Feature Story | Oct 05 2017

Officials and Experts from Zambia and Across Asia Reveal How Rural Communities Can Build Climate Resilience through Stronger Infrastructure, Better Weather Monitoring and Detailed Disaster Action Plans

SIEM RIEP, CAMBODIA (4 October 2017)—As the Government of Cambodia redoubles efforts to protect the country against weather extremes wrought by climate change, a meeting of experts from across the world—in advance of the climate talks in Bonn—offered new evidence that empowering communities with a mix of technology and information tailored specifically to the local threats they face can help them to survive, recover from and thrive despite extreme weather disasters.

The event, which brought together climate change officials, experts and practitioners from Cambodia, Zambia, and other countries from Southeast Asia who face similar climate challenges, was organized by the Cambodian government with support from the Asian Development Bank and the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), a US$8.3 billion fund providing developing and middle-income countries with the resources they need to protect themselves against the effects of climate change and reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.

"With flooding in river basins and drought in the highlands, Cambodia is, worldwide, one of the nations most vulnerable to climate change," said Mafalda Duarte, the head of CIF. "All too often, the poorest suffer most when their homes, rice fields, roads and hospitals are inundated with water for months at a time, or when their crops shrivel and die from water shortages. These disasters are a burden for rural communities—as well as the national economy. But what’s encouraging to see is that, if supported in the right way, these same communities can protect themselves against the effects of climate change."

With some 84% of the population relying on agriculture, Cambodia is particularly sensitive to changes in weather patterns and extreme weather, with most farmers dependent on the annual flooding and recession of the Tonle Sap Great Lake for water resources. Flooding or droughts can throw this resource off balance, destroying crops and leaving farmers without crops. In 2016, the Global Nature Fund called Tonle Sap the world’s most threatened lake.

Across the country, rural infrastructure, including roads, water supply and sanitation, also need protection against climate change. Experts from across the Mekong region attended the event to report on local, community level approaches to managing the disasters and risk that come with climate change. In Cambodia, these include:

  • Developing flood-resistant infrastructure, including 240 kilometers of rural roads, 11 climate-proofed jetties, micro-irrigation and solar pumping systems and hazard maps in Sisopohon, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Cham that will benefit 100,000 people—including 51,000 women and girls;
  • Improving irrigation systems in the Tonle Sap basin to boost rice production and exports in support of Cambodia’s goal to become a major rice exporter;
  • Upgrading roads and bridges—including developing 160 kilometers of flood-resistant paved roads—in the Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces;
  • Helping the Pursat provinces adapt to both flooding and drought; and,
  • Promoting climate resilient agriculture and biodiversity conservation in Koh Kong and Mondulkiri provinces, where the sea level is expected to rise 10 centimeters by 2025, but where increased drought and less rainfall is also expected.

The agriculture project in the Koh Krong and Mondulkiri provinces will protect 4,300 farming families and their crops from a deluge of sea or river water. In Koh Krong, flood protection dykes will shield rice fields from the ocean water; in Mondulkiri, rainwater harvesting systems, small-scale irrigation facilities and water conservation technologies will help farmers to maximize limited water resources.

"The government of Cambodia is firmly committed to helping the country’s farmers build up their climate resilience so that they can quickly adapt when flooding or drought hits," said H.E. Veng Sakhon, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Cambodia . "We can’t control the weather, but we can give these communities the tools they need—from early warning systems to weather insurance—to plan against disasters and risk brought on by climate change."

To support these communities, the government is tapping into US$91 million in grants and near-zero interest credits from the CIF’s Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), which supports climate resilience in developing countries. In addition to helping Cambodia climate-proof its water management systems, agriculture, and rural and urban infrastructure, it is also providing financing to enhance the capacity of Cambodia’s institutions to incorporate climate resilience into their development plans.

The CIF supports similar efforts in Zambia. Like Cambodia, most of the population of the land-locked country in southern Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change and is dependent on agriculture. Furthermore, infrastructure is limited; only 14.8 % of the country’s roads are paved.

One project funded by the CIF in Zambia is designed to help poor, rural farmers—including women and youth—in some 800,000 communities across the Kafue river basin adapt to climate change. The project will develop roads designed to withstand floods and extreme weather so that they’re accessible all year long and can help local communities to ensure that they’re able to sell their crops at local markets. Launched in 2013, the five-year project will cost US$38 million and impact nine districts of the Kafue basin.

"Droughts, floods and high temperatures are a major drain to our economy and a strain on our people," said Dr. Auxilia Ponga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Development Planning of Zambia. "We have been so surprised to learn from our visit to Cambodia that though our countries are thousands of miles apart from one another, the threat of climate change is strikingly similar. Fortunately, we are learning that local solutions can help us adapt to this global problem."

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About Climate Investment Funds

The $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is providing 72 developing and middle income countries with urgently needed resources to manage the challenges of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2008, the CIF has been leading efforts to empower transformations in the energy, climate resilience, transport and forestry sectors. CIF concessional financing offers flexibility to test new business models and approaches, build track records in unproven markets, and boost investor confidence to unlock additional finance from other sources, particularly the private sector and the multilateral development banks that implement CIF funding.

Total CIF pledges of $8.3 billion are expected to attract an additional $58 billion of co-financing for a portfolio of over 300 projects and counting.

The CIF is comprised of four programs
 

  • The $5.6 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF) provides middle-income countries with highly concessional resources to scale up the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low carbon technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport.
  • The $1.2 billion Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) is helping developing countries integrate climate resilience into development planning and offers additional funding to support public and private sector investments for implementation.
  • The $780 million Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP) is helping to deploy renewable energy solutions for increased energy access and economic growth in the world’s poorest countries.
  • The $775 million Forest Investment Program (FIP) supports efforts of developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable forest management that leads to emissions’ reductions and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+).
Press Release | Oct 05 2017

Community-based actions and solutions to cope with climate change and disasters are gaining traction, particularly in vulnerable countries like Cambodia and its neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Climate-related disasters, such as prolonged droughts, flooding, and much stronger typhoons and hurricanes, have taken a toll on developing countries through loss of human lives and livelihoods as well as damage to critical infrastructure.

Over the course of the past two days, experts and practitioners on community-based climate change adaptation and disaster risk management gathered in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a regional conference on community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM). The event was held in the Apsara Palace Resort and Conference Center and was attended by roughly 150 participants, including a wide range of stakeholders from participating governments, community representatives, NGOs, academia, private sector, and development partners in Cambodia and Mekong region.

The conference aimed to create a forum to share experiences in implementing and supporting CBDRM. Presenters discussed good practices and strategies for strengthening community-based disaster preparedness and responses, innovative ways of building capacities of local communities to reduce risks of natural disasters, and novel approaches for sustainable management of community-based disaster risks. Cambodia Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) work on CBDRM was also presented.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology hosted the event, in collaboration with the National Council for Sustainable Development and Ministry of Environment. The Government of Cambodia, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, organized the conference with support from the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (CIF/PPCR).

His Excellency Professor Dr. Sabo Ojano, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment delivered his opening remarks during the conference. He emphasized "sharing information to increase capacity, timely delivery of information about droughts, floods and storms to all stakeholders is an important requirement to reduce the loss of the national economy and support the lives of the people of Cambodia as well as those globally."

A government delegation from Zambia, another pilot country under the PPCR, also participated in the workshop in order to learn about effective approaches to CBDRM. Their participation was a crucial part of the knowledge exchange activities between Cambodia and Zambia, organized through support from the CIF/PPCR.

CBDRM and climate change-related materials, such as reports, training materials, case studies, and guides, were also displayed and extensively utilized during the conference.

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About the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

Established in 2008 as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, the US $8.3-billion CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector Multi Development Banks (MDBs) and other sources. Five MDBs – the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG) – implement CIF-funded projects and programs.

In the News | Jun 02 2017

Dominica is steadily progressing towards integrating and mainstreaming climate resilience into national planning and development.

Haoua Abdoulaye poses for a photo with his village's warrantage stock in Tillabery, Niger, on April 18, 2017. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Kieran Guilbert
In the News | May 17 2017

Lack of storage forces farmers to sell their harvest at low prices - but changing that can help them get ahead.

Feature Story | May 06 2017

“Tomorrow brings many things,” an old Zambian proverb tells us.  But because of climate change, many Zambian communities need help today to prepare for a tomorrow where shifting temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events are the new normal. 

The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, a funding window of the Climate Investment Funds, recently travelled to Zambia to meet the change-makers taking charge of climate adaptation efforts in their communities and to visit some adaptation projects.

The everyday can sometimes remind you of the existential.  So it was in the Kazungula district of Zambia when, because of increased flooding which is now becoming more frequent, the minibus taking us to Mungoni Livelihood project sputtered and stalled in the mud.  It was only a minor setback – we soon dug the bus out and continued on our way - but it crystallized how climate change has short-term impacts as well as long-term implications.

It also highlighted the importance of adaptability to new circumstances.  And that’s exactly what the PPCR is aiming to do in conjunction with the Zambian government and the World Bank and African Development Bank.  These projects are needed because climate change is affecting every aspect of life in Zambia, as Auxillia B. Ponga, the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of National Development and Planning, describes: 

“In some parts of the country we have flooding.  That means people can’t grow their food.  It also goes to impacts on health because if there is flooding, the sanitation aspect is affected.  People will have challenges from moving from one place to the other.  And they can’t grow their usual crops during the rainy season”

Traditionally, communities in this area have reared cattle but because of prolonged droughts they have lost these animals.  But chickens need less water than cattle and are easier to feed.  So the PPCR is funding an agriculture-oriented program which does a number of things across 46 projects.

Firstly, it provides the chickens.  Chickens require less pasture and local-made feed is easier to come by than for other animals.  Secondly, a Livestock Officer provides regular training so the communities are well-equipped and have the knowledge and skills to manage the chickens.  Finally, the local authority runs workshops in business management and project management so people develop the skills they need to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.  Local changemaker Mavis Sibes explains the community’s plans:

“We have reared these chickens and at some point, they will start laying eggs.  We will get these eggs and incubate them in (nearby city) Livingstone. When we make our first sales, with the money we are going to realize, we are going to open an account.  (For the second batch) we will buy our own solar incubators.  When we sell for the third time, we are going to put 50% in the account and share the other 50% so we can help our children and take them to school – because we have a lot of vulnerable people who don’t go to school in our community.”

We then drove to another PPCR project, which is providing villagers with goats.  Like chickens, goats are low-maintenance and can thrive even in drought conditions.  This is certainly needed in Kazungula district.  Local villager Arori Simasi told us how climate change was hurting them: “In the past years, we were suffering because there was no rain.  So there was lots of drought and people didn’t have anything.”

With training from the same Livestock Officer, the community rotate shifts to feed the goats, take them to graze and are already looking to expand the enterprise – there was much talk of selling goats at market once household needs were met and trading them for other types of livestock when the time was right. 

They also spoke of how the money their animals generated was helping pay for their children to go to school so they can escape poverty and expand their opportunities. 

The PPCR is supporting this too.  Nearby, a school located in Sesheke district has a CIF PPCR-funded solar borehole, which dispenses water for pupils and teachers as well as being useful for watering the school-owned and tended vegetable patch.  Nathan Akatama, the acting Head Teacher, explains the ripple effects this water supply is having:

“Having the water here has really helped the children – they have water available for sanitation and for growing food.  The children love it and we’ve shown them how to turn it on and – importantly – how to turn it off!  They use it to water the vegetables too and grow eggplant, okra and tomatoes. We’ve noticed a real difference in enrollment and attendance.  Since it was installed, we’ve gone from 126 pupils to 255.  This is something that has changed everybody’s lives around here.”

While clearing canals and digging ditches may not immediately seem as obviously impactful as early years schooling, for communities living near the Barotse sub-basin of the Zambezi River, it is incredibly important.That’s because an unclogged canal helps drain out fields during and after intense rains, regulating the amount of water which would be optimal for growing crops.   Pomolo Akowondo, who leads the small team responsible for manually clearing the canals, is clear about the benefits for agriculture:

“It helps farmers in many ways.  One, it makes the land dry so they can easily cultivate their fields.  Second, when canals are cleared it becomes easy for the farmers to transport their produce from the place of production to the markets. I have personally seen the benefits of this exercise because before people used to have very low yields.  After the clearing of the canals was done, people have actually increased their yields.  So it has helped them a lot.”

“It has helped women a lot in the sense that in our communities we may have more women than men so these are the people responsible for taking care of children, taking them to school and so forth.  It has helped women to have enough food to feed their families.” 

But not all canals can be dug and cleared by hand.  Some of them are so large that heavy machinery is used.   Just a few miles away, we spoke to Caesar Zakala, a water engineer for the Senanga district, who told us how a PPCR-funded large-scale canal clearing is driving heavyweight progress:

“The immediate impact is we have areas which were flooded throughout the rainy season that are now dry.  Then, navigation. Because the canals have increased in size (width and depth) people can easily navigate.  Then, of course, there’s the fishing aspect – we’re expecting a lot of fish this year because of this canal.”

Agriculture, education, infrastructure – climate change is impacting all of these.  This requires action and there is no time to waste.  In Zambia, we have a shining example of the benefits of communities taking action on adaptation and climate resilience.

In the News | Apr 27 2017

As of 2016, 105,000 beneficiaries in 14 districts, where more than 90% of the population live off farming, are seeing benefits of resilience efforts supported by the PPCR.

Hellshire Beach, Jamaica (Photo: Thomson Reuters Foundation)
In the News | Mar 28 2017

Pollution and warmer temperatures have killed reefs off the shore of Hellshire Beach, allowing waves to pound it and wash away the sand.

Bhutan signs PPCR Project Preparation Grant (Photo: World Bank)
| Mar 07 2017

The project is supported by a preparatory grant provided by the Climate Investment Fund through the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience Program (PPCR). 

Feature Story | Jan 25 2017

For the past decade, annual temperature records have been broken with disturbing regularity. Climate change is expected to adversely impact economies around the world, especially those in developing countries, and risks pushing 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. Making climate-vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, health, and infrastructure more resilient is critical to reducing the negative economic and social impacts of climate change. But the costs to make this happen are expected to run billions of dollars a year, of which public funds will only be able to cover a small fraction.

The private sector - ranging from individual farmers to small and medium enterprises to large companies across a variety of sectors – will likely shoulder the vast majority of these costs. But with these costs also comes unique opportunities. Companies with the foresight to properly assess and address their climate risks can protect future revenue streams and potentially create a competitive advantage.

A new report 'Private Sector Investment in Climate Adaptation in Developing Countries', published by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) examines how development finance institutions can play an important role in helping companies overcome the barriers to making their assets and operations more climate resilient and to help close the financing gap. The report looks at what Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), in particular, are doing in the climate adaptation space, with a goal to help provide practitioners and private companies with a deeper understanding of how they can better support climate resilience projects in the future.

 

Credit: Sofie Tesson / Taimani Films / World Bank


Here are four key takeaways from the report:

1. Addressing Knowledge Gaps in the Private Sector Matters

Tools such as feasibility studies, business risk assessments, technical assistance and market studies can help address private sector knowledge gaps. In other words, most companies are not fully aware of the risks that they may face due to a changing climate, as well as the technological and investment opportunities available to address those risks. This is particularly true for sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and water management. Often, making the link between climate impacts and business risk can help drive companies to consider measures to make their operations more climate resilient.

For instance, an IFC project in Mozambique conducted a feasibility study to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of irrigating agricultural blocks for field crops, vegetables, and tree crops to help smallholder farmers overcome barriers to investment in irrigation technologies. And an EBRD project in Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted a business risk assessment for a pulp and paper company to stress test local water availability under future climate scenarios. These tools can help businesses properly assess the climate risks that could affect their operations, helping decision makers apply the necessary resources to mitigate those risks.

2. Concessional Financing When Returns are Uncertain is Important
Concessional finance is an important financing tool where returns are long and/ or uncertain. Concessional finance – funds provided at below market rates and/or with longer repayment periods - can be critical to reducing the real and perceived risks facing these investments. They can also help align incentives to push projects over the finish line that wouldn’t otherwise be feasible. 

MDBs have reported on the effectiveness of using concessional financing to minimize first mover costs when piloting innovative projects. The Inter-American Development Bank, for example, offered a $5.75 million loan on concessional terms from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) to the Jamaica National Building Society in order to on-lend funds to housing developers and construction firms for water efficient products. This concessional loan was necessary to move the project forward as it came at a time when dedicated lending for water efficient technologies was non-existent in the market.

3. Intermediated Financing Can be Effective for Engaging Small Businesses 
Bringing in smaller, local financial institutions can be a necessary step to effectively engage micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in climate adaptation. Intermediated Financing can be an effective way to engage MSMEs in climate adaptation activities. MSMEs often face challenges with regards to lack of capacity to address climate risks to their business. And they face an additional hurdle as these companies are often too small to be directly engaged with development finance institutions (DFIs).

DFIs can overcome this barrier by providing local financial institutions with on-lending/credit line products or credit enhancement (e.g. first loss provisions or guarantees for default risk). These local banks can then engage with their MSME clients to help finance climate resilience products. For example, EBRD’s CLIMADAPT financing facility offers credit to local banks to provide financing to small businesses in Tajikistan for sustainable technologies. The local banks are able to leverage their client relationships and expertise in order to effectively identify and support climate resilience investments for SMEs.

4. Scaling Investments through Collaboration Can Help Mitigate Project Risk
Intensive collaboration with other stakeholders can help mitigate project risk and scale investments. Even though many DFIs have gained some experience in the market, the challenge for private sector adaptation investments can prove difficult for one organization to implement on their own.

Long term and patient collaboration with clients and partner DFIs can often be necessary to move private sector adaptation investments forward. For instance, IFC and IDB have worked with Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation (ECOM), one of the world’s biggest coffee traders, on a combined six investments worth close to $200 million. These existing relationships helped build the trust necessary to undertake the first in a series of climate resilience projects benefitting small holder farmers in Latin America. This project combines concessional finance, guarantees, and company contributions along with private sector commitments to buy the crops, helping ensure that the project makes financial and business sense for all stakeholders.

This report will be discussed further at an upcoming BBL event, happening Thursday, January 26th from 12:30 – 2:00 pm at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. For additional information, including how to register for the event, via  this link.

Download the Report  here.

Press Release | Jan 13 2017


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The African Development Bank (AfDB), with support from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), has awarded a contract to Swedish consulting firm CPMA International to help develop a global Adaptation Benefit Mechanism (ABM).

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