Scaling up Climate Change Adaptation in Africa

Statement delivered by Haoliang Xu at the first Strategic Advisory Committee meeting to scale-up climate change adaptation in Africa via the 'Africa Adaptation Initiative'.

October 6, 2020

Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank the African Union, the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) and the EU, and salute the leadership of Gabon as the “Champion for the AAI”, for their collective efforts and support on advancing adaptation across Africa.

Gabon’s firm commitment to climate is exemplified not only by its leadership of the initiative, but also by its generous financial contribution to the AAI.

I would also like to sincerely thank the EU’s contribution and its partnership with UNDP on this important project: ‘Enhancing Knowledge and Evidence to Scale-up Climate Change Adaptation in Africa via the Africa Adaptation Initiative.’, to ensure foundational support to AAI, as a key initiative of the UN SG’s Climate Summit.

This support could not have come at a more opportune moment.  As the world reels from the devastating impacts of climate change coupled with COVID-19, it is ever more important that we recover and rebuild with a green and resilient future in mind.  This project has tremendous potential to do just that.

At UNDP, we are proud to be a key supporter of the AAI and bring an integrated approach to this project.  The Regional Bureau for Africa and the Bureau of Policy and Programmes Support (BPPS) will work hand-in-hand to make this happen.

This initiative will leverage the capacities of our network of experts from local to global levels ,working seamlessly across our Nature Climate and Energy teams, in particular across our Climate Change Adaptation portfolio, NDC Implementation Support Programme, National Adaptation Plans portfolios and the growing work in supporting countries on Insurance and Risk Finance.

UNDP is proud to be your technical and financial partner in enhancing ambition in support of the Paris Agreement, in mobilizing partnerships, and in accelerating timely climate action on the ground.

For enhancing ambition and adaptation:

·         We are working with 39 countries in Africa under our Climate Promise to enhance their national NDCs, which aims to  strengthen adaptation components, taking into account the impact of COVID-19.

·         We are supporting the formulation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and mainstreaming of adaptation in national and sub-national budgets and plans. In this regard, we are supporting 25 African Countries to develop NAPs, including access to GCF and LDC-F fiannce and, in some cases, integrating agriculture in NAPs.

For accelerating on-the-ground action, we are actively supporting adaptation initiatives throughout the continent.  Over the last decade:

·         We supported 34 African countries to access and effectively utilize  over half a billion dollars in adaptation finance.

·         These adaptation initiatives have protected more than 3000 km of coastlines, improved practices for 156,300 hectares of agricultural land and benefited 57.8 million people, nearly half are women (48%).

Working closely with our governments, we have also mobilized new partnerships and engagements:

·         We are supporting youth and women to participate in national NDC revision processes

·         We are partnering with universities to develop capacities and knowledge transfer in economics of climate change, climate information services, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, and;

·         We are working with private sector to enable innovative finance for smallholder farmers.

We will build on these and other initiatives, continue supporting the AAI – working closely with a broad range of partners within and beyond this project.

Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen

In closing, let me reiterate UNDP’s continued commitment to the AAI and to this important project that has brought us together.  We look forward to working with all partners to make this project a great success.

Thank you very much!