Pastoralists in Eritrea (credit: undp.org)

Yesterday the GEF (Global Environment Facility) held a side event at Poznan on “Financing Adaptation for the Poor”. This included presentations from Eritrea and Samoa on how they were using money from the LDCF (Least Developed Countries Fund). For disambiguation between all the different adaptation funds, click here. In short, the LDCF and SCCF are managed by the GEF, whereas the more often discussed UNFCCC “Adaptation Fund” is managed by a special board – more on that in another post.

The LDCF is important because it helps LDCs (Least Developed Countries), which often have very low administrative and financial capacity, to prepare their NAPAs. A very poor country like Eritrea might not know where to start in planning how to write plan on how to adapt, if it were not for these extra funds and technical assistance.

As Yvo de Boer noted, “Financial support is important to LDCs and small island states as they need more funding for national adaptation plans of actions to help their populations in adapting to the adverse effects of climate change,” and he also emphasised the role of extra funds for LDCs to help them with their reporting.

One project in Eritrea funded by the LDCF is testing options for more climate resilient livestock management systems, which is important given the land erosion Eritrea is suffering. Grazing lands have become smaller and smaller in recent years, and this is predicted to get worse.

As with most of these funds, money is scarce compared to needs. Donors have so far contributed about $175m to the LDCF but this is hardly enough to meet the needs of all LDCs. Furthermore, it is even way off the $800m target.

NGOs like Oxfam and Friends of the Earth have been lobbying for increased funds for LDCs in general, mostly focussing on the Adaptation Fund. Let’s hope that the LDCF is not forgotten in all of this. If countries don’t have comprehensive plans of action (i.e. decent NAPAs), then much of the financing they eventually receive to spend on adapting may be wasted…

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