.

UNDP, through programmes such as GoAL-WaSH and its Climate Change Adaptation portfolio, plays an active role in helping countries improve access to safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene. GoAL-WaSH supported the post-conflict government in Liberia to set up a national regulatory body for the water supply and sanitation sectors. In the Maldives, a project financed by the Green Climate Fund will bring safe drinking water to more than 100,000 people across 49 of the Outer Islands.

Read Article

Impensable, crecimiento económico sin acción climática: PNUD


Monday 18 May 2020

El bloqueo global resultante de la COVID-19 está dando al planeta un respiro, al menos temporalmente: la productividad industrial ha disminuido y los vuelos y el transporte por carretera se han detenido, lo que ha provocado un fuerte descenso de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero.

Las imágenes satelitales de la Administración Nacional de la Aeronáutica y el Espacio (NASA) y la Agencia Espacial Europea, muestran que la calidad del aire ha mejorado significativamente desde que comenzó la pandemia.

La modelización preliminar en la Unión Europea (UE) determina que sus emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero pueden caer un 24.4 por ciento en comparación con su objetivo de emisiones para 2020. En China, se desplomaron a 200 millones de toneladas métricas de dióxido de carbono (CO2), lo que representa una disminución promedio del 25 por ciento en febrero, en comparación con antes del brote.

La tendencia a la baja es evidencia de que se pueden lograr mejoras dramáticas rápidas en la calidad del aire y el cambio climático, afirma el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD).

El grupo de expertos con sede en el Reino Unido, Carbon Brief, proyecta que este periodo de emisiones globales reducidas significará un recorte del 5.5 por ciento para fines de 2020, si la trayectoria de la pandemia continúa.

Hay una renovada esperanza de que los objetivos del Acuerdo de París todavía se puedan lograr: reducir las emisiones a la mitad para 2030 y alcanzar el cero neto para 2050.

Pero las ganancias para el cambio climático y el Día de la Tierra 2020 vienen con intercambios brutales: los cientos de miles de personas muertas, el trauma psicológico asociado con la escalada de la violencia doméstica, la inseguridad del ingreso familiar y los temores por la salud de trabajadores de primera línea y esenciales, por nombrar algunos.

La pandemia provocó que la demanda de petróleo cayera a un cero histórico el 21 de abril. A medida que los países se esfuerzan por reiniciar sus economías, los objetivos globales para implementar el Acuerdo de París pueden verse frustrados, lo cual tendrá un gran costo para el medio ambiente si hay un resurgimiento de la demanda de petróleo barato.

A medida que las economías se recuperan, las emisiones de carbono pueden volver a los niveles previos a la pandemia, o incluso superarlos, como fue el caso de la crisis financiera de 2008, debido en gran parte a disfunciones estructurales no abordadas en los mercados y sistemas financieros.

No repetir el pasado requiere que los países reflexionen sobre las lecciones aprendidas e inviertan en cambios sistémicos derivados del Acuerdo de París y la Agenda 2030 de las Naciones Unidas.

La Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) estima que lograr los 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), requiere superar una brecha crítica de financiamiento global de entre 2.5 y 3 billones de dólares por año.

Ahora con la pandemia, los costos de recuperación económica para un mundo mejor son casi incalculables.

El bloqueo ha inspirado la apreciación de las posibilidades en paisajes urbanos previamente contaminados, ya que ahora vemos aire limpio, cielos despejados y el regreso de la naturaleza. Con esto, a la humanidad se le está dando una idea de cómo podría ser el planeta si los países promueven una vida sostenible.

Las personas también han demostrado grandes actos de solidaridad y han adoptado nuevos valores sociales, como aprender a vivir de manera menos extravagante y reflexionar sobre el consumismo y los estilos de vida sostenibles.

Se requiere más cooperación global para respetar los cambios en los valores sociales y preservar los logros alcanzados para el clima antes de la pandemia. Esto significa trabajar más para una economía baja en carbono.

El PNUD trabaja con socios en más de 100 países, a través de su Climate Promise, una extensa cartera de cambio climático global que ayuda a los países a abordar simultáneamente la crisis climática y la pandemia de la COVID-19.

También apoya a varios países a través de la iniciativa Solar For Health, que ha instalado más de 900 sistemas solares en centros de salud y clínicas en comunidades rurales y desatendidas en países como Angola, Chad, Liberia, Libia, Namibia, Nepal, Sudán, Sur Sudán, Yemen, Zambia y Zimbabwe.

Read Article

UNDP: Extreme weather will continue to affect productivity

Khmer Times

Friday 8 May 2020

The Ministry of Health has warned that Cambodia should expect a week-long of extreme weather – cautioning “at-risk” workers, as temperatures are expected to peak at more than 40 degrees Celsius and result in strong storms. The warning reiterates the heavy toll extreme weather has on the Kingdom’s much-needed productivity growth, considered a main driver to achieving its goal of becoming an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Cambodia Nick Beresford said yesterday that Cambodia is particularly vulnerable to temperature increases, which affects worker productivity and health in key sectors including agriculture, construction and garment manufacturing.

“Recent modelling conducted by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the National Council for Sustainable Development shows that reduced worker productivity because of increasing temperatures will be the most significant impact of climate change on the Cambodian economy between now and 2050, before the impact of other extreme climate events such as floods and droughts,” Beresford said the UNDP in Cambodia has implemented the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance, supported by the EU, Sweden and the UNDP with support from the Cambodian government and academic institutions to research in more detail how these temperature increases affect various types of workers – as well as school children.

Read Article

Tanzania: UNDP Funded Irrigation Project Sets Foot in District

All Africa

Friday 8 May 2020

ABOUT 60 smallholder farmers in Chamwino District will benefit from drip irrigation scheme funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which aims at improving food security in Dodoma Region.

Chamwino District Social Development Officer, Ms Sophia Swai, noted here recently that the main goal of the project was to minimise adverse effects of climate change in agriculture in the region.

"The project also helps to engage poor households in income generating activities on how to eradicate poverty," said the Chamwino District Social Development Officer during a study tour of the project to beneficiary farmers at a model farm owned by Mr Fred Mwenemile.

Read Article

Política El PNUD destaca la economía verde como respuesta al COVID-19 en Costa Rica

El Diario

Wednesday 6 May 2020

El representante residente del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD), José Vicente Troya, destacó en una entrevista con Efe la necesidad de Costa Rica de redoblar esfuerzos hacia una economía verde, como medida de protección social para enfrentar los efectos de la pandemia del COVID-19.

En el análisis del PNUD "Evaluación económica inicial de los efectos de COVID-19 y alcance de las opciones de política en Costa Rica", los expertos afirman que el país deberá proteger a los grupos más vulnerables de la población y evitar el riesgo de afrontar problemas futuros ante la falta de sostenibilidad de sus finanzas públicas, ahora más transgredida por el coronavirus.

Read Article

Nécessité de relancer le rôle de l'IGE pour prévenir les accidents de pollution


Monday 4 May 2020

La ministre de l'Environnement et des Energies renouvelables, Nassira Benharrats a insisté jeudi à Alger sur la nécessité de relancer le rôle de l'Inspection générale de l'environnement (IGE) et des Inspections régionales de prévention contre les accidents de pollution.

A une question orale du député de l'Alliance Nahda-Adala-Bina, Salah Zouiten, lors d'une séance plénière de l'APN, présidée par Slimane Chenine, président de l'APN, Mme Benharrats a souligné que l'IGE comptait parmi ses missions l'application de la législation et de la réglementation en vigueur dans le domaine de l'environnement, notamment en matière de coordination entre les services en charge de la gestion des questions environnementales.

La ministre a ajouté que l’IGE prend également les mesures de contrôle et d'inspection et propose les dispositions légales ou matérielles. Elle est habilitée à effectuer des visites d'évaluation, d'inspection et de contrôle, voire de mener des enquêtes en cas d'accident de pollution, et ce de par la révision périodique des dispositifs d'alerte et de prévention des accidents de pollution.

Dans ce sens, la ministre a rappelé qu'un arrêté ministériel a été promulgué le 7 octobre 2019 portant organisation et définition des missions des inspections régionales de l'environnement, outre le recrutement de cadres spécialisés pour renforcer les compétences et relancer le rôle de ces inspections.

Elle a affirmé, dans ce sens, que son secteur "élabore un décret déterminant les systèmes de protection des zones humides conformément aux dispositions de l'article 14 de la loi N 11-02 du 17 février 2011 relative aux domaines protégés dans le cadre du développement durable, après le règlement de tous les problèmes environnementaux auxquels est confrontée la zone humide Guerbes-Sanhadja (Wilaya de Skikda), notamment le pompage irrationnel des eaux pour l'irrigation des zones agricoles avoisinantes.

A ce propos, la ministre a mis l'accent sur l'importance des zones humides et leur rôle dans l'atténuation des effets du changement climatique, relevant leurs spécificités permettant le stockage d'eau, la réalimentation de la nappe phréatique, la protection des tempêtes, la réduction du risque d'inondation, la stabilité du littoral, la lutte contre l'érosion du sol et le stockage du carbone, ajoutant que ces zones constituent une source de biodiversité et un vecteur économique et scientifique qui requiert préservation et prise en charge.

La ministre a rappelé que la zone humide de Guerbès-Sanhadja a bénéficié, en 2017, dans le cadre du projet de coopération entre la Direction générale des forêts (DGF) et le Programme des Nations unies pour le développement (PNUD), de plusieurs avantages dans le domaine de l’environnement, tels "la création d’un centre d’éducation environnementale, la réalisation d’activités de sensibilisation, ainsi que l’élaboration d’un plan de gestion de la zone humide".

Dans ce cadre, poursuit la ministre, il a également été procédé dans la zone, à la signature d’un nouveau projet, le 30 janvier 2019, entre le ministère des Affaires étrangères et le ministère de l’Agriculture et du Développement rural, représenté en la DGF et le programme des Nations-unies pour le développement (PNUD), intitulé « Mise en œuvre préliminaire du Plan de Gestion intégrée du complexe de zones humides ».


Read Article