LoCAL highlighted in Doha Programme of Action as LDCs prioritise tackling climate change and building resilience

  • April 13, 2022

  • Geneva, Switzerland

The world’s least developed countries (LDCs) have entered a new phase of ambition and shared priorities with the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA), which lays out six internationally agreed priorities for addressing the needs of the poorest communities on earth. This LDC-led plan recognises the importance of resilience building in developing countries and identifies the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) as a target for supporting implementation of countries’ adaptation to climate change.

Improved access to safe drinking water in Bangladesh ©LoGIC UNCDF, Bangladesh 2022.

The DPoA includes six priorities or ‘lifelines’ to address the multiple challenges facing approximately 40% of the world’s population living in LDCs, with addressing the impacts of climate change as a top priority. The DPoA succeeds the Istanbul Programme of Action, which laid out the priorities for addressing the needs of the LDCs in the previous decade. The DPoA sets the agenda for 2022-2031 and includes the vital last sprint towards the deadline for delivering on the commitments of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by their 2030 deadline.

Improved access to health services in Mozambique ©LoCAL-UNCDF Photo Edinam Amewode 2021

“It is notable and logical that addressing climate change as well as its associated impacts is one of the top six areas for action in support of LDCs for the coming decade,” said Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of the UNCDF. “We are proud that the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility received specific mention as an initiative to be leveraged for the LDCs in this important document.”

“We stand with LDCs to address the impacts of climate change, and all six priority areas for action, without delay through increased access to sustainable finance for resilient development,” said Ms. Sinha.

The DoPA names the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility as one of the initiatives to be leveraged for resilience building in developing countries and as means of supporting nations in the formulation and implementation of their National Adaptation Plans, or NAPs – the process by which countries identify and plan for their climate adaptation needs. The United Nations General Assembly approved the DPoA on 17 March 2022 following the postponement of the planned January 2022 LDC5 conference due to on-going COVID-19 concerns. That LDC5 conference will now take place in March 2023, when there will be a stock-taking of the first year of implementation of the DPoA.

Introducing the DPoA at UNHQ in New York, the President of Malawi Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, who is also Chairperson of the LDC Group, opened his speech by describing the ‘attack’ climate change is waging on his, and many other LDCs’ populations, and damaging their already fragile economic prospects.

“For starters, our societies and economies have been under attack from climate change events happening in quicker succession than ever before,” said President Chakwera, referencing the succession of cyclones and tropical storms that destroyed the homes, livelihoods and economic prospects of tens of thousands of families in the southern Africa region in recent years. He described the DPoA as the "best opportunity for charting a recovery path for the world's most vulnerable countries."

The Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility, designed by UNCDF over a decade ago, is today a global mechanism that has channelled over US $125 million of climate finance to local governments for locally led adaptation, including in Malawi.

In 2021, UNCDF as host of the mechanism, committed to at least double the size of LoCAL every five years until 2030 to meet the growing demand from LDCs, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African nations to address the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change in their countries. Presently some 31 countries across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean are designing or implementing their LoCAL interventions.

LoCAL is owned by the countries that sign up to implement the mechanism, with priorities agreed at the annual LoCAL Board. The next LoCAL Board will take place in Brussels on 11 May 2022, when countries will come together to assess adaptation progress to date and identify new shared priorities ahead of COP27.

DPoA: The six key priorities for action in LDCs

  1. Investing in people in least developed countries: eradicating poverty and building capacity to leave no one behind
  2. Leveraging the power of science, technology, and innovation to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals;
  3. Supporting structural transformation as a driver of prosperity;
  4. Enhancing international trade of least developed countries and regional integration;
  5. Addressing climate change, environmental degradation, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and building resilience against future shocks for risk-informed sustainable development;
  6. Mobilizing international solidarity, reinvigorated global partnerships and innovative tools and instruments: a march towards sustainable graduation.

For full details about the LoCAL Facility, download the latest LoCAL Annual Report here

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