Green Climate Fund approves project to strengthen climate-resilient water management practices for vulnerable communities in Colombia

Report
from UN Development Programme
Published on 02 Oct 2017 View Original

US$117 million from Colombia’s Adaptation Fund, including a US$38 million grant from the Green Climate Fund will benefit more than 400,000 people vulnerable to climate change

Colombia, October 2, 2017 - The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved a project to “Scale Up Climate Resilient Water Management Practices for Vulnerable Communities in La Mojana, Colombia.“

The project's actions are aimed at benefiting more than 400,000 people who will participate in strengthening water management, early warning systems and creating livelihoods resilient to climate change. The US$117 million project will be implemented by Colombia’s Adaptation Fund, among other national organizations, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The project adds a US$38.4 million grant from the Green Climate Fund to US$61.8 million in co-financing from Colombia’s Adaptation Fund and US$17 million from local entities.

"The effects of climate change on La Mojana are severe. The income of its inhabitants is being affected by the loss of crops as well as by large-scale changes to their ecosystems, which translate into increased flood risks and prolonged periods of drought that are putting the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers at risk," said the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Luis Gilberto Murillo.

These pressures induced by climate change are weakening the already threatened water sources in the region, according to the Government of Colombia, affecting both the supply and quality of water that communities need to drink and water crops.

In addition to highlighting an inter-institutional and articulated work, the director of the National Planning Department (DNP) Luis Fernando Mejía Alzate welcomed the announcement and stressed that UNDP was a key partner for this achievement, based on its commitment to the project and technical dedication in the preparation and presentation of the project to the Green Climate Fund.

"A new sustainable development model for La Mojana will enable the government to address climate change proactively, contribute to the eradication of poverty and the achievement of the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda," said UNDP’s Country Director Pablo Ruiz.

Ruiz added that the project is the result of a long history of working jointly with the National Planning Department, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and Colombia’s Adaptation Fund. "That is why we would like to take this opportunity to make a recognition to the work and leadership of the Government of Colombia in the development of actions to address climate change in La Mojana".

The project puts sustainable ecosystem management at the leading edge of disaster risk reduction by promoting healthier watersheds, protecting communities from floods and supporting poor rural populations to overcome water scarcity during the prolonged dry seasons.

"This ecosystem-based approach will also work towards achieving Colombia's Nationally Determined Contributions and a low-emission future, and will serve as a model to implement the first comprehensive climate-adaptive regional development plan," said Luis Gilberto Murillo, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development. "This includes the adoption of a long-term risk reduction strategy based not only on infrastructure but also on restoring ecosystem services for regional water management and the direct empowerment of vulnerable communities and regional authorities to manage projected climate risks."

"The project will also share new tools and technologies, such as the use of solar power and rain-water harvesting to address long-term water supply problems," said Iván Mustafa Duran, Colombia’s Adaptation Fund Manager.

The project scales up results that have been achieved in Colombia through other initiatives of the National Environmental System supported by UNDP, such as the project Reducing risk and vulnerability to climate change in Colombia.