Climate change adaptation – responding proactively to the effects of climate change

A kneeling woman picking fruit.
The SDC helps people adapt to the effects of climate change. © Neil Palmer (Flickr/CIAT)

The consequences of climate change affect people in developing countries in particular. For this reason, the SDC is helping population groups that are exposed and vulnerable to the effects of climate change to improve their livelihoods. People are thus able to take proactive measures to cope with the long-term consequences of climate change and extreme weather events. 

SDC focus

The SDC promotes development that takes the present and future effects of climate change into consideration. The main goal of climate change adaptation is to mitigate the negative effects of a changing climate on people and to help those affected to adapt.   The sustainable use of land, water and forest resources is crucial to achieving this goal. This is the only way to mitigate the long-term and often drastic consequences for the population of the creeping progression of climate change and of increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. The SDC supports partner countries in three principal areas: 

1. Promoting concrete climate adaptation strategies and measures

Example: With the Programme of adaptation to climate change in Peru (PACC) and the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), the SDC is helping to improve the livelihoods of mountain communities. Expertise from Switzerland and other countries helps the affected communities, as well as public and private institutions, to develop measures in the areas of water, food security and disaster risk reduction.

2. Underlying data for climate strategies

Example: The Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems (CATCOS) project helps developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia collect climate data used as the basis for climate strategies and measures.

3. National climate adaptation planning processes

Example: The SDC is assisting interested partner countries, including China, in drawing up national climate adaptation planning processes (NAPs) to enable them to develop integrated and coordinated solutions.

Background

Climate change affects the entire planet. However, the consequences of climate change vary enormously from one region to another because of different social and economic conditions. Socially and economically disadvantaged communities are particularly badly affected. Climate change exacerbates poverty, hunger and conflicts in the countries of the South in particular. The SDC is therefore committed to development that is climate compatible in the long term.

While people living in coastal regions are especially affected by rising sea levels, people in arid and desert regions are suffering from increasing water scarcity. Mountain regions, for their part, are experiencing flooding and mudslides ever more frequently. The livelihoods of the inhabitants of these regions are therefore in special need of protection.

Vulnerability and adaptability

Planning and implementing climate change mitigation measures requires technical expertise, financial resources and the commitment of political decision-makers. All of these are often in short supply in developing countries. Targeted measures can however reduce the climate risks faced by communities and preserve or even improve their livelihoods. For example, thanks to seasonal weather forecasts, smallholder farmers in Peru and India have been able to choose the optimal time to sow and harvest their crops, and have thereby markedly improved their yields.

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Current projects

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Appui aux économies locales des collectivités de Youwarou et de Niafunké (PACY) Programme de Soutien aux Economies Locales du Delta intérieur du Niger (PSEL-DELTA)

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019

Dans les régions du delta intérieur du Niger, au centre et au Nord du Mali, les populations rurales sont confrontées à des crises structurelles multiformes dont l’insécurité alimentaire. La DDC appuie les autorités locales avec des projets économiques dans les filières agricoles porteuses pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire et réduire la pauvreté d’au moins 150'000 personnes. En plus, elle accompagne les municipalités de cette zone dans la maitrise d’ouvrage du développement territorial et la gestion pacifique des ressources naturelles.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture value-chain development
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Adaptation to the effects of climate change
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Rural development
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Environmental policy and administrative management

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019


CHF 9'445'000



Exchanging knowledge and experience to protect Andean forest ecosystems

Part of the Andean forest covered in mist.

01.11.2011 - 31.12.2019

The forests of the Andes are valuable in a variety of ways: they store and purify water, provide protection against natural hazards, and absorb environmentally harmful greenhouse gases. With the ANFOR project, the SDC is contributing to the long-term protection of Andean forests.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Andean Region
Environment
Adaptation to the effects of climate change
Forestry
Adaptation to the effects of climate change
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Biodiversity
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHING
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHING
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Forestry development
Environmental policy and administrative management
Forestry policy
Environmental policy and administrative management
Biosphere protection
Biosphere protection
Bio-diversity

01.11.2011 - 31.12.2019


CHF 8'072'000




Programme d’appui à la valorisation des produits forestiers non ligneux, phase 2 (PFNL2)

15.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

Au Burkina Faso, les produits forestiers non ligneux[1] (PFNL) constituent une importante source alimentaire pour les populations des zones affectées par les chocs climatiques et déficitaires sur le plan alimentaire. Les PFNL font partie de l’alimentation de plus de 43,4% des ménages ruraux et procurent de l’emploi et des revenus. Le programme  contribue à l’accroissement de la sécurité alimentaire, nutritionnelle et des revenus des ménages ruraux et périurbains[2] par la valorisation et la gestion durable des PFNL.



[1] Les PFNL s’entendent par « tout bien d’origine biologique autre que le bois et la faune à l’exception des insectes, dérivé des forêts et des arbres hors forêts, constitués de végétaux spontanés, domestiqués, et ceux destinés au reboisement ». (Source FAO)

[2] Le périurbain est un espace rural au sens où l’essentiel des sols est attribué à des activités agricoles; mais c’est aussi un espace urbain au sens où la majorité de la population active qui y habite travaille dans une ville, en effectuant des migrations alternantes. Le milieu périurbain connait une très forte compétition entre usage agricole et non agricole des ressources: terres, main-d'œuvre, etc. La production agricole est orientée principalement pour le marché du centre urbain.

 


BASAL – Proyecto Bases Ambientales para la Sostenibilidad Alimentaria Local.

01.11.2016 - 30.06.2020

BASAL contributes to the reduction of the vulnerabilities of the agricultural sector to climate change in Cuba. Its contributions concentrate on the identification, development and application, of measures and tools to promote the adaptation of the Cuban agriculture to the effects of climate change. The project also increases institutional and individual capacities to use the tools and methodologies, put at the disposal of the authorities and the Cuban institutions for the implementation of effective politics that contribute to a sustainable food production in a context of changing climate.


FOCUS: Remote Geo-Hazards Capacity Building and Monitoring. Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment (COSE): Integrating Risk Management

01.08.2016 - 31.12.2019

The high mountainous area of the Pamirs are highly prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, draughts, glacial lakes outbursts and other earth mass movements. The project will strengthen the communities' and government’s capacity to analyze and manage risks and effectively employ natural resources in a coordinated manner to contribute to increased protection against natural hazards, reducing populations’ vulnerability to natural shocks and to increase their overall resilience.


UNDP - Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance in Tajikistan (SDRGT)

01.08.2016 - 31.07.2020

Due to frequent occurrence of natural disasters the Government has endorsed number of laws and regulations, and developed relevant structure for DRM. However, the disaster risk governance requires further improvement. The project will assist the Government to expand approaches to risk governance at the national level involving the Government, civil society and the international community and improving local risk governance using risk assessments and risk informed land use planning targeting land owners and users.


Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

The sensitivity of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) to changes in global climate has been recognised and given priority by the Government of India. However, knowledge and scientific information on climate change impacts on the IHR is still limited and capacities to adapt are weak. The Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) aims at bridging the knowledge gap on climate change impacts and response measures by supporting collaborative research, capacity building and knowledge exchange and dissemination.


Community Driven Watershed Management for Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua

01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020

Environmental degradation and climate change are reducing the capacity of the Dipilto River watershed to provide ecosystem services (water, forest) to the population, increasing their vulnerability and deepening poverty. The program will strengthen dialogue among stakeholders, empower communities and provide economic incentives for restoring the hydrologic and environmental equilibrium of the watershed, increasing the resilience of its 27 thousand inhabitants.


GLACIARES+: Risk management and Productive use of water from melting glaciers

01.09.2015 - 31.08.2019

The Lima Call for Climate Action adopted during COP20 in Lima stresses the urgency for fast-track adaptation and building resilience in the developing world; climate risk management plays a key role. Glacial retreat triggers natural hazards and puts at risk water supply and key economic activities such as hydropower generation – globally impacting hundreds of millions of people. Lessons from Peru will be valuable input for the global dialogue the urgently needs evidence-based practical experience in risk management and successful adaptation in glaciated basins.


Innovation and dissemination of technologies for adaptation of agriculture to climate change – AGRIADAPTA

01.07.2015 - 31.12.2020

10'000 families in 19 municipalities of the country improve their food security and their situation of poverty by practising sustainable and climate-smart agriculture. The Project will provide resources so that small-hold farmers in environmentally degraded dry areas affected by climate change and variability develop capacities, exchange knowledge and apply technologies for climate change adaptation.


Programme Development North Africa

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2020

Originally conceived to support the development of activities under the Swiss North Africa Programme launched from scratch in 2011, the 5th phase with a much reduced budget allows deepening relevant thematic and context knowledge, developing and formulating future strategic priorities and setting-up adapted or new projects for SDC in a fragile and complex environment. For 2015-16 the focus is on preparatory work for the Swiss North Africa programme 2017-20.

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