Climate change is a major threat to development and affects particularly the poorest and most vulnerable communities in LDCs. The success of the post-2015 development agenda will largely depend on the success of global efforts to tackle climate change.
The Lima Call for Climate Action agreed in December 2014 lays the foundation for a global deal on climate change. It is critical that countries make ambitious national commitments and tackle the greatest challenges, including the inadequacy of current pools of public climate finance.
Building the capacity for countries to access, leverage and deploy climate finance is an urgent priority – particularly for those countries and communities facing the greatest climate impacts.
What Do We Do?
Local governments seeking to strengthen climate change resilience need adequate resources and effective integration of climate change considerations into their local planning, budgetary and investment cycles. Directing climate finance to the local level can empower local administrations to build climate-resilient infrastructure where it is needed most.
UNCDF’s Local Climate Adaptive Living initiative (LoCAL) is designed to help governments channel global climate adaptation ﬁnance to local governments, who are on the frontlines of dealing with the effects of climate change. This financing enables them to invest in building local resilience.
The LoCAL Facility – supported by UNCDF, the EU Global Climate Change Alliance, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Belgian Development Cooperation, and the Governments of Cambodia and Liechtenstein – connects to existing national intergovernmental ﬁscal transfer systems and supplements capital grants to local governments with performance-based climate adaptation funding, while at the same time ensuring ownership, accountability and results.
By joining LoCAL, LDCs can help local governments cope with the increased cost of building resilience to climate change and natural disasters. This includes support for adaptive land use planning, drainage and water management; implementing resilient building regulations; retrofitting infrastructure; strengthening roads and bridges; and adapting agricultural systems.
LoCAL unfolds in three phases: The first phase, Piloting, involves initial scoping, followed by testing in two to four local governments. The second phase, Learning, takes place in 5% to 10% of local governments of a country. This involves collecting lessons and demonstrating the effectiveness of the approach at a larger scale. The third phase, Scaling-up, is a full national rollout of LoCAL based on the results and lessons of the previous phases. LoCAL is gradually extended to all local governments, with domestic or international climate finance, and becomes the national system for channeling adaptation finance to the local level.
Since its start in 2011, LoCAL has been initiated or tested in ten countries in Asia and Africa. In 2014-2015, Phase I Operations began in Benin, Ghana Mali, Mozambique, Niger, and Nepal; Phase II Preparations began in Bangladesh and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; and Phase III began in Bhutan and Cambodia.
As of today, LoCAL has provided $3.2 million grants to 38 local governments, representing a population of over four and half million across nine countries in Asia and Africa. In 2016, an additional dozen local governments from 5 LDCs in Africa and the Pacific are expected to join and make use of the mechanism, thereby enabling another 2 million poor people to directly benefit from this new type of access to climate finance and the adaptation investments that follow. Through the national scale-up, the objective is to eventually reach over the 400 million population of these countries, and more to join.
The LoCAL investments are part of a wider initiative for local climate resilience in the LDCs, in which UNCDF is supporting national efforts to secure Green Climate Fund financing for verifiable local resilience-building.
Financing Local Climate Responses in Cambodia: the Bridge that Saves Lives
In the Cambodian province of Battambang, most people are farmers and labourers. They stay in the village during planting season, and in the off-season they migrate to other places to find work as labourers.
O’Chamnap is a small village located near the main road. It is a passing point for many families that go to the fields. The location is strategic but is exposed to flash, strong and unpredictable floods, often happening during the night. Few people know how to swim, making fast flowing waters a real threat to human life.
Thanks to LoCAL, which in Cambodia entered its third phase, the O’Chamnap community was finally able to build a climate resilient bridge. The bridge is one of the first clear examples of the achievements of LoCAL in its scaling up in Cambodia.
The strength of the approach pioneered by LoCAL comes from the participation and inputs of local communities and local governments: with the support of central and provincial authorities, local governments learn how to mainstream climate change in their existing development plans.
In this process, each community is asked to enhanceits development plans by considering ‘the climatechange factor’. This helps to better communicate thecomplexities of climate change and to highlight therisks it could represent for each community. As a result,climate change adaptation becomes a natural part oflocal planning processes.