Taxonomy Term List
The main project objective is reducing the vulnerability of communities and productive ecosystems in the Municipality of San Francisco Menendez to drought risk, soil erosion, and flash floods due to climate change and climate variability. The project will integrate forest landscape restoration as a climate change adaptation strategy targeted towards increasing forest cover, improving the hydrological cycle, increasing the amount of available water, and regulating surface and groundwater flows, while maintaining and improving water supply and quality. The project landscape approach will ensure that land degradation is reduced (or reversed) and that productivity is maintained and made resilient to climate change impact, thus contributing to better food security and community resilience. By ensuring and enabling institutional and governance environment, the project will generate coordinated and informed actors with the capacity to address appropriate adaptation measures in the medium and long term thus resulting in a genuine local resilience to climate change.
The project will meet its objective by restoring 3,865Ha of forest landscape within San Francisco Menendez, through a landscape-based ecosystem intervention that will focus on the restoration of critical landscapes and enhance its capacity to manage droughts, soil erosion and flash floods; promoting and implementing climate resilient and economically viable productive alternatives in the region that address the economic vulnerability being faced in the region as traditional agricultural systems have become less productive due to climate change; generating climate and hydrological information products in the region to identify and monitor the impact of climate change in the landscape and also the effectiveness of ecosystem based interventions in their management to improve local and national responses; and enhancing local capacity to take concerted action in addressing climate change impact, prioritizing adaptation interventions and mobilizing the financing necessary for their implementation.
- El Salvador has been identified by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the countries with the highest sensitivity to climate change. According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, the country is characterized by a high exposure to geoclimatic threats, resulting from its location and topography, exacerbating climate change induced risk and vulnerability of human settlements and ecosystems. The Global Climate Risk Index for the period between 1997 to 2016, covering both human and economic impacts, ranks El Salvador 16th in the world, emphasizing the country’s high vulnerability to extreme climate events. There is ample evidence of climate change and variability affecting all sectors of society and economy, at different spatial and temporal scales, from intra-seasonal to long-term variability as a result of large-scale cyclical phenomena. A study from The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) found that between 1980 to 2008, an average of 1.5 natural disasters per year resulted in nearly 7,000 human casualties, affecting 2.9 million people, and costing US $470 million to the central government (amount that is equivalent to 4.2% of the Gross Domestic Product). The country of El Salvador spends an equivalent to 1.1% of its total GDP with dealing with climate change related impacts and infrastructure every year on average.
- El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America (342 people per km²) with a population of approximately 6.46 million inhabitants, of which 52.9% are women. The country’s territory totals 21,040 km², with a rugged topography (50% of total land mass has slopes of over 15%), highly erodible soils and the lowest per capita availability of freshwater in Central America5. According to the measurement of compound poverty, 35.2% of the total Salvadoran households are poor, equivalent to 606,000 homes to approximately 2.6 million people. Similarly, the multidimensional poverty rate in rural areas is 58.5%, and 22.5% in urban areas. Thirty-eight percent of the country’s population resides in rural or non-urban areas, of which 20% are women. In all the departments, other than one, over 50% of rural households are multidimensionally poor and as such are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change (Figure 1). Homes with this condition have the following deprivations: 37% food insecurity; 49% lack of access to drinking water; 83.7% no access to public health.
- Sixty percent of the national territory is devoted to agriculture, which is the main source of livelihood for the rural population in the country. About 36% of the total country territory is arable land, with corn as the main subsistence crop, followed by rice, beans, oilseeds, and sorghum, and with the cultivation of coffee and sugar cane as major cash crops The effects of climate change, as observed over recent years, have directly affected the productivity across the whole spectrum of the agricultural sector, with significant impacts on smallholder farming. According to the last agricultural census, there are more than 325,000 producers of basic grains who work in land parcels of sizes ranging between 0.7-3 hectares. Not surprisingly, 52.4% of the farmers organize their agricultural activity in parcels averaging 0.7 hectares, with an average corn production of 1.427 kg/ha. This production may satisfy the immediate needs of a family household (requiring only 1,300 kg of corn per year), but is significantly lower than the national average production (2,575 kg/ha). Impact from extreme weather such as the tropical storm Mitch (1998) caused damages and total loss of US $388.1 million, with US $158.3 million (40.8% of the total) impacting the agricultural sector. The 2001, drought reported damages and loss for US $31.4 million and 81% for the farming industry. Hurricane Stan (2005) caused US $355.6 million in damages and loss, US $48.7 million and 13.7% of the total for the agricultural sector. The Tropical Depression Twelve-E (DT 12-E) in 2011 carried a price tag of US $306 million in damages and losses in the agricultural sector. Between 2014 and 2015, losses in agriculture, as a result of severe drought, costed the country more than US $140 million, with greater impact felt on subsistence crops (corn and beans), as well as in the dairy industry which lost more than 10% of its production. The sustained dry spell followed by high temperatures, has also caused severe damage to the health of human populations, to the broader agricultural sector, and the natural environment. Furthermore, the reduction or deficiency in rainfall over the period has also affected the availability and quality of superficial and underground water resources.
Extreme weather hazards and climate change in El Salvador
- El Salvador is currently impacted by the effects of climate variability and change, with highly variable rainfall patterns, both spatial and temporal, which is leading to an increase in the number of extreme climatic events (i.e. tropical cyclones, floods and droughts). Over time, El Salvador has passed from experiencing one event per decade in the sixties and seventies, two in the eighties, four in the nineties, to eight extreme events in the last decade. This shows a shift from previous decades, when extreme events hitting the country would originate mostly from the Atlantic Ocean, and had its first wave of impacts mitigated by the land mass of neighbouring countries. This is no longer the case, since the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones originating from both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans has increased over the past two decades.
- Studies from the National Service of Territorial Studies (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, SNET) reveal that at least 10% of the country is prone to floods, 20% percent is exposed to landslides, 50% is affected by drought. The poorest segments of the population are particularly hit by natural disasters, as they are more likely to live in hazardous parts of the territory, such as flood plains, river banks, steep slopes, and fragile buildings in densely populated zones.
- In 2014, the average accumulated rain for July ended as the lowest in the last 44 years on record, and in 2015 the average accumulated rain during the rainy season was the lowest ever recorded, reaching only 63% of what should be expected given normal historic climate conditions (Figure 4). Extended drought periods in the country, have traditionally been followed by high temperatures, hindering progress and functioning of important sectors of the economy, including agriculture, health, water resources, and energy. According to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approximations from Central America’s main the prima harvest for 2015 showed a decline of 60% in the total maize harvest, and 80% in the total beans harvest due to drier than normal weather conditions.
- Consecutive dry years, in which the dry spells last for extended periods of time, have become more frequent due to climate change. This has had wide spread effect across different sectors, consequently increasing risk and vulnerability of populations in El Salvador. Most importantly, this causes reduction on the availability of food (also affecting its access and use), due to impacts on income and basic goods availability in certain regions of the country, with serious social and economic impacts in the long-term. Furthermore, extended drought periods in the region has made landscapes more susceptible to soil erosion, floods and landslides, especially in the advent of localized rainfall in excess. Droughts in El Salvador are also known for causing fluctuations in food prices, plant pests epidemic, animal disease propagation, financial and political instability.
National Climate Scenarios
- The climate change scenarios indicate that in the coming years, El Salvador will experience more intense, and more frequent, extreme events. According to the projected scenarios, the country will consistently face reductions in precipitation and constant increases in temperature (Figure 5). The National Climate Scenarios produced by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) show that over the course of this century, the average temperatures (maximum and minimum averages) will increase considerably, with the magnitude of the change being most marked for the period 2071-2100.
- Average and minimum temperature will shift considerably between the periods 2021-2050 and 2071-2100 under all climatic scenarios. This represent changes between 1 °C and 3 °C and up to 4.5 °C towards the end of the century. These projected changes in temperature for El Salvador, are most in line with the changes projected by the IPCC. Temperature increases of such magnitude, will have direct effect on the temperature of the Pacific coast. When breaking and zooming into the time series of projections, the data shows that, in the near future (between 2021-2030 and 2031-2041), all scenarios point out to shifts between 0.7 °C and 1.5 °C, which is higher than what its observed today. The last decade in the period under consideration, presents the greatest changes in temperature with values between 1.5 °C and 2 °C in the country. These projections reveal that, in the future, 90% of the national territory will be subject to average temperature values above 27 °C.
- All scenarios point to a decrease in precipitation between 10% to 20%, across the country between 2021-2050, with some regions being expected to see a reduction above 20% (under a high emissions scenario). This would represent a reduction of no less than 200 mm per year in precipitation. Comparably, towards 2041-2050 the magnitude of rainfall reduction will remain on the mark between 10% to 20%, similar to the previous period. It is worth noting that projected changes between 2031-2040 can be attributed to already ongoing climate change and variability processes in El Salvador, and that these changes are within the scope of the IPCC projections for the region.
- The projected scenarios for the period between 2071-2100, show even more drastic changes in precipitation patterns in the country, with values ranging between 20 to 26% under the high emissions pathway. When looking at each decade in detail, for example, between 2071-2080 the changes represent a decrease of 15-25% in rainfall, under a low emissions scenario, followed by 20-25% reduction in rainfall under a high emissions scenario. By the same token, the decade of 2081-2090 will experience reductions between 20% to 30%, with even higher depletion of rainfall under the high emissions scenario. During the last decade of the 21st century between 2091-2100, the projected scenarios reveal a decrease in rainfall ranging between 20% -35% (low emissions scenario) when compared to current observed values. At the century approaches end, the scenarios reveal reduction in precipitation that are considerably more pronounced, intense and drastic if compared to the period between 2021-2050. This represents a reduction of 300 mm a year in precipitation in the country.
- These scenarios represent a complete range of alternative futures for climate in El Salvador. Taking into account the cascading effects that may accompany the climate change scenarios, the country’s economy, society and nature, finds itself having to deal with greater risk and effective occurrence of natural disasters. Not surprisingly, as a result of current climate variability and change, in the form of higher temperatures, reduced rainfall, erratic local, regional and global climate controls, the country is already and will continue to need to manage increased social, economic and environmental pressures across vastly degraded landscapes.
The South Ahuachapán landscape
- The South-Ahuachapán area, located in the department of Ahuachapán, includes the municipalities of San Francisco Menendez, Jujutla, Guaymango and San Pedro Puxtla (Figure 9), covering an area of 591.73 Km2, with a population of 98,016 people from which 51% are women, and with the majority of the population (77%) residing in rural areas.
- The MARN estimates the South-Ahuachapán as an area of high vulnerability to climate change. Considering its environmental and social characteristics at the landscape level, this part of the country finds itself highly susceptible to the destructive effects of climate variability together with lacking of necessary resources to adequately prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters. This region, contains a significant amount of the population exposed to frequent meteorological drought, while at the same time it is one of El Salvador’s main regions for the production of staple food items (basic grains), as well as other cash crops (sugarcane, coffee).
- According to the climate change scenarios produced by the MARN, climate variability and change in the region will become more and more evident. This will be reflected through significant increases in average temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
- Tree cover accounts for 68% of its total territorial area, distributed as 33% Forest, 29% Shaded coffee and 6% shrubs. Agricultural land accounts for 26% of total area, and it is used for the production of staple grains (maize and beans). The Landscape features strategic natural assets for the country, such as El Imposible National Park, the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Biosphere Reserve, and the RAMSAR site Barra de Santiago comprising an extraordinary biological diversity of ecosystems, species and genes, and their conservation deserve special attention. The primary ecological zones are the humid subtropical forest to the south, very moist subtropical forest, and humid subtropical forest.
- The area has a complex hydrographic network. Of the 11 hydrographic basins that drain the territory, four of the most important: the rivers La Paz, Banderas, Lempa and Grande in Sonsonate are part of this area. There are 32 rivers in the Barra de Santiago Basin - and the Sub-basins of Cara Sucia and Culiapa. Among the main rivers of the Cara Sucia Sub-basin are El Sacramento, Huiscoyol, El Corozo, Cara Sucia, Mistepe, the Izcanal, Maishtapula, and the Aguachapio rivers. Between the main rivers of the Cuilapa Sub-basin are the Guayapa, Cuilapa, El Naranjo, El Rosario, Cubis, San Antonio, Tihuicha and El Negro rivers. However, a Hydro Analysis of this area carried out in 2007, showed that domestic demand represented 7.41% of total demand, against an irrigation demand of 92.59%, with signs of over-exploitation of the resource in the lower parts of the Cara Sucia Sub-watershed.
- Since 1974, the Paz River has abandoned old drainages of the El Aguacate, La Danta and Río Seco channels, causing a process of desiccation and transformation of the wetlands and marshes, with an alteration of the salinity gradients, the reduction of the freshwater flows and the closure of the mangrove swamps of Garita Palmera. This leads to a high susceptibility to flooding in the southern part of the Department. The situation will be further aggravated by the climate change impacts projected to take place in what is already degraded land. Ineffective agricultural and livestock practices have led to high levels of contamination by agrochemicals, which, together with erosion, lead to a deterioration of mangroves with sedimentation and silting of channels, with loss of mangrove hydrodynamic regulation. This situation, threatens and affects artisanal and industrial fishing and local livelihoods. The lack of opportunities leads to migration and weakening of the social fabric in an already vulnerable part of the country.
- In this region, the mangroves in the lower basin of the river belong to the mangrove ecoregion of the Pacific dry coast (Olson et al., 2001), which extend in patches along the coastal zone of Guatemala and El Salvador. The mangroves and marshes dominate the coasts of estuaries in the coastal plain. The coastal wetlands of Garita Palmera and El Botoncillo are possibly the least known and certainly the most degraded on the coast of El Salvador (MARN - AECI, 2003), and the population that inhabits these ecosystems have livelihoods intimately related to their services. The current conditions of the mangroves in the lower basin of the river are a consequence of the high rate of deforestation and the change in land use throughout the basin, as well as alterations in its hydrological regime, such as decrease of annual flow, flow seasonal shifts, and significant decrease in water budget of River Paz, causing a reduction in the productivity of ecosystems and in their capacity to provide services and benefits to local communities (further contributing to flooding, increased runoff and soil loss).
- This region is important also for aquifer recharge, specifically for the recharge of the aquifer ESA-01, localized in alluvial materials in south Ahuachapán, in the municipalities of San Francisco Menendez, Jujutla and Acajutla.
- During the last eight years, this landscape has suffered the adverse impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological events, in some years it experienced Tropical Depressions and Hurricanes, and in other years it suffered meteorological drought with significant damages to infrastructure, agriculture and crops, functioning of ecosystems, and livelihoods. The loss of coverage and inadequate agricultural practices on slopes, have caused a decrease in water regulation capacities with increased runoff, which in turn led to a severe increase in soil erosion rates in the high and middle parts of the basins, an increased risk of landslides and floods; and a decrease in infiltration capacities and aquifer recharge with a decrease in the water supply for different uses. All this has been reflected in large damages to infrastructure and crop loss.
- The pressure exerted on the forest remnants of the highlands, riparian forests, secondary forests, agroforestry systems and mangroves has also increased the region’s vulnerability to climate change. The reduction of habitat, the loss of ecological connectivity and of critical ecosystem services (i.e. water provision, climate regulation) have caused a chain of processes and negative impacts that increase the vulnerability of this area in the face of more frequent events of heavy rainfall, and prolonged periods of drought. Thus, the loss of natural vegetation cover and the poor land use practices in agriculture, are leading to a continuous decrease in surface and ground water availability, excessive runoff, and a decrease in other water regulation ecosystem services, leading to a significant increase in soil erosion rates. A recent assessment of damages to the agricultural sector in Ahuachapán, pointed out that, due to an extended drought period, the average numbers observed for the harvest of corn and beans (June/July 2015) had a reduction of 94%.
- Degrading of natural ecosystems, with wide spread effects at the landscape level (including depletion of riparian forests and grasslands) threatens the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services to local communities in the South Ahuachapán. Long and short-term effects of degradation of these ecosystems include:
- increased soil erosion as a result of reduced vegetation cover;
- reduced infiltration of water in degraded watersheds and catchment areas, thereby resulting in reduced recharge of groundwater and an increased incidence of flooding;
- Interventions in the are thus need to focus on helping the landscape to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, through the protection of the ecosystems and the rehabilitation and conservation of the mosaic of interdependent land uses thus enhancing the landscape’s capacity to manage extreme hydro-meteorological events as well as increased projected temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns. The goods and services generated by healthy or under restoration landscapes, have the potential to mitigate these threats by providing multiple benefits to local communities in the region of South-Ahuachapán, such as the provision of natural resources (food and water) and regulatory functions, including flood mitigation, water filtration and waste decomposition.
Landscape approach to build resilience and adapt to climate change
- In 2012, El Salvador developed the National Environmental Policy to help regulate, manage, protect the country’s natural resources, and reverse environmental degradation, while reducing the country’s vulnerability to climate change, which feeds directly into the country’s plans on long-term economic growth and social progress outcomes. A key instrument of the National Environmental Policy is the National Program for the Restoration of Ecosystems and Landscapes (PREP), which is organized in three strategic areas: 1) Restoration, reforestation and inclusive conservation of critical ecosystems such as gallery forests, water recharge areas, slopes, mangroves and other forest ecosystems; 2) The restoration of degraded soils, through the forestation of agricultural systems, the adoption of resilient agroforestry systems and the development of sustainable and climate-resilient and biodiversity-friendly agriculture; 3) Synergistic development of physical infrastructure and natural infrastructure. Forest landscape restoration is a key part of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution, and the main strategy to contribute to climate change adaptation, by increasing productivity of landscapes, enhancing the resilience of forest ecosystems, landscapes, agroecosystems, watersheds, and forest‐dependent communities.
- The PREP comprises immediate and strategic activities, such as the conservation of forest remnants; the restoration of forest ecosystems and agroecosystems, recovering tree coverage in critical sites, working to rehabilitate the landscape; and the maintenance and increase of tree cover in critical areas, particularly in high altitude agroecosystems, and at the watershed level (to control water supply and flow, reducing runoff, landslides and floods). The application of techniques to reduce the speed of the water flow and to increase the capacity of the water retention in the upper sections of the basins and the high zones of the mountain ranges and the protection of the plant cover, have the potential to reduce erosion and the transport of sediment as well as floods. Consequently, it enables to reduce risks associated to extreme hydro-meteorological events. Furthermore, it is expected that the reforestation of the agricultural areas will improve the soil with an increase in organic matter and moisture retention, and therefore, increasing the resistance during water shortage and drought.
Identification of priority sites for EBA through restoration in South Ahuachapán
- Information from the PREP was used o update National Land Use Map, allowing for the identification of key the restoration sites of the country based on the following six criteria: soil conservation and food production; biodiversity and wildlife conservation; protection of ground water and adaptation to drought; adaptation to extreme events and protection against floods and storms; firewood supply and climate regulation.
- A particular focus was provided to key agroecosystems sites (these account for 60% of the national territory) with the potential land use/cover transitions for restoration also being identified taking into account the different current uses of the soil to allow the recovery of prized ecosystems, through the restoration of their relevant environmental goods and services for adaptation. The potential areas for each transition type comprise a total of 1,001,405 hectares comprising eleven proposed transitions pointing to the high potential for restoration areas in South Ahuachapán.
- The analysis by MARN has allowed the project to identify the municipality of San Francisco Menendez located in the South Landscape of Ahuachapán, as the target intervention area for restoration investments. The municipality has a territory of 226.13 km2 and a total population of 42,062 of which 30,211 reside in rural areas. The identification of the Municipality of San Francisco Menendez as the area of intervention, was based on an exhaustive analysis of available time series of satellite remote sensing data, together with data and information collected by MARN in-situ.
- To further characterize the imbalances observed in the region, coming as consequence of intense rainfall and longer dry periods, the prioritization exercise used data from the Monthly Climate and Climatic Water Balance for Global Terrestrial Surfaces Dataset (TerraClimate) to better understand the runoff patterns in San Francisco Menendez. The analysis revealed an upward trend in surface runoff in San Francisco Menendez, starting in 2006 and progressing steadily, affecting negatively agricultural activities and exacerbating the already damaging effects of extended periods of drought, scarce and localized rainfall patterns in the intervention area. The data and analysis revealed that the lower Rio Paz presents a remarkably consistent pattern of low precipitation and high temperatures over time. Such characteristics have been followed by an increase in the number of extreme whether events (such as heavy rainfall and droughts), leading to below average soil moisture, increased surface runoff, and soil loss. This has been pointed out by an increasing number of recent reports by MARN and international agencies such as USAID, FAO, GIZ, which have identified the Municipality of San Francisco Menendez (entirely located in the Central America Dry Corridor) as extremely susceptible to the Effects of CC. The impacts pointed out by MARN and international organizations working in the area, have been immediately felt in the form of changes in water flow patterns (in the Lower Rio Paz), higher than normal temperatures, erratic rainfall, and low fresh water input into the ocean. This has created an imbalance that will only be exacerbated by CC, affecting agriculture, the natural environment, as well as local livelihoods in the project intervention areas.
- In San Francisco Menendez, the land under exploitation is dominated by cultivation of crops (46%), followed by seasonal grasslands (30%) and permanent grasslands (15%). The local development plan for the municipality has identified 4,569 Ha of critical ecosystems for restoration by 2030 of which 1,569Ha are agroforestry systems, 2,000 Ha tropical forests and 1,000 Ha being mangrove systems. According to the 2007 Census in the agriculture and livestock sector, the land under exploitation is mainly owned by producers (75%) while 18% of land is leased (Figure 13). There are 80 cooperatives of small producers present in San Francisco Menendez, from those 16 are women led cooperatives.
- San Francisco Menendez municipality is part of the broader South Ahuachapán landscape that includes the municipalities of Jujutla, Guayamango and San Pedro Puxtla. These municipalities are administratively grouped together through the Association of Municipalities of Microregión Sur with the objective of establishing synergies for their development and for environmental management through concerted actions. Actions along these municipalities is also strategic as these also share access to the same aquifers (Figure 12) thus linking them, at a landscape, administrative and hydrological level. Population for this larger region is 98,016 (49,899 women) of which 75,515 people reside in rural areas.
 D. L. Hartmann, a. M. G. K. Tank, and M. Rusticucci, “IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Climatie Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” Ipcc AR5, no. January 2014 (2013): 31–39, https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.
 IPCC, “Climate Change, Adaptation, and Vulnerability,” Organization & Environment 24, no. March (2014): 1–44, https://doi.org/http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_A....
 (Cai et al., 2015; Harger, 1995; Neelin et al., 1998; Takahashi et al., 2011; Torrence and Webster, 1999; Wolter and Timlin, 2011)
 Ministry of Economy; General Directorate of Statistics and Census –DIGESTyC; El Salvador: 2014; Estimates and Trends of Municipal Population 2005-2025
 STPP and MINEC-DIGESTYC (2015). Multidimensional Measurement of poverty. El Salvador. San Salvador: Technical and Planning Secretariat of the Presidency and the Ministry of Economy, through the General Directorate of Statistics and Census.
Compound Poverty: Takes into account the essential areas for human development and well-being. A total of twenty indicators around five essential well-being dimensions: a) education; b) housing conditions; c) work and social security; d) health, basic services and food security; and e) quality of the habitat.
 STPP & MINEC-DIGESTYC, “Medición Multidimensional de La Pobreza. El Salvador.,” San Salvador: Secretaría Técnica y de Planificación de La Presidencia y Ministerio de Economía, a Través de La Dirección General de Estadística y Censos., 2015.
 Minerva Campos et al., “Estrategias de Adaptación Al Cambio Climático En Dos Comunidades Rurales de México y El Salvador,” Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in Two Rural Communities in Mexico and El Salvador, no. 61 (2013): 329–49, http://www.boletinage.com/61/16-CAMPOS.pdf.
 For example, accumulated rainfall in the southeast area of the country was less than 10 mm, representing a 95% deficit from average rainfall
 Almanaque 262. State of human development in the municipalities of El Salvador, 2009.
 Defined as the non-linear land use change process associated with societal and biophysical system changes.
 The analysis was conducted using Google Earth Engine, allowing the production of wall-to-wall spatially explicit information at multiple spatial scales. The analysis included Climate models generated by both long-term climate predictions and historical interpolations of surface variables, including historical reanalysis data from NCEP/NCAR, gridded meteorological datasets such as the NLDAS-2, and GridMET, and climate model outputs like the University of Idaho MACAv2-METDATA and the NASA Earth Exchange’s Downscaled Climate Projections. The prioritization also included the analysis of spatially-explicit land surface variables over time, such as: Evapotranspiration/Latent Heat Flux product (8-day composite product produced at 500 meter pixel resolution), providing information on the hydrologic cycle, which has direct and significant influence on agriculture cycles in the region, as well as the amount of solar radiation, atmospheric vapor pressure, temperature, wind, and soil moisture available. The prioritization also included analysis of salinity anomalies using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, Water Temperature and Salinity (HYCOM) (Revealing that salinity has not been decreasing as result of local meteorological processes over the past several years). The analysis also included Long-Term drough Severity estimations using the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), which has been effective in effective in determining long-term drought in the intervention area. The PDSI data and analysis considers surface air temperature and a physical water balance models, taking into account the observed effects of increasingly warm temperatures, and high evapotranspiration, leading to systemic imbalances affecting local hydrological cycles (refer back to Figure 13).
 This dataset and analysis considers runoff as the excess of liquid water supply (precipitation) used by monthly Evapotranspiration and soil moisture recharge and is derived using a one-dimensional soil water balance model and it correlates well to measured streamflow from a number of watersheds globally.
Component 1. Ecosystem-based adaptation for enhanced resilience at a territorial level
Component 2. Alternative and adapted livelihoods identified and made viable for resilient livelihoods
Component 3. Regional Climate and Hydrological Monitoring for Enhanced Adaptation Planning
Component 4. Strengthening of inter-institutional coordination and local governance for landscape management in the face of climate variability and change
Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro)
The Drin River Basin (DRB) is a transboundary river basin, which is home to 1.6 million people and extends across, Kosovo*, the Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece. Climate change and climate variability have been increasing the frequency, intensity and impact of flooding in the basin. Historical flood data from the Western Balkans suggests a more frequent occurrence of flood events, attributed to an uneven distribution of precipitation and torrential rain, particularly over the last decade. More and larger areas - and more people - are being affected by flooding with a strong impact on national economies. Future climate scenarios project a further increase in the likelihood of floods as well as in their destructive nature. Increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, increased water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, increased intensity of snow melt, sea level rise, and damage to water quality and ecosystems are forecasted. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water such as agriculture, energy and hydropower, navigation, health, tourism – as does the environment.
The objective of the "Integrated climate-resilient transboundary flood risk management in the Drin River basin in the Western Balkans (Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro)" project is to assist the riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the DRB to climate-induced floods. The countries will benefit from a basin-wide transboundary flood risk management (FRM) framework based on: improved climate risk knowledge and information; improved transboundary cooperation arrangements and policy framework for FRM and; concrete FRM interventions.
* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)
Climate change impacts
Climate change is already having an impact and is likely to intensify in the future. According to the national communications to UNFCCC from Albania, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as to the report ‘The state of water in Kosovo’, climate change will have serious negative impacts in the Drin river basin including increased frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, increased water scarcity, intensified erosion and sedimentation, increased intensity of snow melt, sea level rise, and damage to water quality and ecosystems. Moreover, climate change impacts on water resources will have cascading effects on human health and many parts of the economy and society, as various sectors directly depend on water such as agriculture, energy and hydropower, navigation, health, tourism –as does the environment.
The DRB countries are increasingly exposed to the impact of climate change. They are experiencing increased periods of extreme heat in the summer months and increased rainfall during the cooler seasons. According to long-term projections, the average annual temperature will increase by 2° C to 3° C by 2050 and precipitation will decrease in the summer, resulting in longer dry periods followed by more sudden heavy rainfalls. This combination increases the likelihood of floods as well as their destructive nature.
Historical flood data from the Western Balkans suggests a more frequent occurrence of flood events, characterized by more extreme and more rapid increase in water levels, attributed to an uneven distribution of precipitation and torrential rain, particularly over the last decade. More and larger areas and, therefore, a greater population numbers are being affected by flooding with a strong impact on national economies.
In Albania, climate change projections indicate the intensification of heavy precipitation and an increase in the frequency of heavy rains with longer duration, causing flooding and economic damages. There is already evidence of increasing frequency of high intensity rainfall, which is increasing pluvial or flash flooding which inundates the floodplain in a matter of hours. In winter, longer duration rainfall causes flooding which lasts for several weeks during the winter period while long-duration spring rainfall combines with snowmelt to cause flooding. Flood risk is a combination of river flooding and coastal flooding due to sea water inundation (storm surges), both of which are increasing with climate change.
According to available climate change projections for Montenegro, there will be a sharp increase in variability of river flow, characterized by increased frequency and intensity of flooding and hydrological drought. In addition, coastal flooding and storm surges will also significantly increase. During this period the area of low air pressure develops in the coastal region of Montenegro and has a wide impact causing maximum precipitation in the southern areas. In the karst areas, during spring, there are periodic floods due to longer periods of precipitation, melting snow and high groundwater levels. Such floods have impacted the Cetinje plain several times and have caused severe damage to the buildings there.
The First and Second National Communications on Climate Change for FYR Macedonia outlined a number of scenarios related to water resources. The findings included a projection of a 15% reduction in rainfall by 2050, with a drastic decrease in runoff in all river basins. Although the long-term projection is for increased temperatures and a decrease in sums of precipitation, the past period studied shows significant climate variability with increased precipitation. The proportion of winter precipitation received as rain instead of snow is increasing. Such shifts in the form and timing of precipitation and runoff are of concern to flood risk.
The AF-financed project will build resilience of communities and livelihoods in the Drin Basin to climate-induced floods by catalyzing a shift to a holistic basin-wide climate-responsive flood risk management and adaptation approaches based on enhanced climate information, risk knowledge, and community structural and non-structural adaptationmeasures.
The proposed integrated approach to climate resilient flood risk management will encompass: a increased technical, human and financial capacities of relevant institutions within each Riparian country, with responsibility for flood risk monitoring, forecasting and management to enable implementation of climate resilient Integrated Flood Risk Management (IFRM). This would include strengthening of the a. hydrometric monitoring network, risk mapping, flood hazard and risk modelling capacity; b.an enhanced policy and risk financing framework for flood risk management based on enhanced understanding of climate risks; c.climate-proof and cost-effective investment into flood protection through enhanced capacities to design and implement structural and non-structural flood risk management measures, and to provide effective flood risk reduction measures to the population; d. enhanced awareness, response and adaptation capacity of the population; engaging private sector into climate information management and risk reduction investment.
The objective of the project is to assist the riparian countries in the implementation of an integrated climate-resilient river basin flood risk management approach in order to improve their existing capacity to manage flood risk at regional, national and local levels and to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities in the DRB to climate-induced floods. The countries will benefit from a basin-wide transboundary flood risk management (FRM) framework based on: improved climate risk knowledge and information; improved transboundary cooperation arrangements and policy framework for FRM and; concrete FRM interventions. 100.As a result, the Adaptation Fund project will improve the resilience of 1.6 million people living in the DRB (direct and indirect beneficiaries). 101.The project will contribute to the strengthening of the current flood forecasting and early warning system by increasing the density of the hydrometric network, and by digitizing historical data for stations not currently in the existing forecasting model. The project will develop and implement transboundary integrated FRM strategies providing the national authorities with robust and innovative solutions for FRM, DRR and climate adaptation, including ecosystem-based gender sensitive participatory approaches. In addition, the project will develop the underlying capacity of national and regional institutions to ensure sustainability and to scale up the results. It will support stakeholders by providing guidance, sharing climate information, knowledge and best practices. The project will also invest in the priority structural and community-based non-structural measures. Importantly, the project is aligned with and will support the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EUFD) in DRB countries.102.The AF project will build upon experience of Regional UNDP/GEF Drin project (see baseline initiatives section above) and otherprojects25,26in the region and will include the following innovations:1) introduction of international best practice in flood hazard and risk assessment, modelling and mapping in line with EUFD; 2) innovative mix of structural and non-structural interventions based on climate risk-informed design; 3) agro-forestry measures and community-based flood resilience schemes. The socio-economic benefits include reduced damages and losses and improved food production (through protection of agricultural land). This will have direct and indirect livelihood protection and potential income generation benefits. Climate risk informed planning of the hydropower sector is important to enhance hydropower operations to include transboundary climate-induced flood risk management, thus ensuring the continued sustainable development of the hydropower sector which will help continue the shift to clean energy in the region. Climate risk information will also safeguard critical infrastructure assets such as transportation (roads and bridges) which are critical to the economic development and functioning of communities. Environmental benefits include improved ecosystem functions through better spatial planning and non-structural measures such as agro-forestry, which will provide water retention functions, regulation of hydrological flows (buffer runoff, soil infiltration, groundwater recharge, maintenance of base flows), natural hazard mitigation (e.g. flood prevention, peak flow reduction, soil erosion and landslide control), increased riverbed stabilization resulting in decreased erosion, habitat preservation, and reforestation. This project will directly benefit the most vulnerable parts of the population and will have significant gender co-benefits which will be ensured through close collaboration with a gender expert dedicated to ensuring that gender considerations are a key part of any consultation or activity planning process. Flooding and disasters in general, impact women disproportionately and the project will ensure that these differential impacts are taken account in all project interventions.
Component 1: Hazard and Risk Knowledge Management Tools
Component 2: Transboundary institutional, legislative and policy framework for FRM (Flood Risk Management)
Component 3: Community-based climate change adaptation and FRM interventions
Argentina is considered a high-income economy with a GDP of US$600 billion in 2016 and a population of over 44 million. In the last decades, the country has experienced marked growth in its agriculture and food sectors, accounting to 54 percent of its land use, and playing a strategic role in the socio-economic development of the country, with 54 percent of employment. Agriculture and animal husbandry and fragile ecosystems are also especially vulnerable to the intensification of extreme climate events, affecting the production and supply of food on a national and global scale. The country is considered a top emitter for agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors, contributing to 2.1 percent of the global emissions, and with domestic emissions made up of livestock (21.6 percent); agriculture (5.8 percent) and land-use change and forestry (9.8 percent).
Argentina’s agriculture is highly innovative and has much to offer in terms of win-win climate actions. It has great potential to scale up actions and production processes that will simultaneously cut mitigate emissions and enhance resilience to improve productivity. Argentina is one of the 100 countries being supported by UNDP’s Climate Promise to enhance their NDCs. The country is also part of FAO’s Sub-Regional Project on "Low Emission Livestock, a contribution to the Sustainable Development of the Sector in South America”, and many other projects related to climate management.
The government of Argentina considers the SCALA programme as strong support for the revision of its NAP in the agricultural sector, and to carry out actions that allow the implementation and achievement of the commitments established in the country’s NDC. The programme will leverage participatory methods to address Argentina’s institutional and financial barriers, which allow for a transformative shift in the agriculture and land use sectors. Moreover, to engage and mobilize the private sector to increase its investments in climate action. With the SCALA programme supporting Argentina over the next five years, UNDP and FAO will strive to foster a more inclusive multi-stakeholder process that eventually meets the needs of smallholder farmers, rural communities, women, and youth, who are the most vulnerable to climate change.
Argentina faces different types of barriers in achieving its adaptation and mitigation goals. There is a lack of planning for sustainable management of native forests `and agri-food systems. There are gaps in the articulation between managing bodies/ministries, as well as inefficient bureaucratic financing channels and there are difficulties for producers to access financing. The objective of the NAP in Argentina is to carry out the process in a participatory manner across managing bodies and ministries. The process requires economic efforts to ensure the full participation of all representatives and to support them in parallel processes for formulating provincial plans.
In 2016, Argentina submitted its nationally determined contribution (NDC) that identified several agriculture-related priorities. Argentina has prioritized the development of adaptative capacities and the promotion of agriculture’s strategic role as a solution to climate change. In 2020, the country signed the new United Nations Strategic Cooperation Framework (2021-2025) and confirmed its interest to push forward the agenda that seeks to enhance ambition and catalyze action for land-use and agriculture. Argentina submitted its second NDC in December 2020, ratifying a more ambitious commitment to the Paris Agreement and providing a specific and broader role to adaptation, with the national goal of decreasing 19 percent of its total GHG emissions by 2030. The country has committed to elaborate its Long-Term Climate Strategy by the end of 2021.
The key priorities communicated for the agriculture and land-use sector focus mainly on prioritization of adaptation, strengthening the role of agribusiness as a source of solutions to climate change, integrating agro-industrial production and encouraging the development of process and product technologies. To support the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process, Argentina is implementing the Readiness Project for the NAP Process, financed by the Green Climate Fund and implemented by UNDP.
Along with these actions, the country aims to strengths the implementation of Minimum Budgets for the Environmental Protection of Native Forests, as well as achieve a substantial reduction in the deforestation rate. To support this goal the country implements the National Forest Management Plan with Integrated Livestock (MBGI), the Forest Watershed Plans and Comprehensive Community Plans (PIC), and the national forest extension system and the Deforestation Early Warning System (SAT). By 2030, the country also expects to deepen the development of fire, flood, and drought prevention measures - of great importance for the agricultural, livestock and forestry sectors.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is situated in mainland Southeast Asia with a population of over 14 million people, and with approximately 80 percent of this population living in rural areas. In Cambodia – which is ranked the 12th most vulnerable country in the world to climate change by the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 – increases in the frequency of floods, droughts, and windstorms in recent years cost 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 from loss and damages. The agriculture sector makes up a third of GDP and employs 57 percent of the country’s labor force. Approximately 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 on agricultural supply chains, both domestically and for international trade. At the same time, 39 percent of the country's total GHG emissions come from the agriculture and land use sectors.
Cambodia aims to increase adaptive capacity for sectors and communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in the medium-to-long term of its sustainable development. The SCALA programme in Cambodia is being designed to help address several of these barriers through, for example, capacity building and strengthening the evidence base for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation activities. In addition, with support from the SCALA programme, climate change considerations will be integrated into sectoral planning, budgeting and coordination, and linkages with key stakeholders such as the private sector and community-based organizations will be developed. Cambodia will be supported by the SCALA programme until 2025 to strengthen coordination on climate action between ministries, the private sector and community-based organizations to support transformative change in the agriculture and land use sectors in alignment with adaptation and mitigation priorities outlined in the NDC and NAP.
Cambodia strengthens climate action coordination with ministries, private sector and community-based organizations
11 November 2021 - The SCALA programme sat down with Dr. Prum Somany, Director at the Department of International Cooperation (DIC) and Assistant to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to learn about how Cambodia plans to accelerate its adaptation and mitigation goals in the agriculture and land use sector.
A key barrier for climate actions in Cambodia is limited resources: human, technical and financial resources, which could be enhanced with support from development partners and private sector financing. There is also a need to enhance capacity and technical skills in data and information collection and management, particularly for Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV). In Cambodia, some of the other barriers include limited staff capacity at the sub-national levels for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions, as well as coordination with line ministries and other stakeholders (civil society, community-based organizations, NGOs, and the private sector) to ensure that efforts and resources are concerted, and synergies are leveraged.
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 paving the path for the sector, for targeted interventions in its value chains, such as rice, sugar cane, and cassava. Cambodia submitted its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC in December 2020, which outlined adaptation and mitigation goals in the agriculture and land use sectors. The NDC has 17 prioritized adaptation actions under agriculture, focusing on agribusiness, the development of rice and other cash crops, horticulture, livestock aquaculture production. The NDC adaptation component outlined the need for agriculture support services, capacity building, enhanced institutional arrangements, the development of new technologies and increased research. Cambodia prioritized mitigation actions under the forestry and other land use (FOLU) sectors intending to reduce 50 percent of emissions by 2030 via the REDD+ programme. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and other relevant ministries will also undertake a bio-digester programme as part of the mitigation actions outlined in the updated NDC.
Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America and preserves a natural wealth, close to 10 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. Climate change impacts are expected to pose significant and long-term effects on fragile and unique ecosystems and accelerate the pace of land degradation, impact water quality and agricultural production. As of 2019, 15.8 percent of the population is employed by the agriculture sectors, being especially threatened by climate induced weather events, such as La Niña, whose characteristics are strong periods of drought followed by intense rain. Agriculture in Colombia is indeed vulnerable to soil aridity, erosion, and desertification, all of which already pose serious threats and are expected to increase with climate change, according to the World Bank Knowledge Portal. According to its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) in 2020, Colombia represents only 0.4 percent of global emissions with 71.3 percent of domestic greenhouse gas emissions coming from agriculture and land use.
The SCALA programme will also focus on the department of Cundinamarca, which is hosted in the capital city of Bogota. The programme seeks to develop a model that allows internalizing national guidelines at the territorial level. In turn, this will enable the methodologies and processes used under the NAP_Ag programme to be scaled up in other departments of the country, moving beyond national planning and towards strengthening and planning at the territorial level. The community climate action labs are designed to upscale local adaptation models that prioritize a biodiverse productive landscape. Other programme activities in Colombia will include conducting an analysis of climate information available in the government of Cundinamarca and strengthening agroclimatic roundtables in the department.
Furthermore, SCALA will focus on enhancing private sector engagement with the design of a strategy to strengthen tools, mechanisms and incentives for climate finance in the agricultural sector. This will be supported by the design of ‘guidelines for certification’ in climate-adapted agriculture for rural microentrepreneurs, small producers and medium-sized emerging producers, as an incentive to access institutional programs, social protection mechanisms, services and financial relief.
Colombia has encountered a few notable barriers while implementing its climate plans, such as a lack of local capabilities, limited access to climate information and low involvement of the private sector. To overcome these challenges and to bridge the divide between national and local levels, the SCALA programme offers a range of supports articulated around the primary goal to accelerate the implementation of the NAP, NDCs and the Integral Management Plan for Climate Change (Plan Integral de Gestión del Cambio Climático PIGCCs). The SCALA programme will also build on the achievements made under the NAP-Ag programme and the NDC Partnership Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP).
In line with the NDC priorities, the SCALA programme and Cololowmbia will prepare for the implementation of adaptation actions in five agricultural sub-sectors: rice, corn, meat and milk, sugar cane and cocoa. This includes field and practical work with communities, unions, institutions, and territorial entities in the three regions of the country with the most significant agricultural potential. Specific activities include capacity-building for institutional actors of the Andina Centre, participatory characterization of climate change impacts on sustainable agro-food systems, cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and Evaluation of Damage and Loss tools.
Colombia submitted its first NDC in 2018, which outlined both mitigation and adaptation goals, as well as means of implementation. In December 2020, Colombia submitted a revised NDC with more ambitious adaptation priorities to increase capacities on private sector and producers in 10 sub-sectors (rice, maize, potato, beef cattle, dairy, sugar cane, cocoa, banana, coffee and sugar cane). Energy and Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) are considered the most important sector for mitigation. The revised NDCs state that Colombia is committed to emit a maximum of 169.44 million tonnes of CO2 eq by 2030 (equivalent to a 51% reduction in emissions compared to projected emissions in the 2030 scenario of reference). In the agriculture and land use sector, this will be achieved with strategies reducing greenhouse gas emissions in key areas, namely the production of cocoa, rice, coffee, plantation forestry and cattle. Other commitments focus on improving the participation of three regions (Andina, Caribe and Orinoquía) in national agriculture roundtables and facilitating access to agroclimatic information for 1 million producers by 2030.
Colombia was part of the IKI-funded NAP-Ag programme from 2015 to 2020, which facilitated the design of the Integral Management Plan of Climate Change for the Agricultural Sectors (PIGCCS), and its Action Plan (2019), which represents the national landmark for sectoral climate change planning. It addresses adaptation and mitigation articulately and converges with the broader national and territorial commitments on the stabilization and consolidation of affected areas by the armed conflict and the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Beforehand, the country adopted its NAP in 2012, "Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático (PNACC)”, and a roadmap for its elaboration in 2013, “Hoja de ruta para la elaboración de los planes de adaptación dentro del PNACC”. In 2020, under the adaptation planning funded by Green Climate Fund, the country elaborated a series of Strategies to strengthen the business sector in climate risk management to maintain competitiveness.
Costa Rica is in Central America and has a varied topography that includes coastal plains separated by rugged mountains, including over 100 volcanic cones and inhabits around 5 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is among global leaders in responding to climate change, with a long history of environmental protection, sustainable development, and action on climate change mitigation. Costa Rica’s vulnerability to extreme climate events and natural hazards is a result of the presence of populations in areas prone to volcanic eruptions and unstable lands, degraded by wide-spread cattle ranching, or in poorly planned settlements prone to landslides and flooding. A total of 36 percent of Costa Rica’s land use is attributed to agriculture, and it accounts for 14 percent of the country’s employment.
The SCALA programme can contribute to strengthening market access for products developed through low-carbon value chains to help increase the capital flow to communities (at the farm level) that adopt technologies and help contribute to scaling up climate action. The SCALA programme will support Costa Rica in transforming how the agriculture and land use sectors operate and incorporating adaptation and mitigation measures. In addition to the support on soil management practices, SCALA in Cosa Rica will support the resilience of family farmers to cope with pathogens, so they have the resources to invest in sustainable low-carbon practices. The country is currently developing a road map for its National Adaptation Plan and aims to strengthen conservation initiatives and expand its environmental services payments program to include ecosystem-based adaptation. Costa Rica continues to promote renewable energies, stronger environmental management practices through agroforestry systems and watershed management, as well as tools for municipal-level land use planning to reduce the long-term vulnerabilities of its population and enhance its food security.
22 October 2021 - To learn more about how Costa Rica is scaling up its climate ambition in land use and agriculture to meet the targets of its NDC and related climate strategies, the SCALA programme sat down with the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Renato Alvarado to unpack the opportunities and challenges in this process as part of a new interview series.
Costa Rica has developed policies and prioritized implementing transformative action in value chains, however, knowledge remains a key barrier because transformative change requires the adoption of new technologies. A second barrier experienced in Costa Rica is the availability of financing mechanisms that reduce risks for different actors, including investors, in the value chain. Lastly, there is a need to strengthen the institutional frameworks that oversee these processes, mainly at the early stages. The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge challenge – like for many countries, but Costa Rica managed to keep the value chains in operation and reported growth in agricultural exports, while still maintaining adequate levels of supply to the national market during these challenging times. The pandemic exposed how valuable the agriculture sectors are and demonstrated the resilience of agricultural producers.
Costa Rica’s National Climate Change Adaptation Policy (2018-2030), states the priorities with respect to agricultural sustainable production, namely the 1) promotion of adaptation based on ecosystems outside the State's natural heritage, through the conservation of biodiversity in biological corridors, private reserves and farms under forest regime 2) promotion of water security in the face of climate change, through the protection and monitoring of sources and proper management of hydrological basins. The National Development Plan (2019-2022) reaffirmed the ambitious goal to promote a carbon neutral economy by 2021 and laid out strategies to promote renewable energy, reduce GHG emissions, and consider adaptation initiatives.
In 2016, Costa Rica submitted its first NDC. Costa Rica’s National Climate Change Adaptation Policy (2018-2030), as well as the National Decarbonization Plan (2018-2050) and the NAMA coffee, NAMA livestock, NAMA sugarcane and NAMA Musaceae (banana), reflect some of the country’s key agri-food chains, which are livestock, coffee, rice, Musaceae and cane sugar. The country’s NDC aims to consolidate an agricultural model that is based on sound approaches in existing policies and strategies. To date, the country has developed a National Low Carbon Livestock Strategy, a National Low-emission Coffee Strategy, and the Low Carbon Banana Strategy, which focus on reducing risks and vulnerabilities in these value chains.
Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa along the Gulf of Guinea with the Atlantic running along its southern coast. As one of the world’s top exporters of cocoa, palm oil, banana and cashews and with two-third of the actively working population is percent employed by the agriculture sectors, Côte d’Ivoire is vulnerable to variations in weather and climate, as well as external shocks in its export trade. Côte d’Ivoire has the second largest economy in West Africa. High rainfall in the south fuels a fertile agricultural industry, which contributes to 27 percent of country’s GDP. A heavy economic reliance on agriculture, in addition to continued environmental degradation, rising temperature, prolonged dry season and deforestation all contribute to the country’s vulnerability to climate change. In addition, agriculture contributes 12 percent of total GHG emissions with livestock contributing the largest proportion (63 percent).
To support the country in implementing these plans, the SCALA programme partnered with Côte d'Ivoire for the next four years. The SCALA programme will help Côte d'Ivoire accelerate the implementation of its NAP and pursue action to achieve the commitments outlined in its forthcoming NDC. The programme will work with government stakeholders to overcome barriers at the institutional, technical, and financial levels to support a transformative shift in the agriculture and land use sectors. Through the SCALA programme, FAO and UNDP will strive to create an inclusive multi-stakeholder process between institutions and partners in Côte d'Ivoire that will help fill gaps, improve capacities and reach the country’s climate targets.
Côte d'Ivoire has made considerable efforts to mainstream adaptation and mitigation priorities into its national development plans. However, there are different barriers at the institutional level impeding the achievement of adaptation goals, such as the absence of regulations governing the coordination of actions to combat climate change, and the lack of cooperation between the national and sub- national levels. As for mitigation goals, the absence of an intersectoral coordination mechanisms for the NDCs and the lack of a measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) framework are considered the main barriers. Regarding technical resources and knowledge, the limited availability of adequate and evidence-based information, inconsistency of existing data and insufficient research conducted on emission factors are considered as important constraints. Moreover, financial barriers are also viewed as considerable obstacles to achieve climate targets. For instance, the unavailability of specific resource mobilization strategy for climate change adaptation, the insufficient level of financial resources mobilized for mitigation, both internally and externally, and difficulties in accessing climate finance from external mechanisms. Lastly, there is low awareness of the private sector in climate risk assessments and investments in adaptation measures.
Côte d’Ivoire ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 and submitted their first NDC the same year. The NDC intends to reconcile development and reduction of GHG emissions. Due to the country’s vulnerability to climate change impacts, especially in the key agricultural exports sector, adaptation is also a priority.
The revision of the NDC is ongoing, and the NAP process has been underway in Côte d’Ivoire since 2015. The adaptation planning is crucial in 11 identified priority sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, land use and gender as a cross-cutting theme. The second generation National Agricultural Investment Program 2017-2025 aims to increase added value of agricultural products; strengthen agricultural production systems that are respectful of the environment; and promote inclusive growth.
Along with the ongoing NDC submission, Côte d'Ivoire has several climate plans and policies in place, such as the National Strategy for Climate-Smart Agriculture 2018-25, National Strategic Plan for the Development of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014-20 and National Strategy for Forest Conservation, Rehabilitation and Extension, to build resilience and reduce GHG across key sectors.
The Arab Republic of Egypt is a developing country in Northern Africa. This terrain consists of a vast desert plateau that has a fresh water renewable resource - the River Nile and its Nile Valley and Delta. Most of Egypt’s population and infrastructure are concentrated in the Nile Delta and along the Mediterranean coast, which makes the country vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, particularly inundation and saltwater intrusion. About 15 percent of the most fertile arable land in the Nile Delta is already negatively affected by sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. With this negative impact, climate change studies predict a reduction in productivity of two major crops in Egypt - wheat and maize – by 15 percent and 19 percent, respectively, by 2050. Nevertheless, agriculture is the biggest employer involving over 31.2 percent of the total population. The agriculture sector contributed 14 percent to the GDP in 2009 and contributes 10 percent of the country's total GHG emissions.
The Ministry of Environment and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency has officially approved and cleared the implementation the SCALA programme in Egypt. A background desk review of relevant climate change plans and documents has been undertaken, as well as a baseline report has been produced. This will be further informed by the stocktaking and climate action review exercise for the identification and validation of climate actions with transformative potential in the AFOLU sectors.
Through initial consultations with the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture & Land Reclamation, it has been recommended that the SCALA programme supports the NAP development process under the recently launched GCF-NAP Readiness project. SCALA deliverables therefore will be designed to serve as inputs to the NAP project through which Egypt’s overall NAP will be developed. Contributions will mostly be towards evidence generation through climate risk and vulnerability assessments, innovative climate research on water management and irrigation adaption measures, capacity needs assessment reports on disaster risk reduction and early warning mechanisms in AFOLU sectors, and environmental impact assessments of land use plans.
By supporting the preparation of National Adaption Plan Framework, which will target to address the mitigation and adaptation barriers, the SCALA programme in Egypt will contribute to the country’s long-term goal of decreasing climate vulnerability and building climate resilience of AFOLU sectors. By establishing a framework for improving institutional and technical capacity for climate change adaptation planning it will help the country enhance climate action needed by 2030. The programme will support assessments of climate risks and vulnerabilities, determining climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities, and integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation into national and sectoral planning and budgeting.
The main barriers towards implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures and progress in the agriculture, forests, and other land use (AFOLU) sectors are in institutional and technical capacity to undertake evidence generation through climate risk vulnerability assessments. Most policymakers and technical experts in the Ministries still require enhanced understanding of climate change impacts and the technical skills necessary to craft and implement appropriate CCA integration and interventions. There are institutional barriers related to the functioning of the Measuring, Reporting, and Verifying (MRV) systems on mitigation and adaptation measures and progress in the AFOLU sectors. Egypt plans to build institutional coordination and capacity on climate risks management and to undertake climate adaptation planning, as well as overcome the barrier of insufficient financial resources and budget allocations dedicated to adaptation actions.
Already, the government of Egypt has embarked on preparing a NAP framework; a process that involves assessing and addressing institutional and technical capacity gaps for adaptation planning and management of adaptation actions, national level climate risks and vulnerability assessments and identification of sectoral adaptation priorities, and mapping of mid- and long-term climate change adaptation financing options.
In 2011, a National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction was released. This strategy lays out the path to overcome the challenges raised by climate change and estimates the investment required to reach its strategic goals. Egypt ratified the Paris Agreement in June 2017 and submitted their nationally determined contribution (NDC), which focuses on the sustainability of agriculture, the environment, water resources, energy, and land management as priority areas.
Egypt’s NDC pledges to reduce its GHG emissions; particularly reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent from the baseline emissions level of 250MtCO2 emissions by 2030. Each sector of the economy has set mitigation targets; particularly for the agriculture, forest, and other land-use sectors, the mitigation targets include recycling agricultural waste and manure and the implementation of a national MRV system. Additionally, the NDC outlines Adaptation Action Packages with specific adaptation goals for the most vulnerable sectors, including agriculture. Such adaptation actions include building an effective institutional system to manage climate change associated crises and disasters at the national level.
UNDP office in Egypt is implementing a Green Climate Fund (GCF)-financed National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Readiness project aiming to formulate and advance Egypt’s National Adaptation Plans Process. This NAP process targets to build/enhance climate resilience in all the sectors of the economy by improving institutional and technical capacity for climate change adaptation (CCA) planning, examining climate risks, determining CCA priorities, integrating CCA into national and sectoral planning and budgeting, and increasing investment in adaptation actions. This NAP process also targets to identify private sector actors with potential to invest in climate change actions. Already there is a large and fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector and a large domestic market.
Ethiopia is a landlocked country in Northeast Africa and has a population of over 112 million people. Its agriculture sector plays a major role in the national economy, contributing to 34.5 percent of GDP in 2020. Smallholder farming accounts for approximately 95 percent of agricultural production and 85 percent of total employment. In Ethiopia, agriculture and land-use are high GHG emitting sectors with around 80 percent of domestic emissions. Ethiopia’s agriculture sector is extremely vulnerable to climate change due to its high dependence on natural resources, and relatively low adaptive capacity – especially in rural areas – to deal with frequently experienced extreme events and longer-term variability, including droughts and floods, rainfall variability and pest invasions.
Reports and Publications by country teams
The Government of Ethiopia aims to proactively pursue further integration of climate change adaptation in its development policies and strategies, including macroeconomic and sectoral policies at regional and local levels. In support of this target, the SCALA programme will leverage participatory methods to address Ethiopia’s institutional and financial barriers to mainstream climate change at all administrative levels, to allow for a transformative shift in their agriculture and land use sectors. Building on the capacity gaps identified in scoping exercises, the programme will seek to enhance institutional capacities of the country to support the management of climate budget tagging systems, to undertake climate finance and resource mobilization, and to engage and mobilize the private sector to increase its investments in climate action. It also intends to develop stronger knowledge and information sharing platforms for bridging the gap between national, regional and woreda level governance mechanisms. Additionally, the implementation of SCALA programme will support the establishment of enabling environment and de-risking instruments to engage and incentivize private sector investments in climate actions.
The expectation of undertaking such activities is that they will help the country accelerate its NDC and NAP implementation. With the SCALA programme supporting Ethiopia over the next five years, UNDP and FAO will strive to foster a more inclusive, multi-stakeholder process that meets the needs of smallholder farmers, rural communities, women, and youth, who are the most vulnerable to climate change.
Whilst Ethiopia has made strides in mainstreaming adaptation and mitigation priorities into its national agriculture development plans and projects, one of the main barriers to achieving adaptation and mitigation goals remains the limited understanding and technical capacity for implementing them at the local level. It was identified in the CRGE Strategy progress report that there is limited capacity at the local level to carry out climate risk and vulnerability assessments, gender analysis and assessments, and cost benefit analyses for prioritising adaptation and mitigation options.
Given SCALA’s programme objectives to achieve systems-level transformative change, the programme in consultation with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance, and its Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC), has identified livelihood-centred agro-ecological transitions as a priority. Preliminary work under SCALA has also identified entry points for catalysing transformative climate action in the agriculture and land use sector within selected agro-ecological zones (AEZ). For example, with the need for more gender-responsive climate risk analyses, the SCALA programme plans to carry out a gender analysis of selected value chains in vulnerable AEZs. This will include an appraisal of the cost and benefits of value chain-based interventions to spur inclusive climate action. Establishing a strong evidence base that is also rooted in local contexts would then set the foundation for designing a transformative climate action implementation plan at local levels, with a gender and social inclusion lens.
The Government of Ethiopia submitted its nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2016, and formally submitted an updated NDC in July 2021. The updated NDC builds on, and is in line with, the country’s development goals as laid out in its Growth and Transformation Plan II, its Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy, the emerging Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy, the Green Legacy Initiative, and Ethiopia’s 10-year Development Plan. The bulk of Ethiopia’s NDC adaptation commitments are focused on the agriculture and land use sectors, with priority areas including livestock diversification, drought-resistant animal breeding, rangeland management, crop, and livestock insurance. Ethiopia formulated its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) in 2017, along with a NAP Implementation Roadmap that further categorized the short-term adaptation priorities (such as capacity building, strengthening the enabling environment and promoting research), as well as long-term sector-specific priorities.
In its final National Adaptation Plan (NAP-ETH, 2019), Ethiopia prioritized adaptation in the sectors considered most vulnerable to climate change, namely: agriculture, forestry, health, transport, energy, industry, water and urban. Within these sectors, 18 adaptation options are identified for implementation at all administrative levels, recognizing the considerable diversity in context and vulnerability across Ethiopia’s regions and social groups. Ethiopia is working to integrate climate information into planning and decision-making for development interventions, and prioritizing climate resilience across policies to improve the adaptive capacity at national/federal, regional and Woreda levels. The plan is guided by the principles of participation, coherent interventions, stakeholder empowerment, gender sensitivity, equitable implementation, and partnership, especially with the private sector.
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. The livestock and animal husbandry sector contributes to 80 percent 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. 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 GDP. The 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.
The SCALA programme will support the development of relevant tools and methodologies to enhance the evidence base for the fulfilment of Mongolia’s NDC and National Adaptation Plan (NAP) goals. Private sector engagement in adaptation and mitigation for the agriculture sector is also insufficient and there is a lack of good practices to adopt and scale up. Therefore, as one of the SCALA programme partner countries, Mongolia aims to learn from experiences and opportunities in other countries and regions to strengthen private sector engagement in Mongolia.
Mongolia’s NDC mentions an ongoing process to formulate a NAP, which was initiated in 2018 and is currently being drafted, as the primary means to identify specific adaptation priorities, adaptation and mitigation co-benefits as well as nature-based solutions to help guide its national climate change response. Priorities identified in the NAP informed the targets outlined in the updated NDC and activities undertaken through the SCALA programme are designed to be in alignment with both documents. Improving pastureland management and maintaining appropriate livestock herd sizes is expected to contribute to the fulfilment of Mongolia’s adaptation and mitigation goals, as well as the preservation of its traditional nomadic heritage.
Mongolia prioritizes adaptation and mitigation goals on livestock, animal husbandry and arable farming
12 November 2021 - The SCALA programme sat down with Mr. Ts. Bolorchuluun, Head of the Department of Policy Implementation and Planning at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MOFALI) in Mongolia to learn about the opportunities to enhance the country’s climate ambition outlined in its NDCs and other national policies. Mongolia’s NDC prioritizes improving climate change policies, institutional frameworks and governance, access to climate finance, transparency of climate monitoring and reporting, and capacities for NDC implementation. The country has prioritized several sectors including agriculture as nomadic herders and crop farmers are the most vulnerable groups.
The Government of Mongolia approved the NDC Action Plan in 2021 but continues to face certain challenges in implementing the NDC Action Plan, such as access to finance, inadequate institutional arrangements, and lack of human and technical capacities. To overcome these challenges, specifically on access to finance, Mongolia has to rely on international funding from developed countries. On strengthening institutional arrangements and technical capacity building, Mongolia will be supported by the SCALA programme over the next few years.
The Government of Mongolia has key national policy documents, such as a National Action Plan on Climate Change (2011-2021) and the Green Development Policy (2014-2030). Mongolia’s first nationally determined contribution (NDC) was submitted in 2016 and was updated in 2020. Mongolia’s NDC mitigation target is articulated as a 22.7 percent reduction in total national 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. Additional key mitigation priorities include limiting and reducing the number of livestock while enhancing livestock quality and herd structures, improving the management of livestock manure, protecting pastureland soil and establishing forest strips around arable lands to preserve soil moisture and reduce wind and water erosion.
The NDC 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. Under animal husbandry and pastureland management, adaptation priorities focus on maintaining balance in ecosystems and strengthening legal frameworks. The NDC also highlights the need for sustainable use of pasturelands by increasing forage cultivation and water supplies for livestock, as well as the enhancement of disaster management systems against drought. On arable farming, the NDC outlines plans to improve legal frameworks to overcome climate change adaptation challenges and aims to introduce advanced water and labor efficient technologies in the production of potatoes, vegetables, fruits and berries to enhance productivity. Additional adaptation measures include fencing and planting strips (forests, fodder plants and technical plants) around arable crop lands and introducing soil-conserving zero tillage methods with straw mulch to retain soil moisture.
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.