Mon | Feb 6, 2023

Earth Today | Regional approaches to adaptation yield resource benefits – study

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2022 | 12:10 AM
Women from Taltal and Antofagasta of Chile are undergoing a training programme designed to strengthen their knowledge, capacities and skills in risk control and management. The training is part of the Adaptation Fund regional project in Chile and Ecuador i
Women from Taltal and Antofagasta of Chile are undergoing a training programme designed to strengthen their knowledge, capacities and skills in risk control and management. The training is part of the Adaptation Fund regional project in Chile and Ecuador implemented by Development Bank of Latin America to reduce climate vulnerability and flood risk in coastal urban and semi-urban areas in cities.

A RECENTLY published study from the Adaptation Fund (AF) has revealed the value of transboundary and regional approaches to tackling climate vulnerability within communities.

The study, ‘Transboundary Approaches to Climate Adaptation: Lessons Learned from the Adaptation Fund’s Regional Projects and Programmes’, shows transboundary adaptation actions that involve multiple countries can successfully manage climate risk and achieve positive results with effective project coordination and arrangements that help to save costs.

“These interventions also provide opportunities for cross-border learning and knowledge sharing,” the AF noted.

These findings are based on case studies of five AF-funded regional projects from Latin America (Chile-Ecuador), the Greater Horn of Africa (Ethiopia-Kenya-Uganda), the Lake Victoria Basin (Burundi-Kenya-Rwanda-Tanzania-Uganda), the Western Balkans (Albania-the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia-Montenegro), and the Volta Basin (Benin-Burkina Faso-Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana-Mali-Togo).

The study included in-depth interviews with implementing entities of these projects, and is produced within the Learning and Sharing pillar of the fund’s Medium-Term Strategy for 2018-2022, which focuses on the fund’s multi-level global learning and sharing to enhance effective adaptation in the field.

TRANSBOUNDARY APPROACHES

“This value-added study of the Adaptation Fund’s transboundary approaches comes at the right moment when demand and importance of transboundary regional initiatives is increasing, as we see the rise of needs in addressing common climatic challenges across borders,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Albara Tawfiq in a release from the AF.

“The key findings offer important lessons on implementing transboundary and regional adaptation interventions in different sectors, which will help to ensure greater impact in delivering adaptation benefits to communities at all scales. The projects can improve efficiency and effectiveness for countries facing similar climate impacts, particularly in the midst of limited adaptation finance,” he added.

The AF Board approved the first pilot programme for regional projects and programmes in 2015, which was later converted into a permanent Funding Window for Regional Projects. With a growing portfolio of multi-country initiatives, the Fund has approved over US$219 million in regional project grant funding for 19 transboundary projects and programmes in 35 countries under various sectors, including Disaster Risk Reduction, Food Security, and Transboundary Water Management, among others.

“The AF has taken proactive actions to promote transboundary approaches to address cross border climate risks from early on by offering a funding window for multi-country adaptation projects and programmes that has been available since 2015,” said Mikko Ollikainen, head of the Adaptation Fund.

“We work with countries and implementing entities to ensure that efforts at the transboundary level are complemented by efficient regional solutions to respond to significant cross border challenges in the most vulnerable countries around the world,” he added.

One of the key benefits of building integrated resilience highlighted in the study is cost effectiveness attained by reducing duplication and enhancing coordination with the participating countries. For example, in the case of the Lake Victoria Basin project the implementing entity, the UN Environment Programme, operates a central coordination centre for the project and works through country focal points in each partner country, while those countries provide in-kind contributions of time and resources to support execution across the project territories. Gaining the support of the national governments has made project coordination and monitoring more cost effective than it would have been if entirely new support teams had to be established in each country.