Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL)


Resilience and adaptation to the climate crisis is a critical issue for developing and least developed countries (LDCs), threatening hard-won growth and limiting poverty reduction efforts.

LoCAL is a mechanism that unlocks finance for the local level, enabling communities to find immediate and practical solutions to the negative impacts of climate change.

"LoCAL for me is the right fix for the people at the community level"

Ebrima Sawaneh, Director of Community Development Department, Ministry of Land and Regional Government, The Gambia.

Ebrima passed away in July 2020. We give tribute to Ebrima, our friend and colleague, who was very committed to ensuring LoCAL is embedded as a way of living in communities across The Gambia. Rest in peace, Ebrima.

Why are local governments so important in building resilience?

• Local governments are responsible for climate change adaptation, including
- water management, including drainage, harvesting, storage, irrigation
- land use planning and construction regulation, such as zoning, building standards enforcement
- infrastructure and support to the local economy, like agricultural extension services
• Local governments are well positioned to understand the diversity and complexity of local realities as well as to identify the needs and priorities of local communities in developing responses.
• Local governments have the legitimacy and convening power to coordinate, co-finance and interact with stakeholders that include national-level institutions, local departments, civil society organizations, the private sector and local communities.
• Local governments actions can complement and magnify central government responses the climate change challenge.

Yet local governments lack adequate resources

• Local governments in developing and LDCs cannot absorb the incremental cost of climate change adaptation through local taxes and other revenue streams.
• When national governments transfer responsibilities through decentralization policies, these responsibilities are not always accompanied with the relevant resources. Most budgetary allocations for climate change–related expenditure are concentrated in central government agencies, often ministries of environment and agriculture.
• Most fiscal transfers from national governments are earmarked for recurring expenditures, which leaves little room for discretionary capital investment at the local level and makes for a structure that does not always favour climate change adaptation expenditure.
• Other available sources of climate finance are often accessed through application processes with specific rules that fall outside established systems of governance decision-making processes and the public expenditure management cycle, resulting in high overheads in designing and managing adaptation interventions.

Bridge after completion in Copargo, Benin. © LoCAL-UNCDF/Joel Bekou

Watergate in Otaki, Battambang. © LoCAL-UNCDF/ Cedric Jancloes

An international standard for local governments

The LoCAL facility provides technical assistance and tools for the LDCs to access climate funds.

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