Lessons from the Action on Climate Today (ACT) Programme in South Asia
Adaptation finance is crucial for economic development in countries in South Asia and beyond. To date, international climate finance mechanisms have fallen short of delivering the necessary resources to tackle climate change. This is especially true of adaptation finance, which remains severely underfunded. To successfully prepare for climate change governments will have to mobilise their own fiscal resources and go beyond donor funding to reach their own development goals.
ACT has devised and tested a framework that will enable governments to integrate climate change adaptation and resilience into government plans, policies, and budgets at the national and sub national level. The Financing Framework for Resilient Growth (FFRG) provides a way to estimate the economic cost of climate change damages, quantify current expenditure on adaptation and track it through departmental budgets. For example, in Bihar, India, ACT reviewed 787 budget lines which are relevant for climate change and used the FFRG to estimate that $145 million worth of the total ‘benefits’ from this expenditure are tackling the impacts of climate change through enabling adaptation.
The FFRG framework has been applied in South Asia but can be used to inform policy and practice around the world.
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Agriculture is one of the most climate vulnerable sectors, being sensitive to extreme events such as floods and droughts, as well as long-term changes to rainfall and temperature that can lead to altered growing seasons. This is particularly problematic for development in South Asia given the high dependence of its population on agriculture as the primary livelihood. The Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme, has been working in five South Asian countries to help increase the resilience of agricultural systems. It has done this by applying a ‘Climate Resilient Agriculture’ (CRA) approach.
The CRA approach targets the full agricultural process from farm through to market and ACT uses the following entry points to increase resilience:
- 1.Policy and institutions.
- 3.Information and knowledge management
- 4.Technology and asset management
The ACT framework for mainstreaming adaptation to climate change within agricultural systems can be used to inform policy and practice in South Asia and around the world.
Successful adaptation requires governments to change their investment, planning and policy processes. To support these actions, practitioners must engage with governance processes and identify the barriers and opportunities for climate adaptation mainstreaming. However, when tackling climate change, governments often do not fully consider how to integrate climate change resilience building into their decision making.
into their decision making. ACT has been working in South Asian countries to help transform government systems to increase adaptation to climate change. ACT’s work on strengthening governance systems to deliver adaptation is focused on three dimensions:
- Entry points: Opportunities for integrating climate considerations into the planning and policy process.
- Enabling environment: The characteristics that help support the successful adoption of climate change adaptation policies & practices.
- Political economy drivers: The factors that influence and affect the enabling environment.
The ACT framework for mainstreaming adaptation to climate change within governance systems can be used to inform policy and practice in South Asia and around the world.
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Countries in South Asia already face considerable water management challenges: water resources are over exploited and depleting fast, and institutions are struggling to manage and allocate water effectively. Climate change will exacerbate existing problems through irregular rainfall patterns and increased incidence of floods and droughts.
The Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme has been actively working in five South Asian countries to help governments plan for, and manage, the impacts of climate change in the water sector. ACT has championed a Climate-Resilient Water Management (CRWM) approach as a way of increasing the resilience of water systems on which billions of people rely.
This Learnings paper outlines the core elements of the CRWM framework and provides examples from ACT’s work employing the framework across the region. The methodology has been deployed in South Asia, but will be of relevance to practitioners and policy makers working in water resource management around the world.
Climate Resilient Water Management needs to be informed by reliable information about physical exposure and social vulnerability to climate shocks and stresses in order to create a comprehensive narrative of the impact that climate extremes, uncertainty, and variability can have on water resources management. This requires combining different types of climate information. ACT’s new paper seeks to inform government agencies and individual officials, practitioners and donors, researchers and wider civil society on:
- How to understand the role of climate information in producing analysis including a typology of different types of climate information; and
- How to best use climate information to inform and guide the policy-making processes.
Based on experience and learning from ACT projects, the paper presents 10 key recommendations for integrating climate information into water resources management. This is targeted at those seeking to design and implement CRWM programmes and initiatives, to help overcome some of the critical challenges to accessing and using climate information.
for Resilient Growth
A course on “Financing Frameworks for Resilient
Growth” developed by Action on Climate Today (ACT).