In the media
The Government of Uganda has officially gazetted all wetlands in the country, recognizing their critical role in protecting communities from climate change and providing essential benefits for millions. This landmark decision is aligned to the Ramsar Convention and comes after years of collaboration between the Government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners on restoration of wetlands and associated catchments.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Kasule Lumumba, the Minister for General Duties and focal point minister for the Sustainable Development Goals called upon all leaders at all levels in the country especially the local councils to wake up and protect all wetlands.
Through the Green Climate Fund-funded project "Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda", UNDP has played a pivotal role in revitalizing these fragile ecosystems. The project has empowered communities surrounding the wetlands especially women, girls and youth with alternative livelihood and economic opportunities, while simultaneously enhancing the technical capacity of relevant institutions under the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and selected District Local Governments.
French organisation, Association la Voûte Nubienne (AVN), has enabled the construction of over 7,000 of ‘Nubian vault’ climate-friendly houses in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Ghana and Benin since the year 2000, using the 3000 year-old Nubian Vault traditional technique originating in Upper-Egypt.
Anne-Cécile Ragot, the project lead at AVN, says every one of these arched homes built in the Sahel saves on the carbon emissions usually associated with construction and indoor cooling. A few years ago, Ragot and her team began wondering if they could use this fact to scale up construction: could the carbon savings from one family’s Nubian Vault fund the construction of another?
They managed to secure support from the UNDP-Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA) to answer this question. AFCIA grants are intended to help accelerate innovative technologies, practices and business models for local adaptation, by tapping into the incredible potential of NGOs, civil society, women and young innovators.
“Climate justice means providing a safe environment now for people, and for action now and not later. Scientists have predicted Tuvalu will be uninhabitable by 2050. This is why we are advocating for social justice alongside climate justice,” says Teresa Lifuka-Drecala.
Under the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project, implemented by UNDP and financed by the Green Climate Fund, 7.3 hectares of new, raised land has been installed in the Tuvalu capital of Funafuti, providing flood-free areas for island communities. Now, plans are underway to safeguard the long-term future of the island, with barriers stretching 665 meters along the coast on the outer island of Nanumaga and 1,330-meters on the island of Nanumea.
These “Berm Top Barriers” consist of bags filled with local sand and water, revegetated to fit in with the natural environment. The barriers will protect communities from salt intrusion in food and water, and from large cyclone events and waves overtopping road infrastructure and buildings.
The vision is not only to protect the island, but the community and wider identity of the people of Tuvalu.
The costs of transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future are immense (although it the cost of inaction is even greater) and governments alone are unable to shoulder them. It is estimated that the agriculture and land use sectors alone require 26 times more than current levels of funding.
Until now however, the private sector has not been fully engaged in climate action, and especially in climate adaptation. Shovon Kibria, Private Sector Engagement Specialist at UNDP outlines four key reasons, as well as how the challenges can be turned into opportunities, and promising examples of progress.
In a pivotal moment for countries supported by UNDP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved US$208 million in finance to fast-track global action on nature and biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution control.
The funding will be deployed by UNDP to 20 countries, including eight Fragile States, seven Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and two Small Island Development States (SIDS), to tackle urgent and complex environmental challenges in a holistic way.
The new funds, overseen by UNDP, are anticipated to benefit over five million people –with a special focus on vulnerable populations– and to crowd in additional financing. Alongside the GEF, the private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations and local communities, UNDP will focus on aiding countries to curb coastal pollution, transform food systems, and bolster wildlife and biodiversity conservation efforts.
UNDP's Deputy Resident Representative for the Federated States of Micronesia, Kevin Petrini, blogs on the challenges associated with climate change and water security in the North Pacific and what UNDP is doing to help.
Opening remarks from Ms. Alissar Chaker, Resident Representative at UNDP Cambodia, at SDG Investor Map deep-dive on climate change adaptation: "Today we are taking a step forward with the deep dive on private investment opportunities in climate change adaptation. This is key for Cambodia, as it ranks amongst the most vulnerable countries to climate change... Climate change is also expected to affect the private sector in the country. It is against this background that we are starting this dialogue to raise awareness on investment opportunities in climate change adaptation, share ideas on fostering private sector engagement, advocate for enabling conditions for scalable investments, and identify the incentives for the development of a solid adaptation pipeline. Building on the SDG Investor Map, the discussion today will focus on 4 sectors: healthcare, food and beverage, renewable energy, and infrastructure."
Despite the challenges posed by conflict and climate change, farming remains a vital sector of Iraq’s economy, providing livelihoods for millions and ensuring the country's food security.
To support farmers in Iraq adapt to climate change, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing training programs and financial grants to enable them to adopt sustainable agriculture practices. The Building Resilience through Employment Promotion (BREP) programme - funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provided through the KfW Development Bank - will provide more than 1,000 small farmers across Iraq with training on sustainable agriculture practices and grants to boost farm productivity and enhance agro-enterprises.
Bangladesh's Minister for the Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, said that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will increase its activities in Bangladesh for the development of the country’s overall environment and forests and to combat climate change. The minister said the incumbent government will work closely with UNDP to implement the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan.
"As the ‘COP28’ climate negotiations in Dubai concluded, the final declaration agreed to by more than 190 countries and territories shows some serious strides forward, while many frustrations remain.
The outcome of COP28 has secured the 1.5 degree Celsius goal as the ‘North Star’ for collective climate ambition. Given 2023 is the hottest year on record, reaffirming that goal underscores the urgency of climate action at speed and scale, aligning with what the science is telling us. For the first time, nations have formally agreed to transition away from fossil fuels in a just and equitable manner. These are at the very core of humanity’s climate problem, as the UN Secretary-General reiterated in his closing remarks.
Some are understandably frustrated that the agreed language could have been stronger on this issue. But it remains the most unequivocal signal to date that the world is moving beyond the fossil fuel era. The declaration should be considered the starting point for more ambition, not the endpoint. Fundamentally, countries have agreed that successful economies of the future will be net zero." Read the statement in full.
Announced in 2022, the initiative will identify the risks and vulnerabilities of each sector and population group, take adaptation measures, and make investment decisions.
The plan covers from Santa Ana, in Havana’s Playa municipality, to Rincón de Guanabo, in Havana del Este municipality.
With a budget of three million dollars, the project will be implemented over four and a half years. It is supported by the Green Climate Fund, and is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Cuba in partnership with the Environment Agency (AMA) at CITMA.
With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates, our news feeds are filled with reminders of the dramatic effects of climate change, from sinking islands to extreme weather events. All of that is, of course, true. But what would happen if the world community would step up climate actions to the level required? A blog by Dr Jun Gao, Acting World Health Organization Representative to the South Pacific, and Christophe Bahuet, Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Development Programme.