Adaptation Fund Board Approves US$ 20.4M in New Project Funding in Intersessional Period

Approvals Include Regional Climate Change Adaptation Projects in Latin America and East Africa, and New Project in Senegal

Washington, D.C. (July 10, 2017) — The Adaptation Fund Board approved US$ 20.4 million in new project funding during its intersessional review period ending in early July – including a regional food security project along the Colombia-Ecuador border, a regional water security project in the Lake Victoria Basin of East Africa, and a mangrove restoration project in Senegal.

The approvals bring total funding committed by the Adaptation Fund since 2010 to more than US$ 438 million for 66 concrete adaptation projects serving vulnerable communities in developing countries across the globe.

“At the Hamburg summit July 7-8, the G20 also stressed support for national adaptation action and in this context recognized efforts promoted by the Adaptation Fund,” said Michael Kracht, Chair of the Adaptation Fund Board. “So, it is very heartening to see more funding heading directly to climate-vulnerable communities who need it the most to build their adaptive capacities and implement urgently needed adaptation solutions.”

The two regional project approvals under the Fund’s rapidly growing Funding Window for Regional Projects followed Board approval at its March meeting of the Fund’s first regional project to enhance resilience to droughts and floods among small farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. 

“Our Funding Window for Regional Projects has been very well-received since it was established in 2015 and has steadily grown. It fills an urgent need as we see that impacts of climate change don’t stop at a country’s borders, and often take sustained transboundary cooperation and a united commitment to build resilience to them,” said Mikko Ollikainen, Manager of the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat.

The new regional approvals include a US$ 14 million project to build capacity to increase food security, nutrition and food autonomy through local production in two critical areas along the Colombia and Ecuador border, the Mira-Mataje and Guaitara-Carchi watersheds. Marked by rugged topography and highly vulnerable to climate change and environmental degradation, its Afro-descendants and Awá populations suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. Implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP), an accredited Multilateral Implementing Entity of the Adaptation Fund, the project aims to rescue traditional and local knowledge to support adaptation and food security, restore vital ecosystems, diversify livelihoods away from resource extraction and prevent and minimize impacts from climate shocks. 

“The approval by the Adaptation Fund Board initiates an important opportunity to empower Indigenous and Afro descendent communities to address the impacts of climate change before it irreversibly affects their way of life and their food and nutrition security,” said Deborah Hines, WFP Country Representative in Colombia. “WFP, working directly with communities, local leaders, environmental entities and the ministries of Environment of Colombia and Ecuador, has developed an innovative binational strategy to understand climate threats and build on local knowledge to strengthen resilience and capacities to adapt to climate risks. WFP thanks the Adaptation Fund for supporting this important initiative and the commitment to work with women, indigenous and Afro (communities), and other vulnerable people to adapt to climate change.”

The other newly approved US$ 5 million regional project in East Africa will address climate change-induced rising temperatures and rainfall variability that disproportionately affect marginalized rural communities in the Lake Victoria Basin that depend on diminishing agriculture, wetlands and fish. Implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme, it will strengthen institutional and technical capacity of areas in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to integrate climate resilience into transboundary water catchment management, and enhance climate information, water harvesting techniques, climate-smart agriculture, regional resilience through community-based projects, and knowledge management systems by collecting and maintaining regional best practices.

“We are very pleased that the Adaptation Fund has decided to fund this regional project. The Lake Victoria Basin is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, particularly through its effects on water flows within the Basin,” said Barney Dickson, UNEP’s Head of Climate Change Adaptation. “This project will strengthen resilience in five countries around the Lake.”

The Board also approved a US$ 1.3 million single-country project in Senegal to be implemented by the Fund’s accredited National Implemented Entity for Senegal, Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE). This falls under the Fund’s pioneering Direct Access modality, which gives developing countries the opportunity to access funds and develop projects directly while building their own capacity to adapt to climate change. The project will strengthen resilience of mangroves in coastal communities of the Saloum Islands, while protecting infrastructures against flooding and developing protective regulatory measures for ecosystems. Climate change and human activity have combined to decimate the Saloum estuary mangroves by nearly 40%, leading to saltwater intrusions and reduced rainfall. The project follows a previous Adaptation Fund project in Senegal implemented by CSE from 2011-2014.

The Government of Senegal and the local community of Dionewar are grateful to the Adaptation Fund Board for the approval of the Saloum Islands’ project,” said Dr. Assize Toure, Director General of CSE. In 2010, Senegal had the honor and privilege to be the first country to receive Adaptation Fund funding. As the first Direct Access entity, CSE is very proud to continuously earn the trust of Senegal’s authorities and the Adaptation Fund Board. The first project protected areas in Rufisque, Saly and Joal from coastal erosion and secured livelihoods of thousands of people, most of them women. This new project aims to reduce the risk of flooding for an island community while enhancing the resilience of primary ecosystems and strengthening the capacity of local institutions to mainstream climate change into development planning. For national authorities, it reflects the Adaptation Fund’s ongoing commitment to building the resilience of the most vulnerable communities. This is of greatest importance for the government and for coastal communities, as Senegal is highly exposed to the adverse effects of climate change — particularly along the coastal areas.”

A regional project concept to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in the management of the W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) transboundary ecosystem complex in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger was also endorsed by the Board during the intersessional period, along with the approval of a US$ 80,000 project formulation grant for the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (an accredited Regional Implementing Entity of the Adaptation Fund) to develop the proposal further.


Adaptation Fund Communications: Matthew Pueschel, or +1-202-473-6743


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