Press Release - UNDP and USAID Innovative Cooperation: Local Capacity Building on the Economics of Climate Change Adaptation

Release date: 

Mar 11 2013

Forty-eight representatives of eleven countries in Asia are meeting in Bangkok this week, to enhance their ability to design effective climate change adaptation projects and integrate adaptation into national economic development planning.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the USAID Climate Change Adaptation Project Preparation Facility for Asia and the Pacific (ADAPT Asia-Pacific) have today commenced work on strengthening the capacities of professionals from Asia-Pacific Ministries of Finance, Planning, Agriculture, Water, and Environment.  The cooperation will integrate the economics of climate change adaptation into development planning and to identify bankable adaptation projects.

Mr. Gordon Johnson, Team Leader for Environment and Energy, UNDP said; “This program is timely in the context of climate financing, as Asia-Pacific developing countries design their National Adaptation Plans in preparation of the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund.”

This two-year program entitled “Economics of Climate Change Adaptation – Supporting National / Sub-national Adaption Planning and Action” was launched in October 2012, with a consultation between countries in the Asia-Pacific region and staff from the UNDP and USAID’s ADAPT Asia-Pacific project. The innovative new program aims to identify gaps in capacity development needs in an area that is critical for helping countries to formulate national adaptation plans and access to climate finance.

In collaboration with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Yale F&ES), this program is geared to strengthen the capacity of a core group of professionals in each participating country who are capable of undertaking cost-benefit analyses of adaptation projects and applying policy relevant analytical methods to integrate the economics of adaptation into national development planning processes.

Multi-disciplinary technical teams from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam are participating in this program. As a first step, the eleven country teams will develop an understanding of the methods and data used to analyze the economic net-benefits of alternative adaptation initiatives in the agriculture and water sectors. During the course of the next four days, the teams will develop their knowledge and skills on conducting policy relevant economic analyses at the sectoral level to inform medium and long-term climate investment planning. They will also enhance their understanding of the appraisal techniques for different types of adaptation projects. Hands-on practical exercises, through the analysis of case studies selected by each country team, will be conducted throughout the duration of this program.

Mr. Alfred Nakatsuma, Director of Regional Environmental Office, USAID/RDMA said; “This seminal program will make an important contribution to evidence-based decision making and thereby incorporate climate change adaptation considerations into national and local economic development planning”.

Following the Bangkok meeting, participants will return to their respective countries and begin field activities in conjunction with a number of ongoing adaptation initiatives supported by UNDP, with financing from the Least Developed Country Fund, Adaptation Fund and Special Climate Change Fund. Mentors will be assigned to support country teams in this undertaking. The participants will regroup later this year to share their initial results and to receive additional training before continuing their field work.

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