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UNDP and AFCIA partners announce grants to local innovators to accelerate local climate action across 19 countries


UNDP and AFCIA partners, with support from Adaptation Fund and European Union, announce US$2.2 million in grants to local innovators to accelerate local climate action across 19 countries

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April 2022, New York – At this year’s Gobeshona Global Conference, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners of the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA) announced US$2.2 million in climate action grants for 22 local innovators across 19 countries.

The first round of funding through the AFCIA window will enhance local climate action and accelerate the delivery of targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative empowers local actors  and contributes to the principles for locally led adaptation action, which have been endorsed by UNDP and partners around the world.  

AFCIA was launched in November 2020 by the Adaptation Fund together with UNDP, UNEP and the Climate Technology Centre and Network, after the grants were originally announced in December 2019 at COP25 in Madrid at an AF event.

The new funding proposals will benefit from the technical support and know-how of the Adaptation Innovation Marketplace. Launched by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner at the Climate Adaptation Summit in January 2021, AIM is a strategic platform that promotes scaled-up adaptation at the local level, focusing on civil society, non-government organizations, and women and youth innovators. The marketplace crowds in resources, know-how and support to facilitate local access to climate change finance.

The AIM partners – the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, the Least Developed Countries Universities Consortium on Climate Change, the Global Resilience Partnership, the Climate-Knowledge Innovation Community, and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) – provide technical support to the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator. This year, the partners of AIM will further collaborate on knowledge sharing and South-South Coordination for the 22 local partners awarded grants in the first round of AFCIA grant giving.

Winning proposals varied from advanced aquaculture in India and expanding the production of climate resilient acai berries in Brazil to the reintroduction of ancient climate-resilient construction techniques in the Sahel and the creation of “blue jobs” in Micronesia. Grants were awarded across 19 countries, including 7 from Africa, 11 from Asia, and 4 from the Latin America and Caribbean region. Ten out of the 22 were from least developed countries or small island developing states.  

The grants focused on resilient agriculture, technology, community-based adaptation, ecosystem-based payments and services, and entrepreneurship. The second call for proposals opens in June 2022.

“By supporting locally driven climate innovations, these grants enable us to rethink the way we support climate resilient development. This means embracing The UN’s New Way of Working and Grand Bargain agreements, breaking down silos, working across the society, following the localization agenda, and scaling up locally led adaptation. and accelerating climate resilience of vulnerable communities,” said Srilata Kammila, UNDP’s Head of Climate Change Adaptation.

The funding is delivered through the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator, a multi-partner programme launched in November 2020 with an initial US$10 million grant from the Adaptation Fund. The programme supports local entrepreneurs in developing countries to grow their innovative resilience-building solutions into viable business models that attract commercial financing. In December 2020, the European Union contributed an additional EUR$10 million to the UNDP grant funding window.   

At the Gobeshona Conference, UNDP announced the first-round finalists of 22 local partners from 19 countries. Of these, 11 will receive $125,000 small-grants, and 11 will receive $60,000 micro-grants for first phase, with an implementation window of 1.5 years. UNDP and partners will also provide additional technical assistance, investment brokering, tailored support and international advocacy to each local partner.

The latest IPCC Report underscores the need to invest in climate resilient development urgently and at scale, highlighting the role of social justice and diverse forms of knowledge such as indigenous and local knowledge in climate adaptation processes. The report notes that despite progress in adaptation efforts across all sectors and regions, human-induced climate change has caused widespread losses and damages to nature and people, with the most vulnerable people and systems disproportionately affected. Africa and Small Islands in particular face relatively severe challenges across all dimensions of the vulnerability assessed in the report. 

UNDP actively supports over US$1.6 billion in climate resilience investments from donors such as the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environment Facility and the Adaptation Fund, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners including the European Union, with approximately US$3.8 billion in leveraged finance from partners. The projects span close to 100 countries and will benefit approximately 138 million people.  

Grants at a glance

Organization Name

Proposed Initiative

Organization Name

Proposed Initiative

Livestock Development for Community Livelihood Organization

Introducing the farming of crickets and chaya into local areas in Cambodia to improve local adaptive capacity to existing and future climate trends

Moyo District Farmers Association

A series of training programs focused on nature-based climate adaptation solutions are to be set up through this district farming association in Uganda, aiming to trigger a behaviour change

Bukidnon Umayamnon Tribe Kapu-unan To Mga Datu (BUKDA)                                                                                                

Planting bamboo and cacao for income generation, as well as soil and green cover regeneration in the small area in the Philippines, supporting the local indigenous tribe to build resilience.

Open Ghana                                                                                            

This project aims to create alternative livelihoods for women, youth and persons with disabilities by establishing 6 dry season gardens across these villages in Ghana

Santo Sunset Environment Network

Host climate change adaptation workshops in Vanuatu, an area of the Pacific Island Nations, focused on integrating local cultural and traditional knowledge with practical adaptation and resilience-building techniques and technologies

Espacio de Encuentro de las Culturas Originarias

Reduce the vulnerability of crops and wildlife to hydrometeorological events, through an ancestral technique combined with technological innovation (fog-trapping) that increases resistance to frost and droughts, improving the quality of life and health of indigenous populations of Oaxaca, Mexico

Centro Ecológico

The initiative aims to improve food security and nutrition for indigenous people and traditional populations by introducing and expanding the production of climate-resilient acai berries in Brazil.

Centre for Community Initiatives

The initiative aims to improve the climate adaptation capacity of vulnerable communities (and informal settlements) through the building of information-sharing networks between communities, local actors and Weather and Climate Information providers.

Sustainable Environment and Fisheries Foundation                                                                                               

The initiative aimed at teaching communities in two villages in Nigeria about small-scale farming in climate-sustainable ways, as well as using greenhouses for scalable production

Island Food Community of Pohnpei

The initiative’s objective is to address the climate risks to traditional crops from changing seasonal regimes, by introducing locally appropriate food and food processing techniques to add durability to locally produced food in the Federated States of Micronesia

Yaysan Besi Pae

Using climate-smart agriculture and ecosystem-based forest landscape restoration, create improvements and stabilize livelihoods for climate-vulnerable communities in West Timor

Sample Uganda Aquaculture Association

The initiative aims to introduce aquaponics technology through an innovative lease-to-own model to promote aquaponics and horticulture-related production, including nursery propagation, in local areas of Uganda.

Sokehs Menin Ketengesed                                                                                               

The initiative aims to scale-up the monitoring of Marine Protected Areas in Pohnpei for climate change impacts with sustainable aquaculture (seaweed harvesting) and potential sales to fund a revolving fund to pay for conservation activities.


The project is a Nature-Based Solution restoring biodiversity by planting edible caterpillar trees in community forests affected by problems of deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cleantech HUB

Establish an incubator and an accelerate aimed to inspire, mobilize, connect and catalyze green entrepreneurship through turnkey programmes in cleantech ideation, incubation, acceleration and innovation across Columbia

World Neighbors

The project aims to build resilience to climate change in the households of Kisumu County in Kenya, through increased dairy-goat keeping using their own locally-formulated and sustainably produced dairy goat meal

SPARC - Society For The Promotion Of Area Resource Centers

Adoption of decentralized nature-based solutions for wastewater, sewage, and solid waste treatment by vulnerable resident communities in this region of India.

Smarfarms Fiji

Provide households in two informal settlements in Fiji with hydroponic kits and the necessary training to implement these technologies to improve food security at the household level.

ASSOCIATION LA VOUTE NUBIENNE                                                                                                

Reintroduction of an ancient construction technique (Nubian vaults) to create affordable and climate-resilient housing solutions that are adapted for climate change and socio-economic conditions, and constructed using local resources

Rural Development Initiative

The creation of a community-driven rangelands management strategy for local communities in Mustang, Nepal, aimed at leveraging community-based management practices and responses to the changing enviro-social pressures associated with declining snowfall and rising temperatures over time

South Asian Forum for Environment

Introduction and scaling of hydroponic float-farming and aquaculture as an adaptive, integrated climate-resilient agricultural solution for vulnerable coastal communities of eastern India

Mesoamerican Reef Fund Inc

An adaptation strategy to maintain the coastal protection of reefs for at least one reef site of in the Mesoamerican Reef, through immediate post-hurricane reef response, better reef response capacity and governance, and pre-positioned risk financing


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