COP22 Adaptation Fund Side Event on Implementing Climate Resilient Community Agricultural Solutions Well-Received

Family and Community Agriculture Common Theme across Several Adaptation Fund Projects

Marrakech, Morocco (November 12, 2016) – The Adaptation Fund’s side event at COP22 on November 10 was well-received and featured presentations on several concrete Fund projects that are making positive impacts for vulnerable families and communities through sustainable climate-resilient agricultural solutions.

Speakers from Morocco, Argentina, Uruguay and Senegal shared experiences and successes in the development and implementation of Fund projects.

The Adaptation Fund pioneered Direct Access – which gives developing countries the opportunity to access climate finance and develop adaptation projects directly through accredited national implementing entities (NIEs) while building their own capacity to adapt to climate change,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Naresh Sharma. “Our concrete projects to help the most vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change are the Fund’s hallmark. Many have agriculture components that are producing tangible results for families and communities.”

Walter Oyhantcabal, Director of Climate Change in Uruguay’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries – the executing entity for an Adaptation Fund (AF) project aimed at helping vulnerable small family cattle ranchers build climate resilience by enhancing grasslands, forage, shadow trees, water and sustainable pasture management, said the frequency and intensity of drought in Uruguay has intensified in recent years. “Uruguay relies on agriculture and livestock, so this has severe stressors on vegetation,” he said.

The project is strengthening networks and building learning platforms with a focus on women and youth, while combining science and technology with farmers’ local knowledge and expertise. “It is restoring rangelands’ soil fertility and biodiversity as resilience drivers and has a carbon sequestration co-benefit. [It’s a] win-win: more productivity and more adaptation to climate variability at the same time. We are very happy that the Adaptation Fund asked us to specifically design a knowledge management component. There was no experience in Uruguay working on adaptation so it’s very important. We need to measure and validate good practices that can be part of knowledge to deploy. We’re trying for cultural and behavioral change.

Meryem Andaloussi, Head of the Environment Service at the Agency for Agricultural Development in Morocco, the Fund’s NIE for Morocco, spoke of an AF project in Morocco aimed at building resilience to drought among rural vulnerable oases populations by improving adaptive capacities in the water sector, ground and surface water flow, ecosystem resilience, and diversifying incomes. “It directly benefits around 40,000 people,” she said. “Women and youth represent 50% of beneficiaries.”

Emmanuel Seck, Program Manager of ENDA, a member of the AF NGO Network, discussed an AF project in Senegal, which was aimed at adaptation to sea rise and included a component to restore rice fields that had been abandoned due to saltwater intrusions. The project rehabilitated an anti-salt dyke which allowed female growers to reclaim 17 ha of rice fields, and recovered 5,000 ha of arable land. It also created a water basin that allows the community to store water after the rain season. “It’s important to have all partners and producers in this process,” he said. “It’s very important in strengthening food security in this area.

Seck said there were many positive outcomes that resulted from the project. Involvement of research institutions is key to advise on the best species of rice to grow, and the possibility of fish farming in the resulting upstream basin, gardening downstream, saltworks and reducing the use of firewood in fish processing has led to the creation of “green jobs”. The project has also been a catalyst for replication activities in nearby areas. “There is a need to increase awareness-raising and also educate the people when we have this kind of [successful] project to make them sustainable,” he said.

Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Head of Climate Change Adaptation at UNDP, an AF accredited multilateral implementing entity, discussed several examples where small farmers are building climate resilience through AF-funded projects implemented by UNDP.

He spoke of an AF project in Myanmar that is addressing risks to water resources and food security through climate-resilient water management, food and livestock production. “Small farmers were suffering from drought and water scarcity. The project was able to divert water from places where there was excess water and take it to other places in the region,” he advised. “A community irrigation system doubled rice production. Remarkable things happen when people get together on a project.”

In the Maldives, an AF project is increasing resilience among vulnerable populations through integrated climate-resilient water supply and management systems. Local resident Lamya Mohamed was isolated far from the mainland where 80% of water had risen to a meter above sea level and she would often awaken to the sounds of waves crashing against her house. “The project installed drainage systems with solar panels,” Kurukulasuriya said, adding that the model will be replicated across other islands.

Kurukulasuriya further cited an AF project in Mauritius for installing early warning systems that are saving lives against incoming storm surges. Another AF project in Colombia is minimizing flood risks by rehabilitating wetlands, strengthening local and regional hydro-climate information systems and introducing climate-resilient agro-ecological practices to local farmers. It is being looked at as a model to be scaled up through other funding.  Ultimately the AF is contributing to “transformational change” in climate change adaptation, Kurukulasuriya said. “The Adaptation Fund is a fantastic incubator of ideas where countries can test things and go to bigger funds for more financing.”

Marcia Levaggi, Director General of Environmental Affairs in Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, praised innovations arising from Direct Access. AF’s NIE in South Africa, for example, has pioneered ‘enhanced direct access’ through a Small Grants Facility AF-funded project for increasing climate resilience in rural communities by working directly with stakeholders and beneficiaries to incorporate adaptation measures into local practices. She said an AF project in Argentina is also enhancing adaptive capacities of small-scale agricultural producers. “The Direct Access experience has been very rewarding for NIEs,” she said. “The Fund has sound policies and operational structures that are able to deliver adaptation measures swiftly to beneficiaries.”

Levaggi cited an independent evaluation showing the AF to be relevant, efficient and effective, and a learning institution that is a vehicle for innovation. She said a process underway at COP22 to potentially include the Fund as an instrument of the Paris Agreement should be formalized. “We believe this is very important because we believe in my country that the Fund is already serving the Agreement by helping to reduce the global adaptation gap through its concrete projects,” she said.

AF Interim Manager Mikko Ollikainen said the AF has grown to 55 projects in 48 countries serving more than 3.7 direct beneficiaries, with about another 40 projects under development for financing. The Fund has set a resource mobilization target of US$ 80 million this year.



Since 2010, the Adaptation Fund has committed US $357.5 million to support 55 concrete, localized climate adaptation and resilience projects in 48 countries, with more than 3.7 million direct beneficiaries.

Communications: Matthew Pueschel, or +1 202 473 6743


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