The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) doubled direct access financing of climate resilience initiatives in developing countries by approving six projects in South Africa, Costa Rica, India, and Kenya totalling US$ 33 million.
The Adaptation Fund is a United Nations initiative. It is geared towards financing projects that have concrete, on-the-ground benefits that will help communities deal with the impacts of climate change.
Each country that receives money from the Adaptation Fund must have an accredited ‘Implementing Entity’ to design and rollout these projects. In South Africa, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has been tasked with this duty. The Adaptation Fund has made about R109 million (US$ 10 million) available to South Africa for the following two projects over the next five years:
1. ‘Taking adaptation to the ground: a small grants facility for enabling local level responses to climate change in South Africa’, which will be implemented in the Mopani and Namakwa Districts in Limpopo and the Northern Cape Provinces. The Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility (SGF) project is a way to assist communities to access small grants funding for climate adaptation. The Mopani and Namakwa Districts are expected to become hotter, rainfall will be less predictable, and there are heavier storm events. This will impact on people’s health and well-being, as these changes undermine agriculture, local livelihoods and the built environment. The SGF project will release small grants so that communities can run projects that will deliver tangible and sustainable benefits. As projects unfold, communities will be encouraged to share lessons learnt in order for the projects to be rolled out on a larger scale across the region or even internationally.
2. ‘Building resilience in the Greater uMngeni catchment, South Africa’, which will be implemented in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. This project aims to increase resilience of vulnerable communities through interventions such as early warning systems, ecological and engineering infrastructure solutions, integrating climate-resilient crops and climate-smart techniques into new and existing farming systems.
“The approval of these six climate adaptation projects in developing countries clearly shows that the direct access modality of the Fund is effective, and is gaining momentum,” said Mamadou Honadia, Chair of the AFB. “The Fund’s role continues in pioneering direct access that shows results on the ground and increases climate finance capacities at the national and local levels.”
The approved projects include resilience activities in agriculture, coastal zone management, disaster risk reduction, food security, and water management. All projects were proposed by and will be implemented by national implementing entities that have been accredited through the Fund’s rigorous accreditation process. The Fund’s total commitments to climate adaptation now total US$ 265 million in 45 countries.
The Adaptation Fund finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries build resilience and adapt to climate change. Initiatives are based on the country needs, views and priorities. The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Fund is financed in part by government and private donors, and also from a two percent share of proceeds of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) issued under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects.