Niger counts 265 Communes in 36 Departments and a population of 22,4 million people. LoCAL is engaged in 9 communes in Niger.

Climate Vulnerability:

Niger, in West Africa’s Sahel region, is on the front-line of climate change. The arrival of precious rains are increasingly difficult to predict, are more patchy and annual rainfall totals are falling. Communities in this arid region are battling increasingly high temperatures, more frequent periods of drought, marked deterioration in soil quality and greater ecosystem fragility. Livelihoods and lives are being lost as degraded land and devastating climatic events increasingly take their toll.

National Response

The National Policy on Climate Change 2013 aims to reduce the negative impacts of climate change, specifically, it seeks to strengthen the population’s capacity for adaptation and the resilience of ecological, economic and social systems. The policy also aims to incorporate climate change into planning tools for socioeconomic development actions at the national, regional and local levels.

Decentralization in Niger provides for two levels of local authority – the commune and the region. Communes have general powers to provide public services that meet the needs of the population and that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the state or region.



Niger, like other countries in West Africa, has been hard hit by the effects of climate change, and addressing these is a central plank of UNCDF’s commitment in the country.

A successful pilot of LoCAL in the two local governments of Dogon Kiria and Sokorbé has paved the way for addressing climate variability and change also answers basic development needs in Niger, like access to safe drinking water, or gender issues. While working to improve local knowledge and understanding of climate risks and vulnerabilities to better inform adaptation choices, LoCAL in Niger has taken a pragmatic approach to support the local government capacity in dealing with the climate change effect and started increasing the resilience of the most vulnerable populations.

Over the three-year pilot phase, LoCAL-Niger financed 64 adaptation investments in nine communes.

Niger is one of the West African countries (along with Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali) included in the joint UNCDF-LoCAL–West African Development Bank (BOAD) funding proposal submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in early 2020. The joint proposal aims to help identified local authorities increase their access to funding for adaptation through a combination of dedicated grants and technical assistance throughout the planning, implementation and reporting cycle to develop, finance and implement investments aligned with nationally determined contributions and local needs.

9 Communes engaged

64 Adaptation investments

514,057 people in communes engaged

Budget: US$ 1,692,126 (2014-20)

Action on Climate Change:

The initial pilot in two communes in the Dosso region yielded the following results:
■ In Sokorbé, 95 hectares of degraded land was rehabilitated using semi-circular bunds to combat erosion, and 38,533 trees were planted. These interventions allowed for greater soil infiltration, thus better supporting plants’ water needs. This work was carried out by local populations under a cash-for-work programme. A management committee was created
to make the infrastructure sustainable, protect the site and ensure equitable benefits for beneficiaries. This activity mobilized 6,477 person-days; 77 per cent of which were performed by women. The site was sown with locally available herbaceous species and planted with 28,533 plants. Contracts were signed with nurserymen for the supply of seedlings. Six
wells were rehabilitated, which increased water storage capacity, protected the wells from climate variation and helped village women draw water. An organizational mechanism and management committee for the rehabilitated wells were established in each village. Elected officials and communal agents have been trained on climate change, which has helped ensure the issue will be better taken into account in planning development actions.

■ In Dogon Kiria, 60 hectares of degraded land was rehabilitated and replanted by local communities under a cash-for-work programme, with 4,315 people – including 1,483 women, i.e. 35 per cent – taking part in the work. Four wells were excavated and four rehabilitated, improving access to safe drinking water and reducing water collection time considerably. Also, two 14-tonne millet banks were built in two villages and 1.5 tonnes of improved seed was delivered to 13 villages suffering from food shortages, thus improving the availability and accessibility of millet during the lean season. Some 703 households, including 33 female-headed households, were supported.
■ Capacity-building activities targeting elected leaders, community agents and civil society were conducted: (i) training and equipping 50 pest control volunteers, (ii) establishing five community early warning and emergency response systems, (iii) training community workers in climate change–related issues and (iv) training 30 women in improved cook-stove production.

The last PBCRG cycle Is currently under Implementation and has been extended to the seven additional communes. Approximately 40 per cent of the portfolio was devoted to land restoration initiatives to combat desertification and erosion through cash-for-work schemes. Some 380 hectares of degraded land were restored and some 8,000 short-terms jobs created. Climate resilience of rural livelihoods was addressed through support to diversified income-generating opportunities for women, including market gardening and provision of livestock, as well as food supply to communal cereal banks for the most vulnerable communes. Overall, 23 interventions were undertaken in 9 communes for approximately $430,000.



LoCAL-Niger seeks to demonstrate and highlight the role of communes in promoting local climate change adaptation/resilience measures through integrating climate funding in budget transfer mechanisms and the planning and allocation of local resources. More specifically, it aims to:
■ Strengthen technical and institutional capacities in the pilot communes to ensure better local governance of adaptation to climate change
■ Enable communes to create infrastructure and local services which are resilient to climate change through targeted funding
■ Promote increased awareness among commune councillors and local communities about the impact of climate change phenomena and the relevance of a territorial approach to adaptation/resilience


  • Two communes in the Dosso region, Sokorbé (Department of Loga) and Dogon Kyria (Department of Dogondoutchi), have been selected for the LoCAL-Niger pilot phase; these have a combined population of 101,569.

  • Since the memorandum of understanding was signed in 2015, the performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) mechanism has been developed. It includes minimum conditions
    for access, performance criteria and an indicative investment menu to inform the process of integrating adaptation into local planning and budgeting.

  • The LoCAL-Niger Technical Committee has been set up under the authority of the Ministry of the Environment, Urban Sanitation and Sustainable Development; the Ministry of the Interior, Public Safety and Decentralization and Customary and Religious Affairs; and the National Environmental Council for Sustainable Development. The committee coordinates and monitors implementation of the LoCAL mechanism.

  • The two pilot communes implemented and completed three PBCRG cycles and were evaluated in 2016, 2017 and 2019 by a government team together with independent national and international assessors and UNCDF. Both local governments complied with LoCAL minimum conditions, allowing them to maintain access to the grants. In 2016, Sokorbé achieved a global performance score of 75 per cent and Dogon Kiria 70 per cent; in 2017, both scored 77 per cent; in 2019, Sokorbé scored 74 per cent and Dogon Kiria 79 per cent. This record shows that improvements are ongoing, in line with LoCAL’s continued capacity- building efforts with relevant local authorities.

  • Niger has begun piloting localized climate risk assessments. It has also established systems to enable local governments to collect, archive and analyse meteorological, climate and socioeconomic data and to undertake local climate projections to inform their planning. In collaboration with the NDC Partnership, LoCAL complemented and expanded this effort in 2020 by developing a country report on climate risk and vulnerability assessment which incorporates the local dimension and indicators.

  • To capitalize on the pilot, LoCAL organized a stocktaking exercise and national workshop that brought together all stakeholders engaged in LoCAL, including mayors, deconcentrated services and central-level ministries and agencies. The workshop provided strategic direction for Phase II, whose design was completed over the next year. The three-year pilot phase paved the way for LoCAL Phase II to fully integrate the PBCRG model into the treasury’s fiscal transfer system; this has been partially implemented thus far.

  • Through the NDC Partnership and the Italian Fund for Migration, LoCAL-Niger secured funding for implementation of Phase II in 9 communes in 3 regions. Thanks to these grants,
    in 2020, $450,000 was disbursed as PBCRGs to LoCAL communes; more than 23 adaptation investments were selected and are under implementation. LoCAL communes practice community contracting schemes to create short-term income-generating opportunities and involve the community in implementation of resilience-building interventions. Additionally, under the Italian Fund for Migration project, three communes in the Tahoua and Zinder regions have matched the provision of financial and non-financial services with cash-for-work activities to help vulnerable individuals build their credit history.

  • In 2020, ANFICT officially requested LoCAL to assist it in pursuing accreditation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). LoCAL is providing specialized technical assistance and is working closely with partners to achieve this goal. The accreditation would grant Niger direct access to international climate finance and provide an opportunity to scale up LoCAL country-wide, in line with the government’s priorities.

  • Niger is one of the West African countries (along with Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali) included in the joint UNCDF-LoCAL–West African Development Bank (BOAD) funding proposal submitted to the GCF in early 2020. The joint proposal aims to help identified local authorities increase their access to funding for adaptation through a combination of dedicated grants and technical assistance throughout the planning, implementation and reporting
    cycle to develop, finance and implement investments aligned with nationally determined contributions and local needs.

Way Forward

  • In collaboration with the NDC Partnership, LoCAL will finalize a country report on climate risk and vulnerability assessment which incorporates the local dimension, identifying and mapping climate risk, exposure and vulnerability hotspots at the subnational and local/community levels; prioritizing climate change adaptation actions and investments based on quantified and science-based analysis; and updating nationally determined contributions and defining main adaptation targets and actions in synergy with boosting and accelerating Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) achievement, particularly of SDG 13. The report is one of the deliverables commissioned under the NDC revision process begun in 2020 and to be finalized in 2021.
  • In 2021, the nine communes will undergo annual performance assessment. The exercise Is expected to provide evidence for the appropriateness of the mechanism in the two pilot communes, and highlight capacity-building needs for the seven new LoCAL communes.
  • LoCAL will continue strengthening its relationship with national counterparts and secure strong political buy-in to progress in the consolidation of Phase II and towards the scale-up of the LoCAL mechanism. Resource mobilization efforts to secure funding (i.e. the BOAD- UNCDF GCF proposal) will continue. The support extended to ANFICT to pursue GCF accreditation so as to obtain direct access to international climate finance for Niger will also continue.

More Information

Climate change adaptation falls within the core mandate of community councils, along with land use planning, natural resource management and infrastructure development. Climate change adaptation requires effective coordination of various stakeholders. As a gateway for development facilitation at the local level as well as custodians of all development, community councils are strategically positioned to play this coordination role. However, community councils seldom have sufficient resources to execute these functions.

The overall outcome of LoCAL-Lesotho is to improve the climate change resilience of the communities in the selected councils as a result of climate change adaptation activities funded through the performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) and capacity development support. By promoting climate change–resilient communities and economies via increasing financing for and investment in climate change adaptation at the local level, LoCAL-Lesotho will directly contribute to one of the country’s development plan pillars – reversing environmental degradation and adapting to climate change.

The objectives for LoCAL-Lesotho are as follows:

• Increased transfer of climate finance to local governments through national institutions and systems for building verifiable climate change adaptation and resilience

• A standard and recognized country-based mechanism which supports direct access to international climate finance

Four outputs are envisaged:

(i) inclusive and accountable climate change adaptation is mainstreamed into local council planning;

(ii) government, local authority and population awareness of and capacities in adaptation and resilience planning are improved;

(iii) an effective country PBCRG finance mechanism is established and operational, providing additional funding to targeted community councils; and

(iv) experience and lessons learned are consolidated and shared.waiting results of annual performance assessment (APA). Lessons are being drawn from the LoCAL pilot to expand the LoCAL and its PBCRG mechanism to additional community councils in Lesotho and to attract additional finance to be channelled through the LoCAL mechanism to finance locally led adaptation and increase resilience of communities and local economies. This intends to prepare for a fully integrated mechanism into the country systems and a scaling-up country-wide.



Way Forward

Stories from the Field


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