Seminar for Green Climate Fund Process in Zambia & the strengthening resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change in Zambia

In Zambia, agriculture supports 70% of the population, among which 96% are smallholder subsistence farmers, but only represents 9,6% of the GDP.
The agricultural sector is very important to the Zambian population but it has been for the past 30 years threatened by weather conditions and highly affected by climate change: over the same period of time, floods and droughts have cost 13,8 billion $ to Zambia.
If no measures are taken, climate change is expected to reduce GDP growth by 4,3 to 5,4 billion $ in the next decade, equivalent to a loss of 0,9% to 1,5% in GDP growth.

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Small scale farmers testifying about their difficulties to overcome climate change.

In order for Zambia to respond to the climate change challenges and to adopt a climate-resilient development, Zambia has submitted proposals to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for possible funding.
One of the key proposals was the following:
“Strengthening Climate Resilience of Agricultural Livelihoods in Agro-Ecological Zones I and II in Zambia”.

THE PROJECT

The proposal’s main objective is to assist small scale farmers in adapting their farming practices to climate change in order to protect and improve their livelihood.

The proposal focuses on Agro-Ecological Zones I and II as these regions are increasingly vulnerable to climate change risks: crops particularly suffer from rain variability and floods and from an increasing number of droughts (both in frequency and intensity). These regions also happen to have the highest concentration of poverty, thus rain-fed agriculture is predominant.
Therefore, small scale farmers’ crops from those regions are jeopardized and farmers are facing devastating impacts on their livelihood.

The project aims at addressing those risks by taking a value chain approach and addressing risks posed across key stages of the value chain (planning, production, post-production).

The project has three goals:
1. Strengthening the small scale farmers’ capacity to plan and manage climate risks
2. Assisting them to adopt and maintain resilient agricultural production and to diversify their practices
3. Increasing farmers’ access to markets and commercialization of resilient agricultural commodities

Farmers from 16 districts will be targeted, that is to say 946 153 people, 50% of which are women.

GREEN CLIMATE FUND (GCF) and the NATIONAL DESIGNATED AUTHORITY (NDA)

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is designed to finance concrete and priority climate change projects in developing countries in order to combat the negative effects of climate change. It mostly deals with long-term projects financed under UNFCCC and has various financial instruments: grants, loans, guarantees and equity.

The NDA was established by the National Planning Department in the Ministry of National Development Planning in 2015. The NDA is the interface between Zambia and the GCF and other entities which coordinates climate change programming and financing actions in Zambia. The NDA recommends to the GCF project proposals for funding. The aim of the NDA is to be an efficient and transparent link between Zambia and the GCF.

The GCF’s objective is to help adapt to climate change and mitigate climate change risks.

They have implemented priorities depending on the area of action:
- When it comes to urban areas, their priorities are public transportation, smart energy for buildings and waste and water management.
- When it comes to rural areas, they focus on agriculture and forestry.

They choose their projects according to precise criteria and have implemented a simplified approval process (SAP). Adopted in October 2017, the SAP simplifies and streamlines approval of small scale low risk projects.

In 2017, 5 projects were submitted to the GCF and 3 national institutions (Zanaco, DBZ, Ministry of finance) were recommended for accreditation.

Online: 05/02/2018

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