Natural Resource Management

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Coastal Resilience to Climate Change in Cuba through Ecosystem Based Adaptation – ‘MI COSTA’

The Green Climate Fund-financed “Coastal Resilience to Climate Change in Cuba through Ecosystem Based Adaptation – ‘MI COSTA’” project responds to the coastal adaptation needs of Cuba due to climate-change related slow onset events such as sea level rise and flooding arising from extreme weather events. Impacts from these climate drivers are a matter of national security for the people of this small-island state and pose an existential threat to coastal settlements and communities. Projections show that if no intervention is made by 2100, up to 21 coastal communities will disappear with a further 98 being severely affected by climate related threats (flooding, coastal erosion and saline intrusion).

Cuba’s Southern Coast has been selected due its high vulnerability to climate change particularly in the form of coastal flooding and saline intrusion. 1,300 km of coastline, 24 communities, and 1.3 million people will directly benefit from the project. In protecting life on land and below the water, 11,427 ha of mangroves, 3,088 ha of swamp forest and 928 ha of grass swamp will be restored, which in turn will improve the health of 9,287 ha of seagrass beds and 134 km or coral reef crests.

The project will enhance adaptive capacity by holistically rehabilitating coastal land-seascapes, their interlinked ecosystems and hydrology. This will be achieved by rehabilitating ecosystem functions and connections within mangroves and swamp forests and reducing anthropic pressures to marine coastal ecosystems, thus enhancing the services supplied by integrated coastal ecosystems (particularly protection from saline flooding and erosion, and channelling freshwater to coastal areas and aquifers). It will also strengthen the adaptive capabilities of coastal governments and communities´ by building their capacity to utilize and understand the benefits of ecosystem-based adaptation, enhancing information flow between stakeholders and strengthening the regulatory framework for territorial management in coastal areas.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-78.594726920422 20.988793500139)
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$23,927,294
Co-Financing Total: 
US$20,371,935 (US$16,242,488 MINAG, US$2,696,376 CITMA, US$1,435,071 INRH)
Project Details: 

Climate change impacts and threats

The Cuban archipelago’s location in the Caribbean, places it in the path of frequent tropical storms, and the long, narrow configuration of the country is such that no part of the country is very far from the sea (over 57% of the population lives in coastal municipalities).*

Coastal municipalities and their respective settlements are also extremely vulnerable to climate change (CC) due to increased storms and rising sea levels, resulting in increased coastal flooding caused by extreme meteorological phenomena such as tropical cyclones, extratropical lows, and strong winds from surges. From 2001 to 2017, the country has been affected by 12 hurricanes 10 which have been intense (category 4 or 5), the highest rate in a single decade since 1791. In the past 10 years the percentage of intense hurricanes affecting the country has risen from a historical average of 26% to 78% with accompanying acute losses. These intense hurricanes impacting Cuba since 2001 coincide with very high sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Atlantic recorded since 1998.

The coasts of Cuba in the past three decades have also seen an increase in the occurrence of moderate and strong floods as a result of tropical cyclones and of extratropical systems; with extratropical cyclones being associated with the highest rates of flooding in the country.  Furthermore, warm Pacific El Niño events lead to an increase in extra-tropical storms which increase the risks of flooding along the coastline.

CC induced Sea Level Rise (SLR) will aggravate coastal flooding affecting in particular low-lying coastal areas. It is expected that through SLR, mean sea level will increase by 0.29 m by the year 2050 and between 0.22m and 0.95m by the year 2100 impacting 119 coastal settlements in Cuba. Combining increased storm surge and projected SLR, flooding of up to 19,935 km² (CC + Category 5 hurricane) and 2,445 km² (CC + normal conditions) can be expected by the year 2050.

These estimates could be higher when compounded by the impact of surface water warming on the speed of storms, and new research that links it to increased wave heights in the Caribbean. Under this scenario, storms could be more frequent and move at a slower pace thus increasing the impact on island states such as Cuba.

CMIP5 projections indicate that by 2050, mean annual temperature in Cuba will rise by a median estimate of 1.6°C; total annual extremely hot days (temperature >35°C) will rise by a median estimate of 20 days (RCP 4.5) and 20.8 days (RCP 8.5). Associated increases in potential evapotranspiration will further lead to more frequent severe droughts, as already observable in eastern Cuba.

Cuban coastal seascapes and landscapes are a succession of ecosystems that have coevolved under current climatic conditions, including current distributions of extreme events. The progression of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, beaches, coastal mangroves and forest or grassland swamps represents an equilibrium that confers resilience to each ecosystem separately but also to the coast as a whole. The current resilience of Cuban coastal ecosystems to extreme events and SLR, is being undermined by both climate change effects (increased extreme events) and other anthropogenic pressures, tempering their capacity to provide their protective services. Mangroves have further suffered high levels of degradation affecting their ability to colonize new areas, reduce wave impacts, accrete sediments and stabilize shorelines. Additionally, coral reefs have shown signs of bleaching and degradation that have been attributed to mangrove and sea grass degradation (including the alteration of hydrological natural flows, presence of invasive species, water contamination, and habitat destruction), climate-related increases in surface water temperature and to increased impacts of hurricanes.

SLR will further increase current vulnerabilities and stresses on ecosystems due to increases in water depth and wave energy which will increase coastal erosion, coastal flooding and saline intrusion risks.

Coastal erosion

Current coastal erosion rates are attributed to a combination of natural dynamics (waves, currents, extreme events, hurricanes, etc.) and human interventions (natural resources extraction, wetlands filling, coastal infrastructure construction excluding natural dynamics, habitat loss, water diversion, etc). An increase in the magnitude of extreme events and increasing SLR will accelerate erosion related to natural processes, which currently averages 1.2 m/year (calculated between 1956-2002). This erosion rate poses a danger to communities, infrastructure and natural habitats that are not tolerant to saline intrusion and provide services to landward communities.

Flooding

Coastal flooding as a combination of high rainfall, high sea levels and storm surges has been identified as one of the primary climate change related threats to Cuba. Trends in the frequency of coastal floods during the period 1901-2011 have been observed in Cuba with the past three decades seeing an increase in the occurrence of moderate and strong floods, regardless of the meteorological events that generate them. Specific impacts and the extent of resulting damages depend on local bathymetry and topography, seabed roughness and coastal vegetation coverage and conditions, with the coastal regions of La Coloma- Surgidero de Batabano and Jucaro-Manzanillo being particularly vulnerable.

Hurricanes have also extensively damaged infrastructure. Hurricane Matthew, which crossed the eastern end of Cuba in October 2016, caused USD 97.2 million of damages (approximately 2.66% of GDP), making it the third most devastating hurricane to hit the island in the last decade, only behind Ike (2008) and Sandy (2012), with equivalent costs of USD 293 million (12.05% of GDP) and USD 278 million (9.53 % of GDP) respectively.

Saline intrusion

Saline intrusion into aquifers is the most common and extensive cause of freshwater degradation in Cuba’s coastal zones. Most of these aquifers, located near and beneath the northern and southern coasts, are open to the sea, making them very susceptible and exposed to saline intrusion as a result of SLR, and potentially leading to water that is too saline for human consumption and increasing the salinization of agricultural fields.  It is estimated that approximately 544,300 ha in the area of proposed interventions are already affected by saline intrusion.

Drought

Drought has been identified among the most important climate risks for all Caribbean islands, including Cuba. There has been an increase in drought events in the period 1961-1990 when compared to 1931-1960.  Severe droughts have been increasing in eastern Cuba and are projected to increase in the future. Future projections indicate a general reduction in rainfall by 2070 (particularly along the Eastern Coastline), along with an average reduction in relative humidity between 2% and 6% between 2030 and 2070, respectively. Reduced rainfall occurring mostly during the summer rainy season, with relatively smaller increases in winter and dry season rainfall. This situation adds an increase pressure on the aquifers, which cannot be filled by just one tropical storm, or during the rainy season.

Vulnerability Southern Coast of Cuba, project target site 

Cuba’s coastal ecosystems have been extensively studied through extensive research led by The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), the Environmental Agency (AMA) and the Scientific Institute for the Sea (ICIMAR). ICIMAR’s research on coastal dynamics and vulnerability is the foundation for Cuba’s National Environmental Strategy (NES) and its State Plan for Facing Climate Change (“Tarea Vida”, 2017) which outlined coastal areas in eminent danger as national priority.

A research-based CC vulnerability ranking (high, medium, and low) was designed considering a combination of factors: geological, geomorphological and ecosystem degradation highlighting that vulnerability to sea-level rise and associated events is higher in the country’s low-lying coasts. Settlements in these areas are more vulnerable to SLR and more likely to be affected by extreme weather events (hurricanes, tropical storms) because of their low elevation, largely flat topography, extensive coastal plains and the highly permeable karstic geology that underlies it; hence more exposed and susceptible to flooding and saline intrusion. These areas have been targeted as the project’s area of intervention, prioritized within “Tarea Vida,” with attention being paid to two coastal "stretches" totaling approximately 1,300 km of coastline and 24 municipalities covering 27,320 km2.

Main localities for direct intervention of EBA include settlements with high vulnerability to coastal flooding, facing saline intrusion and with a contribution to economic life including those with major fishing ports for shrimp and lobster. Settlements with coastal wetlands that represent a protective barrier for important agricultural production areas to reduce the effects of saline intrusion on the underground aquifers and agricultural soils where also considered.

Southern Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems in the targeted coastal stretches are characterized mainly by low, swampy and mangrove-lined shores surrounded by an extensive, shallow submarine platform, bordered by numerous keys and coral reefs. In these areas mangroves and marshes could potentially act as protective barriers against storm surges, winds and waves and therefore reduce coastal erosion, flooding and salt intrusion associated risks. These ecosystems can keep pace with rising seas depending on sediment budgets, frequency of disturbances, colonization space, and ecosystem health.

There are numerous reported functional relationships between coastal and marine ecosystems, including sediment binding and nutrient absorption, which combined with water retention, create equilibrium dynamics and coastal stability. Freshwater infiltration is favored by swamp forests reducing saline intrusion risk and organic matter exchange facilitates favorable conditions for healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs. Restoration of these fluxes and connections is required to increase these ecosystems resilience to a changing climate and strengthening their protective role.

Coastal ecosystems and their complex interconnections provide a variety of services to communities, including coastal protection and disaster risk reduction. These services can be enhanced with healthy ecosystems, functional connections and when adequately integrated into land/marine planning policies.

Project focus

The project will focus on actions along Cuba’s Southern Coast that has been selected due its high vulnerability to climate change (open aquifers, low lying coastal plain, degraded ecosystems and concentration of settlements), particularly to storms, drought and sea level rise, which result in coastal flooding and saline intrusion.

Targeted shores cover approximately 89,520 hectares of mangroves (representing 16.81% of the country's mangroves) followed by 60,101 hectares of swamp grasslands and 28,146 hectares of swamp forests. These in turn will contribute to improving 9,287 ha of seagrass and 134 km of coral reefs and their respective protective services.

There is evidence of reef crests degradation which in turn could cause significant wave damage in both mangroves and sea grasses reducing further their ability to offer protection against the effects of CC on the coast of Cuba.

Restoration of degraded red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) strips along the coastal edges, in stretches 1 and 2, is crucial. During wind, storms and hurricane seasons, the sea has penetrated more than 150 meters inland in these areas, exposing areas dominated by black or white mangroves, which are less tolerant to hyper-saline conditions, potentially becoming more degraded. During stakeholder consultations, communities highlighted the consequent loss of infrastructure and reduced livelihood opportunities (both fisheries and agriculture).

Coastal Stretch 1: La Coloma – Surgidero de Batabanó (271 km – 13,220 km2)

This stretch is made up of  3 provinces (Pinar del Rio, Artemisa and MAyabeque) and 13 municipalities (San Juan y Martinez, San Luis, Pinar del Rio, Consolacion del Sur, Los Palacios, San Cristobal, Candelaria, Artemisa, Alquizar, Guira de Melena, Batabano, Melena del Sur and Guines). The main localities along this stretch are: (1) La Coloma in Pinar del Rio Province; (2) Beach Cajío in Artemisa province; and, (3) Surgidero Batabanó in Mayabeque Province.  

The vulnerability assessment concluded that, by 2100, 5 communities in this stretch could disappeared due to SLR. Extreme events, waves’ strength and salinity have also been identified in this area; hence appropriate adaptation measures need to be in place to reduce the impact.

These risks are being exacerbated by the impacts of ecosystem degradation related to changes in land use, pollution past logging, grey infrastructure and inappropriate measures of coastal protection in the past, urbanization, and the reduction of water and sediments flows.

The impact of saline intrusion into the karstic aquifer is particularly troubling along this coastal stretch with important implications at a national level, as the main aquifer, in the southern basin which supplies water to the targeted coastal communities and agriculture, is also an important source of fresh water to the capital, Havana. To address the issue of saline intrusion in this area, the GoC has experimented with grey infrastructure (The Southern Dike), a 51.7 km levee built in 1991 aiming to accumulate runoff fresh water to halt the infiltration of saline water in the interior of the southern aquifer. The USD 51.3 million investment, with maintenance costs of USD 1.5 million every 3 years and a once-off USD 15 million (20 years after it was built), had a positive effect in partially containing the progress of the saline wedge. However, the impact of the dike resulted in the degradation of mangroves in its northern shore reducing the mangroves function to protect the coastline.

Coastal Stretch 2: Jucaro- Manzanillo (1029 km – 14,660 km2)

This stretch is comprised by 4 provinces (Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas and Granma) and 11 muncipalities (Venezuela, Baragua, Florida, Vertientes, Santa Cruz del Sur, Amancio Rodriguez, Colombia, Jobabo, Rio Cauto, Yara and Manzanillo).The main localities to intervene along this stretch include (1) Júcaro in Ciego de Avila Province; (2) Santa Cruz del Sur in Camagüey Province; (3) Manzanillo in Gramma Province (4) Playa Florida.

The communities in this coastal area are located within extensive coastal wetlands dominated by mangroves, swamp grasslands and swamp forest.

Water reservoirs for irrigation have reduced the water flow towards natural ecosystems, it has also been directed towards agricultural lands altering the natural flow indispensable for ecosystems.

Mangroves have been highly impacted by degradation and fragmentation, which has undermined their role in protecting the beach and human populations from extreme hydro-meteorological events, saline intrusion and coastal erosion. Only 6% of mangroves are in good condition, while 91% are in a fair state, and 3% are highly degraded. Wetlands in the prairie marshes have begun to dry due to a combination of climate drivers and land use management with a direct impact in reducing their water retention and infiltration capacity.

Coral crests of the area’s broad insular platform, have been classified as very deteriorated or extremely deteriorated and it is predicted that if no intervention on the sources of degradation from the island, is made, they will disappear by 2100. Reef elimination will increase communities’ flood risk to potentially settlements disappearing.

Saline intrusion is becoming increasingly significant in this area due to a combination of CC-related SLR and the overexploitation of aquifers.

Climate change vulnerability is exacerbated by construction practices (such as people building small shops and walkways) along the shoreline where fully exposed infrastructure can be found within flood zones, between the coast and the coastal marsh. This situation is aggravated by the limited knowledge of local actors and a false sense of security that was perceived during community consultations.

Baseline investment projects

Traditionally, Cuba´s tropical storms response and management strategies have focused on emergency preparation and attendance rather than on planning for disaster risk reduction. The GoC has successfully introduced early warning mechanisms and clear emergency protocols to reduce the impact of storms in the loss of lives. The development of Centres for Risk Reduction Management (CGRR) has also been successful in mobilizing local actors when storms are predicted to hit ensuring that emergency resources are available to address storms’ immediate impacts. While these are important steps in the face of an immediate emergency, they are insufficient to manage multiple ongoing threats (some of slow consequence of climate change).

In 2017, GoC approved its State Plan to Face Climate Change (“Tarea Vida”) in which identified and prioritized the impacts of saline intrusion, flooding and extreme events to the country coastal zones, focusing strategic actions for the protection of vulnerable populations and of key resources including protective ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs. The GoC has begun to look into various strategies to mainstream local adaptation initiatives using existing successful national mechanisms for capacity building and knowledge transfer and international cooperation best practices.

Initial investments made by the GoC have identified the country´s climate vulnerability, including drought and SLR vulnerability and hazard risk assessment maps. The development of the “Macro-project on Coastal Hazards and Vulnerability (2050-2100)”, focused on these areas´ adaptation challenges including oceanographic, geophysical, ecological and infrastructure features, together with potential risks such as floods, saline intrusion and ocean acidification. Cross-sectoral information integration was a key tool to identify climate risks and potential resources (existing instruments, institutions, knowledge, etc) to manage it. While this is an important foundation it has yet to be translated into concrete actions often as a result of lack of technical equipment.

International cooperation has financed projects that have further allowed the GoC to innovate on various institutional mechanisms such as the Capacity Building Centres (CBSCs) and Integrated Coastline Management Zones through active capacity building incorporating municipal and sectoral needs. Table 1 summarizes the most relevant baseline projects and highlights key results, lessons learned, and gaps identified. The proposed project aims to address such gaps, and incremental GCF financing is required to efficiently achieve efficient climate resilience in the target coastal sites.

* Footnotes and citations are made available in the project documents.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Output 1: Rehabilitated coastal ecosystems for enhanced coping capacity to manage climate impacts.

1.1 Assess and restore coastal wetland functions in target sites by reestablishing hydrological processes  

1.2 Mangrove and swamp forest rehabilitation through natural and assisted regeneration for enhanced coastal protection

1.3 Record and asses coastal and marine ecosystems‘ natural regeneration and protective functions based on conditions provided through restored coastal wetlands

1.4 Enhance water conduction systems along targeted watersheds to restore freshwater drainage in coastal ecosystems and aquifers to reduce and monitor saline intrusion in target sites

Output 2: Increased technical and institutional capacity to climate change adaptation in coastal communities, governments and economic sectors.

2.1 Develop a climate adaptation technical capacity building program for coastal communities and local stakeholders to enable adaptation actions and capacities

2.2 Integrate project derived information,  from EWS  and national datasets into a Knowledge Management Platform, to provide climate information products to monitor, evaluate and inform coastal communities on local capacity to manage climate change impacts.

2.3 Mainstream EBA approaches into regulatory and planning frameworks at the territorial and national levels for long term sustainability of EBA conditions and investments for coastal protection

Output 3: Project Management

3..1 Project Management

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

Output 1: Rehabilitated coastal ecosystems for enhanced coping capacity to manage climate impacts.

Output 2: Increased technical and institutional capacity to climate change adaptation in coastal communities, governments and economic sectors.

Output 3: Project management.

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2028
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
March 2021
Description: 
Project Approval
SDGs: 
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 14 - Life Below Water
SDG 15 - Life On Land

SCALA Cambodia

Country overview 

Cambodia is considered to be among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Its vulnerability is characterised by frequent floods and irregular rainfall, coupled with limited human and financial resources, limited access to technologies, and an agrarian based economyApproximately 80 percent of the country’s population lives along the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, where flooding occurs due to increased water levels between early July and early October. Disruptions to logistical corridors caused by floods have a profound impact to agricultural supply chains, both domestically and for international trade. Cambodia’s economy relies primarily on agriculture sector, which makes up 33 percent of GDP, and employs 57 percent of the country’s labour force.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (104.58023067979 12.935564448741)
Project Details: 

Country priorities 

In 2013, the Royal Government of Cambodia launched the first Climate Change Strategic Plan (CCCSP) 2013-2023, which captures the main strategic objectives and directions for a climate change resilient and low-carbon development pathway. Cambodia ratified the Paris Agreement in February 2017 and submitted its updated NDC in 2020The NDC aims to undertake voluntary and conditional actions to achieve the target of increasing forest cover to 60 percent of national land area by 2030.  Cambodia features adaptation prominently in the NDC. The sectors most affected are agriculture, infrastructure, forestry, human health, and coastal zone areas are particularly vulnerable to sea level rises and intrusion.  Cambodia’s NDC includes its National Adaptation Plan as outlining the climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation actions needed for Cambodia.  It, further, highlights the NAP process as one of four strategic priorities in shaping Cambodia towards a green, low-carbon, climate-resilient, equitable, sustainable and knowledge-based society.

The Royal Government of Cambodia initiated its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Financing Framework and Implementation Plan in 2017. Cambodia’s developing agri-business environment also needs assistance for enhancing sustainability, and the Cambodia Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (CPSA) is also paving the path for the sector, for targeted interventions in its value chains such as rice, sugar cane, and cassava. The private sector has benefited minimally from interventions in farm output and input pricing, from the strong commitment to open trade, including across the border, and from the reduction of export costs and time for export processing.   

 

Project Status: 
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Project Dates: 
2020 to 2025
SDGs: 
SDG 13 - Climate Action

SCALA Mongolia

Country overview 

Mongolia is a landlocked country with vast mountainous plateaus sloping from west to east in the country.  Mongolia has a very low population density and many of its rural communities are traditionally nomadic pastoralists. One-third of the country’s labor force is employed in agricultural work, and it accounts for 8.4 percent of the country's exports and 10.6 percent of its GDPThe agriculture sector, however, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Increased upper heat thresholds are projected to change annual precipitation patterns and increase the number of “dry days, which will lead to significant volatility in agricultural productivity and livelihoods. In addition, the higher frequency and intensity of major climate-related hazards including storms (dust storms, windstorms, thunderstorms, and snowstorms), droughts, and extended harsh winters are expected to exacerbate conditions. 

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (102.22778317763 46.58571420069)
Project Details: 

Country priorities 

In 2016, Mongolia ratified the Paris Agreement, and in 2018, released its Third National Communication to the UNFCCC, a comprehensive assessment of the national climate change context and future. Key national policy documents include the National Action Plan on Climate Change (2011-2021) and the Green Development Policy (2014-2030). The livestock and animal husbandry sector contributes to 80% of its agricultural production through a range of food and other products, such as sheep wool, goat cashmere, large animal hair, camel wool and milk. 

Mongolia’s first NDC was submitted in 2016 and updated in 2019. Its mitigation target is articulated as 22.7% reduction in total national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to the projected emissions under a business-as-usual scenario for 2010, focusing on the transport, industry, agriculture and waste sectors, among others. It also includes a distinct adaptation component with goals and targets for priority areas such as animal husbandry and pastureland, arable farming, water resources, forest resources, and biodiversity. The NDC mentions Mongolia’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process, initiated in 2018, as the primary means through which specific adaptation actions will be identified. These include improving pasture management, regulation of livestock numbers and herds’ composition by matching with pastures carrying capacities, improving animal breeds, and regional development of intensified animal farming. Mongolia ranks 81st globally in World Bank’s Doing Business score, and high potential across its value chains in the animal husbandry and livestock sectors, vegetable production (such as potatoes) and other horticulture products.

 

Project Status: 
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Project Dates: 
2020 to 2025
SDGs: 
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 13 - Climate Action

SCALA Nepal

Country overview 

Nepal is a landlocked, mountainous country located in the Himalayas. Small-scale, subsistence agriculture is the mainstay of Nepal’s economy, employing 78 percent of the country’s workforce, and most of the population lives in rural areas. Water and forests are Nepal’s abundant natural resources, with freshwater (derived from glaciers, snowmelt, and rainfall) accounting for 2.27 percent of the total world supply. Nepal was one of the 11 countries part of the NAP-Ag Programme with FAO and UNDP. The NAP-Ag Programme in Nepal worked through the Agriculture and Food Security Working Group under the broader NAP process. This allowed the Programme to support the overall NAP whilst mainstreaming agriculture sector priorities into national processes. 

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Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (84.122314416497 28.132282595411)
Project Details: 

Country priorities 

The Ministry of Forests and Environment is the focal point for the development, update and implementation climate related policies in Nepal. Nepal’s Climate Change Policy (2019) aims to contribute to the country’s socio-economic prosperity by building a climate resilient society. Objectives include reducing GHG emissions through the use of clean energy and enhancing adaptation action and the adaptive capacity of local communities for optimum use and management of natural resources.  

Nepal ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted its first NDC in 2016. Its second NDC – submitted in October 2020 – outlines emissions reductions targets for selected sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, forestry and waste. The NDC’s mitigation strategy foresees to maintain 45 percent of total area of the country under forest cover. For adaptation, it articulates Nepal’s intention to submit an adaptation communication through the development of a NAP. The NAP will include priorities, plans, actions and implementation mechanisms related to adaptation and be aligned with thematic and cross-cutting adaptation priorities identified in the National Climate Change Policy.

 

Project Status: 
Display Photo: 
Project Dates: 
2020 to 2025
SDGs: 
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 13 - Climate Action

SCALA Thailand

Country overview 

Thailand is projected to be severely affected by climate change, with its vulnerability shaped by geographical and socioeconomic features. It has an extensive coastline, rural communities dependent on agriculture, and heavily populated urban areas located on flood prone plains. Climate change threatens all key sectors of Thailand’s economy: agriculture, tourism, and trade. Agriculture is also the second largest source of GHG emissions in Thailand, while rice cultivation is the main source of national methane emissions. Managed soils and livestock are also significant sources of GHG emissionsThe agriculture sectors (agriculture, forestry and fisheries) employed around 30.67 percent of Thailand’s workforce (2018) and are key to provide nutrition for the rural society.  

 

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (100.79132076836 13.999222013287)
Project Details: 

Country priorities 

Thailand is a signatory of the UNFCCC and has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Thailand’s Climate Change Master Plan (CCMP) (2015-2050) is the highest-level policy document guiding the national climate change response. Supported by SCALA’s predecessor programme NAP-Ag, the country developed the Agriculture Strategic Plan on Climate Change (ASPCC) (2017-2021), which is aligned with the CCMP and provided sectoral input to Thailand’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP). The country’s NAP aims to ensure wide buy-in to the adaptation planning process by fostering inter-ministerial, inclusive coordination and cooperation based on sharing experiences and identifying synergetic interests among key stakeholders. Thailand’s NAP and its NDC recognize the importance of adapting the agriculture sectors to climate change. 

Thailand ratified the Paris Agreement in September 2016 and submitted its first NDC the same year. In October 2020, Thailand resubmitted a revised and enhanced NDC. The updated NDC reconfirms the mitigation target provided in the first NDC, which was to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2030 below the business-as-usual scenario. The updated NDC includes an enhanced and elaborated adaptation component and aims for better integration of the NDC into the national planning processes. 

 

 

Project Status: 
Display Photo: 
Project Dates: 
2020 to 2025
SDGs: 
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 13 - Climate Action

Climate security and sustainable management of natural resources in the central regions of Mali for peacebuilding

The proposed "Climate security and sustainable management of natural resources in the central regions of Mali for peacebuilding" project tackles Mali’s interlinked challenges of land degradation and climate change that together threaten the long-term sustainability of vulnerable productive landscapes in the country’s central regions. The proposed project will restore 21,000 hectares of land, implement improved practices in 15,000 hectares, offest 900,000 metric tons of CO2, and reach 150,000 direct beneficiaries (80,000 women and 70,000 men). The project is currently in the PIF stage.

The Republic of Mali is committed to achieving Land Degradation Neutrality, defined by the UNCCD as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems.” Currently this global challenge is not being met, since the area of Mali over which productivity has been lost in the past two decades far exceeds the small pockets where productivity has been restored, and these trends continue. Evidence is already seen of how climate change and increased climate variability contribute to the desertification and the degradation of ecosystems on which societies depend for food and water security, and projections are that these impacts will worsen over the decades ahead. As anthropogenic and climate impacts shrink the productive natural resource base, so conflicts over land and water intensify, particularly between farming and herding communities, feeding into the ongoing conflict between jihadists and civilian militia.

The proposed project involves strategies that will simultaneously combat land degradation and restore land productivity, help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, and promote peace-building, with the overarching goal of developing resilient rural communities in Mopti region. The main emphasis of the project is focused on activities on the ground involving communities and their structures, local government, and private sector actors.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-1.4267581770588 18.471272480165)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
150,000 (80,000 women and 70,000 men)
Financing Amount: 
US$7.5 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$28 million
Project Details: 

Overview

The proposed project tackles Mali’s interlinked challenges of land degradation and climate change that together threaten the long-term sustainability of vulnerable productive landscapes in the country’s central regions. The Republic of Mali is committed to achieving Land Degradation Neutrality, defined by the UNCCD as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems”. Currently this global challenge is not being met, since the area of Mali over which productivity has been lost in the past two decades far exceeds the small pockets where productivity has been restored, and these trends continue. Evidence is already seen of how climate change and increased climate variability contribute to the desertification and the degradation of ecosystems on which societies depend for food and water security, and projections are that these impacts will worsen over the decades ahead. As anthropogenic and climate impacts shrink the productive natural resource base, so conflicts over land and water intensify, particularly between farming and herding communities, feeding into the ongoing conflict between jihadists and civilian militias.

Addressing interconnected challenges

Demographic pressures and conflict, exacerbated by COVID-19: Mali’s population has been growing at a rate of about 3% per year for the last 15 years, and the current population is estimated at over 20 million. The fertility rate of 5.92 births per woman is one of  highest in the world, and the population is very young, with a median age of 16.3 years. Conflict in the North and Central regions since 2012 has caused significant internal migration, with over 800,000 Malian citizens estimated to be internally displaced, in neighbouring countries, or recently returned in March 2020. Conflict also restricts movement and prevents cultivation of fields located further from the village, worsening the vulnerability of households to food insecurity. Mopti Region saw a rise in conflict in 2019, with the presence of armed groups and self-defence militias, increasing criminality and intercommunal tensions triggering a spiral of violence, reflected in a 25% decline in the area under cultivation compared with the previous year. Before the recent 8 years of conflict, Mopti’s poverty rate at 79% was already much higher than the national average of 43%. A UN report in 2011 highlighted that 59.5% of the population was living on degraded land and only 29.2% had satisfactory water quality, and the conflict years have worsened this situation, as a growing population tries to eke out a living on a shrinking area of productive land, without significant technological investment. Competition over scarce resources further fuels conflict, in a vicious cycle. In this context, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mali might have a devastating impact for the population. As of late September 2020, Mali had just over 3,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, with 129 deaths recorded as being due to the virus. These figures are likely an under-reflection of the real situation, given the poor spread of healthcare facilities across large parts of the country, the low level of testing capacity available, the unavailabilty of “excess deaths” data and analysis, and the unreliable system for recording of deaths generally. The Government of Mali has designed a National Action Plan for the prevention and response to COVID-19. Among the measures taken so far, the Mali government has introduced restrictions on travels to and from Mali, suspended public gatherings, requested the closure of all schools, and, on 25 March, a curfew from 21:00 to 5:00 has been decreed, along with the closure of land borders.

Impacts of climate change

Already observed changes in increased temperatures and diminished rainfall are reducing the absolute area of land suitable for food production nationally. During the most humid month of July, the maximum temperature recorded for the period 1961-1990 was 30.5°C, and this is projected to be 32, 5°C by 2050 and 34.5°C by 2100. Data from Mali’s meteorological services demonstrates a southward encroachment of the Sahelian and Saharan climatic and vegetation zones over the past 40 years, as rainfall has decreased. This is in line with recent studies showing that the Sahara Desert has expanded by 10% over the past century, affecting regional food and water security, and also influencing global weather patterns and human health, as huge seasonal dust clouds are carried across the Atlantic as far as Central America. Analysis of Mali’s rainfall patterns over the past 50 years shows a decrease in total rainfall of 19% in the South and 26% in the North, and communities widely report increased inter-annual variability and a more unpredictable monsoon. Studies indicate that historical climate change across West Africa in the period 2000–2009, relative to a non-warming counterfactual condition (that is, pre-industrial climate), accounted for average annual yield reductions of 10–20% for millet (loss of 2.33–4.02 billion USD in value) and 5–15% for sorghum (loss of 0.73–2.17 billion USD). There is significant uncertainty in climate scientists’ rainfall projections for West Africa over the coming decades, but inter-annual variability, which is already high because of the effect of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, is likely to grow, and increased temperatures will enhance evapotranspiration. The recently submitted Mali Climate Risk profile confirms the increase in evapotranspiration (according to RCP6.0, evapotranspiration will increase by 2.4% by 2030, 3.7% by 2050 and 7% by 2070), as well as the decrease in soil moisture (-3.7% by 2080 according to RCP6.0). According to the Mali’s third Communication on Climate Change in Mali (2015), the most plausible climate scenarios for 2100 predict a decrease in rainfall in all localities. The Mali Climate Risk profile report also identifies the risks climate change poses on water resources and agriculture sectors. The report projects an expected reduction in water availability per capita of 77% by 2080 (RCP2.6 and RCP6.0), taking into account the projected population growth. In addition, harvests of important crops such as Maize (-13%), Millet and Sorghum (-12%) and peanuts (-7%) are expected to decrease by 2080 (RCP6.0).

The unreliability of rainfall during the rainy season (June-September) is also projected to increase by 2080-2099, with projected changes between -51mm to +37mm in July, -38mm to +88mm in August and -25 to +88mm in August, significantly impacting the risks of flood. Between 1980 and 2012, Mali already experienced six major droughts and two major floods, and the country is likely to see an increase in these disaster types, as well as stronger winds, sand and dust storms, and bush fires, and larger and more frequent locust swarms. More intense rainfall events are predict to increase flash floods in the inland Niger Delta and along river floodplains. Without effective adaptation strategies, many models predict significant decreases in central and northern Mali in both water availability and yields of staple crops rice, millet and sorghum; for example, the Mali NAPA analysis predicts significant losses in staple crops as early as 2025. The central / Sahelian region is most sensitive to changes in rainfall, and households derive over 70% of their income from the land, making them highly vulnerable. A vulnerability mapping study showed over 90% of the Mopti Region as high or very high vulnerability, as defined by a combination of high biophysical exposure to climate impacts, high socio-economic sensitivity and low adaptive capacity.

Poor land management: Mopti Region, where the project focuses, is in the Sahel zone and contains arid and semi-arid ecosystems, as well as the fertile inland delta of the Niger River. Outside of the delta, the natural vegetation is mostly steppe grassland or tree and shrub steppe with Acacia species dominant and other trees like Combretum and Boscia. Mopti is characterised by widespread degradation of natural ecosystems because of unsustainable practices – including overgrazing by livestock, over-extraction of woody vegetation for fuel, removal of natural vegetation to expand crops, and uncontrolled bushfires (sometimes accidentally spread when using fire to clear land). Loss of vegetation allows valuable topsoil to be eroded by wind and rain, resulting in serious sand encroachment in the northern Sahel, and siltation of waterways in the Delta zone. Extreme temperatures and overgrazing cause hardening of the top layers of soil, preventing infiltration of rainwater, furthering the loss of vegetation, and worsening unexpected floods. The area covered by woodland, estimated at 10.1% of the country in 2008, is continually declining. Recent estimates from the National Directorate of Water and Forests show the disappearance of 450,000 to 500,000 ha of woodland per year.The Sahelian zone is identified in Mali’s LDN Country Report as a hotspot of land degradation. Rainfed cropland productivity is also declining – with intermittent localized droughts, and declining soil fertility from shorter fallow periods combined with low use of inputs. Land degradation can also influence local and regional micro-climates, through the albedo effect and alterations in moisture transfer between land surface and the atmosphere.

Poor water management: With increased variability in rainfall and localized droughts, villages in the north and centre of Mali need adaptation strategies to maximize water availability for drinking, sanitation, livestock and crop irrigation. At present, there are parts of Mopti in and around the inland Niger Delta where significant groundwater potential exists, but is not sustainably exploited. There is also inadequate capture of surface water through small dams and rainwater harvesting. In recent years with changing rainfall patterns, Mali’s southern regions have experienced flooding, including flash floods in Bamako in 2013 causing loss of life and displacement of 20,000 people. In the Delta, unexpected high floods have also caused damage, but the opposite problem of insufficient expected, manageable flooding also exists. Seasonal flooding of the massive delta area (comparable only with Okavango) is the basis for irrigated rice, fishing and grazing (as well as a Ramsar Site and important global site for migratory birds), but the inundated area has shrunk from over 35,000 km2 each year to sometimes as small as 10,000 km2 under drought conditions. Underlying this is a decline in the Niger’s average flow – which fell from 1,300 m3/second in 1978 to 895 m3/second in 2002.  Irrigated cropland is subject to problems of leaching and alkalization of soils, and the spread of invasive plants, as well as ineffective management to combat siltation. As vegetation is lost in upstream watersheds, erosion of banks is causing massive siltation of rivers, channels and ponds, especially in the Niger downstream from Bamako and the Delta.

Addressing these root causes of land degradation and likely impacts of climate change and variability requires a coordinated and scaled up effort across Mali. But this is difficult to undertake at a time when government is still battling to stabilize the country, to decentralize and deliver services throughout the fragile central and northern regions, made even more challenging since the political instability at national level in 2020. Since 2012, Mali has faced ongoing conflict, at times caused or worsened by competition over scarce land, water and grazing resources, particularly in the Mopti Region. The government signed a peace accord with northern separatist rebels in 2015, but armed groups continue to assert territorial control in much of the vast desert north. At the same time, Islamist insurgent groups have expanded from the north into previously stable central Mali, allegedly leveraging interethnic tensions and local resentment toward state actors to recruit supporters and foment conflict.

In 2019 Mopti faced a dramatic deterioration of its security situation, with hundreds of recorded violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The presence of armed groups and self-defence militias, increasing criminality and intercommunal tensions triggered a spiral of violence, leading to a loss of livelihoods for displaced populations, and difficulties in cultivating fields and accessing markets for those who have remained in their villages. A perceived inability to curtail massacres of civilians is one of the issues highlighted in anti-government protests in recent months in Bamako, leading to the forced resignation of President Ibrahim Keita on 18 August 2020. Conflict analysis of Mopti Region shows that rising levels of insecurity led to approximately 1,300 fatalities and tens of thousands of internally displaced people across the region in 2019 only. According to the World Food Programme analysis of the Mopti security situation up to April 2020, in a context already made fragile at many levels – an economy marked by mounting demographic pressures, youth unemployment, soil degradation or scarcity of natural resources, exacerbated by repeated droughts intensified by climate change, the impact of violence on food security is highly threatening: displaced communities lose their livelihoods and those remaining in their villages experience difficulties in cultivating fields and accessing markets.

The proposed project aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of vulnerable productive landscapes in Mali’s central region of Mopti, through nature-based solutions that reverse land degradation, strengthen communities’ resilience to climate change impacts and to conflict that is worsened by climate change. These nature-based solutions will follow the principles of conflict-sensitive adaptation –  critical in areas where there is high dependence on natural resources and in already fragile (politically, socially, economically, environmentally) contexts. International literature on the Sahel shows that the region is both very vulnerable to the physical effects of climate variability and to communal conflicts, the dynamics of which in turn seem to be sensitive to climate variability.

Because of this fragile context, the project preparation phase and final site selection process will involve using consultants with in-depth local cultural as well as agro-ecological knowledge to undertake a detailed scoping of conditions on the ground and consultations with a wide range of stakeholders at local level (following COVID-19 protocols), and particular attention will be paid during the PPG to: (i) the design and resourcing of measures to mitigate security-related risks likely to be faced during project implementation (ii) measures to ensure that the root causes of conflict relating to competition over access to scarce (and declining with climate change) natural resources: and (iii) use the Environmental and Social Management Framework to ensure that conflicts are not inadvertently sparked by project interventions. The vulnerability assessment and mapping process planned for Component 1 will include the application of a security sensitivity framework. The proposed interventions are also built on an analysis of the interdependencies of these challenges  that builds on the RAPTA (Resilience, Adaptation Pathways and Transformation Assessment) methodology developed through the STAP, which highlights a systems view of food security, as dependent on availability of adequate and nutritious food to households in the district, access to adequate and nutritious food, utilization of this food by individuals in a house-hold , and the stability/resilience of the availability, access and utilization of food in the face of shocks and stresses, over time.  The first, second and last of these factors are severely affected by the conflict situation in the Mopti Region, and are further compounded by increasingly erratic rainfall and creeping desertification. Specific barriers to achieving the project’s objective are as follows:

Barriers

Barrier 1: Lack of coordination and capacity for implementing and monitoring environmental agreements

Mali has a fairly comprehensive set of national policies, laws and strategies for achieving its international environmental commitments (including UNFCCC, UNCCD and CBD) . Some interministerial cooperation has been achieved around climate change adaptation through the AEDD, but the mainstreaming of resilience principles into sectors like agriculture, water and forestry, as envisaged in the 2007 NAPA, has not been effectively achieved. This is partly because of the ongoing security situation, the uneven presence of state institutions across the country, and the challenges of decentralization – which has built capacity at regional and cercle (district) levels, but has also caused confusing overlaps between local government and traditional authorities over natural resource management. In addition, Mali’s Land Degradation Neutrality country report to the UNCCD identifies a number of weaknesses that constrain effective implementation of policy, including: institutional conflicts between national directorates and specialized agencies of MEADD and other ministries; difficulty in inter-ministerial coordination around LDN and low-emission climate-resilient development, with significant overlaps in mandates; weak consultation between the focal points of the Rio Conventions, and a lack of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for consultations upstream of major national and international forums. These challenges are compounded by a high turnover of officials in AEDD and other key agencies. Mali has recently set overall targets for achieving LDN by 2030, through actions to reduce forest loss, regreen woodland and grassland areas, restore soil fertility, and protect wetlands. Still missing is the identification of key indicators (in most countries these are: (i) land cover and land cover change, (ii) land productivity and (iii) soil organic carbon), agreement how these will be measured and monitored, setting of baselines and targets, and then a detailed implementation plan for the actions required. Although climate vulnerability mapping has featured in some donor-funded projects, there is no long-term system for regular assessment and mapping nationwide, or for ongoing analysis of the links between security and climate change risks. Challenges identified in the 2019-2021 budget framework for MEADD include “the establishment of a monitoring system and continuous surveillance of the environment and the dynamics of forest and wildlife resources”.  Much data and monitoring capacity exists in Mali, scattered between different government departments and agencies, research institutes and universities, but there has been little coordination, and reporting on Mali’s progress to the MEAs is not done in a coherent and integrated fashion.

Barrier 2: Lack of a systemic approach to enhancing resilience of degraded production landscapes

There is a need for landscape restoration interventions to be piloted, adapted for local context and scaled up across the country, utilizing existing processes for cross-sectoral climate change adaptation planning for economic sectors, wherever possible. Mali,  and particularly the Mopti Region, has complex, interlinked socio-ecological systems built around grazing, farming and fishing that are increasingly vulnerable to climate impacts[6]. A number of donor-funded projects and programmes have tackled the challenges of restoring the productivity of land and water systems, and helping communities develop their capacity to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. What is missing, however, is a systemic approach that aligns such interventions within an overall strategy (see Barrier 1 above). Sectors of government, such as agriculture, economic development, livestock, fisheries, water and forestry, have limited budgets and little presence on the ground in the central regions. Where they are engaged in development activities, this tends to be sporadic and isolated, and interventions are not based on a systemic understanding of climate and other risks across the landscape, and how these can be managed in an integrated fashion. For example, a new pond may be dug, but no effort made to stabilize the river banks upstream, leading to the pond quickly silting up. In the central regions, with limited government presence, land use decisions are taken by local actors such as village chiefs, and there is no systematic land use policy or planning. There is a need to work with the resources that do exist on the ground and strengthen local governance of natural resources in a manner which enhances climate resilience, promotes peace, and allows for social inclusion and equity. Community NRM structures need to cooperate with customary mechanisms and committees to negotiate agreements between herding, farming and fishing communities on boundaries for grazing and farmland, access to pasture and water, timing and regulated migration. They also need to feed into local government land use and development planning, through the Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans of target cercles and communes. Technical training and support in accessing inputs is also needed for farming households (including women-headed households) to adapt farming practices to climate change, and restore land productivity through regeneration of tree cover in farmlands, and sustainable land and water management techniques, building on traditional knowledge and local preferences. Although donor-funded projects have led to some communal rehabilitation works to restore land and water resources (e.g. desilting water infrastructure, stabilizing dunes to prevent sand encroachment) and develop new water sources in a sustainable basis, there is a need for this work to be better coordinated, and scaled up, with work opportunities created especially for youth and internally displaced people.

Barrier 3: Insufficient support for households and communities wishing to diversify their production activities

As the changing climate puts increasing pressure on the natural ecosystems on which traditional livelihoods such as fishing, livestock-keeping and cereal-crop farming depend, there is a need to (i) adapt these practices to changing conditions, (ii) diversify into other activities which are less directly dependent on these fragile ecosystems, and (iii) generate cash income so households can buy the food and materials needed for enhanced resilience. This is particularly true in the central and northern regions, and it is here that government agencies have the least presence on the ground, which makes achieving effective agricultural extension support a challenge. In this context, there is a need for projects and programmes funded by government’s technical and financial partners to fill some of the gaps in the short term, and to help build government extension capacity for the longer term. At present, agricultural extension services are limited, and concentrated in the cotton-producing regions of the south, not in the mostly subsistence-oriented farmers in the central regions, whose agricultural yields are highly vulnerable to climate change, and who have little opportunity for diversification. Although there is potential for value-add activities e.g. processed products from fish grown in aquaculture ponds, or processed millet with a longer shelf, communities lack training on new opportunities, micro-finance and access to markets. There is also a lack of access to electricity for processing agri-products, and for cold storage, and while solar water heating is widespread, photovoltaic technology is more expensive and complex, and communities lack skills to install and maintain equipment. Although government has a number of programmes to support youth entrepreneurs, in practice access to opportunities has tended to be limited to young people in urban areas whose families have government connections. Such initiatives have generally focused on individuals involved in trading, and have not facilitated real entrepreneurial growth and job creation. There is a need to learn from the more successful initiatives (e.g. TETILITSO and DoniLab) and create links to these for emerging entrepreneurs in rural areas, including women, young people and internally displaced people, all of whom may have limited direct access to productive assets, but can get involved in value addition and new value chains. There is a particular need to support organizations for widowed women, who sometimes receive local government support, but are often left without access to land or productive assets because of discriminatory legislation and customary practices. Access to regular commercial loan finance is near-impossible for many rural entrepreneurs, especially youth and married women, but progressive microfinance opportunities do exist (e.g. APPIM, PMR) and even loan guarantees for promising projects (FGSPSA, ANPE’s FARE Fund), and need to be made accessible.

Barrier 4: Few opportunities for sharing learning across initiatives for evaluation and national scale-up

Although there is a large number of recent and current initiatives (see Section 2 below), and these initiatives do  monitor their own progress, there is little systematic effort to share learning between initiatives. (These include initiatives that address stabilization and peace-building, planning for climate change adaptation, early warning systems and flood protection, resilience of rural communities, integrated water resource management, biodiversity conservation, sustainable land and water management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.) There is also a tendency for pilot or demonstration activities carried out in a particular area to remain limited to that area. Regional platforms which were established to promote climate change adaptation across sectors have been successful while project funding lasts, but have not managed to sustain themselves thereafter. There is a need to harmonize and rationalize the knowledge management activities of a set of related initiatives that are important for achieving LDN and climate security. Related to Barrier 1, there is a need for agreement on ways to measure progress, so that the efforts of disparate initiatives can all be matched up against national targets. There is also much untapped potential for sharing the lessons of Mali’s Sahel zone with those of other countries – northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, northern Burkina Faso, southern Algeria, southwestern Niger, northern Nigeria, central Chad, central Sudan and northern Eritrea. There are a number of international initiatives under the umbrellas of the African Forest Landscapes Restoration Initiative (AFR-100) and the Great Green Wall which are generating learning about best practice, and effective and cost-effective ways of combating desertification in this region. In recent years, with the difficult security situation in Mali, lessons from Mali are not being shared optimally with the rest of the region and in international fora, and there is a need to create such opportunities. There are also barriers to effective monitoring and evaluation of donor-funded projects in Mali – because of the constraints under which many project management teams operate, evaluation is often limited to measuring the outputs of a project, and not finding creative ways to assess its overall impact; what really worked and what didn’t, and why; and how the positive impacts can be sustained and scaled up. Project monitoring is also rarely linked in to long term development of monitoring capacity at regional and national levels for purposes of MEA reporting.

Project overview

The proposed project involves strategies that will simultaneously combat land degradation / restore land productivity, help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, and promote peace-building, with the overarching goal of developing resilient rural communities in Mopti region. The main emphasis of the project, and the bulk of the proposed resources, are focused on activities on the ground involving communities and their structures, local government, and private sector actors – through Components 2 and 3. The project interventions in Component 1 support the on-the-ground efforts of Components 2 and 3, through creating an enabling environment that supports strategies for restoration of land productivity and climate change adaptation, and sets a baseline for and tracks changes in communities’ climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity. The project is very timely because the country has recently developed its programme for defining national targets for Land Degradation Neutrality, and is ready to enhance coordination for implementation of adaptation and re-greening strategies, and for tracking progress towards achievement of land degradation neutrality and climate security. In this alternative scenario, an LDN action plan is developed across all economic sectors for achieving the targets, and a monitoring system is set up – building on existing data to review and agree on baselines, targets, indicators and means of measurement. The project activities in Component 4 enable knowledge platforms for replication and scale-up, facilitating learning within and beyond Mopti Region, and sharing of lessons learnt with other countries of the Sahel zone. They also equip youths in Mopti to support on agroecological monitoring of project results and impacts, which can be fed back through the IER into the national action plan as a pilot for monitoring.

In this alternative scenario, significant resources are invested through the project in building resilience of highly vulnerable communities of Mopti to the impacts of climate change, in particular drought – expected to become more frequent and serious as a result of climate change, on top of human-induced degradation of agro-ecosystems. Since the nett result of these climate and anthropogenic effects is a shrinking of productive capacity, the focus in the alternative scenario is on project interventions that restore and enhance productive capacity – in the process also reducing competition over natural resources and enabling adaptation to climate change. In Component 2, there is an improvement in local governance through developing capacity of community natural resource management committees. This improved governance enables better decision-making on land use, including access to pastures and water – so that conflicts are avoided and natural regeneration of productive capacity is enabled. The component also involves intervening on the ground to: (i) restore crop / agroforestry productive capacity through equipping small-scale farmers to regreen their farmlands; (ii) maximize crop / agroforestry land productive capacity though supporting farmers on climate-smart agriculture and aquaculture; and (iii) restore pastureland productive capacity and water resources through communal restoration by the village-level committees.

As part of the alternative scenario there is a need to provide inputs on a sustainable basis to climate-smart agriculture, and to enable market access for its products. Selling climate-smart agricultural produce and value-added products will bring new income streams into households, and provide cash that can be used to improve nutritional status and strengthen homes against disaster. Such enhanced and diversified household incomes are important for building resilience against external shocks and stresses of all kinds – including civil conflict and climate hazards. In Component 3, technical assistance is provided for establishing cooperatives businesses involving youth and women. Some businesses may develop inputs for climate-smart agriculture, such as liquid fertilizer or agroforestry seedlings. Other businesses may enhance the economic sustainability of the climate-smart agri- and aquaculture by adding value to its products, e.g. primary processing of drought-resistant millet, or fish drying and smoking, and selling these products on local markets. Component 3 will also facilitate the incubation of sustainable youth-led businesses that can enable the productivity-enhancing adaptation strategies of Component 2, for example, businesses that enhance the supply of water for dry season vegetable irrigation, or energy for primary agri-processing activities at village level. Some youth might develop business concepts for more sophisticated levels of processing, for example, turning millet into snack foods, porridge, wine, nutrition powder or poultry feed. Scholarships will also be provided for local youth to obtain the skills for manufacture and maintenance of these technologies, where appropriate.

As part of the alternative scenario, climate change adaptation co-finance from financial and technical partners of the Government of Mali will contribute to enhancing resilience of degraded production landscapes through rehabilitation efforts, including a GCF program on climate change adaptation in the Niger basin (including Mopti) and two partnerships with the government of Canada through FAO on climate-resilient agriculture for food security. A project also funded by Canada, through IFAD, on access to finance for agricultural value chains, including in the central regions, will support the GEFTF/LDCF project’s Component 3, which aims to develop capacity of farm households to innovate and adopt resilient and sustainable livelihoods. Pression with private sector partners agreed business incubation hub is proposed for Output 3.2, supporting youth on climate-smart agri business incubation and technology for adaptation. An investment by the government of Monaco on women’s livelihoods will support Output 3.1 on building household adaptive capacity through supporting value chains for climate-resilient crops and products.

Activities in Components 2 and 3 of the project will be focused in three target landscapes in Mopti Region. These landscapes, to be made up of clusters of Communes (rural municipalities), for example across a micro-watershed, may be focused in any of the 8 Cercles (districts) of Mopti Region, and the exact target landscapes will be selected during the PPG phase. At that time, a security analysis will be conducted to understand the extent to which the security situation in specific Cercles enables or prevents the carrying out of project activities. Depending on the security situation, a case could be made for focusing on the three Cercles of Youwarou, Douentza and Koro. These three cercles are the districts of Mopti where studies show that communities are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This includes studies by GIZ undertaken in 2019, confirming the findings as indicated on the map below – from a detailed climate vulnerability analysis conducted through USAID in 2014 (northern part of country not included due to low population density). This map shows cumulative results for vulnerability, using various indicators for (i) biophysical exposure to climate hazards, (ii) socio-economic sensitivity, and (iii) adaptive capacity. The three cercles also include two of the five natural regions of the Sahel identified as hotspots of land degradation in Mali’s 2020 Land Degradation Neutrality Report – the Gourma hotspot, and the Gondo-Mondoro hotspot. The Youwarou Cercle also includes a portion of the inland Niger Delta which is flooded annually and provides critical seasonal resources for hundreds of fishing, farming and pastoralist communities. The delta zone is highly vulnerable to climate change and human-induced degradation, and simultaneously forms the poses an enormous asset for the Mopti Region in building resilience. The precise clusters of communes (target landscapes) to be involved will be decided during the project preparation phase, since travel has not been possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategy and action framework for response to the COVID-19 pandemic: In the alternative scenario, the project contributes to the Government’s response to the pandemic, supported by the United Nations (UN) and other financial and technical partners. According to a rapid analysis by the UN Country Team of the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Mali, the indirect socio-economic impacts are likely to be even more devastating than the direct health effects. The study, conducted in May 2020, observed a sharp loss of jobs in the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy, and reported that 4 million children were estimated to be out of school. The study’s projections for the country as a result of global economic slowdown include: a decline of 0.9% in GDP for 2020 (as against 5% growth in 2019), an increase of the number of people living in extreme poverty by 800,000, an increase in the need for food assistance by 70%, and loss of state revenue causing the debt burden to increase from 39% to 45% of GDP.

During the PPG, the UNDP Mali Country Office will support the consultant team to conduct regular assessments of both the security situation and COVID-19 pandemic impacts in the country, and specifically in Mopti Region, and to put in place appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all stakeholders involved in project design and implementation. This will take into account (i) what impact the pandemic (or measures to contain it) has had on government capacity/resources to implement the work proposed in the project (or other baseline initiatives), either at the enabling level or practically; (ii) how targeted project beneficiaries have been affected (e.g. disruption of supply chains, price increases etc); and (iii) how will implementation be affected if there is recurrent outbreaks of this or other diseases during implementation.

The proposed project strategy is to contributes in two ways to assisting the Government of Mali with a “green recovery” from the pandemic, building on UNDP’s support to Government, and on the Government’s commitment of new resources for social protection, corresponding to 1.3% of GDP. This strategy responds to the guidance document “GEF’s Response to COVID-19”, and has a dual action framework including for alignment of the project goals with the response and recovery strategies: 

1. Actions to support COVID-19 response in the short-term: The proposed project has been designed to maximize opportunities for job creation and training, local economic development, and productivity improvements, as follows:

Job creation through small business development: In Output 3.2 of the project, youth-led climate-smart agribusinesses, technologies and services are developed. This includes work to: (i) provide opportunities for local youth from target communities to receive entrepreneurship training in existing incubator programmes in Mopti city; (ii) promote access to loan finance and loan guarantees for youth with solid business plans and family/community backing – in agri-processing and climate-smart technologies. In Output 2.2, training is provided in 9-12 target communes in Mopti to develop farmers’ capacity for Assisted Natural Regeneration and other Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) techniques, building on traditional knowledge and local preferences.

Productivity improvements: In Output 2.2 of the project, technical and financial support are provided to farming households (including women headed households) to adapt farming practices to climate change, and restore farm productivity. This includes work to: (i) form agro-ecological farmer’s groups / Farmer Field Schools, including women farmers, and establish demonstration plots for train-the-trainer activities; (ii) provide heads of households (male and female) with regeneration incentive package (e.g. shears, pickaxe, wheelbarrow, boots and gloves); and (iii) promote climate-smart agriculture – including new drought-resistant local crops/varieties, improved pest management, fodder and fruit trees, and dry season gardening schemes, providing training and equipment, (e.g. seeds, seedlings, polyethylene bags, watering cans and spades).

2. Actions to support COVID-19 response in the long-term: The proposed project has been designed to maximize opportunities for strengthening supply chains, consistent with long-term decarbonization targets, and increasing natural and economic resilience and adaptive capacity, as follows:

Strengthening supply chains: In Output 3.1 of the project, new value chains for climate-resilient crops and processed products are identified and catalyzed. This includes work to: (i) empower organizations of widowed women with climate-smart business and leadership training; (ii) support / establish women producer associations and cooperatives of youth and displaced people e.g. for processing of cereal crops, fish drying and smoking, liquid fertilizer, seedling nurseries etc., conducting value chain analysis and market studies with them; and (iii) support set-up and first two years of operation of cooperative climate-smart businesses – including partnerships for land and infrastructure, technical training and business planning, market access and savings groups/micro-credit.

Supporting long-term decarbonization targets: Output 3.2 of the project involves creating scholarships for local youth to be trained in supply and maintenance of solar PV technology for adaptation activities (water pumps and agri-processing for adaptation). Solar power also support low-emissions development strategies and decarbonization targets as part of the post-COVID green recovery.  

Increasing natural and economic resilience and adaptive capacity: In Output 2.4 of the project, land and water resources (outside of family farms) are restored through communal restoration works for ecosystem-based adaptation. This includes work to: (i) train community resource management committees and community members, including youth and displaced persons, to analyze adaptation needs, and to plan, carry out and monitor rehabilitation efforts; (ii) equip commune / village-level committees and carry out plantings for rehabilitation of pastureland and protection of villages from sand encroachment; (iii) equip committees to develop and sustainably restore watercourses (channels, rivers, ponds, pools) and carry out rehabilitation works; and (iv) equip committees to construct/rehabilitate communal earth dams, and wells with solar PV-powered pumps, to increase household water supply and irrigation (for Output 2.1).

*References available in project documents.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Component 1: Enhancing coordination and monitoring for land degradation neutrality and climate security. The planned outcome of this component is that capacity is improved for national coordination and monitoring, to achieve implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality targets. Given the current high level of uncertainty around the political transition in Mali, the AEDD will be supported on this component by the Mali Geographic Institute (IGM)[1] and the Institute of Rural Economy (IER)[2]. These institutes will be responsible respectively for undertaking capacity needs and gap analyses, and designing capacity development interventions on two fronts: for preparing climate risk and vulnerability assessments and maps (LDCF) and for achieving and monitoring targets for Land Degradation Neutrality (GEFTF). This will involve work at national level around LDN targets, building on existing data to review and agree on baselines, targets, indicators and means of measurement / monitoring, and enable long-term monitoring plots through unlocking research partnerships. Following global trends, indicators may focus on the three core areas of land cover and land cover change, land productivity and soil organic carbon[3]. Over the six-year project period, training will be conducted at regional levels in all of Mali’s 8 regions for climate vulnerability assessment and mapping. This component will link to Component 4, where youth monitors will be trained in the target landscapes of Mopti to pilot “bottom-up” monitoring that can feed into the “top-down” national monitoring through satellite data.

Output 1.1: Action plan for achieving and monitoring targets for Land Degradation Neutrality (GEFTF)

    Conduct survey to assess government and partner capacity for implementing strategies and actions for LDN, and enforcing relevant legislation

    Undertake review of natural resource legislation to harmonize and address gaps for effective management and restoration, including potential tree tenure reform as the basis for effective Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR)[4]

    Hold a series of workshops led by Mali’s Institute of Rural Economy (IER) with government (national, regional, cercle[5] levels represented), research and civil society partners to develop an action plan for achieving and monitoring targets for Land Degradation Neutrality

Output 1.2: Regional biennial climate risk and vulnerability assessments and maps developed, with an application of security sensitivity framework (LDCF)

    The Mali Geographic Institute (IGM) to work with Météo Mali to develop a common methodology for measuring the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities to climate change, building on existing initiatives[6]

    Conduct training for youth from all 8 regions to carry out assessment, with household surveys and ground-truthing of maps

    Carry out a biennial climate change vulnerability assessment and mapping across all 8 regions of Mali

    Report results to the public, analyzing links between security and climate change risks, and providing a spatial risk analysis with recommended mitigation and governance actions

Component 2: Enhancing resilience of degraded  production landscapes with communities vulnerable to climate change. The planned outcome of this component is that productivity is restored and yields increased in vulnerable grazing,  farming and fishing landscapes through effective community management in three target landscapes of Mopti Region, potentially in the highly vulnerable cercles of Youwarou, Douentza and Koro (to be finalized and specific sites to be determined in PPG). The component involves the clusters of work outlined below – strengthening natural resource management through capacitated community committees structures and agreements between herders and farmers; supporting farmers to undertake climate-smart agriculture and regreening efforts on their land; and undertaking communal restoration works for grazing land and water resources. The agriculture and agroforestry activities here will also be linked to small business development in Component 3, prioritizing opportunities for women and youth. There will be further discussions with stakeholders in local government and communities level during the project preparation phase, to achieve an understanding of communities’ adaptive capacity and needs, any underlying sources of competition or conflict, and what would work in a particular socio-ecological system, ensuring that specific project interventions are carefully designed to promote peace and reconciliation between communities in target landscapes in Mopti, and to avoid unintentionally feeding into underlying tensions or conflicts – applying a conflict-sensitive adaptation approach. 

 

Output 2.1: Community natural resource management committees are established and adaptation actions are embedded in local development plans (GEFTF)

    Undertake baseline survey and annual update with communities in 9-12 target communes in Mopti[7] on climate vulnerability, adaptive capacity, production practices and livelihood activities, and household income, using this as a pilot for national system

    Integrate community land management for adaptation and rehabilitation into the Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans and budgetiung frameworks of Cercle Councils and Commune Councils[8]

    Build new or redynamize existing community resource management committees at village level[9], involving women and youth

    Use customary mechanisms and committees to negotiate, formalize and uphold agreements between herding, farming and fishing communities on boundaries for grazing and farmland, access to pasture and water, timing and regulated migration, and NRM[10] agreements (including pastoral corridors)

Output 2.2: Training and inputs provided to farmers in 9-12 target communes in Mopti for regreening of farmlands (GEFTF)

    Provide training to develop farmers’[11] capacity for Assisted Natural Regeneration[12] and other Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM)[13] techniques, building on traditional knowledge and local preferences

    Form agro-ecological farmer’s groups / Farmer Field Schools, including women farmers, and establish demonstration plots for train-the-trainer activities

    Provide heads of households (male and female) with regeneration incentive package (e.g. shears, pickaxe, wheelbarrow, boots and gloves)

Output 2.3: Capacity development programme for climate-smart agriculture delivered to farm households in target communes (LDCF)

    Provide training and inputs[14] – including new drought-resistant local crops/varieties, improved pest management, fodder and fruit trees, and dry season gardening schemes

    Advocate for climate-smart agriculture and SLWM through developing and piloting in local languages: a radio programme, a short message service for farmers, a capacitated network of traditional communicators, and materials for schools

Output 2.4: Communal restoration work undertaken over 21,000 hectares of degraded grass/shrubland and wetlands (LDCF)

    Train community resource management committees and community members, including youth and displaced persons, to analyze adaptation needs, and to plan, carry out and monitor rehabilitation efforts

    Equip commune / village-level committees and carry out plantings for rehabilitation of pastureland and protection of villages from sand encroachment

    Equip committees to develop and sustainably restore watercourses (channels, rivers, ponds, pools) and carry out rehabilitation works

    Equip committees to construct/rehabilitate communal earth dams, and wells with solar PV-powered pumps, to increase household water supply and irrigation (for Output 2.1)

Component 3: Supporting family farms, youth and women to innovate and adopt resilient and sustainable livelihoods. The planned outcome of this component is that rural households and community-based organizations enhance their resilience to conflict and climate change by restarting and diversifying productive activities and businesses that spread household risk, whilst simultaneously provide inputs to climate-smart agriculture, or adding value to climate-smart agricultural products. The component involves two clusters of work outlined below – (i) supporting the strengthening / establishment of small agri-businesses and cooperatives at village level, (based on the enhanced and diversified production stimulated in Component 2); and (ii) linking these to value chains beyond the village through targeted support to youth entrepreneurs. Further discussion will be held with stakeholders in the private sector, government and civil society during the project preparation phase, including scoping of potential in particular target landscapes, and what partnerships can be forged with agribusiness innovation hubs, and providers of micro-finance and technical training in Mopti city.

Output 3.1: New cooperative climate-smart businesses established involving women, youth and displaced people (LDCF)

    Empower organizations of widowed women with climate-smart business and leadership training

    Support / establish women producer associations and cooperatives of youth and displaced people e.g. for processing of cereal crops, fish drying and smoking, liquid fertilizer, seedling nurseries etc., conducting value chain analysis and market studies with them

    Support set-up and first two years of operation of cooperative climate-smart businesses – including partnerships for land and infrastructure, technical training and business planning, market access and savings groups/micro-credit[15]

Output 3.2: Entrepreneurship training and business incubation services provided to youth from target landscapes for adaptation-linked business ideas (LDCF)

    Provide opportunities for local youth from target communities to receive entrepreneurship training in existing incubator programmes in Mopti city

    Promote access to loan finance and loan guarantees for youth with solid business plans and family/community backing – in agri-processing and climate-smart technologies

    Create scholarships for local youth to be trained e.g. in maintenance of solar PV systems (supporting adaptation activities)[16].

Component 4: Monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management for upscaling. The planned outcome is that project impacts are monitored and learning shared for scale-up of results across Sahel regions of Mali, and beyond. This involves two proposed outputs, with indicative activities for further discussion with stakeholders in national and regional government agencies, research institutions, development partners and civil society. The two clusters of work are outlined below – (i) creating platforms for scaling up the project learning across Mali and the Sahel; and (ii) facilitating learning exchanges and training of youth to feed into a monitoring system, both for the project, and also feeding into the implementation and monitoring of the LDN action plan in Component 1.

Output 4.1: Knowledge platform operational for coordination and lessons sharing among stakeholders at commune, cercle, region, national and international levels (GEFTF)

    Establish a knowledge platform with online and face-to-face elements, including project stakeholders and all related initiatives (peace-building, adaptation, mitigation, sustainable agriculture etc)

    Hold annual multi-stakeholder dialogues through the platform in target Cercles and Mopti Region to address interrelated challenges of SLWM, peace and climate security

    Host a national learning event[17] on Climate Security and Sustainable NRM to share learning from project, inviting participation by other conflict-affected Sahelian countries[18] to promote South-South engagement

    Produce a lessons learnt publication and series of short videos and use these as basis for participation by Mali in international forums to disseminate lessons learnt

Output 4.2: A participatory M&E and learning framework is developed and implemented for project as a whole (including sites for Component 2 and 3 activities) (LDCF)

    Develop, implement and monitor youth and gender action plans for project

    Arrange learning exchange visits to share experiences in climate change adaptation and agro-ecological restoration between target villages, communes and cercles

    Operationalize the mechanism for monitoring changes in agro-ecological ecosystem condition, adaptive capacity and resilience in the Mopti region, including training and equipping youth monitors who feed data back via the Institute for Rural Economy to the national LDN action plan

_____________________________

[1] The Mali Geographic Institute (IGM) is in charge of the production, maintenance and diffusion of geographic reference information in Mali, including on land cover, land use and land degradation.

[2] The Institute of Rural Economy (IER) is the main research institution in Mali for the implementation of the national agricultural research policy, covering all of Mali's agro-ecological zones, and addressing climate change vulnerability and adaptation strategies.

[3] UNCCD (2016) Scaling up Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting - from Lessons to Actions: 14 Pilot Countries’ Experiences

[4] Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) or la Régénération Naturelle Assistée (RNA) is the term used in Mali for Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), as the most successful proven technique for sustainable regreening in the Sahel - see https://fmnrhub.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/FMNR-Field-Manual_DIGITAL_FA.pdf or http://fmnrhub.com.au/regeneration-assistee/ or https://regreeningafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FMNR-Booklet-French_High-Res_web.pdf

[5]A cercle is a rural district

[6] Potential exists for co-financing from the German Government, building on the 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment in Mali by MERADD and AEDD in Partnership with GIZ, funded by BMZ.

[7] Component 1 and 4 of the project will be carried out at national scale, as well as with the regional government of Mopti Region. Components 2 and 3 of the project are proposed to take place in three target landscapes, to be selected during the project preparation phase, according to criteria agreed by the Technical Committee under AEDD, in consultation with stakeholders. A target landscape could, for example: (i) involve 3-4 contiguous communes, in a particular cercle (or crossing cercle boundaries if this makes sense ecologically; (ii) be in an area shown on the map below as vulnerable or highly vulnerable to climate change; and (iii) have visible evidence of ecosystem degradation, for example, thinned woodland, bare soils, silted waterways, or sand-encroached dwellings.

[8] A commune is a rural municipality

[9] Potentially in all the villages of the 9-12 target communes

[10] Natural Resource Management

[11] Including farming households headed by women (including widows and divorced women)

[12] Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) or la Régénération Naturelle Assistée (RNA) is the name given in Mali to the concept sometimes known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration. This approach has proven highly effective in the Sahel context and has multiple benefits – it can restore land productivity, reverse desertification and enhance resilience to disaster: increasing crop yields, improving groundwater recharge, retaining soil moisture, and increasing soil organic carbon, nutrient recycling, shade, wind and dust barriers, fodder and compost production and availability of fruit and medicine.

[13] For example, soil and water conservation strategies such as digging half-moon pits, contour bunds with stone, banquets etc.

[14] e.g. seeds, seedlings, polyethylene bags, watering cans and spades

[15] Potentially in partnership with the National Agency for Youth Employment, and with entrepreneurship support providers such as TETELISO and Doni-Labs

[16] Potentially in partnership with the Renewable Energy Agency

[17] Potentially through a partnership with the UN Peacebuilding Forum

[18] Particularly through existing GEF projects in these countries with related goals, which may have resources to enable such participation

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

Component 1: Enhancing coordination and monitoring for land degradation neutrality and climate security.

Component 2: Enhancing resilience of degraded  production landscapes with communities vulnerable to climate change.

Component 3: Supporting family farms, youth and women to innovate and adopt resilient and sustainable  livelihoods.

Component 4: Monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management for upscaling.

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2027
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
October 2020
Description: 
PIF Approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
6317
SDGs: 
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 14 - Life Below Water
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Landscape restoration for increased resilience in urban and peri-urban areas of Bujumbura in Burundi

The proposed "Landscape restoration for increased resilience in urban and peri-urban areas of Bujumbura in Burundi" project 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.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (29.539672772821 -3.3803614343783)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
120,000 direct beneficiaries
Financing Amount: 
US$8.2 million
Co-Financing Total: 
US$16 million
Project Details: 

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.

COVID-19

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.

Project overview

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.

Barriers

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.

 

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

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[1]. 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[2]. 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.



[1] Analyse intégrée de la Vulnérabilité au Burundi. GIZ, December 2014.

[2] Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Options, costs and benefits, UNEP, 2013.

 

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

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.

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2026
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
October 2020
Description: 
PIF Approval
Proj_PIMS_id: 
5879
SDGs: 
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action

Community-Based Climate-Responsive Livelihoods and Forestry in Afghanistan

Around 71 percent of Afghans live in rural areas, with nearly 90 percent of this population generating the majority of their household income from agriculture-related activities.

In addition to crop and livestock supported livelihoods, many rural households depend on other ecosystem goods and services for their daily needs, for example water, food, timber, firewood and medicinal plants.

The availability of these resources is challenged by unsustainable use and growing demand related to rapid population growth. Climate change is compounding the challenges: more frequent and prolonged droughts, erratic precipitation (including snowfall and rainfall), and inconsistent temperatures are directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of households, with poorer families particularly vulnerable.

Focused on Ghazni, Samangan, Kunar and Paktia provinces, the proposed project will take a multi-faceted approach addressing sustainable land management and restoration while strengthening the capacities of government and communities to respond to climate change.

English
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
The project will target a total of 80,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries (20,000 per each province), of which 50% are women.
Financing Amount: 
GEF-Least Developed Countries Fund: US$8,982,420
Co-Financing Total: 
Co-financing of $14 million (In-Kind) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock – Afghanistan | US$5 million (In-Kind) from ADB | + $1 million (grant) from UNDP
Project Details: 

Climate change scenarios for Afghanistan (Landell Mills, 2016) suggest temperature increases of 1.4-4.0°C by the 2060s (from 1970-1999 averages), and a corresponding decrease in rainfall and more irregular precipitation patterns.

According to Afghanistan’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), the worsening climatic conditions in Afghanistan will continue to impact negatively upon socio-economic development, creating multiple impacts for given sectors. Sectors such as agriculture and water resources are likely to be severely impacted by changes in climate.

Increasing temperatures and warmer winters have begun to accelerate the natural melting cycle of snow and ice that accumulate on mountains – a major source of water in Afghanistan.

Elevated temperatures are causing earlier than normal seasonal melt, resulting in an increased flow of water to river basins before it is needed. The temperature change is also reducing the water holding capacity of frozen reservoirs. Furthermore, higher rates of evaporation and evapotranspiration are not allowing the already scant rainfall to fully compensate the water cycle. This has further exacerbated water scarcity.

Seasonal precipitation patterns are also changing, with drier conditions predicted for most of Afghanistan. Southern provinces will be especially affected (Savage et al. 2009).  

Timing of the rainfall is also causing a problem. Rainfall events starting earlier than normal in the winter season are causing faster snowmelt and reduced snowfall.

Together, these factors reduce the amount of accumulated snow and ice lying on the mountains.

Furthermore, shorter bursts of intensified rainfall have increased incidence of flooding with overflowing riverbanks and sheet flow damaging crops and the overall resilience of agricultural sector. On the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan is also likely to experience worsening droughts. These climate related challenges have and will continue to impact precipitation, water storage and flow.

Floods and other extreme weather events are causing damage to economic assets as well as homes and community buildings.

Droughts are resulting in losses suffered by farmers through reduced crop yields as well as to pastoralists through livestock deaths from insufficient supplies of water, forage on pastures and supplementary fodder.

In its design and implementation, the project addresses the following key barriers to climate change adaptation:

Barrier 1: Existing development plans and actions at community level do not sufficiently take into consideration and address impacts of climate change on current and future livelihood needs. This is caused by a lack of specific capacity at national and subnational level to support communities with specific advice on how to assess climate change risk and vulnerabilities and address these at local level planning. Communities and their representative bodies also lack awareness about ongoing and projected climate change and its impact on their particular livelihoods. Also risks and resource limitations, which are not related to climate change, are not always understood at all levels; and subsequently they cannot be addressed. This is connected with an insufficient understanding within the communities of the risks affecting their current and future livelihoods, including gender- and age-specific risks. As a result, climate change-related risks and issues are not sufficiently addressed by area-specific solutions for adaptation and risk mitigation in community as well as sub-national and national planning.

Barrier 2: Limited knowledge of climate-resilient water infrastructure design and climate-related livelihood support (technical capacity barrier): Entities at national and sub-national levels have insufficient institutional and human resource capacities related to water infrastructure design and climate-related livelihoods support. Given that the main adverse impact of climate change in Afghanistan is increased rainfall variability and overall aridity, the inability to master climate-resilient water harvest techniques and manage infrastructure contributes significantly to Afghanistan’s vulnerability.

Barrier 3: Limited availability and use of information on adaptation options (Information and coordination barrier): At the community level, there are a limited number of adaptation examples to provide demonstrable evidence of the benefits of improving climate resilience. At the same time, there is limited information about alternative livelihood options, rights and entitlements, new agricultural methods, and credit programs that have worked to reduce the vulnerability to climate change.

Barrier 4: Limited capacity in the forest department, lack of forest inventories, geo-spatial data and mapping are preventing adequate management of forest ecosystems. The predicted impact of projected climate change on forests and rangelands as well as the adaptation potential of these ecosystems are insufficiently assessed. This causes a lack of climate smart forest management, an unregulated and unsustainable exploitation of forests by local people and outsiders, leading to forest and rangeland degradation, which is accelerated by climate change and therefore limits their ecosystem services for vulnerable local communities.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Component 1:  Capacities of national and sub-national governments and communities are strengthened to address climate change impacts.

Output 1.1 Gender-sensitive climate change risk and vulnerability assessments introduced to identify and integrate gender responsive risk reduction solutions into community and sub-national climate change adaptation planning and budgeting

Output 1.2 All targeted communities are trained to assess climate risks, plan for and implement adaptation measures

Component 2: Restoration of degraded land and climate-resilient livelihood interventions

Output 2.1 Scalable approaches for restoration of lands affected by climate change driven desertification and/ or erosion introduced in pilot areas.

Output 2.2 Small-scale rural water infrastructure and new water technologies introduced at community level.

Output 2.3 Climate resilient and diverse livelihoods established through introduction of technologies, training of local women and men and assistance in understanding of and access to markets and payment instruments.

Component 3: Natural forests sustainably managed and new forest areas established by reforestation

Output 3.1 Provincial forest maps and information management system established and maintained

Output 3.2 Provincial climate-smart forest management plans developed

Output 3.3 Community based forestry established and contributing to climate change resilient forest management

Component 4: Knowledge management and M&E

Output 4.1 A local level participatory M&E System for monitoring of community-based interventions on the ground designed.

Output 4.2. Improved adaptive management through enhanced information and knowledge sharing and effective M&E System

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

Under Component 4, the project will establish a local-level participatory M&E system for monitoring community-based interventions on the ground, while improving adaptive management through enhanced information and knowledge-sharing.

A national resource center for Sustainable Land Management and Sustainable Forest Management will be established.

A local-level, participatory M&E system for monitoring of Sustainable Land Management and Sustainable Forest Management will be designed.

Participatory M&E of rangeland and forest conditions – including biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration – will be undertaken.

Best-practice guidelines on rangeland and forest restoration and management will be developed and disseminated.

Lessons learned on Sustainable Land Management and Sustainable Forest Management practices in Nuristan, Kunar, Badghis, Uruzgan, Ghazni and Bamyan provinces will be collated and disseminated nationwide.

Annual monitoring and reporting, as well as independent mid-term review of the project and terminal evaluation, will be conducted in line with UNDP and Global Environment Facility requirements.

Contacts: 
UNDP
Karma Lodey Rapten
Regional Technical Specialist, Climate Change Adaptation
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Project Status: 
Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Component 1:  Capacities of national and sub-national governments and communities are strengthened to address climate change impacts.

Component 2: Restoration of degraded land and climate-resilient livelihood interventions

Component 3: Natural forests sustainably managed and new forest areas established by reforestation

Component 4: Knowledge management and M&E

 

Project Dates: 
2021 to 2026
Timeline: 
Month-Year: 
November 2020
Description: 
PIF and Project Preparation Grant approved by GEF
Proj_PIMS_id: 
6406
SDGs: 
SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 15 - Life On Land

Improving Adaptive Capacity and Risk Management of Rural Communities in Mongolia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

UNDP will perform monitoring, evaluation and reporting throughout the reporting period, in compliance with the UNDP POPP, the UNDP Evaluation Policy.

The primary responsibility for day-today project monitoring and implementation rests with the Project Manager.  UNDP’s Country Office will support the Project Manager as needed, including through annual supervision missions.

Key reports include annual performance reports (APR) for each year of project implementation; an independent mid-term review (MTR); and an independent terminal evaluation (TE) no later than three months prior to operational closure of the project.

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

The final project APR along with the terminal evaluation report and corresponding management response will serve as the final project report package and will be made available to the public on UNDP’s Evaluation Resource Centre.

The UNDP Country Office will retain all M&E records for this project for up to seven years after project financial closure in order to support ex-post evaluations.

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

Inception workshop 2021, TBC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

General context

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

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

Impacts of climate change

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

About the project under development

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

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

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

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

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

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

Addressing gender equality

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

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

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

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

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Component 3: Knowledge management and monitoring, evaluation and learning 

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

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

 

Monitoring & Evaluation: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Component 3: Knowledge management and monitoring, evaluation and learning 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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