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UNDP, FAO to scale up assistance to countries on addressing climate change risks in agriculture

Germany provides an additional €5 million to support to joint effort

8 December 2015, Paris - A UN Programme working to help countries include climate-related risks in national planning and budgeting processes - especially those that affect the agriculture sector - is getting an additional €5 million in support from the government of Germany, bringing the country's total backing for this work up to €15 million.

Through the recently established Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans programme, FAO and UNDP are working with ministries of agriculture, environment, finance and planning in Nepal, Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Uruguay, Viet Nam and Zambia. The aim is to strengthen local technical skills in the use of climate risk management strategies, adjust planning and budgeting processes to incorporate climate change risks, and support farmers - especially women - in adopting best practices in climate change adaptation. (Learn more.)

The two UN agencies will use the additional financing - provided by Germany 's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) under the auspices of its International Climate Initiative (IKI) - to scale up this work as well as expand it to three more countries.

"The additional finance from the Government of Germany will be catalytic to assist countries to put into place the requisite national systems and capacities to scale up climate risk management in the critical area of food security and livelihoods," said German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks.

A broad and complementary programme of work

The 4-year UNDP-FAO initiative is part of UNDP's portfolio of assistance to countries on climate change adaptation. It sits alongside other ongoing efforts to strengthen the national adaptation plans processes financed by the Least Developed Country Fund ($4.7 million), the Special Climate Change Fund ($2.25 million), as well as bilateral donors.

It will be complemented by additional support extended by UNDP to countries with financing from the Special Climate Change Fund, Green Climate Fund as well as support from bilateral donors such as Germany, Japan, Canada and Australia.

A related initiative is the Caribbean Climate Change Partnership, which similarly aims to support countries in developing their National climate Adaptation Plans. This work is being implemented by UNDP with funding from the Government of Japan to the tune of $15 million for the 2015-2017 period.

For, FAO the joint effort dovetails with a series of global programmes the agency is running to help countries develop and implement policy frameworks and institutional arrangements aimed at promoting sustainable agricultural development under climate change.

Since 2009, FAO has implemented some 300 projects and programmes addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture, forestry and fisheries and aquaculture. Through its network of climate change professionals in its various technical units, FAO is supporting countries in diverse ways, from policy design, to improved practices and capacity development.

The scaling up of the FAO-UNDP partnership made possible by Germany's latest contribution will help FAO expand the number of countries supported as well as South-South exchanges between developing countries, strengthening data gathering and evidence-based monitoring and evaluation on a global scale, and promoting gender equality in agricultural development.

Meeting needs

The financial support provided by Germany addresses major concerns of many of the world's most vulnerable countries, as voiced by Uganda and Nepal.

"For many of us in Uganda, climate change is no longer a distant threat; it is a reality and a sign of what lies ahead. It is also important to note that climate change knows no boundaries. There is no institution that can deal with this on its own. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by all of us working together by sharing resources and technologies," said Vincent Ssempijja, Ugandan Minister of State for Agriculture. "The process of developing National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) has started, and agriculture is a champion in developing their sector specific NAP and mainstreaming guidelines."

Haribol Prasad Gajurel, Minister of Agricultural Development, Government of Nepal added: "This is a crucial moment for agriculture in Nepal. The sector is very vulnerable and farmers are facing difficulties in coping with the challenges posed by climate change, such as erratic rainfalls, shifting monsoon conditions and insurgence of disease-pests. In this connection, we are working to strengthen capacities to adapt to climate change. We welcome the opportunity offered by FAO and UNDP and are glad to be partners in the "Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans" initiative. This is an important chance to shape our own adaptation plans for the future of our country."

Photo: ©FAO/Daniel Hayduk
Moringa seedlings at a tree nursery in the highlands of Tanzania, part of an FAO project to strengthen farmers' capacity to cope with climate change.