All the evidence points to the fact that we live in a rapidly changing world where temperatures are predicted to increase by 2-3°C and rainfall will become increasingly unreliable – ranging from too little to too much. All in the lifetime of our children.
Unfortunately, even the highly sophisticated models that are cited by the IPCC are uncertain, predicting a range of possible temperature and rainfall trends. The spatial and temporal scales at which these models operate — global and regional — are too imprecise to help people whose livelihoods are determined at the level of the field, farm and district. How can farmers adapt to a future that is so uncertain?
The problem is that there are so many factors involved. Will extra rainfall be cancelled out by extra evaporation? Will the fertilising effect of carbon dioxide be more powerful than the heat damage it causes? To what extent will farmers be able to adapt? Will new varieties of crops keep up with the changing weather?
Unfortunately, for East and Southern Africa the growing literature on assessments all conclude that crop productivity will be hardest hit in the seasonally dry and tropical regions, increasing the risk of hunger in IFAD’s target groups.
Is a three month notice period, currently offered by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) enough to influence an IFAD investment programme? The answer is a disappointing no, as the procurement period for many organizations we work with can have a time horizon of more than three months.
The challenge we face is how do we make our development investments more climate resilient. In this issue emerging success stories are shared from our ESA portfolio that can help us frame the design of future development investments – not only when too little rain occurs, but also when too much falls.
Stephen Twomlow PhD, CEnv
Climate and Environmental Specialist
Environment and Climate Change Division, IFAD
Climate Change and drought preparedness: the issue and IFAD's answer
|Animal feed supply during a drought as planned under the Pastoral Community Development Project. ©Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP)|
Last June, many governments and international organizations gathered in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, to try to find lasting solutions to the pressing issue of climate change and the environment. The conference was held exactly 20 years after the very first Earth Summit gathered in Rio in 1992, which resulted in the Climate Change Convention and subsequent Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. The Rio+20 Summit agreed on new targets aimed at promoting sustainable development globally, with a focus on reducing poverty while promoting jobs growth, clean energy and fairer, sustainable use of resources.
For the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), reducing poverty while preserving the environment is at the core of its activities. The Fund’s approach to climate change, which is grounded in its Strategic Framework, focuses exclusively on climate change issues as they affect poor rural people in developing countries, and on strengthening their long-term resilience to such change. The Framework identifies climate change as a major and growing challenge that will make poor rural people more vulnerable to poverty, hunger, displacement and increased uncertainty.
Thus, in response, IFAD is increasingly integrating adaptation into its operations and taking steps to make mitigation programmes more beneficial to poor rural people. IFAD’s approach is that, to meet the Millennium Development Goals, it must not only help poor rural people cope with climate change, but must enable them to be part of the solution. Through its loan and grant programmes, IFAD has already implemented efficient measures to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, showing that climate change may not need to be a fatality, but action can be taken against its devastating effects.
Here are a few examples of successful measures adopted with the support of IFAD projects and programmes in East and Southern Africa.
Climate change actions in East and Southern Africa
Soil and Water conservation in Eritrea
In Eritrea, the IFAD-supported Gash Barka Livestock and Agricultural Development Project introduced soil and water conservation technologies to halt land degradation and increase the availability of water for crop irrigation in arid and semi-arid areas prone to drought and desertification. It has also introduced micro-catchment interventions to reduce rainwater run-off and increase soil infiltration, and constructed two medium-scale spate irrigation schemes covering about 1,100 hectares and benefiting 1,000 farmers.
Project name: Gash Barka Livestock and Agricultural Development Project
Contact information: Abla Benhammouche, Country Programme Manager, email@example.com
Partner: Belgian Survival Fund for the Third World
Project duration: 2003-2010
Building farmer resilience in Kenya
The effects of climate change have been particularly noticeable in Kenya. Over the past century, the glaciers of Mount Kenya have lost 92 per cent of their mass, and the volume and extent of this loss has accelerated in recent years, causing major floods in the Lower Tana Basin. Serious droughts have also affected the area. In 2000, the third successive year of drought, some rivers and streams dried up completely for the first time in living memory. An IFAD-financed pilot project in the area has introduced a range of adaptive activities such as improved water resource management through water user associations; more appropriate agricultural practices such as agroforestry and river bank protection; energy-efficient cooking stoves and charcoal kilns; and the rehabilitation of degraded land, especially hilltops.
Project name: Mount Kenya East Pilot Project for Natural Resource Management
IFAD loan contact: Samuel Eremie, Country Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partner: Global Environmental Facility Integrated GEF grant (Trust Fund): Mount Kenya East Pilot Project for Natural Resource Management
GEF grant contact: Naoufel Telahigue, Regional Climate and Environment Specialist, email@example.com
Green water credits in Kenya
In Kenya, IFAD contributed to the introduction of Green Water Credits through a grant. Green water is the rainwater stored in the soil which plants feed on. The availability of green water can be increased by reducing run-off and evaporation from the soil. This results in a larger amount of water being available for crops and also in more water that can be used downstream. Farmers and pastoralists are key managers of soil and water but their services often go unrecognized and unrewarded. The concept of green water credits rewards upstream water producers for specified environmental management services that determine water supplies to consumers downstream. Rewards may be in the form of cash or other more lasting benefits.
Grant Name: Proof-of-Concept Study of Green Water Credits Partners: World Soil Information
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Duration: 2005-2007
Climate change adaptation in the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, the Seychelles and Zanzibar
An IFAD-financed regional initiative, implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission, was designed to help smallholder farmers adapt their farming systems to mitigate the effects of climate change. This was done by introducing conservation technologies designed by agro-ecologists, encouraging farmers to share best practices that contribute to restoring and improving soil fertility, and promoting the exchange of knowledge on these topics among the six participating islands (the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, the Seychelles and Zanzibar). The initiative also piloted a number of innovative features to sharpen the climate focus of development activities, and set up platforms, working groups and a hub of competence in each country to sustain the action. Features included demonstrating carbon sequestration benefits and conducting vulnerability assessments focused on climate change.
Grant name: Regional Initiative for Smallholder Agriculture Adaptation to Climate Change in the Indian Ocean Islands
Contact information: Benoit Thierry, Country Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners: Indian Ocean Commission; European Union; Reunion Island
Programme duration: 2008-2010
Markets for carbon sequestration in Mozambique
Carbon sequestration and trading is one of the instruments created as a measure to mitigate the effect of climate change, enabling farmers to capture carbon dioxide emissions in view of trading credits. An applied research programme, funded by IFAD and carried out by the International Food Policy Research Institute, was designed to ensure that poor rural people, and women in particular, have better access to, and the capacity to take advantage of these burgeoning opportunities. The programme reviewed and assessed existing activities related to carbon markets in Mozambique and in three other countries outside of the region (Ghana, Morocco and Viet Nam). In Mozambique, it focused on two IFAD-financed operations: the Rural Markets Promotion Programme (PROMER) and the Sofala Bank Artisanal Fisheries Project (SBAF).
Programme name: Strategic Partnership to Develop Innovative Policies on Climate Change Mitigation and Market Access
Contact information: Bernadette Mukonyora, Research Officer, email@example.com
Partner: International Food Policy Research Institute
Programme duration: 2008-2011
Piloting rewards for environmental systems in Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania
An IFAD-financed programme in Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania (also implemented in West Africa, in Guinea) was based on the recognition that poor rural people have the potential to be important players in natural resource management and carbon sequestration, benefiting not only themselves but also others further afield. The programme worked with poor communities and potential ecosystem service beneficiaries to put in place schemes to pay or reward communities for providing these services, including through improved land-use practices, reforestation and river bank restoration. The concept of rewards for environmental services (RES) is a novel approach which provides rewards and incentives for the restoration and better management of degraded ecosystems. They benefit directly the communities living within such ecosystems.
The IFAD grant-funded activities promoted the development of these systems for carbon storage, hydrological services and biodiversity conservation. In Kenya, the programme focused on the Upper Tana, where ecosystem degradation has the greatest impact on the river’s life-supporting functions. In Uganda, the programme partnered with two not-for-profit organizations, Ecotrust Uganda and Nature Harness Initiatives, to explore upstream-downstream linkages and a wide range of incentive options for watershed management. As a result, 17 farmers became eligible for carbon payments (for sequestration of 5,735.88 tons of carbon dioxide resulting from trees planted to enhance the River Mubuku watershed). In the United Republic of Tanzania, the programme worked in the Usambara Mountains, where deforestation and unsustainable land-use practices are prevalent.
Grant name: Programme for Pro-Poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa (PRESA) Contact information: Sheila Mwanundu, Senior Technical Adviser, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partner: World Agroforestry Centre Programme duration: 2007-2011
IFAD Climate Change Blogspot:
Successful examples of drought preparedness
With the right set of measures, the devastating effects of climate change can be somewhat mitigated, as can be seen in a successful programme in Ethiopia.
The IFAD-supported Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP) successfully implemented a Pastoral Early Warning and Response Programme which has proved to be extremely efficient in helping the government react fast to an emergency situation such as an unseasonal drought and thus avoid serious crises. "Thanks to this system, Ethiopia managed to avoid a serious hunger crisis during the 2010 drought," explained Robson Mutandi, Country Programme Manager at IFAD in Ethiopia.
The second phase of the PCDP, which became effective since October 2008 for a five-year duration, is a successful partnership between IFAD, the International Development Association, Ethiopia’s pastoral communities, as well as Regional and Federal governments. It builds on successes of the first phase to improve the livelihoods of about 600,000 pastoral and agro-pastoral households – about 25 per cent of Ethiopia’s pastoralists.
In this second phase, the project increased its reach from 32 to 55 districts in the Afar, Oromia, Somali and Southern regions, where communities have high illiteracy rates, comparatively low school enrolment rates and very limited access to basic social services in health, sanitation, safe drinking water, transport and communications. The Pastoral Early Warning and Response Programme is a sub-component of the overall Pastoralist Project.
|Responding to a water shortage as planned through the Early Warning and Response Programme of the Pastoral Community Development Project. ©Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP)|
The PCDP was designed to support pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in project intervention areas of Ethiopia that depend mainly on livestock and livestock movement. The pastoral communities of Ethiopia are one of the largest in Africa with 12 million people (or 13 percent of the country's population) living on 67 percent of the grazing land. "They are pastoralists who mainly depend on livestock and use mobility as a strategy," explained Assefa Tewodros, the national Project coordinator based in Addis Ababa, “they are more like transhumant communities because their family doesn't necessarily move with them. More and more we see mother and children settling somewhere and the young men alone moving the cattle in search of water and grazing areas."
Such pastoralist communities used to follow traditional movement paths that were set according to the wet and dry seasons. However, with the change in climate, the seasons have become more erratic and unpredictable and pastoralists find themselves unable to follow such traditional paths. The IFAD-supported programme is helping them cope with potential disasters by gathering precise information and responding quickly to it. In each community, a dedicated data collector was appointed to collect information weekly from the pastoralists on livestock, food security and water availability. The information is passed on to the District early warning Office at the Woreda or District level. They issue a monthly early warning report which goes to the regional early warning Office, which in turn compiles and consolidates all the data to send it to the Federal Early Warning and Response Directorate in Addis. "Such a system allow an efficient transfer of information up to district, regional and federal level, to give the government all the elements to react quickly," explained Assefa.
Under the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector of the Ministry of Agriculture, the government has set up a disaster risk management committee which is responsible to declare from the compiled data whether there is a disaster or not. If so, a warning is given to the international donors’ community. "The most important element is to identify the prevalence of any disaster before it happens," said Assefa. In addition, the government has also assigned technical groups to all the pastoral areas, in charge of collecting weekly information by phone. The data from these groups and from the programme's data collectors can then be cross checked and matched.
The PCDP also contributes to building capacity at local level by providing motorbikes, computers, and others. It also supports a disaster risk management training facility at Federal and regional levels. "Not only the programme is effective in terms of preparedness but it is able to respond as quickly as possible," said Assefa.
As he further explained, in 2010 the programme was able to react quickly to a sudden water shortage in one of the pastoralist areas. Water tankers as well as animal feeds and agriculture inputs were timely delivered. "We were able to intervene immediately because we had the resources available before serious damage was inflicted," said Assefa. "The response was built on the Woreda contingency plans, so we could use the funds available there and not ask donors," said Assefa.
Equally this year, pastoralists were struggling with a shortage of animal feed. "In their own disaster coping mechanisms, they were encouraged to destock their animals by selling them in order to reduce the risk. However, in most cases they are reluctant to do so straight away because of their strong affiliation with their livestock,” explained Assefa, "so they prefer to wait for the second rainy season, but it is often too late. They face difficulties selling, due to loss of the body weight of the animals which cannot attract the interest of buyers," explained Assefa.
As part of its mitigation measures, the programme financed the construction of emergency animal feed stores and cold stores for medicine as well as water harvesting facilities in selected areas, in connection with known pastoralist feeding centres. "We also support the local production of animal feed so that agro-pastoralist can generate a supplementary income from selling animal feed. Thanks to that system we had no hunger this year," he concluded.
For more information:
Contact: Robson Mutandi, Country Programme Manager, IFAD
Assefa Tewodros, National Project Coordinator,
Pastoralist Community Development Project
|Bush clearing in the Afar region. ©Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP)|
A few years ago, a highly resistant plant called prosopis juliflora was introduced in dry and semi-desert areas in Ethiopia to combat desertification. Although the plant, a thick thorny bush, has been very effective in pushing back the desert and controlling soil erosion, it has also become a threat to the pastoralist communities.
The plant has expanded so fast that it is now covering grazing areas. However, animals cannot feed on it because it is too thorny. A total of about 30,000 hectares are now covered with the bush in the Oromia, Somali and Afar regions. So a measure successful on one hand to reduce the effects of climate change, is conflicting with the basic needs and customs of local communities.
The IFAD-supported Pastoral Communities Development Project is trying to help pastoral communities turn the threat into new opportunities, by teaching them how to use the plant differently. "On one hand it is a threat, on the other hand it is an opportunity, so we are trying to help them manage the situation," explained Assefa Tewodros, national project coordinator, based in Addis Ababa.
As part of its support measures, the Project is teaching pastoralists how to use the prosopis juliflora seeds as supplementary animal feed, sell the seeds or use the plant to produce charcoal. "This way, they are able to generate an extra income from the seeds and get energy from charcoal," said Assefa. In the Somali region, the project supplied grinding machines to grind and sell the seeds. In other areas, they are allowed and cut and burn it, something that is usually not permitted with indigenous trees. "We have to ensure a sound management of the local environment to keep its fragile balance," he added.
|The African Risk Capacity will provide insurance coverage against drought for participating African countries. ©African Risk Capacity (ARC)|
The African Risk Capacity, ARC, is a ground-breaking project of the African Union designed to improve current responses to drought food security emergencies and to build capacity within AU member states to manage drought risks. IFAD is one of the contributors to ARC, which was approved at the African Union summit in July 2012.
The project, currently in its design phase and managed by the UN World Food Programme, aims to create a new way of managing weather risk by transferring the burden away from African governments to international financial markets whose expertise is to handle this type of risks. The ARC will build up a pull of resources to be invested on the international insurance market, and which could be used by any of the participating countries if and when affected by a serious drought. A drought index based on independent sets of data will be used as an indicator with trigger levels to disburse funds. "Our philosophy is that insurance is not the end goal, but it can be used as a valuable tool for the long-term food security of the African continent," explained Fatima Kassam, ARC Chief of Government Affairs and Policy, "the idea is to move from managing crises to managing risks."
So far, six African countries have expressed a serious interest to participate, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Senegal, and some of them will start with a capacity building exercise. Ethiopia already has experience in this type of product, as in 2006 its government established the first ever weather insurance contract to protect against drought with the French insurance group AXA Reinsurance.
So the idea is not new, but will be implemented on a grander scale. Just like the contract in Ethiopia, the ARC will be based on a drought index, made of rainfall data for all the participating countries and using rainfall estimates from a number of independent datasets. In addition, ARC will use a Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) as a meaningful indicator of how a shortage of rainfall may impact crop yields and the availability of pasture. The WRSI monitors water deficits throughout the growing season, and captures the impact of timing, amount and distribution of rainfall on staple annual rain-fed crops. The WRSI is based on the work of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
To refine the picture, ARC will also create a drought vulnerability profile for each region, using household survey data in each administrative unit of the participating countries. "The ARC system is based on the fact that because droughts do not happen in the same year in all parts of the continent, pan-African solidarity in the creation of a disaster risk pool is financially effective," said Kassam. "We estimate that costs could be cut by half."
A similar mechanism, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), is already in operation in the Caribbean area to protect against hurricane and earthquake risks. However, ARC will adapt the system to the specificities of the African continent, and will require participants to have a contingency plan in place before joining in. "In this way, it is innovative: we are linking the pan-African insurance pool to national contingency plans," she explained. In other words, to be able to participate to the weather-risk insurance pool, a country will have to show that it has a sound contingency plan in place to respond effectively to an emergency situation, using the ARC funds.
The Africa RiskView (ARV) software will serve as the technical engine for ARC, and will estimate and trigger quick-disbursing funds to help African countries hit by severe drought implement effective and timely responses to assist those affected. ARV will allow decision makers to monitor and analyse drought-related food security risk before and during an agricultural season, as well as define ARC participation criteria in terms of the size and frequency of ARC payouts. By linking contingency funding to effective response plans, ARC will help African governments reduce negative impacts of droughts on the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable, while decreasing reliance on external aid.
For more information:
Contact: Fatima Kassam, African Risk Capacity
|OTE nursery site: one farmer's tree nursery developed with the help of the Initiative for Living Community Action in Southern Ethiopia ©Initiative for Living Community Action (ILCA)|
The Initiative for Living Community Action (ILCA) is an Ethiopian non-governmental organization (NGO) which introduced a novel way to tackle the issue of climate change amongst rural communities, by using participatory videos programmes. "We found that videos are a good instrument for mobilizing the communities to activate the change," said Darout Gumà, director of ILCA in Addis Ababa. "The programme gives them the chance to make their voices heard worldwide."
The organization is benefiting from funding under IFAD's Indigenous People Assistance Facility, also known as IPAF. ILCA started working with communities in Chencha in the Southern People's Region. "We wanted to start working in an area where the communities were more concentrated and more people could benefit; this is why we chose Chencha as a starting point," explained Darout.
To begin with, trainers from ILCA and an Oxford-based company called InsightShare that provide technical expertise, went to train the communities to make videos and record themselves. One of the topics for the videos was climate change and how it affected the communities. They recorded people talking about the problems they faced with the change in weather patterns. ILCA then produced DVDs which were played back to the communities, and used as a source of discussion. "The videos had a good impact on the awareness of climate change," explained Darout. "Before many community members believed that climate change was a curse from God for something they had done. The videos helped them understand that it was a global phenomenon. The problems were similar from one community to the other: the cropping season and the patterns of rain had changed, the soil had lost its moisture and nutrients and they could no longer practice farming the way they used to."
|TULSA nursery tree: replanting trees to combat deforestation ©Initiative for Living Community Action (ILCA)|
The video programme triggered some action and helped the communities to intentionally act against climate change. They started replanting the trees which had previously been cut for use in construction and firewood. "By recording and watching their own videos, they realised that life was better when the trees were there. They understood that, by cutting them, they contributed to the loss," said Darout.
The videos are helping them to find the solution themselves which was, in this case, to replant the trees they know would help enhance the moisture of the soil and increase fertility. These communities had their own ancient techniques of making compost from dead leaves which they could barely put in practice.
With the funding they are receiving, ILCA is helping them replant the trees and develop all the activities around tree planting such as seed collection, nursery preparation, nursery development, transplanting, as well as caring and nurturing until the trees became independent. "We are also giving them a financial incentive because members of the communities are being paid for the job they are doing," added Darout.
The communities themselves are selecting the trees they want to plant, which they are doing according to agro-forestry models and with the support of agricultural office experts at Woreda or district level. "The experts taught them where to plant the trees and at what distance," said Darout. "They are now the owner of the project on their own farmlands."
Three months into the fourteen-month project, the communities are at the seedling stage of nursery development and will soon be able to transplant the trees. "It is interesting to see that a project which began with a participatory video was turned into action and brought this change," said Darout.
Once the trees are grown, they will contribute to carbon sequestration which could in turn be an additional source of income for the farmers. ILCA is planning to replicate the idea to other communities, depending on its resources.
IFAD's Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility provides small grants of US$20,000 to US$50,000 to small projects designed and implemented by indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations. Since 2007, IFAD has contributed a total of US$3,723,000, alongside other donors such as the World Bank, Norway, Canada and Italy. IPAF is co-managed at regional level by indigenous peoples' organizations. In Africa, the IPAF partner is the Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization in Tanzania.
For more information, contact:
Darout Guma, Director of the Initiative for Living Community Action (ILCA) email@example.com
Antonella Cordone, Coordinator for Indigenous and Tribal Issue
Mozambique will be the first country to benefit from funding under IFAD’s new climate change programme, the Adaptation for Smallholder Agricultural Programme (ASAP), which was launched in 2012 to channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers through IFAD-supported programmes.
Approved on 21 September by IFAD’s Executive Board, the US$4.9 million ASAP grant to the Republic of Mozambique will finance smallholder adaptation to climate change in the three provinces of Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo, in which rural poverty is particularly high and the adverse effects of climate change noticeable.
The grant is fully integrated in the Pro-poor Value Chain Project in the Maputo and Limpopo Corridors (PROSUL), a US$45 million project also approved by IFAD’s Executive Board at the end of September. The project supports pro-poor and climate resilient improvements in three value chains: irrigated horticulture, cassava and red meat, reaching out to over 20,000 households.
"Climate change will be integrated across all aspects of the project. We have learnt a lot from the design process, and stand to continue learning jointly from its implementation. We, thus, call upon the Government of Mozambique to support this project to develop the three value chains in the Southern Provinces in a climate resilient way that allows the project benefits to endure despite the effects of climate change," said Carlos Seré, Chief Development Strategist at IFAD, who signed the agreement on behalf of IFAD's President.
Specifically, ASAP will prepare and implement community-based natural resource management plans, include improved climate resilience baseline surveys, build the capacity of the commercial section of the Ministry of Agriculture, and introduce sustainable agriculture techniques that are more resilient to climate shocks. In addition, it will install hydro-meteorological stations to improve climate risk information and forecasting, introduce better water management approaches and infrastructure; as well as introduce small-scale infrastructure to help farmers produce during the increasingly hot seasons.
Furthermore, as agricultural production in the arid and semi-arid target area of PROSUL is highly exposed and sensitive to scarce and irregular rainfall, the project will integrate a range of complementary activities that protect rural value chains from the adverse effects of dry spells and drought. This responds to findings from recent scientific studies which suggest that within only ten years from now, the impact of climate change will be increasingly felt in the Limpopo Corridor, particularly through the lowering of soil moisture content prior to the onset of rains.
PROSUL is designed to increase the income of smallholder farmers through sustainable intensification and diversification of agricultural production, improving links with markets, strengthening the skills base of local farmer organisations and increasing farmers’ net benefits from agricultural value chains.
With this new project, IFAD will have financed 12 programmes and projects in Mozambique since 1983 for a total investment of $218.9 million benefiting 2,193,500 households.
For more information, contact:
Claus Reiner, Country Programme manager IFAD
US$ 16 million
Missions and workshops