Source of Funds Approval/Endorsement
Taxonomy Term List
Climate Change in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) has been observed in the continuous rise of the mean annual temperature and significant seasonal and spatial changes in precipitation, that have become more pronounced over the last fourteen years. As a result of these changes, years with damaging floods have become very common. The Third National Communication (TNC) shows that the temperature is expected to increase further until the end of the 21st century, and the variability of rainfall regime and extreme precipitation will further intensify under warmer climate conditions.
The objective of the project 'Scaling up Climate Resilient Flood Risk Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina' is to address increasing vulnerability of B&H communities and livelihoods to intensified climate-induced flood-related disasters. The project will establish an integrated and innovative gender-responsive climate-resilient flood risk management approach, and strengthen institutional, technical, and financial capacity to implement long-term flood risk management strategies, including a combination of structural and non-structural measures and ecosystem-based approaches.
One of the root causes of increasing vulnerability and damages from floods is lack of quality climate data and flood forecasting and early warning system. As a result, the BiH authorities are unable to make qualified decisions and the affected population cannot effectively cope with the risk. Lack of climate information and risk knowledge increase the vulnerability and costs from flooding. The project will strengthen the use of climate information, flood forecasting, early warning, and emergency response systems to enhance adaptive capacity and resilience of at-risk communities.
The project is aligned with the UN multi-partner initiative “Early Warnings for All (EW4All)” announced by the UN Secretary-General in March 2022 with the aim to promote universal coverage of the early warning, and will contribute to the implementation of EWS4All Executive Action Plan developed in March 2023.
The objective of the project 'Scaling up Climate Resilient Flood Risk Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina' is to address increasing vulnerability of B&H communities and livelihoods to intensified climate-induced flood-related disasters. The project will establish an integrated and innovative gender-responsive climate-resilient flood risk management (FRM) approach, strengthen institutional, technical and financial capacity to implement long-term FRM strategies, including a combination of structural and non-structural measures and ecosystem-based approaches. The project will strengthen the use of climate information, flood forecasting, early warning and emergency response systems to enhance adaptive capacity and resilience of at-risk communities. The project is aligned with the new UN multi-partner initiative “Early Warnings for All (EW4All)” announced by the UN Secretary-General in March 2022 with the aim to promote universal coverage of the early warning, and will contribute to the implementation of EWS4All Executive Action Plan developed in March 2023.
One of the root causes of increasing vulnerability and damages from floods is lack of quality climate data and flood forecasting and early warning system. As a result, the BiH authorities are unable to make qualified decisions and the affected population cannot effectively cope with the risk. Lack of climate information and risk knowledge increase the vulnerability and costs from flooding.
The project will scale-up successful FRM solutions and technologies tested through a UNDP/GEF-Special Climate Change Fund project in Vrbas River Basin, promote and implement technological, institutional and financing innovations in the flood risk management sector, and will leverage considerable public and private investment into resilient flood risk management. The latter will be achieved through the development of a flood risk management investment framework supported with incentives, risk transfer products and private sector partnership models, The willingness of the B&H private sector to engage with the intervention is confirmed through the materialized co-financing commitments, surveys and consultations carried out during the project design phase.
Outcome 1: Climate informed gender-responsive impact-based FFEWS and increased generation and use of climate data reduce vulnerability to flood related disasters
Output 1: Fully integrated impact-based Flood Forecasting and EWS facilitates timely preparation and response
Outcome 2: Vulnerable communities in B&H including women, children, disabled and elderly are better protected from and less exposed to climate induced flood risks through a combination of structural and non-structural flood risk reduction solutions
Output 2: Non-structural flood risk reduction measures and nature-based solutions mainstreamed in sectoral policies and plans and effectively contribute to protection of people and livelihoods from climate-induced flood risk
Output 3: Climate-proof flood protection measures scaled-up through new and improved national and local investment frameworks increasing resilience of the most vulnerable groups to climate induced flooding.
Outcome 1: Climate informed gender-responsive impact-based FFEWS and increased generation and use of climate data reduce vulnerability to flood related disasters
Outcome 2: Vulnerable communities in B&H including women, children, disabled and elderly are better protected from and less exposed to climate induced flood risks through a combination of structural and non-structural flood risk reduction solutions
Increased resilience and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable communities to climate change in Forested Guinea
The Republic of Guinea is a coastal country situated in West Africa, on the Atlantic Coast, sharing its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mali and its southern border with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. Its geographical location situates it at the crossroads of the major West African climatic groups, including the Guinean coastal climate, the Sudanese climate and the humid tropical climate at the edge of the equatorial climate.
The country is likely to be heavily impacted by climate change, and some effects are already being observed. For example, the seasonal distribution of rainfall and its intensity has changed in recent decades. Rising temperatures and changes in regional rainfall may continue to lead to flooding and have the potential to bring drought and extended dry spells in some regions.
The natural region of Forested Guinea, covering 23% of the country, is particularly fragile. Communities are especially vulnerable due to several deep-rooted factors such as; highest rate incidence of poverty in the country (~67% against a national average of 43,7 %); poor levels of financial and technical capacities of the farming communities and the institutions mandated to support rural development; dependence on rain fed agriculture (~97% of cultivated lands are rainfed) which is the primary source of livelihood and critical for food security; and poor agriculture/land management practices that contribute to degradation of agricultural landscapes, contribute to climate change and have negative effects on the overall crop productivity.
Forest Guinea, however, has a strong potential for agricultural development: out of 700,000 ha of agricultural lands that can be developed, including 400,000 ha of inventoried and geo-referenced lowlands, only 30,200 ha are partially developed and 1,000 ha in total water control in the finishing phase in Koundian.
The proposed long-term solution of this project is to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacities of the most vulnerable local communities (with a focus on youth and women) in Forested Guinea, to face climate change and improve self-sufficiency in basic living needs of rural communities and create conditions to enable its replication.
The project results, corresponding indicators and mid-term and end-of-project targets in the project results framework will be monitored annually and evaluated periodically during project implementation. The project monitoring and evaluation plan will also facilitate learning and ensure knowledge is shared and widely disseminated to support the scaling up and replication of project results.
Project-level monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken in compliance with UNDP requirements as outlined in the UNDP POPP (including guidance on GEF project revisions) and UNDP Evaluation Policy. Additional mandatory GEF-specific M&E requirements will be undertaken in accordance with the GEF Monitoring Policy and the GEF Evaluation Policy and other relevant GEF policies.
Minimum project monitoring and reporting requirements, as required by the GEF:
- Inception Workshop and Report
- Annual GEF Project Implementation Report (PIR)
- Independent Mid-term Review (MTR)
- Terminal Evaluation (TE)
The project’s terminal GEF PIR along with the Terminal Evaluation report and corresponding management response will serve as the final project report package. The final project report package shall be discussed with the Project Board during an end-of-project review meeting to discuss lesson learned and opportunities for scaling up.
Strengthening the Resilience of Climate-Smart Agricultural Systems and Value Chains in the Union of Comoros
Comoros is particularly vulnerable to climate change, like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Due to its location and topography Comoros is among the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, and 54.2 percent of the population live in at-risk areas. The climate risk index of 25.33 for the year 2019 places the Comoros 16th (out of 180) of the countries most at risk. This value is mainly attributable to the passage of Cyclone Kenneth in April 2019 while the longer-term climate risk index, for the period 2000-2019, is 90.00 corresponding to the 97th rank. Comoros is extremely vulnerable to the amplification of rainfall variability linked to climate change, especially since the rural population is entirely dependent on rainwater harvesting. Models predict an increase in the annual average temperature, as well as increasing and intensifying risks associated with climate change, such as sea level rise, floods, droughts, and cyclones. Climate impacts are impacting agriculture, vulnerable ecosystems and livelihoods.
The proposed project “Strengthening the Resilience of Climate-Smart Agricultural Systems and Value Chains in the Union of Comoros” will aim to increase the resilience of 98,000 people, over 11% of the Comoros population, by focusing on key agricultural value chains vulnerable to the impact of climate change, including vanilla, ylang-ylang, and clove, the three main Comorian export commodities. The intervention will build capacities and support investments in climate-smart practices, more autonomous supply of inputs, better climate risk management and better access to knowledge and training, providing resilient livelihoods options for smallholders while reducing import dependence and increasing access to better quality, locally produced food. Implemented over a period of five years with an allocation of US$10 million from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund, the intervention will build on and make US$46 million worth of co-financed investments in agriculture and transportation in Comoros more resilient to climate change impacts. The project is aligned with and contributes to the Emerging Comoros Plan 2030, the flagship national strategy guiding the country’s development and green recovery efforts.
Component 1. Systemic, institutional and individual capacities for climate-resilient agriculture includes one outcome: Outcome 1. Enhanced capacity of national institutions and value chain actors involved in agriculture development to guide, plan, supervise and implement climate-resilient practices. The strategy for achieving outcome 1 is based on 3 outputs related to capacity development (i) of the institutional actors responsible for developing climate-adapted solutions and of CRDEs responsible to provide extension services to support their adoption, and (ii) of smallholder farmers, collectors and retailers to help them cope with the risks and uncertainties related to climate change, and (iii) through the development of guidance tools to support the adoption of climate-resilient practices. The development of institutional capacities will facilitate the replication of the lessons of this project to the whole agricultural community and will allow the continuous adaptation of tools and approaches to the evolution of the climate.
1.1 Capacity development plans elaborated and implemented to increase the institutional skills required to plan, develop, disseminate, and support the adoption of climate-resilient agricultural practices among smallholder farmers, and value chain actors. In 2013, the government established a network of sixteen (later expanded to nineteen) Rural Economic Development Centers (CRDEs) in rural areas of the country to supervise rural development programs for the improvement of the economy through the production and environmental protection sectors. CRDEs are local support structures for farmers responsible for providing services adapted to their needs to strengthen the resilience of agricultural systems and value chains. The CRDEs are in particular responsible for training farmers, providing technical extension services, support and advice to producers, supervising professional organizations, ensuring the collection and management of data, providing support to improve rural populations' access to agricultural inputs and supporting the development of basic infrastructure (eg hydraulics, supply, etc.). CRDEs will therefore be key beneficiaries of the project's capacity building interventions and will be at the centre of the project interventions to support small agricultural enterprises and other value chain actors. The rationale for the selection of target intervention areas is presented in section 1b. Project Map and Coordinates.
Strengthening the capacities of CRDEs will require a significant involvement of the public administration to support the recruitment of staff with adequate training meeting the profiles defined for CRDEs and ensure their continuing training and include aspects of adaptation to climate change in the training curriculum for agricultural technicians (University of Comoros and National Horticultural Center): a) Redeployment of institutional staff: Faced with the recruitment constraint within the public service, the project will advocate with the authorities within the ministry and the national and regional directorates and the Governorates of each island for the redeployment of staff from the administrations towards the CRDEs. The Regional Directorate is responsible for proposing the assignment of technicians to the CRDEs and the ministry is responsible for their recruitment. b) The project will support the definition of criteria for the selection of candidates for the assignment of personnel to CRDEs to ensure that they have the capacity to fulfill the responsibilities of the personnel (Director, Accountant Manager, Administrative Assistant and Technicians of the Center) as defined in Article 14 of Decree No. 13-015 relating to the status of Rural Economic Development Centers (CRDE). For each of these positions, the project will provide details on the requirements and skills required and will specify the need to work in rural areas. c) The project will support the establishment of a continuous training system and promote self-training focused on adaptation and resilience to climate change for CRDE staff. The project will work with institutions that provide training (National Horticultural Center and UdC) in order to include these themes in their curricula. Also, online resources are available (fr.csa.guide) to facilitate self-training in climate-smart agriculture on the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) websites. Modules have also been developed by FAO and are available in French. d) The project will support the development of a training of trainers’ program (namely in collaboration with FOFIFA and FIFAMANOR of Madagascar), which will target technicians within the staff of CRDEs who have more capacities in the most relevant areas. The trainings will cover different themes relating to climate-smart agriculture, including the selection and production of suitable seeds. e) The project will support the strengthening of the skills of CRDEs in communication and their essential role as extension centers focused on the development, evaluation, demonstration and dissemination of improved and climate-resilient agricultural practices to farmers, and their support throughout their adaptation to new techniques and approaches as well as in the traceability process through digital platforms and technological solutions.
This output is also focusing on strengthening the capacities of the other parties responsible for planning and supporting the implementation of climate-adapted agricultural practices, namely the National Directorate of Agricultural and Livestock Strategies (DNSAE), local authorities, NGOs and the private sector. Based on assessments of capacity development needs, the project will support the strengthening of the technical capacities of state actors (DNSAE and regional directorates for Agriculture), local authorities (municipalities, including the mayor and councillors), NGOs (including DAHARI, ARAF, Initiative Développement, Ngochao, 2 Mains, GAD, Mesha, and the Jeune Chambre Internationale), and the private sector (especially in relation to cash crops including collectors, vanilla preparers, exporters) to identify vulnerabilities to climate change in agricultural and pastoral activities, and develop and implement long-term adaptation strategies, through training, dissemination of knowledge through various media, and the development of action research involving these actors. (b) The project will support the development of the capacity to develop and update agricultural land use plans and agricultural calendars through the establishment (composition, terms of reference and resources) of a multidisciplinary working committee in charge of to develop and update the agricultural calendar on an annual basis and based on meteorological data and the analysis of the vulnerabilities of the various segments of the targeted sectors.
1.2 Training packages developed and delivered by CRDEs to farmers and agriculture value chain actors to enable the implementation of climat risk reduction measures. To achieve this output, the project will target local farmers, men, women, youth, and people with disabilities (PWDs), working individually or within cooperativeswith a special consideration given to facilitating attendance by women and PWDs. Capacity development needs will be assessed during the preparation of the project document (PPG). The trainings will be organized by the CRDEs who will also ensure the demonstration of climate-adapted practices within their plots, and will be provided by relay farmers, to build the capacity of farmers to understand and assess the effects of climate change on the condition of plots, crops and livestock, and to identify appropriate measures to improve it. Where appropriate, training will take advantage of the digital platform of the CRDE network, which aims, among other things, to facilitate access to online trainings on climate-smart agriculture and the digital transition.
Measures to improve climate resilience may include: i) improvement of soil condition to restore or increase productive capacity and counter erosion; ii) selection of new climate-resilient agricultural crops and varieties, and livestock options, suitable to local weather and soil condition of the plots (identified under the output 2.1 and in line with guidance provided in the agricultural land use plans under the output 1.3) and to the needs and interests of farmers; iii) adoption of practices (such as agroforestry, hedging, associated crops, agropastoralism) that strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture and livestock, and identified under the output 3.1.
In accordance with a national strategy to encourage actors to further specialize within value chains, training will also address aspects of processing, marketing and packaging of agricultural products. The climate change impacts on these segments of the value chains will be assessed to identify vulnerabilities and required adaptation mesures to increase their climate resilience, and develop/implement related trainings.
To further reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers in the context of climate change, the project will equally support the establishment or strengthening of local farmers cooperatives and improve their capacities in governance, microfinance and micro-entrepreneurship. To contribute to the financial sustainability of the climate-responsive solutions proposed under the project, trainings will include the development of business models that integrate the depreciation cost of inputs (e.g. infrastructure) into the price determination of products.
1.3 Guidance plans and tools to support the adoption of climate-resilient agriculture are designed, assessed, and disseminated on the basis of the analysis of the climatic and socio-economic vulnerability of each of the sectors of the targeted value chains, and include agricultural land use plans, crop calendars, advice sheets on varieties and agricultural practices for adapted varieties including for market gardening, cash crops, food crops, fodder, and for agroforestry including hedging (embocagement). To achieve this output, the project will undertake: (a) Climate and socioeconomic vulnerability analysis for all sections of targeted value chains. In order to identify the main issues affecting the value chains of targeted cash crop and market gardening and to better define the interventions needed to strengthen their resilience, the project will involve the value chains actors to document and assess climate, environmental, and socioeconomic vulnerability in all sections of the value chains. The vulnerability assessment will integrate the results of the assessments conducted by the CGIAR for tomatoes, bananas and manioc crops based on exposure to several factors related to climate change. As part of the vulnerability analysis, the project will develop value chain climate risk profiles. Assessments of the impacts of climate change often focus on production while neglecting the other components of value chains. However, successful adaptation requires thinking about how climate change will affect all aspects of the value chain. It is proposed to carry out this reflection with the stakeholders concerned by following the approach of climate risk profiles. Discussions will take place with value chain actors, i.e. producers, collectors, cooperatives and exporters, including the local populations involved, on their perception and experience of climate change and its impact on cultivation, harvesting, storage, transportation and processing of products. These discussions will also involve support and supervision structures for agricultural production in the field (CRDE) to consolidate understanding of the risks and effects/impacts of climate change on the different segments of the value chains. These consultations will help identify the individual and institutional actions and capacities needed at each level for the design and adoption of effective climate change adaptation measures, such as climate-smart agriculture practices or access to innovative information/communication tools or technologies that facilitate their adaptation. Solutions will be identified for each segment of the value chains – inputs, production, collection, storage, processing and marketing – to increase the adaptive capacity of value chain actors to climate change. This exercise will make it possible, among other things, to identify the most vulnerable actors (men-women-young people-people with disabilities) within each of the value chains. In addition, the review will document the land tenure situation of cultivated plots as well as governance, gender and inclusion issues in order to identify the challenges to tackle so that value chains are resilient, inclusive, sustainable and that the benefits are equitably accessible and distributed among the different actors, as between men and women.
(b) Agricultural land use plans within the areas supported by each of the CRDEs: The project will support planning for optimal land development that takes into account projections of climate change and its impacts, as well as the potentials and vulnerabilities of current and new crops using the FAO Ecocrop tool. This planning will build on existing plans for individual plots (approximately 75% of smallholder farmers have developed climate-adapted land use plans for their individual plots, with the support of CRDEs, that take soil and climate into account) and knowledge, including studies carried out by CGIAR as part of the development of an IFAD project. Such plans will integrate the planning carried out for protected areas under the UNDP-GEF project and the planning carried out for the Mwali Island Biosphere Reserve with support from AFD. (c) Crop calendar: Development of an agricultural calendar adjusted to new weather conditions, supplied and updated on an ongoing basis according to the acquisition of new knowledge. (d) Operating plans: The project will support the parties concerned to develop or update plans for agricultural and agro-pastoral operations at the individual, cooperative and CRDEs levels. (e) Online tool: The project will support the development of an online tool to provide advice to farmers and disseminate knowledge on climate-smart agro-ecological practices on the basis of knowledge and best practices developed in the Comoros by CRDEs, farmers and other stakeholders in the sector. The feasibility of enhancing the efficiency of the real-time dissemination of agrometeorological forecasts by contracting the dissemination of messages to individual operators to telephone companies will be assessed.
Component 2. Diversification of climate-resilient value chains includes one outcome: Outcome 2. Increased resilience of agricultural actors through the identification and promotion of new climate-resilient value chain options with good prospects for profitability, increased access to national and international market information and equitable benefit sharing. To achieve outcome 2, the project will support interventions to identify new value chain options which climate-resilience, profitability on national and/or international markets, and social acceptability will have been carefully assessed and validated with the support of CRDEs and INRAPE strengthened expertise. To achieve result 2, the project will support interventions aimed at identifying new value chain options whose climate resilience, uniqueness of components or properties, profitability in national and/or international markets and social acceptability will have been carefully assessed and validated with the support of the CRDEs and the enhanced expertise of INRAPE. Increased awareness of actors within national institutions, policymakers and private sector investors not only on the challenges posed by climate change to Comorian agriculture, but also on the potential brought by a diversity of new adapted value chains to the country's climate and environmental conditions, and by agricultural practices that will make it possible to increase the resilience of traditional crops, will promote the political support needed to make the changes, particularly at the level of the CRDEs, and mobilize the investments required from the private sector to develop value chains. Equity in benefit sharing between value chain actors and decent incomes are essential elements for the sustainability and replicability of the solutions developed under the project and will be ensured through the above-mentioned investments, political support and negotiation. and the signing of agreements between value chain actors ensuring the equitable sharing of benefits. Access to market information will enable value chain actors to position supply in relation to existing markets and negotiate appropriate prices commensurate with the quality and uniqueness or rarity of the products offered. Benefits to smallholder farmers will be optimized through developing product processing and marketing capacities, and improving CRDEs’ capacities to organize the distribution and the marketing through fairs, as inspired by Diboini CRDE’s successful experience, and promoting the multiple advantages of organic and fair-trade agriculture on the local and national scene and promoting the quality and specificity of Comorian products on the national, regional and international markets. This component will build on the contributions of co-financing projects aiming at eliminating obstacles in the commercial circuits (building on the achievements of co-financing partners for road rehabilitation, including Sima -Moya and other rural roads (BafD, PIDC-BM, AFIDEV-AFD).
2.1 Identification of climate-adapted agricultural varieties and livestock breeds to develop climate resilient and profitable value chains. A major focus of the project is to help famers shift from a few climate-vulnerable crops to a diverse selection of climate-resilient agricultural and livestock options that can support the development of profitable value chains. Diversification is an integral part of the strategy to build climate resilience, reduce risk and increase the chance of ultimate success. A more diverse array of crops/varieties is more likely to contain varieties that provide overall resilience to a farmer’s field (or to the several fields of a farmers’ group), as there is a greater chance of any one or a few of them having traits that enable them to adapt to a changing climate, or that confer resistance to new pests or diseases whose spread is favored by climate change. Diversifying farmers’ sources of income and spreading harvests and revenues throughout the year will also contribute to strengthen farmers resilience to climate change.
This will be achieved by identifying new climate-adapted cash and garden crops and livestock options whose demand is strong on national or international markets, which only require small areas (thus reducing the risk of expansion of cultivated areas at the expense of natural forests), which production cycle is short, and which can be processed locally. (a) As part of the PPG, a series of Comorian products will be examined including varieties endemic to the Comoros or which have become rare on a regional or global scale and products whose specificity is based on traditional production techniques that meet the requirements of agroecological cultivation. For each variety, the review will focus on the identification of its soil and climatic requirements and their correspondence in the Comorian context, the investigation of distinctive assets in existing and potential markets and will also include an assessment of the interest of farmers, men, women and youth. (b) The project will also seek to strengthen the climate resilience of market gardening sectors targeting local markets in order to increase household self-sufficiency and food security, reduce the need to import lower quality products, while creating new jobs, especially for women and young people. The project will work with CRDEs to demonstrate and disseminate adaptation solutions whose effectiveness has been demonstrated within the framework of the CRCCA project and will develop solutions based on soil-less cultivation of short-cycle varieties, which can be grown on small areas in urban or peri-urban areas (where the majority of the Comorian population is concentrated), using hydroponic systems with reduced water and input requirements, and therefore attractive and more accessible for young Comorians.
The project will also contribute to strengthening the climate resilience of poultry and goat farming value chains targeting local markets through the identification and assessment of new climate-resilient breeds. Integrating the rearing of climate-resistant goat and poultry breeds into the family economy will help increase self-sufficiency and food security for families, reduce the need to import lower quality products, while creating new jobs accessible to women and PWDs.
For poultry farming, the project will support the development of the CRDEs’ capacities to develop Kuroiler type breed chicken farming practices adapted to the Comorian climate, to demonstrate them, and to provide training to farmers. The project will build on a study conducted in 2019 by the Tanzanian company AKM Glitters on behalf of the Diboini/Hamalengo CRDE and UNDP-Comoros, to assess the situation of the poultry sub-sector in Comoros and recommend solutions adapted to the Comorian context and climate, with the intention of relaunching the subsector in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the cyclone Kenneth.
Goat and cattle breeding is practiced by many people in rural areas, especially young people and women. Goats generally possess high thermotolerance compared to large ruminants such as cattle that enable them to maintain their production under extreme climate conditions and to play an important role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, namely i) their higher capacity than other farm ruminants to effectively convert feed sources into milk and meat, ii) their lower methane emissions in comparison to other domestic ruminants. For the rearing of goats, the project will promote a sustainable intensification approach through the hedging technique (embocagement) which has long been proven in the Comoros, especially in Ndzuani and the building of goat sheds to protect them from predation. By creating a balanced environment combining trees, culture -including fodder, compost, and livestock in an enclosed space where the composting of animal and plant waste enriches the bocage according to the logic of the circular economy, and by associating water and soil conservation measures (bunds, ponds, living hedges), this approach will mitigate the effects of heat stress and ensure a supply of quality fodder and thus improve the resilience of goat herds to the effects of climate change. This approach allows at the same time to address the problems linked to extensive agriculture and slash-and-burn agriculture still practiced in the Comoros, to mitigate soil erosion and degradation, to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and to maintain biodiversity.
Through value chain analyses conducted for the climate adapted crops, varieties or breeds, the project will identify the options with favorable prospects for profitability. The value chains analyses will follow guidance provided in UNDP’s “Toolkit for value chain analysis and market development integrating climate resilience and gender responsiveness” and will support their promotion with CRDEs, farmers, cooperatives, and the private sector by publicizing the successes of the new approaches by the beneficiaries (champions) themselves and by facilitating visits to demonstration plots and sites where new techniques have been successful. Communication approaches could use the contrast of “before and after” or “with and without” images. Messages targeting older farmers will be broadcasted through local radios and the project will include training of these older farmers in the use of phones and social media.
2.2 Capacity development plan elaborated and implemented to strengthen INRAPE’s capacities to characterize new climate-adapted Comorian agrobiodiversity products, and control the quality of export products. The project will build on the support provided by the Japanese government (source of co-financing) for the construction of a new multidisciplinary laboratory for INRAPE, which responds to the institutional assessments carried out as part of the UNDP project (2013-2016) for the development of a strategy to strengthen a sanitary and phytosanitary system (SPS) capable of supporting the development of the country's agricultural operations. The project will support the development of the capacities of this national laboratory so that the country has the necessary skills and equipment to carry out characterization studies independently and demonstrate the uniqueness of Comorian varieties, to certify and label them, and to preserve access to them for the benefit of the people of the country.
2.3 Web and mobile trading platforms developed to connect agricultural producers and buyers in national and international markets and ensure timely access to market information for climate resilient agricultural products. To enhance access to national markets, the project will build on the physical connectivity provided through WB co-financing for the rehabilitation of small ports to improve transportation between the islands, and on interventions carried out by development partners through projects aimed at improving the business climate. The GEF investment will focus on the development of a web and mobile trading platform to access market information and that connects actors in the agricultural value chains and agricultural service providers, processors, and buyers by taking advantage of the intervention of the International Trade Center (ITC) which set up a platform in Ndzuani to communicate price information of Comorian products to cooperatives (to be identified in the baseline). Support has been limited to Ndzuani so far because ITC targeted well-established cooperatives and avoid opportunistic ones set up to benefit from project support. The project will draw on this experience to replicate the successful interventions as well as the platform set up by UNDP to improve the competitiveness and accessibility of products and services. This platform can be used to provide agricultural advice and information by experts, and to offer services for the development of profitable agriculture. The connection of producers and traders makes it easier to find all the information on innovations and business opportunities in the agricultural and agrifood sector and facilitates the necessary dialogue to develop equitable benefit sharing agreements.
2.4 Awareness campaign conducted to enhance understanding by institutional and private actors of the sector of the climate change risks and adaptive measures. The project will carry out an awareness campaign targeting institutional and private actors involved in the agriculture sector, including smallholder farmers, and the general public, especially young people, on the ongoing and imminent devastating effects of climate change on agriculture and on new opportunities identified through the project interventions. The goals of the campaign will include demonstrating the potential revenue that can be generated to spark interest from young people and the private sector. This campaign will be conducted in collaboration with the chamber of commerce and business incubators. The awareness campaign will be an opportunity to promote the profession of farmer, by highlighting champion farmers and their success stories.
2.5 Negotiation and signature of agreements ensuring fair benefit sharing among actors in climate-resilient value chains. The project will identify and set up necessary processes and mechanisms required to ensure tangible and maximum benefits accrue to farmers through: (a) Dialogue facilitation between the private sector and representatives of local farmers to strengthen and formalize the links between these parties for the development of products that are integrated into value chains; (b) Development of business models (through which prices are determined) integrating the optimization of benefits for local farmers, rules for benefit sharing, and incentives to comply with the rules associated with targeted certifications. These models may provide for a contribution to the financing of CRDEs based on the user-pays principle; (c) Negotiation and signature of agreements with relevant actors in each value chain.
Component 3. Implementation of agroecological practices adapted to climate change in targeted intervention areas includes one outcome: Outcome 3. Increased adoption of climate-resilient practices and crops/varieties by smallholder farmers and value chain actors facilitated by support systems and adequate provision of inputs and resources. This outcome will be mainly the result of investments on the ground, following approaches to mitigate the risks associated with climate change, to develop a local, quality and low-cost supply of agricultural inputs, climate-adapted seeds, tools and small equipment to enable the adoption of climate-smart practices, and to support the implementation of a set of practices and approaches that strengthen the climate resilience of agricultural and livestock production. The strategy to achieve this outcome is based on initiating smallholder farmers to the concept of risk management, identifying approaches and practices whose effectiveness in reducing climate vulnerability has been demonstrated by CRDEs and supporting their adaptation by farmers, facilitating access to microcredit on terms adapted to the conditions of farmers, improving the local supply of agricultural inputs for increased adaptability, and developing incentives linked to effective and proven adoption of sustainable and climate-adapted production. To contribute to the sustainability of this outcome, the project will adopt an approach where any project contribution for protective structure (such as goat sheds, greenhouses and shade shelters) and equipment (such as micro-irrigation systems, small tools) will involve a counterpart (in-kind contribution as work) from the beneficiaries in order to promote ownership and maintenance. In addition, the income from part of the agricultural production linked to the use of the infrastructures will be allocated to the maintenance and renewal of the infrastructures. Maintenance will be carried out by an infrastructure management committee comprising users supervised by CRDE staff, such that the government should not have to invest further beyond the project for their replacement. The project will include training on maintenance and the importance of savings not only as a risk management strategy but also to ensure the maintenance and renewal of equipment and infrastructure that contribute to strengthen climate resilience of agricultural production.
3.1 Agronomic approaches and practices (e.g. water and soil conservation, crop diversification, mixed production systems, fodder cultivation and conservation, protective structures) developed and piloted by CRDEs to reduce climate vulnerability of the agricultural sector. The CRDEs will identify and pilot promising approaches to reduce the climate vulnerability of the agricultural activities of farmers in their territory. Successful practices will be promoted to farmers by relay farmers. Project interventions to better manage the risks associated with climate change will focus on: (a) raising awareness among farmers of the concept of risk management in the face of climate change and the adoption of sustainable strategies and practices that contribute to the health of agroecosystems and related services on which they depend (soil conservation, protection of pollinators, mixed production systems such as agroforestry, hedging and agropastoralism); (b) diversification of agricultural production and sources of income for households and small farmers in their plots (e.g., new climate-resilient crops and poultry breeding); (c) investments in protective structures such as greenhouses, shade shelters and goat sheds, and (d) the adoption of approaches and practices whose effectiveness in reducing the vulnerability of agriculture and livestock to new climatic conditions has been demonstrated by pilot tests carried out by the CRDEs.
Approaches to be tested and piloted by CRDEs include : (i) Wherever appropriate, the project will encourage the development of agroforestry systems where various associations of cash crops, fruit, food crops or livestock will be tested. Agroforestry systems provide multiple economic, environmental, and social benefits in a context of climate change through the protection of crops, livestock, soils and rivers, the diversification and spreading out of agricultural income through short, medium and long-term production of food products, fodder, wood and other non-timber products, in addition to other significant benefits such as the creation of habitats for biodiversity, landscape improvement, as well as carbon sequestration. Agroforestry can play a crucial role in improving resilience to uncertain climates through microclimate buffering and regulation of water flow. Promoting diversity through agroforestry systems will also increase the availability of alternatives for birds and reduce predation on valuable crops (which is aggravated by extended droughts). (ii) Diversification of tree and shrub species and establishment of living hedges to reduce exposure to strong winds whose frequency is increased by climate change. (iii) The construction of goat sheds for farmers communities to protect animals from extreme weather conditions, hedging (embocagement) and agropastoralism to reduce climate vulnerability and reduce pressures on natural ecosystems, growing legumes as fodder in the bocages, growing and storing dry fodder (hay) and producing silage for livestock feed. (iv) Practices for improving the moisture holding capacity of the soil (organic mulch and gravel), the use of compost to increase soil organic matter, and micro-irrigation to lengthen cultivation period and diversify the cultivated varieties. (v) Water and wind erosion mitigation by the adoption of practices that promote soil cohesion, such as the use of cover crops, compost and green manure, the use of soil conservation and restoration techniques such as the construction of stone walls and anti-erosion lines planted with vetiver. Vetiver is a beneficial, inexpensive, and easy-to-maintain means of protection. Thanks to its resilience capacity in a wide range of ecological and climatic conditions, vetiver is effective in preventing and combating soil erosion in a climate change context. Yet, its use is not known in the Comoros and it is currently difficult to find. (vi) To help maintain healthy populations of pollinators, the project will conduct an assessment of threats affecting them (e.g. bee parasites, bushfires and pesticides such as neonicotinoids), identify control measures to be implemented, required resources, and actors to be mobilized.
3.2 Financial products developed and made accessible to smallholder farmers to support the adoption of climate-resilient practices. Project interventions will involve (a) raising smallholder farmers’ awareness on savings and credit as a risk management approach, building on interventions planned under the WB PIDC project (identified as co-financing to this project) which aim to encourage savings in the SANDUKs micro-credit institution, and providing financial education; and (b) facilitating access to suitable financing through negotiations with local micro-credit institutions (SANDUKs) for the development of credit products adapted to the reality of farmers, i.e. credit at low rates tied to firm loan conditions to invest in climate-smart productive activities, and repayment schemes adapted to agricultural production cycles, thus contributing to reducing the risks for farmers’ investments. Risk reduction measures (eg capacity building of micro-credit institutions, communication and marketing support) to be put in place will be examined within the framework of the PPG.
3.3 Local supply of agricultural inputs, small-scale equipment and climate-resistant varieties seeds developed. The project will help reduce dependence on external supplies and increase the autonomy and adaptability of farmers to climate change by: (a) strengthening CRDEs capacities to produce quality seeds of climate-adapted crops and varieties meeting the needs of farmers (for self-sustaining agriculture) and the needs of the target markets (for cash crops), and by supporting this production, (b) supporting artisanal microenterprises involved in the recycling of metal waste for the manufacture of tools and adapted micro-irrigation systems (recovery of metal waste and abandoned car wreck) to manufacture agricultural tools meeting the needs of smallholders, (c) improving the capacities of microenterprises currently involved in the artisanal making of low-cost drip irrigation systems to meet the needs of farmers and cooperatives involved in the project; (d) developing capacities to produce organic fertilizer and supporting this production. The capacity development needs and resources available to support trainings will be identified during the project preparation (PPG).
3.4 Agricultural practices to strengthen agriculture and pastoral resilience, including the provision of climate-adapted crop varieties and breeds, implemented. The project will provide support for the implementation of farm and agro-pastoral plans at the individual and cooperative levels (developed under Output 1.3) through the adoption of practices and approaches that strengthen climate resilience (as identified and demonstrated under the output 3.1), for the establishment of nurseries and seed reserves, for soil conservation and restoration activities, including composting and green manure, and for implementing micro-irrigation systems. The project will support the use of protective structures and the adoption of mixed systems combining livestock, agriculture, fodder cultivation and trees, including agroforestry, hedging (embocagement), agro-pastoralism, and soil conservation and restoration, helping to restore soil productive capacity and other ecosystem services (water, fodder, pollinators, and carbon capture) that contribute to climate resilience of agroecosystems. The solutions proposed by the project will be to reduce soil erosion and increase diversity within crop plots and agroforestry systems, which in turn, will reduce the vulnerability of agricultural systems to pests and diseases which occurrence is increased as a result of climate change (as presented in the section on Effects of climate change on the agroecosystem and agricultural practices as experienced by smallholder farmers - Part II: Project Justification, 1a. Project Description) as fields that support a variety of crops are less attractive to predatory insects. The project will contribute to halt agricultural encroachment at the expense of forests (mostly within protected areas) by improving the productivity of agricultural plots, by restoring plots where soil is degraded, by collaborating with the authorities responsible for protected areas to ensure that agricultural activities within village terroirs are conducted in harmony with the conservation objectives of protected areas, and by promoting mixed systems such as agroforestry that promote biodiversity.
Under the PPG, the need to invest in infrastructure to channel water from structures set up by the UNDP-GEF CRCCA and UNDP-GCF projects to the plots of CRDEs and farmers will be assessed.
3.5 Incentives (traceability and certification) in place to foster the adoption of climate resilient and sustainable practices across traditional and new value chains. This will include the following: (a) Certifications. The introduction of incentives to encourage the adoption of high-quality standards including climate-smart practices and varieties, organic farming and fair trade, to access higher added value niche markets, will help encourage farmers to maintain practices that promote resilience to climate change and ensure the financial sustainability of these adaptation measures. The selected certification will define a set of criteria that will be integrated into specifications to be followed by the various actors involved in the various stages of the value chain. These criteria should include adaptation measures to ensure climate resilience. A national committee composed of independent experts will be responsible for verifying the compliance of the various stages related to production (including cultivation, harvesting, storage, processing, transport) with the requirements of the specifications for the product to be eligible for certification. The criteria to be met for certification will be distributed to the producers concerned. The project will support value chain actors to gain access to these certifications and will also support the integration of climate resilience into the certification processes set up as part of the projects supported respectively by the WB and AFD (source of co-financing) for cloves and vanilla in other intervention sites. (b) Transparency and technology. Technology (e.g. blockchain) is available and can be used to ensure transparency through product traceability at all stages of the value chain by tracking the social and environmental impacts of products at every stage of their value chain, from local farmers to consumers, and thus support certification process. The project will assess the relevance, applicability (with users) and profitability of using a platform (via an application) to track and verify that each step in the value chain throughout the production process, meets adaptation criteria that can make these value chains more climate resilient. Using this tool, each step in the process is verified and recorded with time, date and geolocation as a secondary means of verification. (c) Facilitating change. To reduce farmers' reluctance to change and improve the efficiency of the transmission of technical knowledge to illiterate farmers, the project will adopt a strategy to through demonstration at the level of CRDEs, close supervision and long-term follow-up ensured by relay farmers. This transmission will be supported by the production of illustrated technical sheets, and the organization of visits - by and for the farmers - of sites where successful practices have stood the test of time, such as the plots developed through embocagement in the Nioumakélé (Ndzuani). The relay farmers involved in such a scheme will be identified and remunerated by the CRDE and thus become key partners in providing local support to farmers. At the same time, the project will put in place incentives to make the sector more attractive to young people. (d) Improvement of the perception of the farming profession. In order to change the negative perception of the farming profession by young people, the project will support an awareness campaign led by young people involved in value chains which will highlight the potential medium and long-term benefits of this profession. The awareness campaign may be supported by spot messages in the media and on the packaging of commonly used agricultural products.
Component 4: Knowledge Management, Monitoring-Evaluation, and Gender and PWDs’ Inclusiveness. This component will enable mainstreaming transversal issues of knowledge management and gender and PWDs inclusiveness into other project components and outputs focusing on knowledge and on gender. Knowledge management is critical not only for the achievement of the project’s objective, but for the sustainability of achieved results and replicability of climate-resilient solutions. Documenting, analysing and addressing gender and PWD issues as cross-cutting elements will allow to develop inclusive solutions to the climate adaptation challenge in agriculture, and ensure that men, women and PWDs benefit equally from the project support and that the concerns and experiences of women and of PWDs are an integral part of the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the project. Lessons and successful experiences will be captured through the participatory monitoring and evaluation as part of the project annual planning process, through the participatory development of agroclimatic knowledge involving actively farmers, CRDEs, and researchers in a co-learning process, and recording and disseminating successful experiences among CRDEs, and with other relevant stakeholders in the country and in the region.
Outcome 4 Improved development, management, and dissemination of knowledge related to adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change to support the replication of climate-resilient solutions among CRDEs, and at national and regional scale. This outcome will be achieved through the following outputs:
4.1 .Lessons learned from the project interventions documented and disseminated. This will be achieved through the annual monitoring and evaluation of project achievements using the indicators of the strategic results framework, and the identification and dissemination of related learnings with project partners, including projects in areas aimed at strengthening the climate resilience of agriculture, in the Comoros and in the countries of the region. Along with capacity building of CRDEs, and interventions on knowledge development and improvement of access to information, the project will support the management of knowledge developed through participatory monitoring and evaluation (involving beneficiaries) of project interventions, including the development of climate-adapted agricultural practices and their adoption by farmers, the improvement of the climate resilience in all segments of the various value chains and the development of new value chans for climate-resilient crops.
4.2 Agro-climatic knowledge for climate adaptation developed through strengthened monitoring and research-action involving farmers. CRDEs must become a place of experimentation, development, demonstration, teaching and promotion of new climate-adapted practices and crops and thus be at the heart of the generation and dissemination of technical knowledge allowing to adapt the agricultural sector. This learning and dissemination mechanism must also be deployed outside the CRDEs and set up within the plots of farmers who are experimenting with new approaches, techniques and varieties in order to involve them in the monitoring and evaluation of the results of these innovations and thus encourage their appropriation of successful approaches. Knowledge development may be based on interventions such as the following: (a) Contribution to the national database on agricultural yields and production developed by the FAO. This will involve training technicians within CRDEs on data collection, the use of GPS and entering observations into the database at the level of each CRDE, and the compilation of simple statistics to generate and disseminate technical knowledge and enable the agricultural sector to adapt to climate change. (b) Action-research programs involving farmers. This will involve establishing the necessary partnerships with INRAPE, the UdC including the University of Patsy (Ndzuani), the National Horticultural Center of Mvouni (Ngazidja), the CRDEs, relay farmers and farmers to carry out participatory action-research programs to generate new technical knowledge to adapt the agricultural sector to climate change. The possibility of associating one or more regional institutions to support research and training will be explored during the PPG (University of Reunion, National Center for Applied Research in Rural Development (FOFIFA) (Madagascar) and CGIAR (Réunion).
4.3 Tools for experience and knowledge-sharing among CRDEs and actors in value chains are developed and operationalized. This will include the following: (a) The project will recruit a communication officer to coordinate the sharing of information through the development of short, practical guides in the form of booklets or illustrated sheets for farmers to record best practices and facilitate their adoption and follow-up in the local communities served by the targeted CRDEs as well as in all the CRDEs. (b) The project will support the experience-sharing mechanism among CRDEs and between CRDEs and farmers through a platform specific to CRDEs (under development with the support of a Comorian office). The project will support the consolidation of the digital platform set up within the CRDE network to, among other things, facilitate the exchange of information and the sharing of experiences between all actors in the value chains and create bridges between different segments, namely between producers and buyers. (c) The project will support the production of an online newsletter to share information relating to the adaptation and climate resilience of the agricultural sector, including activities and events linked or not to the project, including thematic articles, reports and interviews produced by CRDEs teams.
4.4 Gender and PWDs action plans based on comprehensive analyses are implemented, monitored, and evaluated to promote an inclusive approach to the adoption of a climate-resilient agriculture. During the PPG, an exhaustive gender analysis will be carried out to document gender issues in the agricultural sector and identify specific gender barriers. Based on this analysis, a gender action plan will be developed to be implemented, monitored, and evaluated as part of the project. Also, an analysis of the issues related to people living with disabilities (PWDs) in the agricultural sector will be carried out to identify the barriers specific to PWDs and to develop an action plan to increase their inclusion in the efforts to adapt the agriculture sector to climate change. The adoption of an inclusive approach towards gender, PWDs and youth to improve equity in value chains and access to income-generating activities, will involve the following: (a) The project will seek to improve income equity within value chains and improve the involvement of women, especially the elderly, and PWDs, in income-generating agricultural activities by promoting small scale family farming (e.g., family garden near the house, poultry farming). The project will promote the adoption of a more inclusive approach in identifying solutions designed within families. (b) The importance of demonstrating new practices and varieties will be essential to increase the motivation of young family members to support older ones. The development of specialized professions within value chains, such as the production of seeds, artisan scrap metal workers, or manufacturing biodegradable packaging, will diversify the types of jobs accessible to different segments of society. (c) In certain sites, according to their will, the project could support groups and associations to set up cooperatives (dairy, food, market garden cooperatives) or to strengthen their capacities allowing certain sections of the value chain to be integrated within of the cooperative, for example collection or processing, and improve profitability for all members of the cooperative.
 Bourgoin C, Parker L, Martínez-Valle A, Mwongera C, Läderach P. 2017. Une évaluation spatialement explicite de la vulnérabilité du secteur agricole au changement climatique dans l'Union des Comores. Work Document No. 205. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Wageningen, Les Pays-Bas. Available from: www.ccafs.cgiar.org
 Mwongera C. Nowak A., Notenbaert A.M.O, Grey S., Osiemo J., Kinyua I. Lizarazo M. et E. Girvetz. 2019. Climate-Smart Agricultural Value Chains: Risks and Perspectives. in T.S. Rosenthal et al. (eds.) The Climate-Smart Agriculture Papers.
 ECOCROP is a software tool that identifies 2568 plant species for given environments and uses (food, fodder, energy, erosion control, industrial purposes) which also contains a library of crop environmental requirements.
 The tool could present the following information: 1. Crop calendar indicating for each month what must be done for each crop (sowing, cultivation, flowering, harvesting), taking into account current meteorological data and, if relevant, the various cultivation areas. 2. Agroecological practices sheets covering, as useful, the following subjects: a) Culture sheets (for all traditional and new crops supported by the project): botanical information, cultural practices, pests and diseases, physiological disorders (symptoms, possible causes, solutions); b) Cultivation without harmful pesticides: control methods, natural or low impact pesticides; c) Plot maintenance; d) Irrigation: practices to minimize water requirements, rainwater harvesting, manual watering systems and micro-irrigation; e) Fertilization: knowledge of the nature of the soil, assessment of needs and different options for amending it; f) Composting: Preparation of various types of compost to meet different needs; g) Seed production. 3. Diseases, pests, weeds and invasive alien species (IAS): Sheets on the main problems affecting crops, including new diseases and pests recently introduced or favored by climate change: a) identification of the problem: description of signs and symptoms, photos of the effects on the different plants affected by the pest or disease; b) advice for prevention and control (favorable conditions, screening, preventive measures, physical and biological control)
 For example, compared to clove and ylang-ylang which require large areas (6m x 6m) and which cannot be harvested for several years after planting, ginger can be grown on an area of 0.25m x 0.25m, pepper and coffee can be integrated into agroforestry systems, and all can be processed locally to create local added value.
 For example, endemic varieties of bananas, yams, aromatic and medicinal plants, low caffeine coffee, high vanillin vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, aloe vera, large thyme, vetiver, turmeric, Plectranthus both Cuban Oregano type and Indian Borage type
 National Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment
 With its developed and resistant roots, vetiver protects embankments and terraces, fertilizes and improves soil structure, and fights against pollution, erosion and flooding. It tolerates acid or alkaline soils (with pH from 3.0 to 10.5), saline soils or soils with high levels of metals and resists extreme climatic variations such as prolonged drought, floods, submersions as well as extreme temperatures ranging from 14°C to 55°C. After being affected by drought, salinity and other adverse conditions, this plant has the ability to re-grow very quickly when conditions improve.
 Bushfires can be started by pastoralists and by farmers who practice slash-and-burn agriculture. Since herders do not cultivate fodder, they depend on natural fodder which is increasingly affected by the lengthening of the drought period. Herders thus resort to bushfires, despite being illegal, to improve the palatability of pasture grasses. Often left unattended and uncontrolled, they spread over large areas and are harmful to the biodiversity of the affected forest areas, including pollinator species.
 The protected areas of the Comoros have been delineated by integrating villages and agricultural lands within their boundaries.
 FOFIFA is Madagascar's main agricultural research organization and conducts research on coffee varieties in the region including the Comoros
Outcome 1: Enhanced capacity of national institutions and actors involved in agricultural development to guide, plan, supervise and implement climate-resilient practices.
Outcome 2: Increased resilience of agricultural actors through the identification and promotion of new climate-resilient value chain options with good prospects for profitability, increased access to national and international market information and equitable benefit sharing.
Outcome 3: Increased adoption of climate-resilient practices and crops/varieties by smallholder farmers and value chains actors facilitated by support systems and adequate provision of inputs and resources.
Outcome 4: Improved development, management and dissemination of knowledge related to adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change to support the replication of climate-resilient solutions among CRDEs, nationally and in the region.
Barrier 1. Insufficient capacities at different levels to plan and implement innovative agro-pastoral practices adapted to changing climatic conditions, oversee their adoption and train relevant parties.
(i) Limited capacities of CRDEs to provide local advisory, extension and agricultural support services to adapt practices to climate change: The weak capacities of CRDEs do not allow them to adequately fulfill their mandate, which is to supervise agricultural development, due to i) insufficient staffing caused by the constraint of hiring staff within the civil service, and ii) deficient skills. In some cases, the staff in place do not have the skills required to fulfill the functions entrusted to them (especially in the case of partisan recruitment) and certain profiles defined within CRDE staff - in particular planning and monitoring-evaluation - are not fulfilled. On the one hand, many technicians working in CRDEs are inadequately trained and have clearly insufficient technical capacities. On the other hand, technicians with adequate skills are available but are not recruited due to recruitment constraints within the public service. The CRDEs do not have the necessary resources to ensure the salary of the technicians who have acquired relevant work experience through their involvement in the CRCCA project. As a result, some CRDEs are not sufficiently operational, are understaffed and have insufficiently qualified staff. Continuing education opportunities for staff, especially to be better able to face the challenges of climate adaptation, are limited by the lack of a relevant curriculum in academic institutions. (ii) Insufficient capacities of the various actors responsible for planning, developing, disseminating climate-resilient practices is another key obstacle to their widespread adoption and implementation. Such capacity gaps exsit for the following actors and include: Insufficient technical capacity of state actors (DNSAE, regional directorates of Agriculture, CRDEs), local authorities (municipalities - mayors and councillors), non-state actors (national NGOs), and the private sector (especially for cash crops: collectors, vanilla preparers, exporters) to identify, develop and implement strategies and tools to oversee the adaptation to climate change of long-term agro-pastoral activities. (iii) The vulnerability of farmers is linked in particular to a lack of know-how and adaptive capacity and weak entrepreneurial capacities. Farmers and breeders have little mastery of sustainable cultivation techniques (soil preparation, organic fertilization, selection and access to adapted varieties, fodder cultivation, irrigation, pest and disease control), and lack the knowledge, know-how and models to adapt their practices on land that has lost its fertility, in unpredictable and restrictive hygrometric conditions, and to develop sustainable agriculture that strengthen climate resilience, including agro-pastoralism and agroforestry. The practices and calendars that have traditionally guided farmers are no longer adequate in the face of new climate conditions. The poor computer literacy and lack of openness to technological innovation of older farmers further limit their ability to adapt their practices to the challenges posed by climate change. (iv) There is insufficient technical knowledge and access to guidance /advice and information on technical pathways, technologies, infrastructure and markets to support the transition of agricultural systems to greater climate resilience based on healthier ecosystems. The traditional cropping calendar is inadequate; farmers still rely on predictions of elders based on unscientific practices, lack the knowledge for the identification and treatment of diseases and pests, and do not know enough about the diversification opportunities achievable in the Comoros. Short-term weather conditions are available and adequately cover the country, but the data is not translated into a crop calendar. Knowledge of parasite and disease infestations is insufficient and inadequately disseminated (mandate of INRAPE). Lack of information on prices (especially for cash crops) limits negotiating capacities. Access to information about market opportunities and requirements is inadequate.
Barrier 2. Lack of knowledge of alternative climate-adapted options with the potential to support a prosperous, diversified and equitable agricultural economy and insufficient political and private support for their adoption.
The vulnerability of Comorian agriculture to the effects of climate change is largely due to its lack of diversity and lack of knowledge and capacity to identify and develop alternative climate-resilient value chain options, and to assess their productive and commercial potential. In fact, the agricultural sector in Comoros is based on a narrow base limited to three cash crops and a few vegetable and food crops vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Furthermore, Comorian food products, which are mainly de facto organic, are more expensive than imported products despite the transport costs associated with imports. Imported food and vegetable crops, mainly from Tanzania and Madagascar, are grown industrially and therefore at lower cost. Consumers who can afford it prefer local products because they recognize the superior quality of organic terroir products. However, consumers with limited means are more likely to be reluctant or unable to buy it. The higher cost of local Comorian products is explained by the artisanal nature of the work, the remoteness of certain production areas which hamper access to local markets, and lack of access to market information for CRDEs, farmers, cooperatives, and other value chain actors. As a result, traditional agriculture is unprofitable, particularly in rural areas remote from urban markets, which limits young people's interest in this profession. Constraints to the fluidity of national markets, limited market connectivity (national and international), and lack of access to market information limit sustainable economic opportunities for smallholder farmers, due in particular to the country's insular nature, geographic remoteness, lack of reliable and regular transportation means between islands and suitable port infrastructure and lack of connection with reliable and predictable buyers. The profitability of agricultural activity is even more limited for smallholder farmers who are not integrated into cooperatives. They are therefore particularly vulnerable to other actors in the value chains who may take precedence in determining the conditions of production and the prices granted for the products, resulting in an inequitable sharing of profits. Another significant limitation to the profitability of Comorian agricultural products is the lack of processing and marketing capacities.
The diversification of agriculture through the development of new climate-resilient options that would give an edge in international markets, such as uniqueness of properties, is hampered by the lack of analytical capacity to perform the required characterization analyses. The Comoros agrobiodiversity, e.g. local coffee and ginger varieties, have unique characteristics that could be leveraged in niche markets. These characteristics must be documented and certified on the basis of biological and physico-chemical analyses which, currently, must be carried out by laboratories located in countries whose commercial interests may be in competition with Comorian interests, in addition to requiring complex logistics for the transport of samples to be analyzed.
Public and private investments for building the climate resilience of agricultural value chains and their diversification are limited due to the widespread negative perception of agriculture in Comorian society, coupled with the lack of awareness of its vulnerability to climate change and of its potential to evolve into a productive and resilient sector by decision-makers and investors disconnected from the reality on the ground. Another obstacle to improving the climate-resilience of agricultural practices is linked to the low attractiveness of agricultural activity for the younger generations who perceive the profession as obsolete and too risky because they do not have the assets or capital to deal with the risks inherent in adopting innovative agricultural practices. Faced with the urgency of daily needs, the elderly - who constitute a large part of the smallholders - are reluctant to adopt new practices because of resistance to change when facing new technologies, of too large gap between significant labor-intensive investments for soil conservation and restoration and other climate-adapted practices and the achievement of tangible effects, in a context where their livelihoods are precarious and known alternatives limited, leading them to pursue unsustainable land management practices for small short-term gains.
Barrier 3. Limited use of technologies and approaches to mitigate climate-related risks and low access to credit on appropriate terms to support smallholder farmers’ shift towards climate resilient agricultural value chains.
The adoption of resilient agricultural practices and approaches is hampered by the weak capacity to manage risks and uncertainties generated by climate change which is linked to the lack of knowledge on alternative options (barrier 2), on risk management approaches and on agricultural practices that increase resilience to climate change. Low financial autonomy and the difficulty of access to credit on appropriate terms for farmers, especially for men, worsens vulnerability to climate risks, and the culture of savings is insufficiently widespread in rural areas. Insufficient or lack of savings makes smallholder farmers very vulnerable to the effects of climate change since they do not have the resources to, for example, buy seeds for a second sowing following the failure of the first due to shifted or adverse weather conditions, or to purchase the equipment needed to adopt agricultural practices that increase climate resilience.
Lack of timely access to affordable agricultural inputs: Micro-irrigation equipment, tools, and seeds of varieties resilient to the new climatic conditions are difficult to access because they are imported and expensive. The lack of autonomous and timely local production of quality seeds and local supply of low-cost equipment maintains the dependence of farmers on external suppliers and results in prohibitive costs for the supply of suitable seeds, micro-irrigation equipment and with suitable tools
Lack of access to arable land due to the shortage and degradation of agricultural land and land tenure insecurity: Many plots are no longer fertile due to unsustainable soil management and support is needed to ensure restoration of soil fertility by techniques of soil conservation and restoration, agroforestry and agropastoralism, such as hedging. Also, the farmers who operate the state plots rent them out on the basis of an annual contract which allows them to cultivate them (about 10,000 KMF (≈ $ 23) per year). This situation is not conducive to the investments needed for the adaptation of agricultural practices.
Barrier 4: Limited consolidation and dissemination of knowledge on successful models and strategies (including developed by farmers) for the adaptation of agricultural practices to climate risks hinders their large-scale replication and limits the impact of efforts aimed at climate adaptation of agricultural value chains. CRDEs and national institutions concerned with climate adaptation of the agricultural sector do not have access to a sound knowledge base built from reliable data to support expert advice to manage climate risks appropriately and integrate it into agricultural land development plans and other guidance tools to support farmers in their decision-making. Farmers are thus left to resort to their traditional knowledge and non-adapted crop calendars and tools leading to inappropriate timing for agricultural works and maladapted practices, which results in a significant decrease and even a loss of yields.
Knowledge of climate-smart practices by all agricultural stakeholders is limited and not adequately recorded and disseminated. Also, the limited access of actors in agricultural value chains to appropriate information on agriculture, livestock, and climate prevents them from integrating climate risks into their decision-making. There is hardly any research being done in agriculture, and even less on the adaptation of the agricultural environment to climate change, whether by INRAPE, the University of the Comoros or the National Horticultural Center. In recent years, rare agricultural censuses have been carried out sporadically. There is currently no systematic monitoring of agricultural production at the national level, nor involvement of producers in the monitoring and evaluation of productions resulting from the adoption of new practices. Currently, the collection of agricultural data is limited to farmers supervised by CRDEs and to the production of CRDEs. Each CRDE collects data separately following a protocol defined by partners (through projects), so that the data cannot be compiled to give an overview of agricultural production in the country. The dissemination of knowledge developed by CRDEs is mainly through relay-farmers and limited to farmers in their territory and is not shared with all other CRDEs, even less so with other farmers, so that farmers who depend on poorly performing CRDEs have limited exposure to adaptation solutions that could improve the climate resilience of their agricultural activities. Capacities to develop and access best practices, information and technical know-how to support the development of guidelines for climate change adaptation in agriculture are nascent and need to be strengthened.
Barrier 5: Limited understanding of challenges and barriers specific to women and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in adopting practices that promote agricultural climate resilience. Limited understanding of women and PWDs specific challenges and barriers limits the design and implementation of appropriate measures to address them and adopt an inclusive approach when strengthening agricultural resilience. Statistics show that the agricultural sector employs more women than men in the Comoros (CDN 2021). According to an ongoing project, 75% of farmers in Mwali are women. However, although women work more than men, men are much more often the owners of agricultural land and cultural traditions reduce the participation of women in decision-making. Women are mainly responsible for food crops and market gardening and in poultry farming. They also work in cash crops but very little in their marketing. Gender-specific differences, needs, roles, climatic and socio-economic vulnerabilities and priorities regarding different tasks across agricultural value chains have evolved in recent years, may vary among islands, and are not clearly documented. People living with disabilities (PWDs) are present in all communities but are mostly kept out so that they cannot earn a fair living, nor contribute to the economy and national growth. Although their representation within the population is not adequately documented in the absence of a comprehensive demographic census, it is estimated that over 60% of PWDs have never attended school and 67% are inactive. Although new approaches and techniques that are less labor intensive are now available, PWDs are not encouraged to get involved in value chains. Lack of awareness of the obstacles to the integration of PWDs into agricultural value chains and their equitable access to the resulting benefits limits the development of solutions.
Such knowledge is essential for designing interventions where women and PWDs will be fully involved in all stages of the project, including those that involve decision-making and planning, capacity building that meets their specific needs, and concrete support for the application of climate-resilient agricultural practices. Also, women representation in governance bodies within CRDEs, cooperatives, unions, and other instances across the value chains is not representative of their actual participation in the sector. Without adopting a fully inclusive and participatory approach with particular attention to women, youth and PWDs, projects cannot ensure that vulnerable community members benefit equitably from the CRDEs extension services, such as demonstrations and close support for the adoption of climate-adapted practices and varieties that contribute to a sustainable development of agriculture in the future. A specific focus on women and PWDs and their economic empowerment is crucial for the sustainability of the long-term solution proposed by the project and, more generally, for the resolution of gender-related issues for a climate-resilient development.
T The use of pesticides is limited in Comoros due to their unavailability and high cost.
 PREFER project, quoted on March 13, 2022 in the Gazette des Comores.
 UNDP 2021, Country Programme Document
Strengthening the resilience of small farmers through Climate Smart Agriculture techniques in the Tahoua Region of Niger
The population of Niger more than tripled in 30 years. 51.6% of this population is under 15 years old. This population is essentially rural (83.8%) and derives most of its income from the exploitation of natural resources. The level of extreme poverty remains very high at 41.4% in 2019, affecting more than 9.5 million people. This poverty particularly affects woman-headed households. 60% of women and 75% of female-headed households are under the poverty line. The country’s economy, food security and the livelihoods of its rural communities are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with an increasingly hot and dry climate and major fluctuation in rainfall across years. Increasing temperatures and increasing rainfall variability have severe impacts on agriculture, which is the main source of income and livelihoods for 87% of the national population.
The proposed “Strengthening the resilience of small farmers through Climate Smart Agriculture (PRP-AIC) techniques in the Tahoua Region of Niger” project will support producers to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change on their production. Exposure of fields to flood and silting will be reduced through climate smart agriculture and restoration of production areas as well as surrounding ecosystems. Indeed, restoration practices are currently not systematically adopted by farmers due to the perceived loss of arable lands through these practices. With the visible impacts of climate change, farmers tend to seek expand their agricultural land, at the expense of surrounding ecosystems. This further increases their vulnerability, with the increasing risk of a total crop loss during climate shocks such as flood and drought. Restoration practices will be part of the project’s comprehensive approach, with complementary interventions that provide directly perceivable benefits. The project will provide more immediate solutions for farmers to climate change by introducing climate-smart agriculture practices, thereby increasing yields and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Projects outputs are closely related to land restoration, enabling farmers to organize into functional farmers groups to improve access to local finance, including government funding. A sustainable private financing mechanism will also be set up to finance agriculture practices resilient to climate change, benefiting vulnerable people, with a focus on women and youth.
Component 1: Land restoration for climate resilience of agricultural production systems
Outcome 1.1: Degraded land is restored to protect agricultural production systems against the adverse impacts of climate change
This component will align with the GGWI to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable farmers against the adverse impacts of climate change. While the GGWI has had limited results to date, with only 15% currently underway after more than 10 years of implementation, and most of the action plan for Niger still outstanding,, early experiences, including from other countries (in particular Senegal) will be highly relevant to identify sustainable and adaptive practices. The project will build on a combination of traditional practices and modern/innovative approaches to restore lands and benefit farmers, including lessons learned from ongoing projects such as the project to Strengthen the Resilience of Rural Communities to Food and Nutritional Insecurity in Niger which will support the recovery of degraded land in Tahoua (estimated co-financing of US$10,000,000). Projects supporting pastoralism, including addressing conflicts between farmers and herders, such as the Regional Project to support Pastoralism in the Sahel, will also complement the restoration activities under this component by creating a peaceful discussion platform for exchange, including for the protection of restored ecosystems (estimated co-financing of US$ 5,000,000).
Indeed, fully functioning ecosystems will improve water retention and reduce the impacts of floods and droughts on vulnerable farming land. During the PPG phase, an analysis of past and present land use and the restoration of degraded areas, taking into account the projected changes in climate will be conducted to better define restoration activities. Preliminary consultations during the PIF formulation phase identified past successful experiences implemented through past and ongoing adaptation projects such as the Community-based adaptation project (funded by the LDCF) with the introduction of farmer-managed regeneration, half moons, benches, rocky outcrops, planting of trees of adapted species and Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) practices. The illustrations below present some NbS successfully introduced in Tahoua, as observed during the field visits conducted in March 2022.
In addition, because of the importance of domestic fuelwood consumption in the project area, causing an overexploitation of wood resources, and in turn, soil and ecosystem degradation, the project will conduct trainings and awareness raising for the adoption of improved stoves and other fuelwood efficient practices within surrounding communities, where reforestation, afforestation and agroforestry will be implemented. This output will be conducted in close coordination with output 3.1.2. to support and provide incentives to local entrepreneurs to offer and disseminate a range of fuelwood efficient practices and equipment (including improved stoves) in surrounding villages. This will reduce the pressure on forest ressources and ensure the sustainability of the project. During the PPG phase, the project will also explore opportunities under the UNISS (UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel) programme, led by UNDP Energy offer for the Sahel. The project aims to increase access to clean energy for improved basic services and enhanced value chains, in particular in the agricultural sector. A pipeline of flagship joint projects is currently being developed to operationalize the offer and might offer potential for supporting the access to clean energy promoted under the LDCF project.
This component will have important mitigation and biodiversity co-benefits by restoring and preserving ecosystems that provide CO2 sequestration and provide living environments for the fauna and flora to thrive. It will also directly fits within the GGWI and aligns with its geographical and technical scope, including its focus on restoring ecosystems for food security. The project will be implemented through the following outputs:
Output 1.1.1. : Awareness raising and training programmes are conducted to sensitise local authorities and communities and equip them with information, skills and knowledge to support ecosystem restoration practices
Under this output, the project will work with local leaders as key partners during project design and implementation, to ensure their buy-in and their involvement in the sustainability and expansion of successful restoration practices. The engagement of local authorities and decentralized state agents will be ensured by setting up clear monitoring frameworks for the protection of restored ecosystems in the long-term. Local and regional planning and financing will be revised and supported to introduce the protection of ecosystems and the adoption and upscaling of NbS. In addition, the project will establish or strengthen local committees involving beneficiary farmer groups for natural resources management.
Community groups will be involved in the targeted areas to ensure a common understanding and engagement in restoration activities. These measures will be implemented and the upscaling of the restoration activities achieved through the funding mechanisms set up under output 3.1.1, thereby increasing the access to funding for these groups in the long-term and ensuring the sustained protection of restored ecosystems.
Awareness raising and sensitization will be conducted with local communities to discuss the long-term benefits of preserving ecosystems for the agricultural production and food security at the local level. The discussions will cover the impacts of climate change; key ecosystems such as wetlands, savannahs and forests; their linkages with production systems; the climate change adaptive benefits they offer. In addition, the discussions will support the documentation of existing traditional knowledge, sustainable practices and agriculture knowledge, to build on local experience for restoration activities.
Under this output, the project will also create links with the stakeholders involved with the GGWI, in Niger and in other regions. Effective communication will be built along the entire project to share lessons learned and results from the project and build on the results of other activities conducted under the GGWI. Effective communication channels will be established with the focal points in the ministries involved in the implementation of the GGWI (the National Agency of the GGW under the Ministry of Environment and the Fight against Desertification, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Community Development).
Output 1.1.2. Degraded ecosystems surrounding the farming areas are restored with the adoption of Nature-based Solutions
Based on the analysis of past and present land-use to be conducted during the PPG phase, restoration and protective practices will be introduced. The consultation conducted at PIF formulation stage identified a range of successful NbS that will be analyzed and considered to be introduced and/or upscaled in the project areas. Local communities will be engaged in the identification of restoration activities, as well as during the implementation of these activities, providing local employment and building on and strengthening local practices. NbS practices identified include Zaï technique, half-moons, ANR, surface water dissipation techniques,mulching techniques, stone cordons, stone walls and stone lockers.
NbS will be introduced to restore degraded areas, increase the vegetation cover, protect forests, savannahs and wetlands from conversion to other types of occupation and reduce silting and water erosion (gullying) along watercourses. These practices will be introduced in areas surrounding agricultural lands, in order to provide large-scale adaptive benefits. Restoring key surrounding ecosystems will provide important ecosystem services to farmers by increasing the water recharge, reducing land slides and water runoff during floods, increasing biodiversity.
Lessons learned will be systematically collected and compiled into actionable knowledge products and shared withe farming communities and other land users in the project intervention areas and other projects in Tahoua and in the GGW area. This knowledge will be particularly relevant for the community groups targeted under output 1.1.1 for the replication and upscaling of practices in the project area and beyond.
The Social and Environmental safeguards work conducted during the PIF and to be developed at PPG stage and during implementation will guide and recommend the selection process of degraded land plots to be restored. This work will ensure Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is obtained from beneficiaries and impacted communities. The necessary studies and assessments will be conducted to avoid the risk of land grabbing by the project and/or land used for other purpose by some communities to be turned into another land use, thereby adversely impacting their livelihoods, In addition, the project will support community land-use planning, through the consultations and local contracts and/or the formulation of local development plans.
Output 1.1.3. : Energy-saving equipment is promoted to reduce deforestation for firewood consumption
Considering the devastating impacts of increasing pressure on timber for household consumption and the consequences on protective ecosystems, this output will aim at changing the behavior of the rising generation in the use of wood energy. To do this, awareness-raising actions will be carried out throughout the project, targeting young people. A youth education campaign will be conducted to raise awareness of the accelerated depletion of local and national wood energy resources and its consequences on ecosystems and ecosystem services, and to advocate for the adoption of cooking equipment with low wood energy consumption and sustainable management. The project will closely coordinate with the activities conducted under the outcome 3 to incentivize supported MSEs to provide energy-efficient technologies to reduce fuelwood consumption. This will be ensured by conducting demonstration for the use and production of energy efficient equipment and demonstrate the viability of such investments. For instance, cook stoves are expected to reduce by 20% to 30% the wood consumption of beneficiary households. This campaign will be conducted through various channels: (i) trainings of young entrepreneurs, including through the presentation of economic potential of these activities, (ii) sensitization through the media (local radio, television, advertising posters); (iii) sports championships in the beneficiary localities; (iv) various school competitions and activities on the theme of wood energy resource management. The project will also identify the sites where these technologies will be most effective, including the availability of materials for their replication and maintenance. For cook stoves, the use of local materials such as banco (a local clay) is widely available and could ensure the dissemination of best practices.
In addition, during PPG phase, the project will map ongoing projects and interventions supporting the adoption of energy efficient technologies and seek partnerships with these interventions. For example, UNDP is leading an initiative on supporting clean energy access in the Sahel, which might offer potential collaboration in Niger.
Component 2: Promotion of Climate Smart Agriculture
Outcome 2.1. : Climate-smart agriculture techniques are promoted and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate
This component will promote climate-smart agriculture (CSA) techniques and technologies, adapted to the project intervention areas to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate change and enhance food security. Beneficiaries will be provided with practices and techniques for a comprehensive approach to tackle climate change. These practices will sustainably reinforce the resilience of communities against the adverse effects of climate change, improve agricultural production and beneficiary incomes, and contribute to carbon sequestration and thus GHG mitigation. Techniques and practices will include mechanical irrigation, with solar powered water pumps to reduce the impacts of water stress.
The project will build on the results of ongoing adaptation and food security projects implemented in Tahoua. to further improve the capacity to adopt CSA (barrier#2). Under the component 4 on knowledge management, the project will support the sharing of lessons learned and best practices and their introduction in the project design. In particular, the project will cooperate with the PIMELAN, which supports agricultural support services and agricultural policies, in order to disseminate lessons learned at the national level (estimated co-financing of US$15,000,000). The project will also work closely with the recently approved GCF project Hydro-agricultural development with smart agriculture practices resilient to climate change in Niger to avoid duplication and exchange knowledge. Beneficiaries will also be supported to access additional resources to expand their access to irrigation, for instance through the programme for small irrigation and food security (PISA 2) (estimated co-financing of US$5,000,000). The project will also coordinate with the recently approved GCF-funded project, the Hydro-agricultural development with smart agriculture practices resilient to climate change in Niger (AHA-AIC), supported by the BOAD (estimated co-financing of US$5,000,000). Other projects supporting the access to water will also be consulted and engaged.
While these projects provide important lessons learned, it appears from the PIF that they are only supporting the local agriculture sector, without taking into account the entire ecosystem on which they depend. This component will be strongly connected with component 1 and recognize the need for restored ecosystems. Component 2 will aim at increasing agriculture production and thereby food security, taking into account and, when possible, taking advantage of the impacts of climate change. This will only possible in an environment where surrounding ecosystems are offering protection against the increasing risks of floods and droughts, as addressed under component 1.
The component will also strengthen the capacity of local producer to access, understand and use agro-climatic and meteorological information, and contribute to producing basic local data (rainfall, humidity, temperature) to inform farming practices (barrier#4). This local data will be shared at the national level to increase the availability of local data for planning and projections.
Output 2.1.1. Climate-resilient farming techniques, including irrigation are adopted to reduce losses and food insecurity
In the context of climate change, access to water resources is increasingly scarce and less reliable, and current water practices often lack sustainability. To limit water losses and achieve sustainable water savings, the project will promote drip and California irrigation systems. These systems have an irrigation yield of 90% and 85% respectively, and will help save up to 50% of water. Under this output, boreholes with solar pumps (kits composed of solar pumps, solar panels, inverter, regulator, and connection accessories for pumping), storage basins, piezometers, drip and california irrigation network units, reservoirs for storing irrigation water, etc. will be installed. The project will support the procurement and installation of these irrigation systems, which will be the property of community groups. MSEs supported under the component 3 will be incentivized and trained to develop businesses for the maintenance of this equipment, thereby creating sustainable frameworks for the procurement of spare parts and technical knowledge for repairings at the local level. In addition, community groups will be strengthened for the basic maintenance of the equipment. The installation of the equipment will therefore be closely coordinated with the activities conducted under component 3, and contacts will be established between community groups and entrepreneurs.
In addition, the success of crop intensification in climate-smart farming practices is based on the control of varietal performance, rigorous management of irrigation water, soil fertility and ecosystems, efficient management of irrigation areas and mastery of different cultivation techniques. To facilitate the implementation of the actions promoted by the project, training will be organized for producers. Manuals/guides and training for good practices will be adopted in water management, soil restauration, water pumping energy management, crop planning will be developed and made available to producers’ groups. When extension services are not sufficient to ensure the adequate training and dissemination of these manuals, local stakeholders active in the area will be involved, this will include CSOs, NGOs or students and teachers from the Tahoua university.
Producers and community groups will receive training to design and implement a mechanism for servicing and maintaining sustainable infrastructure such as water-saving irrigation, solar water pumping equipment, etc. A technical study will be held at the PPG stage to clarify the sustainability use of underground water in the project zone. This study will also ensure FPIC from beneficiaries and surrounding communities who might be impacted by the pumps and the selection of sites for irrigation.
Output 2.1.2.: Micro-dams, dikes, bioengineering and other land stabilization methods are implemented to protect agricultural production from the increasing intensity and frequency of droughts and floods.
While the activities under component 1 are expected to provide protection against droughts and floods, considering the increasing intensity of both climate events, lowland works will provide an additional and more immediate protection to agricultural lands. In addition, restoration activities will only be fully functioning a few years after their start and communities need to be offered a more immediate solution to floods and droughts for the restoration activities to be successful and to avoid further encroachment on surrounding ecosystems.
Under this output, micro dams will be built to provide a reliable access to water for crops during drought pockets in the rainy season. In areas where flooding is increasingly recurrent, sites will be protected by dykes lined with channels and drainage equipment. This will include the preparation of sites, drilling and protecting sites from water erosion by building anti-erosion structures, flood protection infrastructures, implementation of processing koris and tree planting around project sites.
Similarly to the output 2.1.1, the maintenance and sustainability of these infrastructure will be ensured through the set-up of MSEs providing such services, with an access to the market for the procurement of spare parts or construction material and equipment. Community groups will also be entrusted the ownership of the infrastructure for their maintenance, and will be trained to provide small repairs. They will also be put in contact with the set-up MSEs for larger maintenance work.
Output 2.1.3.: Agroclimatic and meteorological information and early warnings are available and understood by farmers for climate-resilient decision-making
Access to meteorological and climatic information in real time allows better programming of agricultural activities and enhances agricultural productivity and production. It considerably reduces the risk of loss of agricultural investments due to lack of delay and / or irregular rains. Indeed, important losses are recorded in Tahoua due to the lack of adaptive practices to the changing weather events, that could be partly avoided by the timely availability of weather information. This output therefore plans to strengthen producers' access to suitable agro-meteorological information.
To eliminate information asymmetry, mobile phone services are becoming an important mean for providing farmers’ groups with weather forecasts and market data. In each locality, three to five farmers’ groups members will be identified by the beneficiary groups to receive timely weather information. They will be provided with mobile phones to disseminate the information received to the rest of the members of the group. Their capacities will be strengthened to ensure the flow of information in both directions. The dissemination of weather information through mobile phones will be reinforced by radio broadcasts in local languages. This activity will be implemented in collaboration with meteorological services, the National Center for Solar Energy (CNES), AGRHYMET and the Development Department. The project will also set up an early warning system to alert community members in case of disasters (floods, severe droughts, locust invasions, etc.), using a computer system,.
Farmers’ groups will be trained to: (i) acquire and install a direct-reading rain gauge kit, thermometer, and anemometric recorder in each beneficiary village, (ii) collect local weather information, and process and disseminate it using ICTs in a language understandable to producers, (iii) establish, in each village, a committee composed of at least 5 people (from different groups of producers) to ensure the relay of weather information to the rest of the producers, (iv) develop and validate an implementation plan for the operation of the committees, (v) establish an early warning system through a contract with the institution in charge of agroclimatic information production for treatment and analysis of data collected on site and the creation of SCAP-RU (Community System for Early Warnings and Emergency Response) and OSVs (Vulnerability Monitoring Observatories). Considering the lack of access to climate information and EWS is a key barrier deterring access to finance for beneficiaries, these interventions will also contribute towards de-risking lending to these communities from financial institutions, linking to the activities under Outcome 3.
The equipment introduced will be the property of the communities and the decentralized services of the meteorological department will be responsible for maintaining them. Equipment introduced as part of the project will be small equipment such as rain gauge kits, thermometers and anemometric recorders and are easy to maintain. In past projects, considering the seasonal need for these information, the equipment was cleaned and stored at the end of the farming season and re-introduced at the start of the following season. This ensured the good management of the equipment in the long term.
During the PPG phase, UNDP and the formulation team might also explore opportunities for the involvement of Niger into the Systemic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) which is still under design. This would engage the Government of Niger to maintain their meteorological equipment in the long term, receiving financial support for this maintenance upon the verification of the effective maintenance (through the effective transmission of climate information to the Global Basic Observation Network (GBON) under WMO.
Component 3: Facilitating the development of the private sector in local communities
Outcome 3.1. Women- and youth-led local Micro and Small Entreprises (MSEs) and entrepreneurs provide adaptive solutions to climate change with local banks and microfinance institutions sustainable facilities
Since the 1980s, several initiatives have been developed by the State and its partners to finance the agroforestry sector through banks, financial institutions and decentralised financial systems (SFDs). However, the financial resources mobilised are not accessible to producers and other value chain stakeholders and often do not meet their investment needs (barrier #3). Also, the access modalities and conditions developed by the projects and programmes are not always harmonised, creating confusion among the beneficiary actors. In order to establish a harmonised and formal framework for financing Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agricultural Development, the State, with the support of Technical and Financial Partners, has set up a secure fund for agricultural investments, which centralizes resources to finance vulnerable farming communities and individual farmers. This is the Food and Nutrition Security Fund (FISAN), which has three facilities: facility 1: support to agricultural financing, facility 2: financing of agricultural structuring investments and facility 3: financing of agricultural advice, research and capacity building.
The FISAN strategy is expected to combine classical financing systems with innovative facilities. The traditional approach refers to mechanisms for mobilising and administering public resources for the rural sector on the one hand, and private sector funding, notably through financial institutions, on the other. The innovative approach will be to set up the Fund through a public-private partnership. This fund is seen as a strategic instrument for sustainable financing of public investments for agricultural growth and food security. It provides banking facilities for private investments including: (i) subsidies to reduce the costs of agricultural inputs and materials so that they are more accessible to producers; (ii) incentive facilities for commercial banks to intervene in the financing of private investments: guarantee funds, calamity funds and interest rate subsidies; and (iii) lines of credit for direct bank financing and refinancing of SFDs. The FISAN works with banks, SFDs and other institutions in providing guarantees to deliver the activities under its first facility. Among them, the Agricultural Bank of Niger (BAGRI) signed a performance agreement with the FISAN to allocate up to US$8,000,000 (XAF 5.5 billion) for the agriculture sector in 2022. The bank, established in 2011, in spite of its mandate, has so far not been able to disburse a significant amount of credit to the agriculture sector (only 12,75% was allocated to the agriculture sector) and the rates offered are not affordable to smallholder farmers. The BAGRI is being supported in its engagement by the GCF-IFAD project “Inclusive Green Financing for Climate Resilient and Low Emission Smallholder Agriculture” , in particular in its aim to “establish a Financing Facility within BAGRI with a line of credit to support concessional loan to (…) women and youth organizations (…)”. The LDCF project will therefore collaborate with the General Direction of the FISAN, the BAGRI and the GCF-IFAD project to bridge the financing gap for farmers groups and other Economic Interest Group (EIG) by accessing credits under the BAGRI at concessional rates.
The PIMELAN also supports the financing of the FISAN to benefit smallholder farmers through MFIs present in Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéry. The project has set up two facilities that will provide (i) US$ 6million of grant funding for agri-food funding for most vulnerable farmer groups, women and youth and other SMEs and (ii) US$22 million of loans for producer groups and SME. As such, the PIMELAN is expected to provide significant opportunities for MSEs and vulnerable groups to access credits through MFIs such as Yarda- Tarka – Maggia, Capital Finance, ACEP or Daouré, operating in the region of Tahoua.
Under this component, the project will also collaborate with other ongoing projects that support the development of the private sector, including the project to Strengthen the Resilience of Rural Communities to Food and Nutritional Insecurity in Niger, supported by IFAD.
Through this component, and the establishment of partnerships with the FISAN, the BAGRI, MFIs, IFAD, the World Bank and other stakeholders (including UNCDF, pending further consultations), the project will address the barriers related to the limited access to funding from both public sources and private sources (barriers #1 and #3). Indeed, the project will collaborate with the FISAN, BAGRI and MFIs to support traditional and innovative approaches as defined in the FISAN strategy. The project will support banks and microfinance institutions, beyond the BAGRI, to develop customized financial products targeted towards smallholder farmers engaged in CSA, as well as alternative credit-scoring and collateral mechanisms that can ease lending to this cohort. Other activities that will contribute towards de-risking lending include the integration of individual farming units into community-based MSEs across the CSA and forestry value chains, training on both CSA and financial management, and the dissemination of climate information and EWS. The expected combined impact of these interventions will de-risk and unlock both existing financing available for the agriculture sector through BAGRI and catalyze new agriculture sector funding from other commercial banks.
An Agricultural Loan Facility will also be supported by the recently approved GCF project Hydro-agricultural development with smart agriculture practices resilient to climate change in Niger and lessons learned will be regularly shared with the project to adjust the approach and support farmers to access loans under this facility.
The MSEs supported through this component will be involved in the knowledge and lessons learned sharing activities conducted under the component 4. These activities will be based on the knowledge and lessons learned collected from the components 1 and 2. Indeed, supported MSEs will be exclusively involved in CSA and ecosystem restoration for climate change adaptation and will be embedded in the sustainability and upscaling strategy of the components 1 and 2. In particular, MSEs will be incentivized and supported to offer maintenance services for the irrigation and lowland development works introduced under the component 2. In addition, during the PPG stage, opportunities will be seeked to develop a business model for the development of MSEs for the provision of climate data, including by engaging with the PS in the targeted areas, who might benefit from improved climate information.
Output 3.1.1. Agricultural groups and community cooperative funds are strengthened to increase their financial sustainability for the adoption of CSA
One of the main challenges facing local communities with regards to adopting climate resilient agriculture practices relates to the lack of adequate funding. Individual farmers are usually subsistence farmers, or receive very low incomes from their agricultural practices and are therefore not able to save enough revenues and time to invest in new practices. However, Niger has strong community groups, including farmer’s groups, which the project can build on to mobilize larger funding. These groups also offer a platform for knowledge and adaptive practices to be disseminated to new members in the long term. This outcome will strengthen these groups through two interventions:
The reinforcement of farmers’ associations business management capacity: Knowledge of entrepreneurial tools is necessary to trigger the effective functioning of agricultural cooperative societies. The project will provide, in the first 3 years, support for the development of business plans and the linking of farmers groups with their target customers. Working and awareness sessions will be organized with farmers groups, including the development and dissemination of material on business planning and entrepreneurship. The farmers groups will be supported in the development of business plans adapted to each project site, building on the lessons learned from the component 3 on CSA. In addition, a selection of business plans supporting ecosystem restoration/protection and CSA will receive micro-grants for their implementation and will be technicall supported by the project during the project lifetime, including through the sharing of lessons learned from component 1 and 2.
The incubation of existing farmers vulnerable groups’ to become CSA enterprises: Technical support will be provided to improve the management of community funds and to create an enabling environment for vulnerable agricultural groups to access finance for their members. The long-term objective is to promote the incubation of vulnerable agricultural groups in micro and small businesses for larger access to financial resources adapted to poor and vulnerable populations engaged in CSA. These groups will also benefit from the sharing of lessons learned from the activities conducted under the component 2 as well as the benefit from the reduced exposure to climate impacts from component 1. It is expected that 60% of the total beneficiaries will be women and 50% youth groups.
Output 3.1.2. : In collaboration with the FISAN, the BAGRI and MFIs, MSEs are supported to access loans for climate resilient agriculture financing
Under the FISAN strategy, and in close coordination with key stakeholders involved in supporting access to finance for vulnerable communities (ie. the PIMELAN, the IFAD-GCF project, the BAGRI, UNCDF, the BOAD-GCF project), MSEs will be technically supported for their de-risking to access credits at concessional rates. This output will target exclusively MSEs involved in CSA (including the maintenance of equipment and infrastructures introduced under the component 2), and agricultural value chains using clean energy (including cookstoves), with a strong focus on women and youth. These vulnerable groups will be supported to open a bank account with financial institutions and access credit to finance their CSA activities – including by supporting them to develop bankable proposals and request for credit. MSEs will also be trained in basic business management and accountability principles in order to increase the trust of MFIs. This de-risking will serve MSEs and IEGs to access funding from local MFIs and the BAGRI in the form of an agricultural loan. Close coordination with the PIMELAN, IFAD-GCF and BOAD-GCF projects will be conducted to ensure the access to innovative financing for targeted MSEs and IEGs in Tahoua. The beneficiaries will additionally receive training during the project lifetime as needed – including group trainings or investment-specific advice or guidance, to ensure they remain bankable for MFIs and have a long-term access to credit for their agricultural activities.
The LDCF project will also continuously work with local communities and financing institutions to identify opportunities and access innovative financial mechanisms in the project sites. It is expected that the loans accessed will finance (i) climate-resilient techniques for irrigation, (ii) solar-powered Californian or drip irrigation system for water control, (iii) water and energy management systems and practices, (iv) inputs for CSA (seeds, equipment, etc.), (v) the maintenance of the equipment and infrastructure introduced under the component 2; and (vii) the development of energy-efficient practices to reduce fuelwood consumption and support the activities under component 1 (in particular output 1.1.3).
Discussions are currently ongoing with the FISAN, the PIMELAN, the GCF-IFAD project, the BAGRI, and UNCDF to explore opportunities for partnerships and will be continued during the PPG phase, including with the recently approved BOAD-GCF project. The LDCF project will have a focus on technically de-risking the financing of women and youth for CSA (through trainings and the introduction and adoption of resilient practices), which will create a more conducive environment for the investments provided by other stakeholders, while partners will be involved in financially de-risking beneficiaries through different financing mechanisms such as subsidizing refinancing mechanisms, providing interest rate subsidies or guarantees.
Component 4: Knowledge Management and Lessons Learned
Outcome 4.1: Lessons learned on climate resilient agriculture and land restoration practices inform future projects in-country and elsewhere
Lessons learned from the project will be compiled and shared. This will be relevant for producer groups and farmers. This will be disseminated to municipalities, local agriculture administrations, the Government, civil society, regional institutions and donors working in the sector of climate change adaptation. In particular, innovative CSA and land restoration practices will be assessed and results and lessons learned collected in a format that will help advance the GGWI and other national and regional initiatives as relevant. Indeed, considering its geographical and technical alignment with the GGWI, the project will specifically ensure its results are shared and, in turn, lessons learned from the GGWI in Niger and other countries will be used and built on.
Under this outcome, the project team will also build partnerships with CCA projects, in particular the GCF project, but also projects focusing on governance and security to ensure security risks are integrated into the project adaptive management and mitigation strategy, and a more wholistic approach is adopted.
Output 4.1.1. Project results are monitored and evaluated
The project will develop a close and permanent monitoring program of the physical investments made on the sites. The program will include a monitoring of networks, structures and other interventions. This continuous monitoring will be ensured by an M&E specialist, with support from the decentralized services of the Ministry of Agriculture, with support from local focal points if needed. These services will benefit from technical and material capacity building activities to carry out this monitoring program.
In addition, a Project Monitoring and Evaluation System will be designed and implemented in accordance with the requirements of LDCF (GEF) and UNDP to monitor: (i) the rate of execution of project activities, (ii) the evolution of the financial data of the project, (ii) regular and systematic recording and reporting of progress made against the planned project objectives through the establishment of a database, and (iii) evaluation of the impact of project activities on the target group and the environment; (iv) gender-disaggregated data collection and reporting system for each project component, (v) develop participatory tools to measure project performance, (vi) conduct beneficiary surveys to measure the effects/impacts (beginning, mid-term and completion), (vii) recruit a consultant in gender mainstreaming for supporting the executive entity, (viii) conduct an annual analysis/evaluation of the technical, economic and financial performance of the project, (ix) Undertake mid-term evaluation, (x) undertake final evaluation.
During the PPG phase, and assessment on the potential to use digital tools for a more effective and transparent M&E will be conducted.
Output 4.1.2. Lessons learned from the project are compiled, capitalized, and disseminated
The project monitoring and evaluation system will make a significant contribution to the management of technology performance and traceability of operations that have made it possible to achieve results and to make decisions useful for action. In this perspective, the results (outputs, outcomes and impacts) will be capitalized and archived electronically and physically to strengthen the documentation of lessons learned.
To guarantee the project contribution to local and national adaptation to climate change and the GGWI and improve ongoing practices, the different reports and studies supported by the project will be compiled to formulate a complete lessons learned document. This will contain, among others : (i) the efficiency and weakness of technologies and techniques, process, financial management and use at regional, national and local level; (ii) the best adaptation practices recommanded for local, national and regional adaptation project ; (iii) the adopted solutions to address the weaknesses identified during the project formulation and implementation. To allow a better assimilation and implementation of the lessons learned by farmers, farmers’ groups and cooperatives, the manuals will be translated into graphic images and into the official local language of Niger.
Field missions across different sites of the GGW (in Niger and abroad) will be organized to specifically participate to the advancement of the GGWI. This knowledge will also be shared during the participation to workshops and other events on the GGWI. In addition, the Project management unit will organise exchanges with beneficiaries to appreciate the lessons learned on a practical level by producers, support exchanges with the technical services involved in the project, this will be done in 2 steps:
Development of technical and manual sheets: This will involve the production and dissemination of documents and documentaries on lessons learned and best practices tested under the project in terms of on actions to strengthen resilience to the adverse effects of climate change, increase productivity and production and mitigation of GHG emissions in the agriculture sector. To this end, the project will develop several technical sheets on the technologies and practices implemented by the project. These sheets will be designed at the end of the third year of the project and disseminated in the fourth year of the project. At least, the project will develop: (i) a fact sheet on the drip irrigation system, (ii) a fact sheet on the Californian system, (iii) a fact sheet on the system of water pumping with off grid solar energy and the maintenance of solar equipment, (iv) a fact sheet on the sustainable management of hydro-agricultural development soils and the use of agricultural inputs, (v) a fact sheet on the optimal profitability of irrigation project activities with modern techniques, (vi) fact sheets on the degraded land and ecosystems surrounding farming areas restoration with Nature-based Solutions, (vii) fact sheets on efficient cooking stoves.
Knowledge sharing and dissemination of good practices for a climate resilient agricultural sector in Niger: This activity aims to share knowledge and disseminate good practices for a climate resilient agricultural for farmers groups and cooperatives (men, women, youth), local decentralized Authorities, local agriculture and environment offices, Private Banks and Microfinance Institutions executives,Niger's international technical and financial partners ; Great Green Wall initiatives in the State members, Economic Comunitiy of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regional and national research centers on Climate smart agriculture, Commissioner to the 3N (les Nigériens Nourissent les Nigériens) Initiative ; Ministries in charge of agriculture, plan, and finance; Directorate in charge of Microfinance Institutions, National Debt, agriculture investment, Rural Engineering ; National Office of Environmental Assessments, Project management Unit and Executing agency.
 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 Level of water stress freshwater withdrawals as a proportion of available freshwater resources. Target 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water use efficiency in all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawal and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and significantly reduce the number of people suffering from lack of water. Indicator 6.4.2 - Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources.
 For more details, please refer to the project strategy https://www.greenclimate.fund/sites/default/files/document/funding-sap01... , p22
Output 1: Degraded land is restored to protect agricultural production systems against the adverse impacts of climate change.
Output 2: Climate-smart agriculture techniques are promoted and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate.
Output 3: Women- and youth-led local Micro and Small Entreprises (MSEs) and entrepreneurs provide adaptive solutions to climate change with local banks and microfinance institutions sustainable facilities.
Output 4: Lessons learned on climate resilient agriculture and land restoration practices inform future projects in-country and elsewhere.
Barrier#1: Limited technical and financial support from the Government to address climate-induced land degradation: Agricultural fields are increasingly exposed to flooding, erosion and silting due to climate change and adverse practices such as deforestation. However, with limited public budget, only one agriculture advisor per 1,000 producer household is in place, and insufficient investment in infrastructure and restoration are undertaken. In addition, Niger's fiscal balance has been negatively impacted by the impacts of COVID-19 and sovereign debt became even more difficult to assume. The economic downturn, fiscal pressures, and tightening of financial conditions are giving rise to large financing gaps in Niger’s public finances and balance of payments. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country has a limited capacity to borrow additional loan financing, considering the overall fiscal balance including grants which is projected at -5% in 2020. In particular, the budget allocated to agriculture by the government remains well below the financing needs to adapt the agriculture sector to the adverse effects of climate change.
In addition, in spite of the food crisis the Sahel region is facing, the war in Ukraine has led to a large reduction in ODA following the reallocation of resources from important donor countries such as Denmark or Norway. Indeed, Niger does not have the resources in the national budget to address the climate crisis in the Agriculture sector and is highly dependant on international support. This is reflected in the NDC, with the distinction between unconditional adaptation and conditional adaptation, budgeted at US$2.4 billion for 2021-2040 and US$4.343 billion respectively – indicating that 64% of the needs for adaptation financing are expected to be met by external financing ;
Barrier#2: Low knowledge and technical and technological capacity to adopt climate-smart agriculture and ecosystem restoration practices. Even though some traditional practices in terms of ecosystem restoration and protection exist and have been reintroduced, there is a need to adjust these practices to the projected rapid impacts of climate change and to introduce CSA practices. Due to this lack of experience and adequate sensitization efforts, producers are reluctant to adopt new practices as such shifts are perceived risky. This is particularly true in the case of ecosystem restoration practices, which often do not yield immediately perceivable benefits due to the period needed for the ecosystems regenerate.
In addition, successful strategies (including developed by farmers) are not consolidated and disseminated to generate the larger replication of the practices within and outside the community. Due to the limited availability of deconcentrated state agents, the lack of communication networks and the poor management of lessons learned at the local level (within local authorities, CSOs, NGOs or community groups) and at the national level (within research institutions and universities), successful practices are not replicated beyond the areas of intervention. This also translates into a lack of data and knowledge at the national level on local agricultural production and the impacts of climate change, thereby adversely affecting the informed planning for adaptation at the national level – either using Government’s resources or external donors’ funding.
Even though progress was achieved under Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI), including in Niger and Tahoua, and the growing interest from Governments, donors and other stakeholders, key pressing areas of intervention still require support to implement the three strategic axis of the GGW in Niger: (i) promoting the good governance of natural resources and the Local Development with the involvement of local populations and for their benefit, (ii) the improvement of food security through the valuation and sustainable management of agrosylvopastoral production systems and (iii) knowledge management. The GGWI was envisioned as a large scale programme that would ensure the generation, compilation and sharing of knowledge and lessons learned, but climate risk management support is still urgently needed.
Finally, CSA and ecosystem restoration practices are not introduced as complementary measures and their self-reinforcing adaptive benefits are not always understood by communities and local stakeholders. The relationship between the pressure on surrounding ecosystems and the increased vulnerability to climate change is not clearly understood due to the delayed and indirect nature of the benefits of restored and protected ecosystems as opposed to the direct revenues and livelihood issued from new agricultural land;
Barrier#3: Vulnerable populations don’t have access to low-cost, long-term financing for innovative climate-resilient techniques including solar water pumping systems, water-efficient irrigation networks and other CSA practices. For the communities recognizing the impacts of climate change and wishing to invest in adaptive practices, they face barriers to access financing. Local communities are often perceived by traditional financing institutions (including Micro-Finance Institutions – MFIs) as too risky and notcreditworthy and in turn, local communities are not able to afford the high interest rates offered by these institutions.
Despite the availability of an estimated US$2.1 billion of total assets within the financial sector in Niger, constituting an important source of finance to catalyze in order to meet the investment gap for climate resilient agriculture, farmers are not able to access affordable financing for innovative climate resilient technologies. This can be explained by: i) the lack of capacity of Banks and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in green lending, ii) the high interest rates charged by banks and MFIs on lending products for climate resilient agriculture, iii) the weak and/or inexistent regulatory frameworks on agriculture resilience and renewable energy technologies financing. Niger's financial system does not provide adequate and sufficient financing that responds effectively to the needs of the national agricultural sector.
The financing available does not allow access to medium and long-term credit to finance equipment or structured finance to meet the sector's supply or value chain needs. While agriculture contributes more than 35% of GDP and employs almost 85% of Niger's working population, the proportion of the banking sector lending to agriculture is extremely limited (less than 1% of total lending). The factors that hinder the development of appropriate and accessible on-farm financial services are: (i) high credit interest rates (12% to 20%) with short-term maturities of under a year; (ii) insufficient supply of credit to meet demand ; (iii) non-financing of all agricultural sectors/activities due to the high risk perception and difficulties in debt collection, (vi) lack of guarantee mechanisms, and (vi) the lack of capacity of Banks and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) on financing small holder farmers, agriculture groups and cooperatives for climate resilient agriculture. Thus, it is necessary to create incentives for the financial sector to lower interest rates and make loans more accessible (with longer tenors) for agriculture groups and cooperatives and improve the profitability of their farms while increasing the resilience to climate change.
Even the Niger agricultural Bank’s (BAGRI) has not been able to sufficiently support the agriculture sector. As of 31 January 2020, total outstanding loans, all terms included, amounted to 81 million USD, of which 13 million USD were for agriculture (17% of the total portfolio), while the estimated costs of the Agricultural Value Chain Development of the Strategic Programme for the period 2016-2020 is estimated at more than 268 million USD. From 2021 to 2025, the estimated annual financial requirements for priority resilience, water management and sustainable land management programmes are estimated at $520 million. Given the aggravation of food insecurity due to climate change, the Government of Niger is implementing actions to migrate from rain-fed agriculture to CSA. While resources to support local communities adopt these practices are limited, there is a need to create an enabling environment for vulnerable subsistence farmers to develop into local MSEs, access microfinance, and replicate and scale-up the current investments. Currently, vulnerable farmers are not able to borrow due to the absence of sufficient guarantees and the lack of solvent organization of agricultural groups. There is therefore a gap to strengthen existing organizations and support the access to affordable credit.
Barrier#4: Unavailable, obsolete or inaccessible climate information. Currently, reliable climate information is not available or widely disseminated for local communities. The meteorological network is scattered through the country and does not provide data specific to the local level, preventing the adoption of adequate adaptive practices. When available, the shared information provides approximately downscaled warnings and forecasts that do not provide the needed accuracy to adapt the agriculture practices in a timely manner. In addition, forecasts and early warnings are not always disseminated in a way that is understandable by local communities – for instance, most of the information is only available in French and not translated in local languages.
Finally, the communication strategies often exclude most remote and isolated communities, who may not have access to phones or radios and are less accessible for scarce deconcentrated state services. There is a lack of locally-collected data, timely shared with meteorological institutions to issue agricultural advice, projections and early warnings. This communication channel also fails to share and consolidate lessons learned from CSA and other traditional and modern agricultural practices for a better management of knowledge at the national and regional level.
 According to the World Bank, to better cope with the Covid-19 crisis, Niger should primarily direct and strengthen its actions in favor of sensitive sectors such as food security. The cost of the COVID 19 Response Plan, estimated by the Government and its partners in May 2020, is $1.5 billion, or 18.4% of GDP.
 Niger’s NDC Chapter 5.7 Accent on Climate-Smart Agriculture. September, 26th, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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). 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.
 Population and Housing Census of Bhutan (PHCB), 2017
 Report on the National Irrigation Database and Canal Alignment Mapping, 2013, DoA, MoAF.
 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 (
 Imported food control in Bhutan, National Situational Report, FAO, 2019
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) 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.
 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.
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.
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 60-month project 'Transformational Adaptation for Climate Resilience in Lake Chilwa Basin of Malawi (TRANSFORM)' 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.
The goal of the TRANSFORM project in Malawi is to enhance communities' resilience through ecosystem-based adaptation. The TRANSFORM project contributes to national development and resilience policies and strategies including the MGDS III, the National Resilience Strategy, NAP framework, and the National Climate Change Management Policy. It further contributes to SDGs 1,2,5,6,12,13 and 15.
In Malawi, local communities are increasingly affected by climate change and variability. In recent decades, a range of climatic changes have been observed across the country, including: i) a reduction in average annual precipitation; ii) an increase in average annual temperatures of 0.9°C since 1960; iii) delays in the onset of the rainfall season; and iv) a decrease in the length of the rainfall season, and a longer dry season. These increasingly erratic climate conditions are experienced by local communities across the country who have reported that rainfall has become increasingly unpredictable, and that the rainy season has become delayed, inconsistent and short. The 2011–2012 rainy season, for example, was expected to start in October/November of 2011, but instead only started in December and ended in February 2012 (short of the expected end in April). Moreover, the rainfall of this season was erratic and interrupted by frequent dry spells, which had a notable impact of natural resource-based livelihoods, shortening the growing season and reducing crop productivity . Across Malawi, shifts in rainfall contribute to an increased frequency and intensity of climatic hazards such as droughts and floods. Indeed, there has already been an observed increase in drought occurrences since the 1980s, severely impacting a large proportion of the country’s population. In a 2011 survey, 98% of farmers reported being affected by drought, and in 2016–17, approximately 6.5 million people (~40% of the country’s total population) were directly affected by the adverse impacts of drought — particularly through a decline in food security. In addition to droughts, several significant floods have also occurred across the country in recent years, with considerable impacts on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities. For example, flooding events in January 2012 and January 2013 washed away large volumes of soil and deposited debris on agricultural fields. These events also resulted in the loss of life, and damages to public and private property, as well as crops (totalling ~US$73 million in damages). This led to knock-on effects for food security, and public health (due to an increased incidence of vector-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and malaria).
In recent decades, the impacts of climate change have been intensified by the El Niño Southern Oscillation Cycle (ENSO). For example, in 2015, the most severe El Niño event in 35 years occurred, contributing to multiple droughts, as well as the country’s most damaging flood in 50 years. The recovery and reconstruction requirements of economic sectors affected by the 2015 floods totalled ~US$335 million (equivalent to ~5% of GDP at the time). Excluding housing, transport had the single largest financial need, at 32% of total recovery costs, followed by agriculture (16%), and water and sanitation (13%). The 2015 floods affected ~1.1 million people, displaced ~230,000 people and resulted in 106 deaths. Compounding the disaster, the onset of rains in 2015 was delayed by more than a month, which shortened the growing season and further impeded crop production and recovery in the years following the floods. This had a severely negative effect on the economy of Malawi because of its strong reliance on agriculture for economic growth and subsistence. Climate change is also increasing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, which are intensifying such flooding. The most recent event in Malawi — Tropical Cyclone Idai — occurred in 2019, affecting approximately one million people,. The cyclone caused floods that affected multiple districts across the country, which led to damages and losses totalling ~US$220 million. As a result, the Government of Malawi (GoM) had to spend ~US$370 million for recovery, reconstruction and rebuilding of resilience to disasters.
While the direct impacts of extreme climate events are well documented, other negative effects of climatic change in Malawi are more challenging to quantify. These additional impacts include: i) an observed increase in outbreaks of pests and diseases since the 1970s; ii) increasing levels of malnutrition,; and iii) warmer temperatures making it increasingly difficult for farmers to work outside during the day, thereby reducing their ability to produce food.
Given the adverse impacts of climate change on natural resources, the sustainable development of Malawi — and therefore the wellbeing of its population — is increasingly being compromised. This is reflected by the country’s low ranking (172 out of 189 countries) on the Human Development Index (HDI) and high annual ranking on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI). Malawi’s vulnerability to climate change is caused by interconnected climatic and non-climatic phenomena. For example, environmental degradation is occurring in combination with demographic pressures such as high population growth, causing an overreliance by communities on the natural resource base, and consequently further degradation, a decline in their livelihood productivity, and therefore deepening poverty. The worsening socio-economic situation for many vulnerable Malawians is occurring despite the country’s strong economic growth in recent years — particularly in its agriculture, energy, forestry, mining, industrial and services sectors. Many Malawians have not benefited from this economic growth because their livelihoods are primarily dependent on natural resources, which are being negatively impacted by the combination of environmental degradation and climate change.
Climate change and environmental degradation in the Lake Chilwa basin
Although climate change impacts are occurring across Malawi, they are particularly severe in the Lake Chilwa basin and its catchment districts of Zomba, Phalombe and Machinga — the target areas of the proposed project. Listed as a Ramsar site in 1997, Lake Chilwa and its surrounding wetlands provide habitats for a wide diversity of bird, fish and other fauna and flora, and is accordingly an area of considerable conservation value. Lake Chilwa is also the second largest lake in Malawi and a source of livelihoods for ~1.5 million people who depend on the lake and its catchments for inter alia fish and other resources such as grass, reeds and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). The primary livelihood strategies in the area involve agriculture and fishing, both of which are natural resource-based and strongly dependent on the flow of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and regulation of the hydrological cycle. This dependence exacerbates Lake Chilwa communities’ vulnerability to the impacts of climatic change. Indeed, there is growing evidence of the adverse impacts of climate change on the lake’s aquatic and surrounding terrestrial ecosystems, resulting in a considerable decline in biodiversity, with knock-on effects on the provision of ecosystem services underpinning communities’ livelihoods.
Along with erratic rainfall — and the subsequent drought and flood impacts on communities and agricultural production described above — the primary impact of climate change in the Lake Chilwa basin over the past decades has been the general decline of the water level within the lake. When the lake’s levels decrease, fish stocks can take several years to recover, which disrupts fishing communities' livelihoods for extended periods. A large proportion of women living in the basin are particularly vulnerable to drying of the lake, as fish processing — which is dependent on reasonably priced fish stocks — is their primary income-generating activity. A decline in fish stocks increases competition between fisherfolk and consumers for the remaining fish, driving up prices and reducing women’s income potential from fish processing. In response to the unpredictability of Lake Chilwa’s water levels and productivity, communities have developed diversified, mobile, and often unsustainable livelihoods — including charcoal production, which contribute to deforestation in catchment areas.
While Lake Chilwa has dried completely nine times in the last century (the last time in 2018), its capacity to recover from these events is decreasing. Although refilling of Lake Chilwa can occur in as little as one year — such as in the 2014–2015 rainfall season — it normally takes approximately two to three years to refill. However, this refilling of the lake is contingent upon the adequate infiltration of groundwater in its forested catchment areas, and the effective recovery of fish stocks depends on the management of remnant pools in the perennial rivers and streams that feed into the lake.
The above mentioned environmental degradation compromising Lake Chilwa’s water levels and fish stocks include: i) deforestation; ii) degradation of wetlands — particularly when the receding water level exposes land on the lake’s shores to crop and livestock production; iii) reduced flow of rivers; and iv) soil erosion which causes siltation of watercourses. These phenomena have had a considerable impact on agriculture in the Lake Chilwa basin, with a general decline in productivity and production recorded in both the crop and livestock sectors in recent years. Agricultural decline — in conjunction with the lake's drying — is also contributing to a rapid decrease in the productivity of fisheries. This results from the growing inability of communities to produce adequate amounts of food from agriculture in areas surrounding the lake, which leads to the intensification of unsustainable land-use practices, and further degradation of the terrestrial environment. The consequent decline in crop yields causes an overdependence of local communities on fish from the lake and increases competition for other aquatic resources. For example, there has been an observed increase in the clearing of reeds in riparian and coastal areas of Lake Chilwa — which are critical fish spawning habitats — further impacting the replenishment of fish stocks. Since the 1970s, catches in the lake have decreased considerably, from ~15,000 tonnes/yr to ~5,000 tonnes in 2014.
The slow recovery of fish stocks in recent years has also occurred in conjunction with an increase in the use of illegal fishing gear such as mosquito nets. The use of such indiscriminate equipment causes juvenile fish to be captured along with adults, thereby preventing juveniles from reaching maturity and therefore the size at which the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) would be obtained from the stock. While previous initiatives, such as the GEF-funded project entitled ‘Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management’ have included the establishment of community organisations — such as Beach Village Committees (BVCs) — to enforce regulation of natural resource use on the lake, these have had limited human resource and technical capacity to be effective.
Fish catches in Lake Chilwa comprise a large percentage of the total amount of fish caught within Malawi (~14% in 2003). In addition, a large proportion of agricultural produce is sourced from the lake’s catchment areas. For example, 50% of the rice produced in Malawi is grown in the Lake Chilwa basin. As a result, the decreasing productivity of agriculture and fisheries in the area is causing a rapid decline in food security both in the districts surrounding Lake Chilwa, and across Malawi. This subsequent food insecurity will be exacerbated by further reduced water levels in the lake under future climate change scenarios. Climate projections under both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 indicate further increases in average annual temperatures across the country, with mean annual surface air temperatures expected to rise by 1.1–3°C by 2060, and 1.5–5°C by 2090. Additionally, despite an anticipated increase in total annual rainfall volume, the number of rainfall events is expected to decrease, but with considerable increases in the intensity of each episode and prolonged dry spells between episodes. The frequency of droughts and floods is therefore expected to increase which will heighten the vulnerability of Malawi lake fisheries.
The water temperatures of lakes in Africa, including Lake Chilwa, are evidently also increasing. The full range of impacts of climate change on tropical lakes, however, are not well understood. Some research has indicated that the warming of the deep African rift lake, Lake Tanganyika, has reduced the cycling of nutrients from its depths as well as primary production in the water. In the Lake Chilwa basin specifically, results obtained from the IPCC Fifth Annual Report General Circulation Models (GCMs) under RCP4.5 and 8.5 suggest that water temperatures will increase by an average of 2.6–4.7°C, with carbon dioxide levels in the lake expected to double by the year 2075. These warming water temperatures combined with the abovementioned fluctuating water levels already present in lake Chilwa, will exacerbate threats to the lake’s productivity. Under current climate change conditions, there is already a significant risk of ecosystem collapse in Lake Chilwa — particularly as a result of declining fish resources. This not only exacerbates competition in fisheries as mentioned above, but also conflicts between traditional fisherfolk and newcomers to the area such as farmers who take up fishing. Climate change, therefore, will not only result in reduced fish stocks but also disrupt community relations, increasing the vulnerability of both subsistence farmers and fisherfolk.
Vulnerability to climate change impacts in Malawi and particularly in the Lake Chilwa basin is driven by inter alia: i) chronic poverty; ii) food and nutrition insecurity; iii) overdependence on natural resources; iv) high exposure to climate hazards and risks; vi) ineffective early warning and disaster risk reduction systems; vii) inadequate climate shock preparedness and weak adaptive capacity of households to withstand recurrent shocks and stresses; viii) limited economic opportunities; and ix) inadequate provisioning of, and access to, social services. The combination of these factors makes the implementation of climate change policy frameworks in Malawi challenging. For example, limited production by the country’s energy supplier — Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco) — has resulted in an increased demand for alternative energy sources. Howeveer, as 86% of the country’s population are reliant on subsistence agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods they have limited financial capacity to source alternative, energy-efficient technologies for, inter alia, cooking and heating. To meet this demand, forest resources are used intensively for fuel wood and charcoal production, supplying both rural areas and urban centres. This, in turn, places pressure on forest and wetland ecosystems, leading to catchment degradation. At the national level, limited financial capital available for the GoM results in insufficient budgetary allocation for climate-adaptive technologies. This financial constraint is exacerbated by extreme climate events that result in severe damages and losses to infrastructure, exposing the GoM to cycles of debt and short-term, reactive spending. As a result, the GoM is severely constrained in terms of allocating funds for climate change adaptation at a local level. Local-level adaptation is further hindered by constrained technical and institutional capacity for the implementation of policies from central government to district councils.
Chronic poverty remains the most severe challenge to improving climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin, as it exacerbates several of the other drivers of vulnerability. Because food security and household income are strongly affected by natural resource use and availability, they are major determinants of poverty. Food insecurity is also compounded by poverty because of the need for poor households to engage in livelihood strategies that adversely impact the natural environment. For example, the degradation of terrestrial ecosystems in the Lake Chilwa basin is causing a decline in livelihood productivity as well as a reduction in food security in the region. The decline in livelihood productivity and the continuation of inefficient livelihood strategies are exacerbated by existing development challenges in the Lake Chilwa basin, including inadequate infrastructure and poor linkages to lucrative value chains.
Within the basin, investment in the development of infrastructure — such as rural feeder roads, agro-processing facilities, agricultural technologies, storage facilities and improved markets — is necessary. The challenges around infrastructure are further intensified by high population density (at ~321 people per km2) in areas surrounding the lake, which is among the highest in Malawi. This population density, coupled with rapid population growth and decreasing livelihood productivity in terrestrial landscapes, is causing overcrowding in fishing villages around the lake, placing greater pressure on the aquatic resources within the lake. Moreover, the growing population is increasing the need for products derived from wetland and riparian areas adjacent to the lake. For example, the harvesting of reeds and other plant materials by local communities has contributed to environmental degradation, resulting in siltation of the lake, biodiversity loss and a decrease in fish habitats and spawning sites. The degradation of terrestrial and aquatic resources in the lake basin, in combination with climate change impacts, is resulting in several other challenges for local communities. Examples include: i) an increase in the occurrence of livestock diseases as a result of the degradation of terrestrial ecosystems in conjunction with rising temperatures; and ii) a rising incidence of diseases such as cholera.
Long-term preferred solution
To date, investments in adaptation in Malawi, including in the Lake Chilwa basin, have been largely once-off and sector-specific. The project’s long-term preferred solution to reduce vulnerability to climate change is consequently a sustainable, cross-sectoral transformation of the overarching development trajectory of the Lake Chilwa basin. This should be achieved by a shift away from natural resource degradation and limited livelihood opportunities towards large-scale implementation of EbA and widespread adoption of alternative livelihoods and value chains that build adaptive capacity while contributing to reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This solution will also see the lessons learned from the Lake Chilwa basin upscaled across the country through policy and private sector models that create green jobs particularly among small, medium and micro enterprises — thereby contributing to recovery from Covid-19 economic damages. The main interventions for achieving the preferred solution in the basin will include: i) enhancing the capacity of communities and institutions to plan, implement and monitor EbA interventions; ii) improving small-scale producers’ access to lucrative markets for climate-resilient products and value chains through diversification of product/service offerings and alternative livelihoods, as well as through a sustainable climate finance facility; and iii) facilitating the adoption of alternative livelihoods. These interventions will see more robust and coordinated relationships between the private sector and small-scale producers, facilitated by concessional financing, improved infrastructure and technologies. This could include, inter alia, roads and transportation infrastructure, telecommunication infrastructure, and equipment such as cold storage facilities to reduce post-harvest losses of harvested commodities. The legal formalisation of institutions and the roles of stakeholders in climate change adaptation and capacity-building processes will also emerge from these interventions.
To achieve the preferred solution, producers and enterprises in the Lake Chilwa basin need to be connected to local and regional markets through the development of climate-resilient technologies and infrastructure based on local knowledge and innovations, as well as improved information sharing around these innovations. For example, improving agro-processing as a value-adding activity for raw fish and agricultural produce would reduce post-harvest losses and enable higher quality products to be sold to lucrative markets through appropriate value chains, while also reducing GHG emissions. Creating effective knowledge-management information platforms targeting value-adding processes, in addition to highlighting the potential for private partnerships in these processes, would support their effective and sustainable uptake. Moreover, the preferred solution will strengthen the development pathway in the Lake Chilwa basin to focus on the most vulnerable communities — particularly women and other marginalised groups such as the youth. The abovementioned infrastructural interventions will be necessary to ensure producers in the basin are able to engage effectively with commercial entities and appropriate value chains. Specifically, small-scale producers in the region require adequate storage facilities, refrigeration equipment and processing machinery such as solar dryers. Additionally, information networks and partnerships are required to enhance collaboration between communities with potential for value chain enhancement and the commercial entities with which market linkages can be established.
A primary feature of the preferred solution would be that communities in the area are able to implement Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions and better manage the natural resource base on which they depend. This would include reducing the overexploitation of natural resources and restoring ecological infrastructure within forests, riparian areas and wetlands. These interventions would ensure the continued delivery of ecosystem goods and services which would, together with diversified livelihoods and value-addition services, enable vulnerable communities to build their resilience to climate change. Aside from the post-harvest storage and processing interventions already mentioned, communities’ livelihoods will be advanced under the long-term preferred solution through alternative options such as mushroom cultivation, and beekeeping. Widespread adoption of these livelihoods would greatly improve the capacity of vulnerable communities to adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change, in addition to recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 Republic of Malawi. 2011. The Second National Communication of the Republic of Malawi to the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Available at: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/mwinc2.pdf
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Component 1: Enhancing cross-sectoral technical capacity for climate change adaptation in Malawi
Under Component 1, the preparatory and institutional environment required for gender-sensitive climate change adaptation planning, implementation, monitoring and financing will be developed. This will be done by strengthening the capacity of community-level institutions to plan for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in the Lake Chilwa basin area, and to develop the enabling environment for these actions under Components 2 and 3 of the project. Through the decentralisation of governance for climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability, district councils are responsible for identifying risks and responding to the climate crisis by using appropriate adaptation interventions. The additional resources from LDCF will enable the TRANSFORM project to support district councils to integrate climate change adaptation (including monitoring interventions and impacts) into their district development planning and budgeting. This will subsequently allow for the creation of effective systems to supporting communities in identifying and implementing community-based adaptation initiatives. The proposed project will also ensure that the relevant community- and district-level institutions obtain the required technical and operational capacity to coordinate responses across the district, as well as sustain innovations and infrastructure investments made during project implementation in the long term. These interventions will be implemented in a gender-sensitive manner, with equitable benefits provided to women and youth.
Outcome 1: Strengthened capacity of community-level institutions and non-state actors to plan, implement and monitor Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA).
Output 1.1. An EbA Plan — with an integrated management framework — that identifies climate change vulnerability and ecosystem degradation hotspots, developed for each target district through direct engagement of community stakeholders (including women and the youth).
Under this output, participatory cross-sectoral EbA plans — with a specific focus on women and youth — will be developed for each of the three target districts. These long-term plans will build on short- to medium-term plans developed during the PPG phase, with on-the-ground interventions as detailed within the plans finalised and rolled out during implementation. This will include the identification of climate change vulnerability and ecosystem degradation hotspots which will be targeted for the implementation of interventions under Outcome 2 of the project. In addition, a Community-Based Resilience Analysis (CoBRA) will be used to identify priority adaptation actions for each of the identified hotspots in line with national priorities and strategies such as the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy (NFLRS). The EbA plans will also include an integrated cross-sectoral management framework to ensure alignment between the individual EbA plan of each target district, as well as existing district planning frameworks, to ensure the effective implementation of EbA across the Lake Chilwa basin. Moreover, these EbA plans will use lessons learned from and build upon similar plans for natural resource management developed under the GEF-funded project entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project. These plans will strongly focus on improving the sustainability of fisheries in Malawi’s lakes through improved community-led and climate-smart catchment management. This will ensure complementarity with baseline investments in Malawian fisheries, while avoiding duplication of interventions. Moreover, in line with the transformative nature of the proposed project, the EbA plans under this output will draw on those from the previous GEF project to scale up EbA across the entire basin, and deliver community-wide benefits that ultimately have a major socio-economic and environmental impact across the entire area.
In preparation for the development of the EbA plans described above, district- and community-level institutions — particularly youth and women’s groups — will be trained to plan, implement and monitor EbA plans. This will improve the technical capacity of these institutions to enhance community resilience in a gender-sensitive manner. The scope of the training will include: i) interpretation of climate information and projections, as well as the expected impacts; ii) identifying feasible adaptation approaches to address the impacts of climate change with a focus on EbA; iii) planning the identified adaptation approaches in the local context; iv) overseeing the implementation of adaptation approaches at the district and community levels; and v) monitoring of interventions after implementation. Accordingly, the capacity-building activities will comprise education, information and awareness-raising sessions for priority institutions on the importance of EbA, as well as its relevance to reducing the vulnerability of these institutions. In addition, technical training workshops will be hosted in each district to subsequently enhance the technical capacity of these institutions to plan, monitor and implement EbA — building on the knowledge and understanding augmented by the educational sessions.
This individual and institutional capacity building will ensure the retention of institutional knowledge on EbA within the Lake Chilwa basin, and in turn, reduce the impacts of high staff turnover, that may threaten the sustained use of EbA. The retention of institutional knowledge will also be supported by the knowledge-management hub created under Output 3.5. The capacity-building training will focus on the natural resources within and around the lake and wetlands in the basin, with a specific emphasis on ecosystem services and long-term benefits of, for example, sustainable fishing practices. Training will be provided on the impacts of climate change on natural resources within the lake and surrounding ecosystems, the management and monitoring of these resources, as well as monitoring of climatic and non-climatic impacts to the natural resource base. This training will be supplemented by education on the provisioning of ecosystem services and how to maintain them not only for the benefit of livelihoods but also to reduce the risk of climate hazards on communities.
Output 1.2. Framework Investment Plan for sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods and value chains developed for each target district, in line with the EbA plans developed under Output 1.1.
Under this output, a climate-resilient Framework Investment Plan (FIP) will be developed for private sector investment catalysed under Component 3. Specifically, these FIPs will be operationalised using financial resources mobilised through a newly established Sustainable Climate Financing Facility (SCFF) under Output 3.1. Output 1.2 will include establishing partnerships between smallholder farmers and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to enable stronger engagement between communities and the private sector in the Lake Chilwa basin. The development of the FIP will be undertaken in a gender-sensitive manner and will include assessments on different investment opportunities, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different markets. Currently, vulnerable communities are not adequately engaging with lucrative value chains because of the limited availability of established networks and business relationships for connecting private sector investors to local-level producers. The FIP will catalyse a shift towards a scenario where improved linkages between these entities are established. Output 1.3 will include the identification of potential target areas for investment, as well as MSMEs that can be selected for technical support under Output 3.2, to enhance the climate resilience and environmental sustainability of their operations. Precedents have already been established in Malawi for the use of investment plans and funds towards climate change adaptation. For example, at a national level the National Climate Change Investment Plan was operationalised in 2014 to ensure that there is increased and coordinated investment in climate change. In addition, the Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (2017) includes potential entry points for investment and a framework for attracting financial resources from the private sector, international finance institutions (such as the GEF), national resources, and other financing windows. These strategies and plans will inform the design of the FIP under Output 1.2, ensuring they build on previous gains towards attracting external investment for increased climate resilience of livelihoods in Malawi.
Along with upscaling previous programmes, plans and initiatives, the proposed project will result in novel outcomes to ensure a transformative shift in concessional funding for enterprise development in the region. Specifically, transformation will be achieved through additional measures such as only allocating funds to MSMEs with enhanced technical capacity and financial literacy (developed under the proposed project) and therefore increased climate resilience. This will ensure the sustainability of business operations for selected ventures, thereby increasing the likelihood of success of their expansion/diversification activities as well as the impact that the concessional funding will have. Novel features of the FIP that will transform this output from a business-as-usual approach will be: i) financial literacy training (which has not been formally conducted in Malawi before); ii) planning for allocation of funds across a wide range of subsectors and business activities; iii) dedication of funds specifically for the adoption of innovative and energy-efficient technologies; iv) accelerated application processes for ventures with demonstrable skills and knowledge of adaptation options; and v) dedicated allocation of a considerable proportion of funds for women and youth-run enterprises.
Component 2: Implementation of EbA and sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods
Vulnerable communities in the Lake Chilwa basin strongly depend on ecosystem goods and services to support their livelihoods. The TRANSFORM project will complement the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy to protect and strengthen ecosystem health for the sustained flow of goods and services to local communities. Component 2 will enable the implementation of EbA plans developed under Component 1, in line with national priorities and strategies. In addition, Component 2 will include the development of a community-based ecosystem monitoring and reporting (M&R) system — leveraging support from extension services — which will ensure the sustainability and scalability of EbA interventions. Using an integrated, cross-sectoral approach, the project will also facilitate the implementation of viable, community-based adaptation practices which include alternative livelihoods, climate-resilient agricultural practices, and small-scale, nature-based businesses. Such activities will be undertaken by resource-poor members of the community, the majority of which are women and the youth. The community-based adaptation practices supported by the project will therefore specifically benefit these vulnerable community members, drawing on best practices and lessons learned from Adapt Plan’s promotion of diversified livelihoods, such as the processing and selling of NTFPs. In addition to upscaling the Adapt Plan project, the proposed GEF project will introduce new and alternative livelihood options to ensure a transformative shift away from unsustainable land-use practices. Novel to the proposed project will also be the enhanced capacity to maintain these livelihoods, through participatory community-based monitoring of natural resources.
Outcome 2. Reduced vulnerability of communities in target districts to climate change through the implementation of EbA interventions and the introduction of sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods.
Output 2.1. EbA interventions, such as catchment restoration, soil conservation techniques and water-efficient technologies, implemented in vulnerability hotspots.
Under Output 2.1, Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions such as the restoration of riparian areas, wetlands, and catchments will be implemented in a gender-sensitive manner. This will improve the flow of ecosystem services — including regulation of the hydrological cycle, soil conservation and erosion control — thereby building the climate resilience of communities surrounding the Lake Chilwa basin. Specific EbA-related activities to be implemented in each target district will be identified and costed during the PPG phase. As a co-benefit, EbA interventions will help to alleviate some of the primary drivers of environmental degradation in the region, such as deforestation caused by unsustainable charcoal production, which contribute to an overreliance of households on resources within the lake and surrounding areas. In particular, the negative impacts on fish stocks (linked to the decreasing productivity of surrounding agricultural areas) will be reduced. Additional EbA measures to reduce the dependence of local communities on the use of wood for charcoal production will include the introduction of processing technologies for fuel-efficient briquette production using agricultural waste products, such as rice husks. This will reduce the dependence on forest ecosystem resources as well as pressure placed on the wider natural resource base in the target area. To facilitate this shift, briquette-making communities will receive assistance from relevant, upskilled institutions, in particular on the construction of appropriate infrastructure such as beds for drying of agricultural waste. In addition, access to inputs such as water will be subsidised, highly concessional, or provided at a reasonable cost, thereby promoting fuel briquettes as a productive commercial sector. Further research will also be conducted to assess the potential supply of a wide range of biomass materials and quality of varieties of fuel briquettes. Increased demand for briquettes among communities will be achieved through marketing efforts and value-adding activities such as packaging, labelling and awareness-raising on the benefits of fuel-efficient briquettes.
Additional interventions that supplement EbA activities to increase water-use efficiency and improve the supply of water in the region, will include inter alia: i) household water harvesting systems and post-harvest storage; ii) the adoption of improved irrigation technologies (for example drip irrigation systems); iii) the stabilisation of riverbanks using green infrastructure to reduce erosion; and iv) a shift to agroforestry systems. Agroforestry will improve agricultural productivity, and ecosystem service provisioning, including soil conservation and erosion control regulation of the hydrological cycle — for example, through improvements in the quality and quantity of water resources in the region as a result of increased infiltration. Agroforestry-related activities under this output will build on interventions previously implemented under other projects, such as the GEF-funded project titled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project. These agroforestry and conservation farming practices will be implemented across 3,000 ha of agricultural areas. Under the proposed project, the land area under agroforestry systems will be expanded to include additional communities. This will contribute to increasing the area in the Lake Chilwa basin under improved management practices and extend the reach of direct and indirect adaptation benefits to more people in the Lake Chilwa basin. Moreover, novel agroforestry systems will be introduced to encompass a wide range of communities and ecosystems ensuring the unique needs of each target community are met and that their natural resources are appropriately managed.
Output 2.2. Community-based ecosystem Monitoring and Reporting (M&R) system established in each target district to support enhanced natural resource management and compliance with environmental regulations.
Under this output, an M&R system will be established in support of an integrated approach to the maintenance of ecosystem health, ensuring inter alia: i) effective environmental management; ii) compliance with relevant regulations; and iii) eventual self-regulation of communities surrounding Lake Chilwa. This will complement the EbA plans to be developed under Output 1.1, providing the means for not only supporting enhanced natural resource management, but also for establishing an evidence base from which EbA plans may be iteratively revised and refined to inform further action. The establishment of the M&R will include a comprehensive valuation of ecosystem services in the project area, informing the baseline upon which M&R will be undertaken, and to determine the contribution of the proposed project’s interventions over time.
The M&R system established under this output will be designed and operationalised in line with local and district planning frameworks to build on and improve previously established systems for monitoring natural resources and reporting on their overexploitation or unsustainable use. For example, communities will be trained on the importance of monitoring degradation or threats to the target areas’ natural resource base (such as the use of illegal fishing nets), as well as how to measure and report these threats to the relevant authorities. In addition, communities will also work towards ensuring that sustainable land-practices continue beyond the project’s lifespan to maintain benefits associated with adaptation interventions. Communities will be fully engaged in monitoring natural resources and ecosystem threats, as by understanding the associated benefits of adaptation they will be more invested in ensuring long-term sustainability of project interventions. Such community engagement in M&R will discourage perpetuating a ‘tragedy of the commons’ situation as community members will be reluctant to continue unsustainable practices if aware of being monitored and potential penalties for non-compliance. Not only will this apply to lake and wetland resources, but forest ecosystems as well, with individuals less likely to engage in charcoal production and other activities that degrade the landscape. This approach will be facilitated in particular by beach village committees (BVCs), who will assist with training alongside extension services.
BVCs — first established under the GEF-funded project entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project — will be used to operationalise the M&R system. These committees were selected because they possess the appropriate skills and knowledge, such as an understanding of the applicable environmental laws and regulations, for effective management of lake resources. The proposed project will in so doing align with previous investments working on enhanced compliance, thereby promoting the sustainability of interventions under both projects. In addition, this output will augment the achievements of previous projects by extending M&R responsibilities beyond BVCs to include community institutions around protected areas. This will be facilitated by the implementation of monitoring systems that are strongly technology-oriented and community-based. For example, the use of GIS-enabled incident-recording/reporting devices and unmanned arial vehicles (UAVs), such as drones, will provide information not only to communities for natural-resource management, but also to potential entrepreneurs and investors. The training will be delivered to enhance the technical and human resource capacity of communities surrounding Lake Chilwa for enforcement of relevant laws and regulations, as well as M&R. While the M&R systems will be designed for each individual district, knowledge-sharing and collaboration will be encouraged between districts through the knowledge management hub established under Component 3 of the proposed project. This will be done by ensuring that the information generated through M&R will be fed into the hub, and that provision is made for effective sharing of this knowledge between districts.
To provide comprehensive support to the community-based M&R systems, a training-of-trainers approach will be used to incorporate knowledge-management and -sharing into the proposed project by providing operational and technical support to extension services. This will be to allow extension service officers to transfer knowledge and expertise to BVCs, and other stakeholders operating within the M&R system, to ensure effective, on-the-ground implementation and maintenance of the system. During the lifetime of the project this training system will allow local communities to monitor the success of proposed interventions (for example, seedling survival rates for restoration efforts), as well as report on stakeholder engagement and other targets established to determine the success of the project. In addition, community members will be trained on reporting on the attendance of training sessions by various groups, as well as on whether gender-related targets are being met. This support will enable M&R efforts to extend beyond the project lifespan, ensuring the sustainability of interventions.
Output 2.3. Sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods implemented in target communities through the provision of training (including at least 50% women), provision of start-up inputs (such as beekeeping equipment) as well as the development of partnerships with local suppliers and value chain service providers (through technical advisory services).
Under Output 2.3, support will be provided to relevant stakeholders to enable vulnerable communities — particularly women and youth — to shift from unsustainable, climate-vulnerable livelihoods and income streams, such as charcoal production, to a situation where the adoption of climate-resilient livelihoods is a feasible and readily-available option. This will occur through, inter alia, the upscaling of existing initiatives for the production and sale of NTFPs — including mushroom cultivation and products derived from beekeeping enterprises — as well as the development of fishery and agricultural value chains. Specifically, the mechanism used to achieve the shift towards sustainable climate resilient livelihoods will include three stages across the development period. First, during the PPG phase of the project, information will be gathered on forest, wetland and lake users and resource use, extent of different ecosystems, the condition of natural resources in the ecosystems, and forest-based livelihood opportunities. The second stage will involve negotiation of ecosystem management plans and agreements (including rights and responsibilities of community-, district- and government-level institutions), and securing formal legal structures for these agreements. Finally, empowered communities will implement their management plans and uphold any legal agreements, with full local and national government support. During the PPG phase, appropriate alternative, climate-resilient livelihoods that align with the EbA action plans developed under Output 1.1. and are suitable for adoption by local communities will be identified using Community-Based Resilience Analysis (CoBRA). In addition, to ensure equitable and gender-responsive efforts towards the adoption of alternative livelihoods, local communities in target districts (including at least 50% women) will also be trained on sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods, with a focus on the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of EbA interventions, therefore complementing Outputs 2.1 and 2.2. This will build upon and expand the introduction of alternative and complementary rural livelihoods under a previous GEF-funded project. While this project focused solely on aquaculture-based livelihoods, the proposed TRANSFORM project will introduce and implement a wider variety of livelihoods, including beekeeping and mushroom farming. In addition, the proposed project will be implemented in communities that the previous GEF-funded project did not focus on. This will result in the provision of alternative livelihoods to the entire population of the basin. To further support livelihood security of vulnerable communities in the target area, rural-urban business linkages will be established. This will facilitate aggregation by enhancing the ability of MSMEs and other enterprises to access district and city markets by inter alia ensuring harvested commodities meet market standards.
To support the implementation and uptake of sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods in the Lake Chilwa basin, inputs will be provided to local communities who require improved equipment and infrastructure. This will take the form of ‘starter kits’ for the establishment of NTFP-centred businesses, and will include goods, materials and equipment such as beehives and protective beekeeping equipment, or mushroom-growing kits. These starter kits will enable communities to smoothly transition to alternative, climate-resilient livelihoods. Moreover, improved farming technologies, processing equipment and infrastructure to prevent post-harvest losses — which have been identified as barriers to enhancing the livelihood resilience in the target area — will be supplied. In addition, support will be provided to transfer appropriate knowledge and skills that will facilitate the establishment of partnerships between or across local communities, the private sector, government institutions and agricultural and fishery organisations. By establishing and strengthening connections between these entities, a collaborative environment will be fostered which will contribute to sustainably enhancing livelihood and climate-resilience across value chains and economic sectors — as opposed to limiting the uptake of climate-resilient livelihoods to unsustainable handouts from donors.
To increase the likelihood of success regarding the uptake of sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods, local communities will be trained on their adoption. By increasing the awareness and familiarity of the additional livelihoods, as well as the associated techniques and skills, local communities will develop confidence in the uptake and maintenance of those livelihoods. This will facilitate the effective and efficient transition away from current unsustainable fishing, farming and land-use practices. To complement this training on livelihoods, awareness will be raised surrounding climate change hazards, risks and impacts to better develop local communities’ understanding of the need for adaptation and the adoption of sustainable, climate-resilient livelihoods and technologies.
Component 3: Enhancing market linkages for private sector investment in adaptation options and climate-resilient enterprises
Component 3 of the proposed project will ensure the sustainability and replicability of interventions implemented under Component 1 and Component 2 by catalysing private sector investment in climate-resilient enterprises. These investments will lead to the upscaling of EbA and alternative livelihoods across the Lake Chilwa basin and the rest of Malawi. To achieve this, the proposed project under Component 3 will design and operationalise a sustainable funding facility, strengthen linkages between market actors across value chains, and share information between market actors through a market information hub. As a multifaceted approach will be adopted, beneficiaries will extend beyond formally registered businesses to include both artisanal producers as well as aspiring young and/or female entrepreneurs. These interventions will be complemented by the establishment of a knowledge management hub, which will enable the sharing of information between stakeholders to inform the development of similar projects in the Basin. Whereas the market information hub will benefit entrepreneurs and MSMEs, the knowledge management hub will primarily be used by local and national level decision makers when exploring potential development options for enhanced climate resilience. In so doing, the upscaling of previous investments in the project area and across Malawi will be promoted in a locally appropriate and context-specific manner. Details on these interventions are presented below.
Outcome 3. Enhanced private sector investment in and strengthened market linkages for sustainable, climate-resilient enterprises to provide communities with alternative sources of income.
Output 3.1 A sustainable climate finance facility established to stimulate private sector investment for MSMEs, with a new CCA funding window opened under the MICF, provision of technical assistance and strengthening of the microfinance industry, for innovation in climate-resilient livelihoods, enterprises and technologies.
Under this output, access to finance for building climate-resilient livelihoods and businesses will be enhanced for MSMEs, farmers and fisherfolk in the Lake Chilwa basin. This enhanced access to finance will be achieved by establishing a new adaptation finance facility, by providing technical training and support, and by facilitating access to microfinance. Details on each of these sub-components of this output are provided below. The baseline upon which the project will build includes existing credit lines provided by funds, commercial banks and microfinance institutions. The additional and innovative interventions to be implemented by the proposed project include: establishing funding windows and financial products dedicated to climate change adaptation investments; training a wide range of stakeholders to access the credit lines and to climate-proof their business operations and value chains; and establishing community-based credit and saving associations to facilitate access to microfinance for artisanal farmers and fisherfolk with negligible collateral to implement adaptation interventions.
Finance facility. A new facility — the Sustainable Climate Finance Facility (SCFF) — will be established to enable private sector investors to invest in innovative, climate-resilient livelihoods, enterprises and value chains. GEF resources will be used to establish the facility and provide technical support for its management, but will not be used to capitalise it. The capital will be sourced from the private sector (in accordance with climate-resilient Framework Investment Plans (FIP) developed under Output 1.3), and in particular through the existing and well-established Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) that is managed by UNDP. A dedicated window within the MICF will be created for climate change adaptation and for assisting in the capitalisation of the SCFF. While the MICF has already successfully launched and closed other funding windows — most recently for tourism — the SCFF will be focussed on the Lake Chilwa basin and will therefore be the first geographically targeted window under the MICF. This geographically targeted funding window will serve as a model for financing similar projects in the future. It should be noted that the MICF will only serve as the initial platform upon which the SCFF will be established, and that the SCFF will be upscaled nationally under the National Climate Change Fund (NCCF), which is currently under development. The vision of the GoM is that the operationalisation of the SCFF will be achieved under the MICF, but that the facility will be transferred to the newly established NCCF. The NCCF is envisioned to be financed through carbon levies collected by the GoM which have been earmarked for environmental actions, as outlined in the Environmental Management Act of 2017. Funds collected through these levies will be ring-fenced for these actions — including those aimed at improved climate resilience — which will ensure institutional permanence in the environmental sector. Currently, the NCCF is not yet fully operational, as further work on its governance arrangement and technical capacity for undertaking its work is required. Therefore, the MICF, which has a fully functioning institutional structure and comprehensive technical capacity, will be a more suitable platform for the initial stages of setting up the SCFF, until the NCCF has been fully operationalised. This arrangement will ensure the effective transfer of technical and institutional capacity from the MICF to the NCCF.
For the capitalisation of the SCFF through the funding window established under the MICF, the private sector in Malawi will be directly approached to assist in through, for example, socially responsible investment products within the banking sector. Such products include socially responsible mutual funds. If there is insufficient capital raised within Malawi, international banks and investors focussing on ethical investment strategies will be approached to invest in these products offered by the Malawian banks.
Based on extensive consultations during the PIF preparation it has been identified that there is considerable interest within the international community for investments that assist in uplifting poor communities in addition to providing nature-based solutions to climate change. However, given the limited technical and institutional capacity among local communities for engaging in high-value markets, such investments remain high risk. Consequently, there remains a need to de-risk investments into uplifting communities by increasing their knowledge of and skills for value-addition in agriculture and fisheries, as well as by improving their awareness of the impacts of climate change, and increasing social accountability in natural resource use. It is consequently envisaged that there will be a strong demand for well-structured, socially responsible investment products from Malawi. Such products would include a strong focus on gender and social safeguards. Local Malawian banks will benefit from the sale of these types of investment products, not only through the commissions earned on the products, but also because it will contribute to their corporate social responsibility objectives. The proposed project will assist the Malawian banks in developing the products in an appropriate manner for attracting local and international investors, and then in managing the products and disbursing loans to eligible stakeholders in the Lake Chilwa basin.
Technical training and support. The project will provide technical training and support — through, for example, workshops, training events and continuous technical advisory services — to the MICF, SCFF, MSMEs, artisans, farmers, and fisherfolk. This wide range of stakeholders is necessary to ensure that the funding mechanisms function effectively and that local communities will be in a position to use these mechanisms to finance their climate-resilient livelihoods.
The training for the MICF and SCFF will focus on climate change adaptation and investment opportunities for building climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin, but also Malawi as a whole. In this way, the project will support the upscaling of the MICF’s activities country-wide.
Training for MSMEs, artisans, farmers and fisherfolk in the project’s target districts (with a strong focus on women and youth) will be tailor-made for their individual needs in a particular district and will include topics such as: climate change; financial literacy; business operations, including basic accounting; opening of bank accounts; accessing micro-finance through organisations such as community-based village banks and saving associations; accessing commercial bank loans; compliance with legal requirements; registering of companies; reporting on the performance of their operations to funders; management of natural resources under climate change conditions; reducing post-harvest losses despite climate change conditions; meeting quality standards developed by buyers such as supermarkets and restaurants; diversifying products under climate change conditions; accessing new and higher value markets; and attracting investors. This training will be complemented by the partnerships established between local communities, extension services, CBOs, farmers, buyers and private sector enterprises under Output 3.2. Through the above-described training and these partnerships, a wide range of investments for MICF, SCFF, commercial banks and micro-finance institutions will be derisked.
Access to microfinance. Community-based credit and saving associations will be established by the project where local communities are supportive of such an intervention. Such associations have been demonstrated to be highly effective in similar rural settings in Kenya, where models known as the ‘village banking model’ and ‘self-help group bank’ have been adopted. The advantages of these associations include the following: little or no collateral is necessary to take out a loan, as the group as a whole provides the guarantee for each individual’s loan; records on returns on investment and performance of individual members are filed and can be used by individuals or MSMEs for accessing more traditional sources of credit through commercial banks; and records from the associations can be used to show private sector investors the impacts of their investments at a granular scale. In the past, the functionality of community-based credit and saving associations would have been compromised in rural areas because of difficulties in accessing banks. Today, however, remote mobile banking services are offered in Malawi through services such as Airtel Money or M-Pesa. Because these banking service providers use SMS’s to operate, it can provide village bank members with access to banking services, despite having no internet access or being in remote locations.
Examples of activities to build climate resilience in the Lake Chilwa basin that could be financed by the MICF, the SCFF or community-based credit and saving associations include: cold storage facilities to reduce post-harvest loss from fish catches under increasing temperatures; kilns used for the production of energy-efficient briquettes; beekeeping equipment, including processing machinery to derive multiple products from hives; mushroom-growing kits; and water-saving irrigation systems such as drip irrigation or micro-sprayers. These activities will not be considered in isolation, but rather analysed in relation to the value chains within which they are situated. The project will provide technical advisory services to assist the above funds and associations in ensuring that appropriate investments are made across entire value chains to prevent breaks in these chains having detrimental effects on businesses and operations situated elsewhere in the chains.
An important component of the training of MSMEs, artisans, farmers, and fisherfolk within the project will be to highlight how the long-term benefits from enhanced access to finance, the implementation of new technologies and improved efficiency of their operations will only accrue if there is sustainable management of their natural resources under climate change conditions. Through this training the project will ensure that the private sector in the basin understands that that natural resources underpin their businesses and livelihoods and that these natural resources are currently under threat from over-harvesting and climate change impacts. In so doing, the project will facilitate a shift in societal mindset so that private and public sector organisations and local communities work together to harvest the natural resources in the basin sustainably and seek to build the climate resilience of the various ecosystems present in the basin. This collaborative work will be undertaken in Output 1.1 and 2.1 through the development and implementation of participatory EbA plans with integrated management frameworks.
Output 3.2. Partnerships established between communities, extension services, CBOs, farmers, buyers and private sector enterprises, including through the development of a market information hub and introduction of technologies that will increase access to, and strengthen, high-value markets.
Building on Output 3.1, networks will be created to further encourage collaboration between and within all links in agricultural and fishery value chains. These networks will be developed in a gender-sensitive manner and will comprise partnerships that connect inter alia private sector entities, public institutions, small-scale producers and extension services, thereby enhancing interaction between currently siloed business operations within the Lake Chilwa basin. Partnerships will be fostered particularly through the establishment of information hubs, which facilitate knowledge transfer and provide networking opportunities. The hubs will promote the uptake of improved technologies, the accessing of support services (under Output 3.1) and other activities to enhance the investment potential of MSMEs and small-scale producers in the target area. This will in part be achieved by raising awareness on the potential economic and social development gains from increasing access of climate-resilient enterprises and alternative livelihoods to high value markets.
Output 3.3. Knowledge management hub established to enable documentation and dissemination of best practices generated under the project.
Under this output, knowledge-management and -sharing will be enabled through the collection and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned elucidated under the proposed GEF project. This will take the form of, inter alia, a knowledge-management hub that will gather, record and archive the successes and areas for improvement with regards to project interventions. As a result, communities within and between districts will be able to share information on enhancing the climate-resilience of alternative livelihoods, as well as advice on how to improve both the financial viability and environmental sustainability of their business ventures. In addition, an annual event will be hosted by the hub, bringing together local and national stakeholders. These stakeholders will include private sector entities, NGOs, CBOs, government departments, smallholders and MSMEs — as well as universities, and research and higher education institutions to spearhead knowledge generation. Knowledge management activities under this output will directly complement those implemented under the GEF-funded project entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project.
Complementarity will be ensured by using existing climate information services, developed under the previous project, to inform knowledge management and dissemination specifically for enhanced climate resilience of livelihoods. This will for example align with improved fisheries management through knowledge generation about climate risks and vulnerability in the fisheries sector at district level, under the previous GEF fisheries project. To provide a transformative approach, however, the proposed project will ensure the knowledge hub connects all value chain actors, using relevant technologies to establish and strengthen these linkages, as well as enabling communities to access high value markets. Finally, a further novel feature of the proposed project will be the development and integration of an IT-supported PC/smartphone application to drive the use of the hub.
 UNDP. 2014. Malawi Government launches National Climate Change Investment Plan.
 Republic of Malawi. 2017. Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience: Malawi.
 Reduced wastage improves efficiency, which reduces the need for expanding agriculture to meet demand.
 The previous project is entitled Malawi-climate resilient and sustainable capture fisheries, aquaculture development and watershed management project. Available at: https://www.thegef.org/sites/default/files/project_documents/d4c0fcd6-4bec-e911-a83a-000d3a375590_PIF_0.pdf
 As a traditional challenge fund, the MICF does not currently provide technical assistance to companies, but this may be redressed through a subsidiary contract with a technical assistance provider that will be identified during the PPG phase.
 FAO. 2019. Micro-finance for small scale fisheries. Available: http://www.ruralfinanceandinvestment.org/sites/default/files/Micro-finance%20for%20small-scale%20fisheries.pdf
 UNDP. 2015. Report on the review of the second national decentralisation strategy. Available at: https://info.undp.org/docs/pdc/Documents/MWI/Final%20NDP%20II%20Review%20Report%20-25%20July%202015.pdf
 Please refer to Section 6: Coordination.
Component 1: Enhancing cross-sectoral technical capacity for climate change adaptation in Malawi.
Component 2: Implementation of EbA and sustainable climate-resilient livelihoods
Component 3: Enhancing market linkages for private sector investment in adaptation options and climate-resilient enterprises
Landscape restoration for increased resilience in urban and peri-urban areas of Bujumbura in Burundi
The project 'Landscape restoration for increased resilience in urban and peri-urban areas of Bujumbura in Burundi' will strengthen integrated watershed management and flood management of the Ntahangwa river connected to Bujumbura to ensure the resilience of both upstream highland communities and downstream lowland communities living in urban areas. The proposed GEF Least Developed Countries Fund-financed project will include a comprehensive planning and management approach making use of climate information available in the country together with specific investments in landscape restoration, flood management measures and resilient livelihoods support. Landscape restoration in areas connected to Bujumbura will help restore flood-related ecosystem protection for both highland upstream communities and lowland urban communities with adaptive solutions ranging from tree planting to watershed protection and reinforcement of riverbank structures. The project is currently in the PIF stage.
At least 120,000 people from the two Bujumbura Provinces, Bujumbura Mairie and Bujumbura Rural, or about 8% of the total estimated population in these two provinces will directly benefit from the project (half of project beneficiaries are women). The project will restore 3,000 ha of degraded areas through tree planting, an additional 1,000 km of anti-erosion ditches and terraces and 1.5 km of flood control infrastructures along the Ntahangwa river in Bujumbura itself. The watershed area is estimated between 12,829 hectares, the project aims to ensure that 10,200 ha, or 80% of the watershed's estimated area, are put under improved management.
To complement the restoration efforts, livelihood activities are needed to reduce the vulnerability of populations by promoting green entrepreneurship and providing better access to markets (initial main sectors targeted are agriculture and agro-industry as well as the charcoal sector) connecting urban communities to peri-urban communities in the watershed. The charcoal sector’s reliance on trees makes it a prime sector to target through a climate-resilient value chain approach. The agro-business sector will benefit from increasing the value of agricultural products and creating new investment opportunities. The urban focus of this project opens new doors to tap into the nascent startup ecosystems of Bujumbura while providing support for youth entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Resilient livelihood options and green entrepreneurship are important strategies to rebuild Burundi’s economy as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Impacts of climate change
Burundi is a small landlocked country of 11 million people. Agriculture is its primary economic sector, employing nearly 80% of its inhabitants who live from subsistence farming. The country is densely populated with high population growth. Bujumbura is Burundi’s biggest city and until February 2019, the capital city before it moved to Gitega. Bujumbura remains the main economic centre of the country and concentrate services and all of the business opportunities. Burundi’s landscape presents large swath of mountainous areas with elevations ranging from 770 m up to 2,670 m, on the eastern part of the country, the terrain drops to a flat plateau.
Burundi is subject to cyclical geophysical phenomenon like El Niño that are causing extreme climatic situations, strengthening the country’s vulnerability in different sectors, including infrastrutures development, transport, housing schemes and urban planning. This increased exposure to the impacts of climate change, together with the high poverty rate – 67% of the population living under the poverty threshold - puts the economy of Burundi as a whole in a very vulnerable and fragile situation. Burundi ranks as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate disruptions, ranking 171 out of 181 in the ND-GAIN index for climate vulnerability. The country is the 14th most vulnerable country and the 16th least ready country to combat the expected impact of climate change.
Current trends have shown an overall decrease in precipitation creating shorter wet seasons and a prolonged dry season. An increase in mean temperature of 0.7-0.9°C has been observed since 1930. Climate-induced natural hazards have become more frequent in the past decades with an increase in flood and drought as well as storm surges and landslides. Severe droughts frequently affect Burundi and account for a third of all natural hazards occurring in the country and torrential rains have caused major flooding issues around Lake Tanganyika, including Bujumbura. Between 1999 and 2007, the combined losses from severe flood (2006, 2007) and drought (1999, 2000, 2005) episodes were estimated by the government at 5% of the country’s GDP. Severe flooding and landslide have become a common yearly occurrence due to heavier rains than usual during the wet seasons. The country has reported important damages to crops, soil and infrastructure together with the increased presence of pests and disease that affect food crops and livestock.
Between 2013 and August 2020, the International Organization for Migration recorded 131,336 internally displaced people (IDPs), 83% of them as a result of natural disasters. The major part of these displacements occurred in the provinces of Bujumbura Mairie and Bujumbura Rural where 60,207 IDPs are on records. In January 2014, torrential rains caused rivers throughout the city of Bujumbura to come out of their bed. The flooding affected 220,000 people, 40% of Bujumbura’s population. 70 people were reported dead, 4 missing and 182 injured. Physical damage included 2,000 damaged or destroyed houses, the destruction of teaching materials at 7 flooded schools, lost merchandise at 500 stalls in 1 market, several bridges destroyed, 2 main roads cut, and 5000 ha of agricultural land degraded. A month later, in February 2014, floods and landslides in Bujumbura caused 64 deaths, destroyed 940 homes and rendered nearly 12,500 people homeless. Similar events causing deaths and massive destruction have been reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in 2019-2020. In April 2020, floods in Bujumbura Rural displaced 27,972 people and destroyed or damaged 6,010 houses. UN OCHA reported thousands of hectares of crops ready for harvest destroyed as well as an increased trend in prices for basic food commodities. Further increase are expected as traders try to preserve their stocks in anticipation of poor harvests.
Regional climate models using both a low and high emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 respectively) indicate that the average annual temperature in the country could increase by 1.7-2.1°C by 2060 and 2.2-4.2°C by 2100 (mean change compared to the average for the 1970–1999). The highest increase is projected to occur during the dry season, which could lead to longer heat waves and more severe drought episodes. Climate models indicate an increase in mean annual precipitation of 5.7%-7.7% by 2060 and 8.6-13.2% by 2100 compared to 1970-1999. Furthermore, most of the regional climate models show an increase in precipitation during the main wet season (November-February) and all the models agree on a positive trend for the months of November and December and dryer conditions the months before the onset of the rainy season.
These changes and variability will result in challenges to agricultural productivity, food security and livelihoods, and a likely increase in the occurrence of climate disasters already observed. While evapo-transpiration will increase due to higher temperatures, the surplus of water from the precipitations is likely to increase the risk of extreme rainfalls, flash floods and landslides. A vulnerability analysis of Burundi showed that the area surrounding Bujumbura is particulary sensitive to erosion due to its mountainous landscape and soil profile, a situation that is likely to continue or worsen over time with climate change. On the other hand, the vulnerability analysis shows that drought is and will continue to remain an issue in the eastern and southern part of the country.
Infrastructure investments are concentrated in Bujumbura, making the city particularly prone to damage during flooding due to its geographical situation in lowlands surrounded by mountains prone to erosion and landslides. In order to address these issues, the Government of Burundi, through the National Platform of Prevention and Management of Disaster Risks in partnership with UN Agencies has prepared a “Flood contingency plan”. However, the existence of the Contigency Plan in absence of technical and financial resources has not brought significant changes to populations who suffer greatly from those disasters. In Bujumbura, city residents in the Nyakabiga, Kigobe, Mutanga and Mugoboka quartiers were forced to abandon their houses after they collapsed due to erosion and landslides. Other public infrastructures and private households are on the brink of collapse along the bank of the river Ntahangwa, putting lives directly at risk. The Ntahangwa watershed covers several districts east of Bujumbura and features steep hills prone to landslide and erosion, which then end up affecting densely populated areas of Bujumbura further downstream. Populations in the Ntahangwa watershed (outside Bujumbura itself) rely mostly on subsistence agriculture and agro-forestry on hills for their livelihoods and are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
In addition, the country faces aggravating factors, in particular the socio-political crisis that leads to population movements, creating vulnerable groups and a polarization of the population in general. It is also important to highlight the situation of women, who, despite the efforts identified over the last years with regards to political and economic aspects, are still facing inequalities in terms of rights - in particular access to private property. Youth represents a key part of Burundi’s workforce, but opportunities for employment, including those with university degrees, is lacking and fails to fully tap into their potential. The Government has made youth employment a priority and a key pillar of their social protection policy.
Burundi reported its first case of COVID-19 in March 2020. As of the end of 27 October 2020, the country had 558 cases with one official death only. Burundi closed its borders in March 2020, but a comprehensive response to COVID-19 only started in July 2020 when the newly sworn president of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye, declared the virus as “the worst enemy of Burundi” while announcing preventive measures against the disease including mass screening, barrier gestures and economic incentives to reduce food prices. Similar to other African countries, the evolution of the pandemic has not seen the same dramatic progress as has been observed in Asia, Europe or America, but a response is required to maintain essential health services and avoid the spread of the virus beyond the capacity of Burundi’s fragile health system. The majority of confirmed cases were reported in the Bujumbura province.
COVID-19 is expected to impact agricultural production capacities and livelihoods, which could exacerbate food insecurity and limit the resilience capacities of the most vulnerable populations. The crisis has negative effects on food accessibility and price increases have already been observed (e.g. the price of maize is 37-61 percent higher compared to the same time last year). Food prices declined significantly between January and May, falling to their lowest level in seventeen months, but September 2020 marked the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the FAO Food Price Index. Border closure and quarantine requirements have led to a slow-down in trade and a disruption of cross-border markets affecting vulnerable households relying on casual labour and trade with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The COVID-19 crisis is impacting Burundi’s economic recovery. Some of the most affected sectors include services, hospitality and commercial services (transportation, travel, insurance) as well as agriculture, largely due to travel restrictions, a decline in international trade, waning demand for exports, and supply-chain disruptions.
Burundi has limited fiscal, monetary and financial buffers to cope with the current crisis. The GDP of Burundi had slightly risen to 1.8% in 2019 thanks to higher agricultural yields, but is poised to fall to 0.3% for 2020. As a result, public debt is expected to increase to 63.7 percent of the GDP in 2020 from 58.5 percent in 2019 due to reduced revenues and higher spending on health. Assuming the pandemic brought under control, the outlook could be positive in 2021 and 2022 with a significant rebound of growth supported by increased activity in all sectors.
The COVID-19 recovery efforts present opportunities for Burundi to use ecosystem-based adaptation and green economy principles to create jobs, strengthen agricultural value chains and supply chains from urban and rural areas and rebuild Burundi’s economy while addressing climate vulnerabilities and drivers of land degradation.
The LDCF-financed project aims to address the vulnerability of urban and peri-urban communities of Bujumbura and the Ntahangwa watershed to the increased frequency of floods, storm runoffs and landslides projected by climate models. These natural hazards are destroying households and infrastructures of urban communities of Bujumbura along the bank of the Ntahangwa river and threaten the livelihoods and resilience of highland communities living in the upstream part of the watershed. Erosion is a key factor increasing the vulnerability of highland communities to adapt and solutions to increase their resilience have the potential to reduce the impact felt by lowland communities downstream. Floods and storms directly affect the capacity of the watershed’s ecosystem to buffer the impact of climate change, which is made worst by the degradation and deforestation of hills by communities. Despite investments in watershed restoration in the past, there is no planning and management tool at the watershed-level to ensure the long-term resilience of communities. Climate information can support those processes; however, the government lacks the capacity to analyse and make use of data and information for decision-making.
The long-term solution is to strengthen integrated watershed management and flood management of the Ntahangwa river connected to Bujumbura to ensure the resilience of both upstream highland communities and downstream lowland communities living in urban areas. The solution will include a comprehensive planning and management approach making use of climate information available in the country together with specific investments in landscape restoration, flood management measures and resilient livelihoods support. Landscape restoration in areas connected to Bujumbura will help restore flood-related ecosystem protection for both highland upstream communities and lowland urban communities with adaptive solution ranging from tree planting to watershed protection and reinforcement of riverbanks structures. To complement the restoration efforts, livelihood activities are needed to reduce the vulnerability of populations by promoting green entrepreneurship and providing better access to markets (at this stage, the main sectors targeted are agriculture and agro-industry as well as the charcoal sector) connecting urban communities to peri-urban communities in the watershed. The charcoal sector’s reliance on trees makes it a prime sector to target through a climate-resilient value chain approach. The agro-business sector will benefit from increasing the value of agricultural products and creating new investment opportunities. The urban focus of this project opens new doors to tap into the nascent startup ecosystems of Bujumbura while providing support for youth entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Resilient livelihood options and green entrepreneurship are important strategies to rebuild Burundi’s economy as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Several barriers to this solution have been identified, they will need to be addressed by the LDCF project in order for the project to achieve its results.
Barrier 1: Limited institutional and technical capacity for mapping and analysis of climate risks for resilient integrated watershed management (including flood management). While a climate information system for early warnings has been established in Burundi, operators are receiving training to operationalize the system, but their capacities to make use of data and information beyond early warning (e.g. planning and management) are and will remain limited without dedicated resources. Those capacity gaps need to be addressed before national authorities can analyse trends and develop models to understand flood and erosion risks and support policy and planning processes that can ensure a resilient integrated watershed management of the Ntahangwa river. The development of community development plans (PCDC) has been an important tool to ensure community engagement in shaping programming and investment priorities. However, the absence of an overarching strategic planning process at the watershed level leads to fragmentation and difficulties in developing and measuring the overall impact of interventions across the watershed and broader productive landscape.
Barrier 2: Limited capacities, knowledge and technologies for Ecosystem-based Adaptation. Local authorities do not have the knowledge and expertise to manage climate risks appropriately at their level, even when management measures are identified in a local development plan. Preventive measures are therefore not prioritized and the response to climate-related disasters has remained reactive. This results in significant damage and losses (human, material), which reduces productivity and leads to negative externalities and maladaptation. Communities of the watershed have limited exposure to ecosystem-based adaptation solutions that can improve the resilience of watersheds and restore ecosystem services for flood and erosion protection. They lack the capacity to implement EbA interventions and are not incentivized for doing so. While funding for local development is scarce, human resources are abundant and communities all over the nation willingly give time and effort to benefit their own community. This approach referred to as “labour intensive public work” does not focus on climate resilience, but could be leveraged for the implementation of climate-resilient initiatives with the right incentives.
Barrier 3: Limited livelihood options and entrepreneurship support for climate resilience, in particular for vulnerable and under-represented populations such as women and the youth. Competing needs and interests make it difficult for vulnerable populations to factor in climate risks in their decisions. The lack of resilient alternative livelihood options means they often are forced to continue with maladapted practices despite experiencing increasing negative impacts from climate change every season. Deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices worsen the slopes’ stability and compound the problems as climate change impacts worsens. Alternative options to reduce those pressures are extremely limited or not realistic due to lack of market access. While highland upstream areas become more prone to landslide and erosion during intense rainfall, they also worsen the situation of communities in the lowland downstream areas who face increasing risks of flood, flash floods and landslides. For the Ntahangwa watershed, demand for food and agricultural products is driven by urban population in Bujumbura while some of their needs are met by rural communities upstream. Despite this obvious link, there is a disconnect between the activities to meet urban demand and their impact on ecosystem services that protect them against flood and there is no win-win mechanisms to use market levers to encourage a shift to resilient livelihood options that meet urban demands while reducing pressure on ecosystem services that also benefit urban populations. In general, lack of market access is a barrier making those livelihood options difficult to implement as tools and mitigating strategies to overcome those barriers are limited/inexistent. Support for small business creation by the government is limited, even more for the implementation of innovative technological solutions deemed risky.
Component 1: Developing technical capacities for climate-induced flood and erosion risks mapping and their use to inform climate-resilient integrated watershed management and other planning processes.
The Ntahangwa river connected to Bujumbura is a strategic asset that provides opportunities for productive sectors (e.g. agriculture, fisheries) but is also prone to climate risks and causes important damage due to erosion and landslides during wet seasons. Investments in parts of the Ntahangwa watershed have been made in the past, but they are insufficient to yield their intended results as they are scattered and not chosen based on an overall understanding of the watershed hydrologic processes and ecosystem services. A comprehensive integrated approach to land and water resources management of the Ntahangwa watershed is required to ensure long-term flood and erosion control and increased resilience of the communities in the watershed, including in areas at high risk of flood in densely populated areas of Bujumbura.
Under this component 1, capacities to analyse climate data and develop climate risk models will be enhanced to support climate-resilient integrated planning at the watershed level and inform communal development plans and flood-resilient urban development plans. The outcome under this component will address the first barrier to the long-term solutions identified in section 1. Interventions will cover the urban, peri-urban and rural settings, as they need to be considered together to understand the needs, priorities and constraints of populations in each of those areas to identify opportunities and synergies at the level of the watershed and attribute relevant role and responsibilities accordingly. For example, urban populations downstream need rural communities upstream to prevent soil erosion and reduce surface runoff causing flash floods. Rural communities need urban and peri-urban communities to access markets to sell their products.
Outcome1: Enhanced capacity for climate risk modelling and integrated planning in the Ntahangwa watershed and Bujumbura town
Under the LDCF project “Community based climate change related disaster risk management”, a community-based climate information system was developed to collect hydrological information and disseminate early warning information. 30 hydrometeorological stations were installed, with information collected centrally by the Geographic Institute of Burundi (IGEBU) and already covering the Ntahangwa watershed. As of 2021, the early-warning system should be operational, fully managed and funded by the government. Capacities and resources to make use of climate information will remains nonetheless limited and prevent use for planning and decision-making. Outcome 1 will build government capacities to expand the use of the climate information to better understand ecosystem health and their capacity to deliver benefits in terms of resilience under the current human, environmental and climate-related pressures. Modeling capacities also need to be enhanced to develop hydrological models to determine climate risks, more specifically flood and erosion risks, in the Ntahangwa watershed based on current climatic trends and future climate change scenarios. Those are pre-requisites for the development of an evidence-based, climate-resilient, integrated watershed management plan for the Ntahangwa river, as they will guide planning and decision-making processes.
Target areas for the World Bank-funded “Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project”, which constitute part of the baseline for land restoration and erosion control activities, were chosen in relation to their location in the Isare commune, but not primarily for their link to the Ntahangwa river. The resilient integrated watershed management plan will provide an understanding of the key areas in the watershed for the provision of ecosystem services for flood and erosion control and propose a watershed rehabilitation plan for those areas. The determination of priority areas will also confirm the critical gaps in the areas of treatment in the Ntahangwa watershed. Integrated watershed planning is an exercise requiring cross-sectoral cooperation and intense stakeholders’ consultation and participation, involving vulnerable and under-represented groups of people, such as women, youth, and indigenous people (n.b. indigenous Batwas are known to be present in the Ntahangwa watershed). The watershed planning exercise will make use of the climate information systems and climate-sensitive risk maps and evaluate adaptation solutions based on their geographical situation in the watershed. This should be complemented by ecosystem valuations to determine the economic value of ecocystem services provided by the watershed areas. Training will be provided to increase the capacity of relevant provincial and communal government officials, decision-makers and planners. The training will help them identify cost-beneficial ecosystem-based adaptation opportunities (rural as well as urban) and flood protection measures that address the climate threats facing the watershed.
The resilient integrated watershed planning exercise will be used to inform the preparation or revision of existing urban development plans in Bujumbura and communal local development plans in rural communes of the watershed. Those plans are the main tools to translate watershed-level planning into concrete field intervention on the ground while supporting long-term sustainability of the project activities and as a result long-term climate resilience.
Outcome 1 will support the other outcomes by creating the necessary basis upon which this LDCF project can conduct ecosystem restoration, flood protection and livelihood development activities to increase the resilience of communities in the watershed (in rural, urban and peri-urban areas). The evidence-based framework for planning and investment decisions will help ensure the sustainability and scalability of the project. Improvements to the climate information system will also help with collection of data and information that make monitoring and evaluation of the project’s impact easier to measure quantitively.
Outputs under Outcome 1 are listed below:
- Output 1.1: The community-based climate information system supported and improved to monitor changes in key ecological determinants of ecosystem health and resilience in the Ntahangwa watershed.
- Output 1.2: Training program implemented to enable the use of hydrological and climate models to map out climate-sensitive flood and erosion risks in the Ntahangwa watershed.
- Output 1.3: A resilient integrated watershed management plan prepared to guide the development and rehabilitation of the Ntahangwa watershed in areas critical for the provision of ecosystem services for flood and erosion control.
- Output 1.4: Flood and erosion risks maps developed for use in climate-resilient planning (urban development and investment in Bujumbura, local development plans in communes of the Ntahangwa watershed).
Component 2: Landscape restoration and flood management measures to protect communities in the Ntahangwa watershed and Bujumbura from flood and erosion risks.
The area surrounding Bujumbura is the most prone to erosion and landslides, a situation which will increase over time according to climate projections. Component 2 will build on the evidence base and the climate-resilient integrated watershed management plan provided in Component 1 to implement ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) interventions and flood protection measures in strategic locations across the Ntahangwa watershed. The EbA interventions will restore or maintain ecosystem services for flood and erosion control while protective measures against flood will help stabilize critical riverbanks in at-risk populated areas of Bujumbura. This component represents the bulk of the investments proposed by this LDCF project and will complement and strengthen other investments made in landscape restoration, afforestation and resilience-building activities in parts of the Ntahangwa watershed (See Section 2 on Associated baseline projects).
Outcome 2: Ecosystems services for flood and erosion protection restored and flood protection measures implemented to improve the resilience of communities in the Ntahangwa watershed and in Bujumbura.
Under this outcome, the project will promote ecosystem-based adaptation techniques in the highland upstream areas of the Ntahangwa watershed. The specific measures include landscape restoration techniques and community-based anti-erosion measures. Landscape restoration techniques will focus on planting trees and creating quickset hedges to stabilize hills in the watershed and will be complemented by anti-erosion contour trenches and terraces. Those techniques are meant to reduce soil erosion, increase soil moisture and reduce surface water runoff, therefore improving ecosystem services provided by the watershed and its streams. During intense rainfall, contour trenches channel water runoff and reduce erosion and crop losses due to flooding. By increasing soil moisture, they also provide added protection against drought and heat waves on crops. These EbA techniques increase land productivity and food security. They bring additional economic benefits to communities as most of the hills in the watershed are used for agricultural production.
The landscape restoration efforts will be implemented directly with the local communities in each of the targeted hills in selected communes of the Ntahangwa watershed. Local authorities and local communities will enforce a ban on tree cutting and maintain anti-erosion trenches as part of their community work (half a day per week is dedicated to community work) under a labor-intensive public works (LIPW) scheme. Those EbA techniques are appropriate for a LIPW approach as they are low-tech and easy to implement and maintain with little capital. The LIPW approach has been applied successfully in Burundi for many years and is one of the approaches used to implement activities of the local development plans (e.g. Plan Communal de Développement Communautaire (PCDC)).
The risk mapping and modelling exercise undertaken under Outcome 1 and the watershed rehabilitation plan will help prioritize the hills and communes of the watershed based on their vulnerability to erosion and landslide and their contribution to the ecological status of the river and streams. This prioritization will also consider current and previous investments in the watershed to avoid overlaps and duplication as well as ensure that other interventions in contribute to addressing the climate threats facing the watershed. In total, the project will plant 3,000 ha of specific trees and herbaceous/shrubby quickset hedges in critical degraded areas as well as establish 1,000 km of contour trenches and radical terraces.
Additional protection from flood will be provided through investment in protective infrastructures in lowland downstream areas, more specifically at-risk populated areas of Bujumbura close to the river. While Bujumbura is less prone to erosion, floods have devastating impacts on the city and the rivers flowing through it, including the Ntahangwa river where critical infrastructures such as schools, churches and habitation are directly at risk of collapsing. Climate change projections indicate that this situation will worsen over time, with increased variability between seasons and increased rainfall causing will increase the frequency of flash flood and landslides. Initial investments in flood protection measures was conducted along the river as part of the previous LDCF intervention. Those measures were considered a success by beneficiaries and the government. The risk mapping exercise under Component 1 will be used to determine the physical location and protective infrastructures options for implementation at a fine-scale level. This work involves civil engineering techniques to reinforce the sides of the river chanel with gabions and terraced surfaces. A social and environmental impact assessment will be undertaken before work on the riverbank can start.
These interventions will be supported by tools and technologies to increase communication and knowledge management at the community level to ensure better responses and handling when climate-related disasters occur. These will aim to create awareness and promote targeted interventions to shift response behaviours to improve climate resilience. South-South cooperation and exchanges of experience and lessons learned on EbA solutions for landscape restoration and urban-based flood protection measures will also be explored during the PPG. These activities will promote the sustainability and scalability of the project, in particular for their application in other rivers and watersheds connected to Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika.
Outputs under Outcome 2 are listed below:
- Output 2.1: Restoration measures of vulnerable hilltops of the Ntahangwa watershed connected to Bujumbura completed through the methods of tree planting and quickset hedges;
- Output 2.2: Establishment of community-based anti-erosion measures, such as ditches and radical terraces, in vulnerable hills critical for the ecosystem health and resilience of the Ntahangwa watershed;
- Output 2.3: Flood control measures built along the Ntahangwa river channel in areas of Bujumbura where public and private infrastructures are at imminent risk of landslide during extreme climate events;
- Output 2.4: Knowledge and guidance material on (i) landscape restoration, and (ii) flood management and protective infrastructures prepared and disseminated within Burundi and via South-South exchanges.
Component 3: Livelihoods options and green entrepreneurship to increase resilience of the urban, peri-urban and rural communities in the Ntahangwa watershed.
Component 3 aims to support and strengthen the watershed restoration activities under Component 2 by inducing a shift away from unsustainable and vulnerable practices and livelihoods. Livelihoods enhancements and diversification activities proposed under this component will provide incentives to ensure participation and ownership of the project activities by beneficiaries and improve the long-term sustainability of the project results after it ends. The Ntahangwa river is strategic due to its geographic situation connecting highland areas highly sensitive to climate with major strategic assets for Burundi, the city of Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika. While the connection between the urban, peri-urban and rural communities of the Ntahangwa watershed has been ignored or overlooked, the project will identify and build on the synergies between those communities to deliver win-win adaptation solutions benefiting populations of the watershed, no matter their location or situation. This component also provides specific entry points to support women, young people and indigeneous people with concrete resilience-building solutions or opportunities and tailored support and incentives. Although rural areas have higher poverty rates, the COVID-19 has had immediate and severe impact in urban areas due to the high dependance of the urban poor on informal and non-wage income streams which easily succumb to crises due to low capacity to adapt to sudden changes in market conditions. The livelihood options and green entrepreneurship opportunities proposed under this component build climate resilience while creating green jobs and contributing to building back better as part of the COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Outcome 3: Community livelihood is improved with sustainable adaptation measures contributing to urban, peri-urban and rural resilience.
This outcome introduces adaptation measures promoting resilient livelihoods options and green entrepreneurship opportunities building on synergistic opportunities between populations in urban, peri-urban and rural areas of the watershed and resulting in increased resilience to climate change for populations in the watershed. The options and strategies will be informed by a climate-sensitive market analysis looking at demand levers that could be used to trigger climate-resilient offerings reducing land degradation in the watershed. The market analysis will look at relevant value chains and supply chains to make recommendations on the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of climate-resilient strategies, both on-farm and off-farm. Relevant value chains and supply chains would include agricultural and food products, crops and farming inputs, livestock, fisheries, and non-timber forest products (NTFP). The market analysis will assess economic impacts and market barriers and will include mitigating strategies to address these barriers. The market analysis will be gender-sensitive and aim to provide specific strategies and options for vulnerable and under-represented groups. Food supply systems are key sources of livelihoods and income generating opportunities and can be instrumental in strengthening positive rural-urban linkages. The market analysis will consider COVID-19-related constraints on value chains and supply chains to identify resilience building solutions also contributing to a more robust recovery from COVID-19. The results of the market analysis will be used to inform urban and local development plans supported as part of Outcome 1.
Based on the results of the market analysis, the project will support 5 to 8 Ecosystem-based Adaptation solutions providing resilient livelihoods options that are also compatible with watershed resilience. Those solutions could include, but not limited to, family orchard, food processing and preservation, beekeeping, use of NTFP. Family orchard is a promising EbA solutions that could be used in the Ntahangwa watershed to develop small-scale cultivation systems optimizing the use of space and family labour to produce vegetables, herbs and fruits for both domestic consumption and supplemental income. Family orchard can be implemented in a variety of configurations in both rural and urban settings. Using crop diversification, families can produce food year-round and distribute losses due to climate-induced events. The technique contributes to food security and resilience, it can be complemented by other techniques for increased resilience and autonomy, such as water harvesting techniques, composting and seed management. The project will explore food processing and preservation techniques for agricultural and NTFP products to create added value, reduce post-harvest losses, access new markets and diversify income opportunities, increasing general resilience to climate as a result. While this strategy can be applied to small producers, it could also apply to small agro-business enterprise development.
Under outcome 3, the project aims to foster innovation by supporting green entrepreneurship for urban/peri-urban adaptation. The project will provide investment and support for startup creation, capacity building and skill training, access to improved technologies, mentorship and networking. Green entrepreneurship will aim to tap into the potential of Burundi’s burgeoning startup community to come up with innovative solutions for urban and peri-urban resilience. This activity will provide employment opportunities and connect with young people and women, including those with higher education who often fail to find opportunities matching their career ambitions and expectations. For this activity, UNDP will partner with national, regional and global technological hubs, startup incubators and accelerators to connect startups and entrepreneurs with relevant actors and support. Through green entrepreneurship, the project will contribute to building a more resilient, greener economy in Burundi, which UNDP is promoting as a key recovery strategy post-COVID-19. In times of restricted mobility due to the pandemic, digital solutions are emerging as essential to keep businesses active and ensure safety and security. Where possible, the project will use innovative digital tools to make green businesses easier, more inclusive and more capable of sustaining services during crisis.
UNDP initiated discussions to partner with Impact Hub Bujumbura, a local technology hub supporting Burundi’s startup ecosystem to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals via entrepreneurial and innovative solutions. To generate ideas and interest, the project will support Impact Hub Bujumbura with the organization of the first Climathon in Burundi, Climathon x Bujumbura. Climathon is hackathon programme organized globally under the auspice of Climate-KIC to translate climate action solutions into tangible projects for climate positive businesses and start-ups and addressing local policy changes. Climathon x Bujumbura will gather the startup community to come up with innovative solutions for adaptation and urban resilience. The project, with support from UNDP, will seek to connect startup and entrepreneurs with resources and actors in Burundi, including funding (e.g. UNDP Acceleration Lab, Climate-KIC Accelerator).
Lessons learned from the GEF-LDCF project “Community based climate change related disaster risk management” will be used to guide and inform some of those activities for green entrepreneurship. Such activities include a pilot initiative for briquette production from recycled waste for cooking that is ready for upscaling. Charcoal production is an important driver of deforestation and land degradation in Burundi and the production of briquettes from organic waste contributes to reducing the reliance on wood for charcoal production. The pilot initiative supported by UNDP has created an additional source of income for over 20 young people, men and women, who have learnt the skills needed to prepare the briquettes from waste and build improved cooking stoves. The initiative is generating revenues and has identified areas to improve production bottlenecks for further expansion (e.g. shaping of briquettes with a motorized engine instead of manual work). The market analysis will provide solutions and de-risking incentives to upscale this initiative and will support the establishment of additional briquette production units with, among others, skill training and marketing training, improved production equipments and access to finance.
To facilitate investments and entrepreneurship, the project includes a specific activity on access to micro-finance for smallholder farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs, with a specific focus on women and youth entrepreneurs. This will include capacity building in financial literacy to give beneficiaries a better understanding of credit and business models applicable to their livelihood activities. The project will establish partnerships with banks and micro-finance institutions to develop credit products at affordable interest rates and accessible by vulnerable groups. During the PPG, de-risking measures to incentivize micro-finance institutions and banks will be explored. Strategies to facilitate positive impact on women and other vulnerable groups will form the basis for tailoring policies, practices and products that better address gender equality and promote women’s empowerment. The project will train MFI’s staff member on gender analysis and help them incorporate empowerment indicators (e.g. proportion of women in the loan portfolio) into their client monitoring and assessment processes and help them adjust their financial services to respond to diverse client needs (e.g. adapting loan amounts and repayment schedules for women). The project will build on and strengthen women’s network and conduct marketing campaigns to influence people’s attitudes on women’s status and employment to facilitate community approval of women’s projects and build women’s self-confidence.
As in Outcome 2, Outcome 3 will promote communication and knowledge management, and explore mechanisms to share experience and lessons learned and promote sustainability and scalability of the project’s livelihood options for EbA and green entrepreneurship initiatives.
- Output 3.1: Market analysis conducted, including; i) identifying demand levers that could to drive a shift to sustainable resilient practices in the watershed (considering opportunities from/between urban/peri-urban/rural settings); ii) analysing relevant supply chains for climate-resilient agricultural and food products, crops and farming inputs, livestock and fisheries, and non-timber forest products; iii) assessing economic impacts and market barriers; and iv) drafting mitigating strategies to address these barriers.
- Output 3.2: Ecosystem-based Adaptation solutions providing resilient livelihoods options compatible with watershed resilience are supported (e.g.: family orchard, food processing and preservation, beekeeping, use of NTFP…);
- Output 3.3: Startup creation facilitated through the provision of technical support (training, mentoring) and finance (to invest in resilient practices and technologies);
- Output 3.4: Development of micro-finance products (micro-credit) with Micro-Finance Institutions to support small business development, with a focus on women and youth entrepreneurs.
- Output 3.5: Knowledge and guidance material on (i) resilient livelihood options and (ii) and green entrepreneurship and startup creation leveraging urban, peri-urban and rural win-win opportunities for climate resilience prepared and disseminated within Burundi and via South-South exchanges.
 Analyse intégrée de la Vulnérabilité au Burundi. GIZ, December 2014.
 Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Options, costs and benefits, UNEP, 2013.
Component 1: Developing technical capacities for climate-induced flood and erosion risks mapping and their use to inform climate-resilient integrated watershed management and other planning processes;
Component 2: Implementing landscape restoration and flood management approaches to restore ecosystem services against flood and erosion in the Ntahangwa watershed in and around Bujumbura;
Component 3: Livelihoods options and green entrepreneurship to increase resilience of the urban, peri-urban and rural communities in the Ntahangwa watershed.
Enhancing Whole of Islands Approach to Strengthen Community Resilience to Climate and Disaster Risks in Kiribati
The Republic of Kiribati is a small island state with 33 low-lying and narrow atolls dispersed over 3.5 million km² in the Central Pacific Ocean and a population of approximately 110,000 people.
Climate change and climate-induced disasters are projected to exacerbate the vulnerability of Kiribati’s people by causing more frequent inundations leading to damage of coastal infrastructure and exacerbating already problematic access to clean water and food.
Despite an existing strong policy framework and previous efforts, several barriers exist that prevent Kiribati from achieving its adaptation goals.
Implemented with the Office of the President (Te Beretitenti), this project aims to benefit 17,500 people (49% women) on the five pilot islands of Makin, North Tarawa, Kuria, Onotoa and Kiritimati.
It is expected to contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals: SDG5 Gender Equality, SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG13 Climate Action.
Background: Projected impacts of climate change on coastal infrastructure, water and food security in Kiribati
Climate change and climate-induced disasters are projected to cause more frequent inundations leading to damage of coastal infrastructure/ community assets and exacerbating the already problematic access to clean water and food.
Geographically, Kiribati’s narrow land masses and low-lying geography (in average 1-3 meters above mean sea level other than Banaba Island) results in almost the entire population being prone to flooding from storm surges and sea-level rise.
The low-lying atoll islands are already experiencing inundation leading to a loss of land, buildings and infrastructure. Mean sea level is projected to continue to rise (very high confidence) by approximately 5-15 cm by 2030 and 20-60 cm by 2090 under the higher emissions scenario.
Sea-level rise combined with natural year-to-year changes will increase the impact of storm surges and coastal flooding. This will lead to increased risks of damage to coastal homes, community infrastructure (community halls, schools, churches) and critical infrastructure, such as health clinics and roads. Further, increasing damage and interruption to roads, causeways and bridges, might lead to isolation of communities.
Sea-level rise also results in greater wave overtopping risk, and when marine flooding occurs, saltwater infiltrates down into the freshwater aquifer causing contamination. This risk will increase with sea-level rise and increased flooding and impact both water security and food security from agricultural production.
With limited groundwater reservoirs, access to clean water and sanitation is already a serious problem in Kiribati, impacting health and food security. Agricultural crop production can be expected to be increasingly affected by saltwater inundation, more extreme weather patterns, pests and diseases. This negative impact on food security is further exacerbated by the projected impact on coastal subsistence fisheries, affecting the main stable food source and livelihood.
Barriers and challenges
While Kiribati has a strong policy framework around climate adaptation – with adaptation and disaster risk management recognized as national priorities within the Kiribati Development Plan and Kiribati’s 20-year Vision (KV20), and a national Climate Change Policy and Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2014-2023 – several barriers exist that prevent Kiribati from achieving its objectives, including:
- Limited integration of CCA&DRM in national and sub-national development plans and frameworks;
- Insufficient institutional coordination at national, sectoral and sub-national levels;
- Limited technical and institutional capacities at national and sub-national levels;
- Weak data management, monitoring and knowledge management (due in part to challenges in gathering and analysing data from dispersed and remote island communities without effective communication and information management systems); and
- Limited community knowledge and adaptive solutions for CCA&DRM at outer island level.
This project will address the exacerbation of climate change on coastal infrastructure, water security and food security by increasing community resilience to the impacts of climate change, climate variability and disasters and building capacities at island and national levels, with benefits extended to household level and in community institutions/facilities such as schools, health clinics, community halls, agricultural nurseries, and Islands Councils.
It is expected to deliver adaptation benefits to the entire population on the five islands of Makin, North Tarawa, Kuria, Onotoa and Kiritimati, estimated at approximately 17,500 people (49% women).
The Project will address key challenges and vulnerabilities to climate change through four interrelated components:
- Component 1: National and sectoral policies strengthened through enhanced institutions and knowledge
- Component 2: Island level climate change resilient planning and institutional capacity development in 5 pilot islands
- Component 3: WoI-implementation of water, food security and infrastructure adaptation measures
- Component 4: Enhanced knowledge management and communication strategies
It is expected to support progress towards the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
- SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women, by ensuring women’s equitable participation in Project planning and implementation and by actively monitoring gender equity and social inclusion outcomes.
- SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all;
- SDG 12: Achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Key implementing partners
- Office of Te Beretitenti (OB – Office of the President) - CC&DM division
- Kiribati National Expert Group on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
- Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development
- Ministry for Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy
- Ministry for Women, Youth and Social Affairs
- Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development
- Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives
- Ministry of Line and Phoenix Islands Development
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Information, Transport, Tourism and Communication Development (MITTCD)
- Parliament Select Committee on Climate Change
- Island Councils
- Extension officers
- Village Elders and Leaders
- Women and Youth
- Community-based groups
- KiLGA (Kiribati Local Government Association)
Component 1: National and sectoral policies strengthened through enhanced institutions and knowledge
Outcome 1 Capacities of national government institutions and personnel is strengthened on mainstreaming climate and disaster risks, supporting the operationalization of the Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2014-2023 (KJIP)
Output 1.1.1 National and sectoral level policy, planning and legal frameworks revised or developed, integrating climate change and disaster risks
Output 1.1.2 National, sectoral and island level monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes, related data-gathering and communication systems enhanced and adjusted to support KJIP implementation
Output 1.1.3 Coordination mechanism for the Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management 2014-2023 (KJIP) enhanced
Output 1.1.4 Tools and mechanisms to develop, stock, and share data, knowledge, and information on climate change and disaster risks enhanced at the national level
Component 2: Island level climate change resilient planning and institutional capacity development
Outcome 2 Capacity of island administrations enhanced to plan for and monitor climate change adaptation processes in a Whole of Islands (WoI) approach
Output 2.1.1 Island and community level vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) assessments revised and/or developed for 5 targeted islands
Output 2.1.2 Island Council Strategic Plans developed/reviewed and complemented with Whole of Islands (WoI)-implementation and investments plans in 5 targeted islands
Output 2.1.3 Tools and mechanisms to develop, stock and share data, knowledge, and information on climate change and disaster risk enhanced at island level to strengthen information, communication and early warning mechanisms
Output 2.1.4 I-Kiribati population on 5 targeted islands receives awareness and technical training on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management
Component 3: Whole of Island implementation of water, food security and infrastructure adaptation measures
Outcome 3 Community capacities enhanced to adapt to climate induced risks to food and water security and community assets
Output 3.1.1 Climate-resilient agriculture and livestock practices (including supply, production and processing/storage aspects) are introduced in 5 outer islands
Output 3.1.2 Water security improved in 5 targeted project islands
Output 3.1.3 Shoreline protection and climate proofing of infrastructure measures implemented at 5 additional islands and communities
Component 4: Knowledge management and communication strategies
Outcome 4 Whole of Islands (WoI)-approach promoted through effective knowledge management and communication strategies
4.1.1 Whole of Islands (WoI)-communication, engagement and coordination strengthened at national, island and community levels
4.1.2 Whole of Islands (WoI)-lessons learned captured and shared with national and regional stakeholders
The project results, corresponding indicators and mid-term and end-of-project targets in the project results framework will be monitored annually and evaluated periodically during project implementation.
Monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken in compliance with UNDP requirements as outlined in UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) and UNDP Evaluation Policy, with the UNDP Country Office responsible for ensuring full compliance with all UNDP project monitoring, quality assurance, risk management, and evaluation requirements.
The project will complete an inception workshop report (within 60 days of project CEO endorsement); annual project implementation reports; and ongoing monitoring of core indicators.
An independent mid-term review will be conducted and made publicly available in English and will be posted on UNDP’s Evaulation Resource Centre ERC.
An independent terminal evaluation will take place upon completion of all major project outputs and activities, to be made publicly available in English.
The project will use the Global Environment Facility’s LDCF/SCCF Adaptation Monitoring and Assessment Tool to monitor global environmental benefits. The results will be submitted to the GEF along with the completed mid-term review and terminal evaluation.
The UNDP Country Office will retain all M&E records for this project for up to seven years after project financial closure to support ex-post evaluations undertaken by the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office and/or the GEF Independent Evaluation Office.
Results and learnings from the project will be disseminated within and beyond the project through existing information sharing networks and forums.
M&E Oversight and Monitoring Responsibilities
The Project Manager is responsible for day-to-day project management and regular monitoring of project results and risks.
The Project Board will take corrective action as needed to ensure the project achieves the desired results. The Project Board will hold project reviews to assess the performance of the project and appraise the Annual Work Plan for the following year. In the project’s final year, the Project Board will hold an end-of-project review to capture lessons learned and discuss opportunities for scaling up and to highlight project results and lessons learned with relevant audiences.
The Implementing Partner is responsible for providing all required information and data necessary for timely, comprehensive and evidence-based project reporting, including results and financial data, as necessary. The Implementing Partner will strive to ensure project-level M&E is undertaken by national institutes and is aligned with national systems so that the data used and generated by the project supports national systems.
The UNDP Country Office will support the Project Manager as needed, including through annual supervision missions.
Local Project Appraisal Committee (LPAC) Meeting TBC
Inception workshop TBC
- Component 1: National and sectoral policies strengthened through enhanced institutions and knowledge
- Component 2: Island level climate change resilient planning and institutional capacity development in 5 pilot islands
- Component 3: Whole-of-Islands (WoI)-implementation of water, food security and infrastructure adaptation measures
- Component 4: Enhanced knowledge management and communication strategies
Ethiopia is among the most vulnerable countries on the African continent. Small-holder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists in the Ethiopian lowland ecosystem are particularly and increasingly vulnerable to climate change. Climate change has resulted in food insecurity and dependence on food aid, and limited awareness of its long-term risks hinders efforts to promote climate-smart solutions to build resilience and adaptive capacity.
Due to lack of weather information for the short, medium and long-term and limited knowledge of adaptation measures, land users follow unsustainable livelihood practices. As it currently stands, generating, interpreting, packaging and disseminating credible and timely weather and climate forecasts is challenging and faced with capacity limitations. Lack of access to timely and credible weather and climate forecasts has left land users with no option except to rely on traditional methods of weather prediction, which has proved ineffective in the context of a changing climate.
The "Climate change adaptation in the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia" project will strengthen the ability of land users to adapt to the discernible impacts of climate change by disseminating credible weather information and advisory services using locally suitable communication channels to inform the preparation and implementation of actions meant for building resilience and adaptive capacity at a watershed level; reaching a wider audience of land users and government stakeholders across the lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia through a Training-of-Trainers (TOT) approach; conducting a “learning by doing” training to promote clarity and commitment of land users; and by providing needs responsive support to diversify livelihood options in a way that leads to tangible and replicable changes.
The full and effective implementation of this project will deliver the following benefits to vulnerable communities in twelve Woredas (districts) across the six regions: i) increased understanding of key adaptation issues, including community-based adaptation techniques as a basis for incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices through a practical learning-by-doing approach; ii) enhanced capability to respond to ongoing and emerging threats through the development of climate adaptive action plans by utilizing early warning, downscaled weather information and climate change knowledge products and iii) enhanced capacity of land users to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options at the same time as rehabilitating degraded watersheds.
The project will promote climate change adaptation and sustainable economic growth among communities in Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems. In so doing, the project will target close to 60,000 (52% women and 48% men) beneficiaries in twelve Woredas across six regions.
Ethiopia has the second largest population of 102 million (2016) in Africa, making it the second most populous nation in the continent, after Nigeria. Ethiopia’s economy has grown rapidly primarily as a result of increased agricultural production. The agricultural sector in Ethiopia – which accounts for more than 80% of total employment and 45% of the country’s GDP is dominated by smallholder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists, (here referred to as “Land users”) that rely on rainfall and traditional farming practices. Current practices of cultivating crops and overgrazing of livestock contribute towards large-scale land degradation. Deforestation is taking place at a rate of about 140,000 hectares per year in Ethiopia.
At the national level, temperatures have increased by an average of around 1°C since the 1960s. Rainfall is subject to high variability between years, seasons and regions. Yearly variation around mean rainfall level is 25% and can increase to 50% in some regions. Extreme climate events are also common, particularly droughts and floods. Floods and droughts have resulted in severe losses of crops and livestock, leading to food insecurity. The economic impact depends on the extent of the variability and extreme events but droughts alone can reduce total GDP by 1% to 4%.
The rain in the lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia has often started later than expected over the last decade and has been mostly inadequate and unreliable. In many places water scarcity has increased. The unavailability of water imposes higher demands on women’s and girls’ time which would have otherwise been spent on other productive and human development activities. According to the views of land users, in 2018 alone, women and girls walked an average of 6kms a day to collect water. This is significant considering that the twelve woredas being targeted by this project consist of an estimated population of 600,000 people (or 120,000 households) and, according to the records of the concerned woreda administration offices, women represent about 49% of this population.
The land users rely on rain-fed agriculture and their crop production system has been buffeted by acute shocks related to climate. This has made it more difficult for them to grow crops or raise animals in the same way they have been doing. They stated that rain has been erratic, and when it comes it is too much and destroys their crops. They are now questioning the suitability of agriculture as an occupation in view of changing climatic conditions. The lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia is also home to significant livestock population which is characterized by low productivity, poor nutrition, low veterinary care and uncontrolled overgrazing. The grazing land has lower quality of pasture due to intensive grazing. The quality of the grazing land is progressively declining due to shorter rainy seasons, frequent droughts and overgrazing, causing cattle to graze before grasses have produced seeds, creating more shortages in subsequent seasons.
Changes in temperature coupled with frequency of extreme weather events have been damaging crops and reducing yields. Heat stress has entailed disease outbreaks, reduced milk production and resulted in extra expenditure or loss of income. In particular, prolonged dry seasons and droughts have become more frequent and severe. These risks are made worse by an upsurge in pests and diseases, especially the increasing threat of Fall Armyworm. Changes in pest and disease patterns have also threatened crop production and animal husbandry. The ranges and distribution of pests and diseases are likely to increase; causing new problems for crops and animals previously unexposed to these pests and diseases. These challenges are further aggravated by climate change and the absence of resilient alternative sustainable income generating activities.
Land users in the Ethiopian lowland ecosystems view climate change as a threat that has resulted in food insecurity and dependence on food aid. However, they also express having limited awareness of the long-term risks that climate change poses, and do not know how to respond to these risks and / or of the options available to adapt to them. Indeed, due to lack of reliable information as well as limited knowledge of, and access to a wide range of adaptation options they are forced to follow unsustainable livelihood systems as they use short term coping mechanisms. Generating, interpreting, packaging and disseminating credible and timely weather and climate forecasts is a challenge in Ethiopia. Lack of access to timely and credible weather and climate forecasts has left land users with no option except to rely on traditional methods of weather forecasting, which has proved ineffective given the context of a changing climate. Discussion with land users and government stakeholders revealed that the challenge of meeting poverty reduction and food security goals has been mainly associated with incapability to plan better so as to minimize climate related losses and damages.
The land users in the target project areas are resource-poor and their low income means they are unable to make investment and take on risk. In particular, the pastoralists in the Somali and Afar regions have seen their daily livelihood challenges being the constant need to cope with challenges like livestock feed, food, water shortages and migration from internal displacement among others. Moreover, because the main resources in the lowland ecosystem of Ethiopia are controlled by men, women rarely participate in decision-making and their contributions in building resilience and adaptive capacity are seldom recognized. In addition, the decrease in food in times of drought has affected human health especially among children under five years, pregnant women and old people, and reduced human disease resistance and productivity.
The focus group discussion (FGD) held during the PPG phase on impacts of and vulnerability to climate change with lowland farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists revealed that land users are taking actions to cope with climate change and related hazards. However, their current coping strategies such as charcoal and firewood selling are not effective in serving their long-term adaptation needs. These coping strategies are based on short-term considerations, and survival needs, leading to mal-adaptation.
Due to the limited support tailored to the needs of land users to maintain their livelihoods while adjusting to climate change, land users across the Ethiopian lowland ecosystems are at risk due to climate-change threats. They face several barriers to effectively managing these risks.
THE BARRIERS IN BUILDING RESILIENCE AND ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
The following three sets of overarching barriers stand in the way of advancing towards the project objective of building sustainable and climate-resilient economic growth among vulnerable communities, targeting lowland areas in Ethiopia. The full and effective implementation of this project will deliver the following benefits to vulnerable communities in twelve Woredas across the six regions: i) increased understanding of key adaptation issues, including community-based adaptation techniques as a basis for incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices through a practical learning-by-doing approach; ii) enhanced capability to respond to ongoing and emerging threats through the development of climate adaptive action plans by utilizing early warning, downscaled weather information and climate change knowledge products and iii) enhanced capacity of land users to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options at the same time as rehabilitating degraded watersheds.
Lowland communities lack knowledge on risks of climate change; and the benefits of climate smart solutions and adaptation practices.
The causes and implications of current and future climate change are not well understood within lowland communities. Therefore, the land users in these communities are not ready to adopt climate resilient farming and animal husbandry practices because their knowledge of the risk of climate change as well as how to minimize risks and take advantage of these opportunities are limited. The current coping strategies of land users are not also effective in serving their long-term adaptation needs. On the other hand, there are a number of interventions that can make farming and animal husbandry practices in the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia climate resilient and more productive. Yet, designing actions based on appropriate and participatory interventions that can steer course away from climate sensitive activities remain a challenge.
Although climate change is recognised as a matter of national importance within Ethiopia’s CRGE strategy, the Agriculture Sector Climate Resilient Strategy and the NAPA, the technical and scientific understanding of climate change and adaptation and its practical application is not well developed within government institutions. Gaps in the technical capacity can be attributed to insufficient training of staff employed in relevant departments within the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission as well as development agents and extension officers at Woreda-level. As a result, they lack the capacity to offer needed advisories and effective extension support to the land users that would enable them to adopt more resilient and productive practices. Consequently, the land users have limited awareness of the risks that climate change poses and are not familiar with climate smart solutions to build their resilience and adaptive capacity.
At present, there are few initiatives – either through the GoE or elsewhere – to conduct training activities supporting the implementation of the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE). In particular, there are few training programmes on land management practices for climate change adaptation that are appropriate for Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems. In addition, there are limited opportunities available for training on how to mainstream activities that are congruent with the CRGE strategy into decision-making and agricultural planning either at the federal or at the regional and woreda levels.
Government stakeholders and land users in the lowland communities require better understanding of community-based adaptation processes as a basis for incorporating climate smart solutions through a practical learning-by-doing approach in order to overcome the barrier. The proposed project activities under outcome 1: Technical capacity for implementing diversified climate change adaptation practices strengthened will address this barrier.
Barrier #2: Limited access to climate forecasts, decision-making tools and climate advisory services for Lowland communities
Effective adaptation requires farmers to have access to up-to-date, downscaled climate information, and the appropriate tools and advisory services at their disposal. Ethiopia’s Lowland communities do not have access to these, and are not connected to the climate information, products and advisory services. Technological and capability constraints have hindered the provision of weather and climate forecasts, including guidance and value-added advisory services to land users. In addition, information on how to adopt alternative and innovative farming, pastoral and agro-pastoral practices based on these climate forecasts is not available. This is a result of insufficient availability of climate forecast information, particularly at the local level and inadequate capacity of agricultural extension officers to guide farmers and other land users based on climate forecasts. Consequently, lowland farmers, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists can only undertake limited proactive measures in response to climate change.
At the level of overarching policies, plans and strategies, Ethiopia has made some progress in mainstreaming climate change considerations into national and regional frameworks. This has provided a good basis for the implementation of national adaptation priorities through existing LDCF projects. There is need to find more operational ways of influencing policies and actions on the ground. This requires expanding the capability to gather climate data and to share downscaled weather information and climate change information products with practical applications that combine climate predictions with advisory support services for vulnerable land users. However, the capacity at the national level to generate downscaled climate data and use it at local level is not yet well developed. Often, climate data is provided in complex scientific formats and at high resolutions. The generation of the data is also not informed by the needs of users on the ground.
Moreover, having the tools and undertaking climate information analyses is not in itself enough without the ability to use it to inform decisions at the farm level. Currently, there exists no climate advisory services tailored to the needs of Lowland communities. Practical application requires concerned government stakeholders and land users to have the capacity to use these information and analysis to respond to ongoing and emerging threats in the project area.
Overall, there is no alignment among the components of the climate information products and services value chain, from the collection, analysis and packaging of such information to meet the needs of communities, to the application of this information at local level to support adaptation decisions and actions. Along the chain, there are huge capacity constraints and disconnects in government institutions to provide the information, tools and advisory services synergistically.
The proposed project activities under outcome 2: Climate adaptive management adopted by local communities through accessible climate information and decision-making tools will address this barrier.
Barrier #3: Inability of land users to invest in climate smart technologies and solutions required to diversify and sustain their livelihoods in the face of climate change.
The land users in the project area are resource-poor and unable to invest in the available climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions for the diversification of their livelihood system. In the project area, there is potential for constructing reservoirs, ponds and boreholes that help address the prevailing water scarcity. Indeed, the land users in the project area have underutilized this potential and few of them rely on flowing streams/rivers and shallow wells with limited capacity to supply domestic water needed during the drought period. There are also opportunities for local communities to diversify their livelihood options thereby building their adaptive base and assets, but are not able to do so due to a number of reasons. They lack technical knowhow to tap into these opportunities, while the advisory services available to them from support institutions is largely lacking in these areas. These services also focus on traditional agro-based livelihoods which themselves are climate-sensitive. Opportunities in activities such as bee keeping, fish farming, processing and marketing of natural products are not fully tapped by lowland land users to diversify their livelihoods and incomes while building adaptive assets.
These opportunities also remain untapped as they are out of reach for the land users who are not able to access funding and technical knowhow. They are therefore not able to construct, own and operate integrated water storage facilities and reservoirs, including accompanying irrigation and solar pump support structures to enable the creation, improvement and sustenance of diversified livelihood options. Some of the investments especially in the construction of water storage facilities and reservoirs, including accompanying irrigation and solar pump support structures require a high up-front capital investment.
This has also become more difficult in the absence of appropriate financial capital especially for poor land users with limited access to the financial services (Ethiopia is one of the most under-banked countries in sub-Saharan level, with a bank branch to population ratio of 1:43912 in 2013/14). Small land users are also perceived as risky borrowers by the formal financial services sector, which is compounded by their lack of collateral, while the costs of finance from the informal financial services sector makes this source unaffordable to them.
The proposed project activities under outcome 3: Climate change adaptation practices adopted in communities in lowland ecosystems will address this barrier.
Although no single initiative can address all the barriers mentioned above, the LDCF-financed project will deliver complimentary outcomes to contribute towards overcoming these barriers. The theory of change (ToC) (Annex K below) underpinning the design of this LDCF-financed project includes the barriers discussed above and activities that contribute to the preferred solution discussed in section III through the delivery of the outcomes 1, 2 and 3.
The objective of the LDCF project is to promote climate change adaptation and sustainable economic growth among communities in Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems; which are selected using predefined criteria set by EFCCC through a bottom-up process. In so doing, the project will target close to 60,000 (52% women and 48% men) beneficiaries in twelve Woredas across six regions.
The proposed project will develop and implement a capacity building support programme to strengthen the ability of land users through i) reaching a wider audience of land users and government stakeholders across the lowland ecosystems of Ethiopia using a TOT approach; ii) disseminating credible weather information and advisory services using a locally suitable communication channels to inform the preparation and implementation of actions designed for building resilience and adaptive capacity at a watershed level, iii) conducting a “learning by doing” training to promote clarity and commitment of land users and iv) providing needs responsive support to diversify livelihood options in a way that leads to tangible and replicable changes.
Accordingly, at the local-level, this project will deliver the following benefits to vulnerable communities in twelve Woredas across the six regions: i) increased understanding of key adaptation issues, including community-based adaptation techniques as a basis for prioritizing and incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices through a practical learning-by-doing approach; ii) enhanced capability to respond to ongoing and emerging threats through the development of climate adaptive action plans by utilizing early warning, downscaled weather information and climate change knowledge products and iii) enhanced capacity to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options at the same time as rehabilitating degraded watersheds in the project regions.
This LDCF project will also support the GoE in reaching its development targets such as those specified under the GTP II, the CRGE Strategy and the SDGs. The project will contribute to Ethiopia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) through inter alia: i) Key Adaptation Need 24 – Promotion of on-farm and homestead forestry and agro-forestry practices in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid parts of Ethiopia; ii) Key Adaptation Need 29 – Strengthening/enhancing drought and flood early warning systems in Ethiopia; and iii) Key Adaptation Need 32 – Enhancing the use of water for agricultural purposes on small farms in arid and semi-arid parts of Ethiopia.
In addition, the project will contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: i) SDG 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; ii) SDG 12 – Achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; iii) SDG 13 –Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; and iv) SDG 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
RELEVANT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL REGIONAL RELATED INITIATIVES
Ethiopia has undertaken several efforts to strengthen technical, financial and institutional capacities for enabling climate change adaptation. There are already a number of existing national policy initiatives, sectoral policies, programs and strategies that may directly or indirectly address climate change adaptation. The most relevant public documents that have relevance for climate change adaptation include Ethiopia’s National Economic Development Plan (The Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), Ethiopia’s Programme of Adaptation to Climate Change (EPACC), the Green Economy Strategy (GE), the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Ethiopia, the recently prepared National Adaptation Plan (NAP), the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia, the Agriculture and Rural Development Policy and Strategy, the Water resources Management Policy, the Health Sector Development Policy and Program, the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, the National Policy on Biodiversity Conservation and Research, the Science and Technology Policy, the Population Policy and National Agricultural Research Policy and Strategy. In Ethiopia, various international initiatives continue to strive for sustainable development.
In spite of these efforts, there is disparity between objectives and what has been implemented due to the technical capacity limitations of government stakeholders and land users to translate these public documents into on-the-ground action to the fullest.
In view of the recent development with adaptation project implementation in Ethiopia, the project will coordinate with the following relevant projects including; The Green Climate Fund (GCF) financed project-‘’Responding to the increasing risk of drought’’; the Adaptation Fund (AF) financed project- ‘’Building gender responsive resilience of the most vulnerable communities’’ and the USAID Financed FAO Project on Fall Army Worm with the Ministry of Agriculture.
All references available in project ProDoc.
Outcome 1: Technical capacity for planning diversified climate change adaptation practices strengthened (Co-financing for Component 1, Outcome 1: $2,099,702; LDCF grant requested for Outcome 1: $450,000)
This outcome will deliver strengthened capacity of farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists on planning, monitoring and evaluating diverse climate change adaptation approaches. To this effect, the project would develop targeted training modules to be eventually made available online by appropriate partner institution. The modules would be put online for wider use across the country. These modules would be based on agreed areas of interventions that help strengthen adaptive capacity of the pastoralist, farmer and agro-pastoralist communities. Key considerations would be given to community-based adaptation training that leads to the development of climate resilient action plans across the watershed. The training modules would also include community forecasting, monitoring and early detection of such risks as the Fall Armyworm infestation. Using the developed training modules (as listed below), sets of capacity building seminars and training workshops would be delivered to government officials and woreda development agents respectively.
Subsequently, specific learning by doing community adaptation and participatory trainings would be devolved to the local communities to help strengthen their adaptive capabilities.: More specifically, the training modules will include issues identified for training needs as detailed below. These trained communities from the twelve woredas will in turn develop their own respective water security focused climate adaptive action plans through incorporating climate smart technologies and good practices, as well as early response measures including community-based monitoring, forecasting and early warning initiatives using the guidelines developed by FAO and being implemented by the MoANR. In addition to the Fall Armyworm response plan, targeted community based adaptive response will be developed to include the flash flood risks adaptive response and grievance and response mechanism to address Farmers Pastoralist Conflicts at the community level. The early warning and response measure will depend on the need of each of the twelve project sites.
Furthermore, the results of project interventions implemented under outcomes 2 and 3 will be monitored and the results thereof would be used as an input for the development of best practice guidelines to promote the up-scaling of climate‑resilient farming, agro‑pastoralism and pastoralism in Ethiopia’s lowland ecosystems. Best practices from the training and demonstrations would be documented across the twelve woredas. These experiences would be shared across the regions through effective television and radio documentaries, local language-based posters and other awareness materials.
During the PPG phase, the following training needs were identified to address specific needs of institutions and communities at regional and woreda/community‑levels:
- Training on climate smart technology and good practices for community adaptation (Regional Institution level training: support Output 1.1)
- Training on developing climate adaptive community-based action plan (Regional Institution level training; support Output 1.2)
- Responding to climate emergency at community level: early detection and monitoring training on Fall Armyworm, Pastoralist/farmers conflict and Emergency flood (Woreda and Community level training; support Output 1.3)
- Training session on adaptive soil and water conservation techniques, including rehabilitation, improvement and maintenance of a productive and healthy watershed (Woreda and Community level training; support Output 1.2, 3.3)
- Training on climate and weather information for planning and agricultural advisory support for the agro-metrology task force established and hosted by the MoANR (Regional Institution Level training; support Output 2.1)
- Training on climate smart technologies for adaptive capacities and diversified livelihoods, including provision of enhances the knowledge base and capability of land users, including women and youths, on the establishment of community-based enterprises like water storage and rainwater harvesting techniques, livestock fattening and agroforestry, poultry production, etc. (Woreda/Community Level training; support Output 3.2)
The outputs under Outcome 1 include:
- Training modules and platform for enhancing the knowledge and capability of government officials, DAs and local-communities in twelve woredas on the formulation and implementation of adaptation measures are established and sustained.
- Strengthened capacity of development agents (DAs) and government officials to support the implementation of climate change adaptation practices at the woreda and regional levels.
- Community action plans for adaptive crop production and animal husbandry developed using a participatory approach in twelve Woredas.
- Project benefits and climate change adaptation practices are documented and disseminated to local community members in twelve woredas through learning, using innovative and locally adapted means.
The strengthened technical capacity for planning climate change adaptation practices through the provision of targeted training under outcome 1 informs and contributes to Outcome 2 by enhancing the understanding of farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists as well as other stakeholders to generate the inputs required for the formulation and adoption of climate adaptive management plan. The capabilities built under outcome 1 for the provision of inputs to Outcome 2 will be achieved including through enhancing capacity of stakeholders on how to i) define the geographical boundaries of the project area; 2) identify and document climate-related challenges faced by stakeholders; 3) gather credible climate related data; 4) identify climate risks and prioritize climate-related challenges that are likely to affect the social, environmental and/or economic status of local communities and their watershed by considering drivers of future trends and how these issues are currently being addressed as well as 5) on how to plan, monitor and evaluate diverse climate change adaptation approaches.
Outcome 2: Climate adaptive management adopted by local communities through accessible climate information and decision-making tools. (Co-financing for Component 1, Outcome 2: $2,193,632; LDCF grant requested for Outcome 2: $681,782)
This outcome will deliver the adoption of climate adaptive management practices by local communities using climate information and appropriate decision-making tools. To this effect, functional Automatic weather stations (AWS) – that will complement and be connected to the on-going effort to extend Ethiopia’s climate observatory network will be installed. Protocols will be developed for climate data collection and analysis as well as on the provision of support regarding climate data storage and management for future reference and decision making in collaboration with the National Meteorology Agency (NMA). Climate monitoring technologies such as rain gauges and handheld climate forecast devices will be distributed to the woredas in the intervention sites. In addition, training on the use of these climate monitoring technologies will be provided to woreda-level officers and DAs. The data collected from the AWS and the household monitoring devices will be used to compile short‑term and seasonal climate forecasts meant for land users.
In order to down-scale the data, the project will work with the Agro-meteorology Task Force established and hosted by the MoANR. This task force currently meets every other week to manually compile agro-meteorology data. Partnership with the MoANR Agro-meteorology Task Force will be formed with the aim of enhancing efficiency and clarity on the implications of weather information and on the practical application of climate science and traditional weather forecast practices. This multi-stakeholders Task force team will ensure that weather and climate forecast services are made easily accessible. The project will also provide capacity building support to the Task Force. The project will facilitate the linkage of activities under this outcome with the Agro-meteorology Task Force Initiative and support the updating of the Task force decision tools to digitized tools. These tools will allow the effective use of climate forecasts provided by the AWS and the downscale of the weather and advisory information to farmers, pastoralist and agro-pastoralist in the project area. Once implemented, the decision-making tools will be tested for a two-year period. The results of this testing period will be combined with lessons learned from the project “CCA Growth: Implementing Climate Resilient and Green Economy plans in highland areas in Ethiopia” to inform national up-scaling of decision-making tools for agro-pastoralists, pastoralists and farmers.
Local weather forecasts will be made available to the land users through mobile phones in each woreda. This would complement the Task Force on Agro-meteorology on-going collaboration with Wageningen University, Netherlands and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) of Ethiopia. By providing end-users with information in a tailored, useable format, this outcome is building on the GEF financed LDCF project that is being implemented in the highland ecosystem of Ethiopia. This outcome will also build on the lessons learned through the LDCF-funded project “Strengthening climate information and early warning systems in Africa for climate resilient development and adaptation to climate change – Ethiopia” and solicit international expertise to develop climate forecast and decision-making tools.
The outputs under Outcome 2 include:
- Nine Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) installed and linked to the national meteorological network and protocols for use and maintenance established in each woreda.
- Appropriate weather and climate monitoring and forecast technologies acquired by representatives of the beneficiary communities and maintained through a functional and durable partnership.
- Climate-risk assessment and decision-making tools developed and used in collaboration with local communities in twelve woredas.
- Climate-risk assessment and decision-making tools are pilot tested and periodically improved using the results thereof in each of the twelve woredas.
- Proactive climate adaptive management plan prepared anchored on functional water storage infrastructure to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities in the twelve Woredas.
The formulation and adoption of climate adaptive management plan using an up-to-date, downscaled climate information, and the necessary tools and advisory services under Outcome 2 explicitly links the information gathered under outcome 1 for the formulation and adoption of proactive climate adaptive management that would also describe who will be doing what and when to deal with the prioritized climate challenge risks under Outcome 1. Outcome 2 in turn provides inputs that will be implemented by local communities in lowland ecosystem through investment in climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions as specified under Outcome 3.
Woreda level plans, climate risk assessments and data from AWS integrated with the Met department will inform the interventions under component 3 and the proposed special innovation direct investment.The uptake and use of data and information by local communities gives the AWS infrastructure its ultimate value, and is the purpose for having this infrastructure under the project. This has value both within the project areas as well as within the broader national network. In this regard, the project will facilitate the uptake and use of information and data by local communities through the Agro-Met Task Force Mobile Data provision to farmers and communities at large. It will also strategically support the relevant government institutions, including National Meteorological Agency and Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate community access and use of this information in decision making. This will not only be supported through this project, but through other projects as well thereby ensuring that the installed AWS serve the needs of farmers.
Component 2: Adaptation practices adopted at scale in lowland ecosystem
Outcome 3: Climate change adaptation practices implemented by communities in lowland ecosystems. (Co-financing for Component 2, Outcome 3: $5,956,666 ; LDCF grant requested Component 2, Outcome3: $4,426,383)
This outcome will strengthen land users capacity for the implementation of climate change adaptation practices for building resilience and diversification of their livelihoods options. This component of the project will thus support land users to create, improve and sustain diversified livelihood options through rehabilitating degraded watersheds in a way that would lead to tangible and replicable changes. This will be achieved through the provision of needs-based technical support for soil and water conservation activities (soil bund, afforestation, check dam, hill-side terracing, etc.) and construction, operation and utilization of water storage structures for the diversification of livelihood options. As a result of this, land users will be able to do supplementary irrigation and engage in creating alternative climate resilient income generating opportunities. Water storage locations would be identified through the development of climate adaptive community-based action plans from Outputs 1.3. The climate adaptive plan will be developed for each woreda in the 6 regions through a participatory consultation process with the aim of securing, in advance, the commitment of the local community to contribute labor during construction, operation and maintenance; as well as to conserve the entire catchment area for long time durability and functionality of the water storage structure.
Local communities in the woredas targeted under this component will benefit from the implementation of a number of on‑the‑ground activities including; increased adaptive capacity through implementation of adaptive farming, agro-pastoral and pastoral practices; improvement of land productivity through such agro-ecological interventions as the bunds, alley cropping and terracing techniques and enhanced availability of fodder crops for livestock feed through planting of drought-resistant and high yield and early maturing varieties. Furthermore, to enhance access to resources in order to scale innovation for climate adaptation in the lowland ecosystem, the project would assist land users to organize into groups to learn from each other and replicate resilient practices.
A range of livelihood improvement activities will be implemented based on the community action plans developed under Component 2, and will vary from community to community. Examples of activities that will be considered include growing, processing and marketing of fruits and vegetables, installation of technologies for water and energy provision such as solar powered water pumps and biogas to reduce deforestation for community groups, planting fast growing trees for firewood and construction, energy-efficient fuel-wood stoves for clean cooking solutions, growing area closure (fencing) plants using fruits trees, growing animal forage plants, poultry and animal fattening. The project will train beneficiaries, and especially empower women to engage in value chain business opportunities such as processing and marketing of milk and milk products. Location-specific alternative livelihood support activities such as tree nurseries, bee keeping, fish farming at natural and artificial lakes, edible mushroom cultivation, compost preparation or sustainable use of incense and gum to reduce deforestation and forest degradation would be supported in the intervention sites. To support the offtake and sustainability of these options, the project will support beneficiaries to initiate business enterprises, and will link them to financing schemes.
Following the initial assessments done during the PPG phase, the project will conduct in-depth, focused capacity needs assessments with the aim of strengthening the capacity of beneficiaries for the delivery of sustainable and scalable businesses. The in-depth assessments, based on the selected livelihood activities for each community, will strengthen community buy-in and increase the levels of uptake and sustainability of the adaptive practices and technologies. As well as providing entry points for the establishment of community-based enterprises and involvement of the private sector in running the business enterprises. The assessments will include: i) analysis of market opportunities; ii) identification and implementation of selected income-generating activities; and iii) appropriate support to local communities on value-addition activities, including agro-processing and marketing skills; iv) sustainable financing options. In addition, the development of community business enterprises (CBEs) will be supported to: i) increase local communities’ access to markets; ii) increase market efficiencies; and iii) promote the development of local private sector agents such as agricultural service providers.
The project will also support training of extension agents to follow-up on the implementation of the adaptation and livelihoods activities and review progress in each Woreda with the aim to i) review successes and failures from the LDCF and to suggest up scaling activities; and ii) develop training material and provide training workshops on developing bankable business plans It will also develop a long-term M&E strategy for each Woreda that will be followed up by the extension agents and other development facilitators at Woreda level.
The outputs under Outcome 3 include:
- Sites identified, through community planning processes, as critically degraded are rehabilitated in the twelve woredas anchored on functional water storage infrastructure designed, constructed and utilized to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities in the twelve Woredas.
- Alternative livelihood opportunities created, expanded and made more responsive to climate change through the implementation of community-led climate adaptive initiatives in the twelve woredas.
- Farm/pasture land rehabilitated through physical and biological soil and water conservation measures in degraded areas in each woreda for and by the vulnerable lowland farmer, pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities.
- Community-based enterprises established and operationalized in each woreda to develop and strengthen climate resilient local business.
- Woreda-level M&E and follow-up strategy developed and adopted by woreda development facilitators and extension agents.
The implementation of adaptation plans outlined under Outcome 2 by local communities in lowland ecosystem ensures that land users in the project area enhance their investment in climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions in order to diversify their livelihood system while mitigating risks and driving actual improvements in performance (Outcome 3). Project performance will be tracked periodically in order to learn from the outcomes and inform future climate change adaptation plans and actions within and outside the geographical boundaries of the Project area. Undertaking frequent evaluation in this way helps to generate and document knowledge and obtain good practice results that would be disseminated to strengthen capacity for the implementation of diversified climate change adaptation practices.
Outcomes 1 and 2 are intended to provide the basis for implementing climate adaptive solutions and practices (Outcome 3) through climate-informed planning at the local level as well as the use of climate information. For each community, the strategies and practices selected under Outcome 3 will be based on the skills and information from planning processes (Outcome 1) that take into account climate change considerations, as well as the capacity to generate provide and use climate information (Outcome 2) to come up with solutions that address climate risks and vulnerabilities. This will generate knowledge that will be applied in the long term. The implementation of Outcome 3 will follow a participatory process that involves communities as well as local level planning and development institutions in the application of climate-informed planning tools and locally relevant climate data. This structure and approach of the project is a deliberate strategy to ensure that planning capacity and the use of climate information are the basis for climate change interventions, and that there is capacity in the local planning structures to facilitate this process. A provision has been made for special innovation direct investment in community infrastructure and alternative livelihoods creation for Woredas with capacity to include additional site making maximum of 3 sites per woreda.
 At Kebele level, “development agents” are responsible for technical advisory services to farmers. At a Woreda-level, “extension officers” oversee the activities of and provide guidance to development agents. The term “extension agents” is used to refer to both levels throughout this document, as their roles often overlap.
 The partnership between MoANR and Wageningen University to develop downscaled weather and Agricultural advisory support to farmers and pastoralist would be explored further and supported by the project to achieve the objective set out in this component.
'Investing in the Lowlands of Ethiopia', UNDP Ethiopia, 2 September 2021
Outcome 1: Technical capacity for planning diversified climate change adaptation practices strengthened
Outcome 2: Climate adaptive management adopted by local communities through accessible climate information and decision-making tools
Outcome 3: Climate change adaptation practices implemented by communities in lowland ecosystems
Promoting Innovative Finance, Community Based Adaptation in Communes Surrounding Community in Senegal
The "Promoting Innovative Finance and Community Based Adaptation in Communes Surrounding Community Natural Reserves (Ferlo, Niokolo Koba, Bas Delta Senegal, Delta du Saloum) in Senegal" project will work to create financial incentives to cover the incremental costs of climate change adaptation and support capacity building for vulnerable households and community groups to build holistic responses to climate change.
With US$5.4 million in funding from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund, the initiative will assist Senegal to pursue a "transformational" pathway towards resilience. In the long term it will empower local institutions to provide adaptation services to vulnerable communities.
The LDCF-funded initiative will assist Senegal to pursue a "transformational" pathway towards resilience. Under this approach, in the long term, local institutions will be able to provide adaptation services to vulnerable communities.
To achieve the project goals, changes in practices are needed, specifically to establish attractive funding mechanisms , linked to existing local financing systems, to cover the incremental costs of climate change adaptation, and to provide investments and capacities to vulnerable households and community groups for holistic responses to climate vulnerability and future changes.
The 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. More specifically, the project will review local development plans (including RNC plans) to (i) integrate climate adaptation priorities and resilience, (ii) set up innovative & sustainable financial mechanisms, (iii) improve the capacity of local credit and saving mutuals to finance adaptation projects and also the performance of local leaders in managing adaptations finances.
The response to climate vulnerability and changes will be oriented toward investing on the restoration of key livelihood resources (natural reserves, pastures, water points, etc.), establishing minimum community based early warning systems and sustaining climate-resilient agro pastoral and diversification activities. Target communities, local government leaders and other supporting institutions, will receive support to build capacity on climate change to inform improved decision making. This is critical for informing the design of feasible, credible and useful adaptation options and support.
This innovative approach allows local government to make changes to planning instruments that affect existing local developments by incorporating climate change considerations. Through the project, communities will have access to funding from a number of competitive grants (public & private) to address adaptation issues.
The coordination arrangement, involving policy makers, extension services, private sector and community based organisations, is a major innovation and will help to articulate institutional communication - both educational and social - at different levels.
The overall project will also generate socio-economic benefits at the local level by involving communities in the 203 villages (at least 50,000 households) in a much more transitional approach in the use of natural resources through the dissemination of practices, technologies and techniques, which are expected to improve the productivity and the resilience of agro-sylvo -pastoral activities.
Long-term benefits are also expected with investment aiming at restoring communities' "Natural Capital," and providing relevant climate information. In term of sustainability , the decentralized entities (councils and villages) will be empowered in implementing adaptation investments, strengthening community organizations in order to ensure that physical infrastructure and other investments are well managed and maintained after the project closure.
Capacity-building initiatives and awareness-raising will achieved through the social and environmental sustainability, and stakeholder involvement will be strengthened through adequate social mobilization and sensitization initiatives (workshops, forums, publications, community radios’ programmes, etc.). In addition, the knowledge base will be improved, and the project will define and implement an adequate system for knowledge management and information sharing.
The natural regions of Ferlo, Niokolo Koba, Bas Delta Senegal, and Delta du Saloum play a key role for livelihoods, as the communities are directly dependent on their natural assets, such as water, pasture, forests and fertile soil for a living.
Recognizing this richness, the communities of 203 villages established about 26 Community Natural Reserves (RNC) as well as nine credit and saving mutuals to improve the living conditions of households, specifically women groups.
However, with the effects climate change, both the natural capital maintained under these RNC and people’s economic assets will reach a tipping point. Indeed, in Senegal, droughts are the result of climate variability that more recently has manifested by a late onset of the rainy season, irregular spatial distribution of rains, and an early end to the rainy season.
Projections of mean annual rainfall averaged over the country show a trend towards decreases, particularly in the wet season. The drastic reductions in water availability at critical times (e.g. in the dry season or in drought years) and at critical locations (e.g. in the more populous areas or where livestock congregates) have direct and catastrophic impact on livelihoods of communities.
Natural grazing grounds in Niokolo Koba & Ferlo will be significantly diminished and livestock watering made difficult under climate change scenarios. This situation leads to localized conflicts between transhumant and sedentary communities, especially during the drought periods, when grazing grounds and water resources are particularly scarce.
Among other predictable impacts, climate change is also expected to result in a marked increase in the incidence and intensity of bushfires in Niokolo Koba & Ferlo. Fire can have catastrophic impacts on livelihoods, notably because of the importance of pastoral resources in target regions .
In Bas Delta Senegal , most of villages are facing a serious coastal erosion problem; the outer row of fisher folk houses has already been destroyed by the sea and thus abandoned by the population
Finally, in Saloum Delta, the reduction of water table leads to the salinization of agricultural lands. Many valleys in Saloum are now affected by salted water intrusion resulting from reduced rainfall and lack of appropriate storage under changed conditions. Under these conditions, the capacity of communities will remain weak to sustain current efforts in preserving natural capital and increasing economical capital.
Outcome 1 - C reate financial incentives linked with local government and communities financing systems to cover the incremental costs of climate change adaptation
Output 1.1. Identify and integrate climate resilience related performance measures into local development plans, including community plans
Output 1.2. Set up sustainable financial mechanisms at sub-national level (e.g. Local Resilience budget lines/funds, Eco taxes, etc.) to attract climate finance
Output 1.3. Sustainability & performance of the nine community based credit and saving mutuals improved to attract, manage and finance priority adaptation measures identified by vulnerable communities
Output 1.4. Capacity of communes and villages leaders developed to (i) access incremental funding from non-governmental sour ces, (ii) manage and (iii) monitor adaptation investments
Outcome 2 - Investments and capacities provided to vulnerable households and community groups for holistic responses to climate vulnerability and future changes
Output 2.1. Investments for structural adaptation measures channelled trough local budget (e.g. restoration of natural reserves/pastoral areas/water points, research development, Early Warning Systems, management of supply chains, etc.
Output 2.2. Create revolving investment funds, through credit & saving mutuals, for profitable community based climate resilient agro-pastoral investments and other diversification activities
Output 2.3. Community based organisation groups (women, youth and other producers) provided with capacity to (i) understand climate impacts; (ii) identify resilient growth production areas, (ii) manage adaptation initiatives (iii) access to rural finance, and (iv) improve entrepreneurship and organizational skills
Output 2.4. Mechanisms for capturing and dissemination of key experiences and good practices established for replication.
Outcome 1 - Create financial incentives linked with local government and communities financing systems to cover the incremental costs of climate change adaptation
Outcome 2 - Investments and capacities provided to vulnerable households and community groups for holistic responses to climate vulnerability and future changes