Fast track climate funding for vulnerable mountain communities was announced today by the government of Germany. The programme, to be carried out by IUCN, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will assess vulnerability among communities and farmers to droughts and floods linked with rising regional temperatures and the loss of glaciers and ice.
The €10 million (over US$13 million) programme is funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety and covers Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in mountain regions.
It will involve around three pilot countries: Uganda in East Africa, Nepal in the Himalayas of Asia and Peru in the Andes of Latin America. It will also look at how to conserve and enhance mountain ecosystems in order to boost resilience to likely future climatic changes over the coming decades.
IUCN, UNEP and UNDP bring together their respective experiences and networks in the implementation of ecosystem based adaptation projects. Ecosystem based adaptation is a concept which seeks to create win-win solutions between adaptation measures and the conservation of nature.
The programme also aims to spark off a larger fund for ecosystem-based adaptation measures in developing countries.
It is the intention of IUCN, UNEP and UNDP to use the lessons learnt to engage more donors and partner countries in 2011 in order to address further ecosystems such as coastal zones, river basins and wetlands while exploring new financing mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem-services that bolster adaptation.
German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen said: “Smaller glaciers are retreating in many parts of the world at often rapid rates, increasing vulnerability and enhancing risks to drinking water supplies, food security and in some cases infrastructure due to flash floods. This project forms part of Germany’s commitment to fast track funding agreed last year in Copenhagen and aims to provide results that can act as a blue print for similar projects elsewhere in the world”.