(Washington D.C., 24 September 2013) – The Adaptation Fund Board last week added to its growing portfolio of climate adaptation activities with the approval of US$ 5.4 million in grant funding for an innovative adaptation programme in Guatemala. The programme, which will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, seeks to increase the climate resilience of production landscapes and socio-economic systems to increasingly severe floods and droughts in the departments of Sololá and Suchitepéquez. As well as enhancing local and national level climate response capacities, the programme will make use of a novel grant-making facility to allow rural indigenous communities to implement adaptation responses based on traditional knowledge.

The Guatemala programme is the first to be released from a pipeline of projects and programmes that cannot readily be funded by the Adaptation Fund due to its limited resources. The approval of the programme in Guatemala was made possible after recent generous contributions from the Government of Sweden and the Brussels Capital Region. The seven remaining projects in the pipeline, amounting to US$ 48.7 million, stand to receive finance for urgent climate adaptation activities as soon as the Adaptation Fund receives further contributions.

The release of its first pipeline programme brings the total funding approved by the Adaptation Fund Board to US $190 million. The Fund’s portfolio of concrete adaptation activities strategically focuses on the most vulnerable communities throughout 29 developing countries.

Photograph: Zhu Xiaozhuli, San Pedro la Laguna, Solola, 2002