Scaling Up Climate Ambition: Collaboration for Adaptation

August 16, 2023


Since the Sustainable Development Goals were first launched in Paris in 2015, the focus of action has shifted as the 2030 deadline approaches. From an initial concentration on actions to mitigate climate change – “what can we do to stop climate change?” – the importance of adaptation – “what can we do to respond to and cope with the effects of climate change?” has become more prominent. 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterrez called for equal funding for adaptation and mitigation in his famous “Code Red for Humanity” speech in 2021: “Adaptation and resilience finance must cease being the neglected half of the climate equation.  Only 21 percent of climate support is directed towards adaptation.  I again call on donors and the multilateral development banks to allocate at least 50 per cent of all public climate finance to protecting people, especially women and vulnerable groups.”

How do we create the change we need? Food systems offer a key opportunity both for adaptation and mitigation. Agriculture, with is its impact on soil, forests and other land uses represent around 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The SCALA programme - Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agricultureis funded by Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) and supports 12 countries. It identifies pathways for implementing climate actions with the potential to trigger transformative food systems change. It emphasizes private sector engagement, gender-responsiveness and social inclusion, and whole-of-government approaches to planning and implementation that benefit the most vulnerable natural resource-dependent communities. 

Transformative systems change requires the entire system to work in concert to achieve the change we want to see. It also requires an evolved approach to measuring results to identify where improvements are being made. In Uganda, a key SCALA country, the focus has been on tracking progress, actions, and contributions to the climate goals from a broad range of stakeholders. 

With support from UNDP, Uganda’s Climate Change Department (CCD) at the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) has developed an integrated Monitoring, Reporting and Verification tool (iMRV) which aims to enhance data collection, reporting and tracking at both national and sub-national levels. 

However, for the iMRV to be fully functional, it needs effective multi-stakeholder participation and coordination. To this effect, a comprehensive capacity-building and training programme was delivered to stakeholders in the key sectors over 2 weeks in May 2022. 

UNDP Senior Systems Change Adviser, Charles O’Malley led the segment on multi-stakeholder coordination, which included 60 participants (42 men and 18 women) from key line ministries, representatives from district local government, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Additional institutions in attendance included UN agencies, local government officials (Mbarara, Koboko, Masaka, Yumbe, Bushenyi, Bukedea), and academic institutions. 

The training focused on familiarisation with Uganda’s 2022 Updated NDC: the commitments, sectoral contribution targets and reporting requirements and included a briefing on UNDP’s programming targets and projects portfolio on climate change. The training introduced the iMRV system, with 5 modules on national GHG inventory, mitigation and adaptation, climate finance mapping and Sustainable Development Goals. 

The iMRV system overview included data required, handling and management of the tool. There was a demonstration and hands-on data entry and report generation, including interpretation of output tables and graphs. The demonstration concluded with a segment on multi-stakeholder coordination for effective functioning of the iMRV system. 

We want to make progress and that means having effective monitoring, so we know how we are doing,” said Charles O’Malley. “The iMRV tool is key to keeping track, and our two weeks of training means that all involved now have the skills and capacity to collaborate effectively in making iMRV work.”

The training programme took a “training the trainers” approach, so the skills will now be cascaded though the system, ensuring the know-how reaches all sectors and geographical levels in Uganda.

The latest IPCC Report (AR6) adds further evidence to the Secretary General’s call, highlighting that “Land, Water and Food” adaptation and mitigation options offer the greatest potential in responding to the climate crisis. Implementing these options – including reduced conversion of natural ecosystems and agricultural carbon sequestration – will require a transformation in our food systems, and this is what SCALA aims to achieve.

For more information: [UNDP SCALA webpage and UNDP FACS Effective Collaborative Action].