Mon | Apr 6, 2020

Earth Today | Italy boosts resilience efforts in developing world

Published:Thursday | October 18, 2018 | 12:46 AM
Drip irrigation in Ethiopia.


AN ADAPTATION Fund (AF) project in Ethiopia - aimed at helping the most climate-vulnerable communities adapt to frequent droughts, flooding, and rainfall variability - has been replicated by the Government of Italy, in a new effort focused on other regions of the country similarly affected by climate change.

The new US$ 4.25-million initiative is funded by Italy and implemented by Ethiopia's Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MEFCC), one of the executing entities of the AF-funded Ethiopia project.

It uses the same methodologies as the AF project, employing climate-resilient integrated water management, climate-smart agriculture and capacity-building approaches to vulnerable pastoralist communities in the regions of Afar and Ethio-Somale.

"Since 2015, we have co-financed the AF with 14 million Euros and, since the end of 2016, we have been cooperating with the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment. Under this bilateral cooperation, we are carrying out five projects that have been identified as a priority by our counterpart, the MEFCC of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. This is the framework where the 'Climate Smart Integrated Rural Development Project in the Pastoralist Areas of Ethiopia has been launched'," noted Francesco La Camera, director general of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.

"The ambitious goals set by the Paris Agreement and the (United Nations Sustainable Development) Agenda 2030 can be hit only through an extraordinary mobilisation of all available resources and a coherent synergy among different sources and channels of intervention. This is one of the reasons we are very proud of this project that pulls together resources coming from bilateral and multilateral channels," he added.

Meanwhile, the US$ 9.98-million AF-funded project, approved last year, is being implemented by the Fund's national implementing entity for Ethiopia, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, along with several Ethiopian government ministries serving as executing entities, including MEFCC.

Agricultural production in Ethiopia is largely composed of small-scale subsistence farming and the AF project helps to manage drought risks and address land and soil degradation with sustainable approaches.

A key pillar of AF's strategic approach is to not only fund concrete, tailored adaptation actions in vulnerable countries, but to share those valuable experiences and models so that they can be replicated or scaled up with other funds to create wider change. It has happened in several instances to date, including in Pakistan, Georgia, Maldives, Senegal, Morocco, Colombia, Antigua and Barbuda, and now Ethiopia.

"It is great to see innovative actions from the AF in Ethiopia being replicated by Italy to reach even more vulnerable communities in need of urgently needed adaptation solutions," said Victor Vinas, chair of the AF Board.

Italy has been a longstanding contributor to the AF, so multiplying the effects of the first Ethiopian project also enhances the synergy between AF and Italy in helping the most vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to the rising impacts of climate change.

Italy has contributed a total of US$16.38 million to AF from 2015-2017 (with contributions increasing from US$ 2.1 million in 2015 to US$8.6 million last year).