Climate change adaptation – responding proactively to the effects of climate change

A kneeling woman picking fruit.
The SDC helps people adapt to the effects of climate change. © Neil Palmer (Flickr/CIAT)

The consequences of climate change affect people in developing countries in particular. For this reason, the SDC is helping population groups that are exposed and vulnerable to the effects of climate change to improve their livelihoods. People are thus able to take proactive measures to cope with the long-term consequences of climate change and extreme weather events. 

SDC focus

The SDC promotes development that takes the present and future effects of climate change into consideration. The main goal of climate change adaptation is to mitigate the negative effects of a changing climate on people and to help those affected to adapt.   The sustainable use of land, water and forest resources is crucial to achieving this goal. This is the only way to mitigate the long-term and often drastic consequences for the population of the creeping progression of climate change and of increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. The SDC supports partner countries in three principal areas: 

1. Promoting concrete climate adaptation strategies and measures

Example: With the Programme of adaptation to climate change in Peru (PACC) and the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), the SDC is helping to improve the livelihoods of mountain communities. Expertise from Switzerland and other countries helps the affected communities, as well as public and private institutions, to develop measures in the areas of water, food security and disaster risk reduction.

2. Underlying data for climate strategies

Example: The Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems (CATCOS) project helps developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia collect climate data used as the basis for climate strategies and measures.

3. National climate adaptation planning processes

Example: The SDC is assisting interested partner countries, including China, in drawing up national climate adaptation planning processes (NAPs) to enable them to develop integrated and coordinated solutions.

Background

Climate change affects the entire planet. However, the consequences of climate change vary enormously from one region to another because of different social and economic conditions. Socially and economically disadvantaged communities are particularly badly affected. Climate change exacerbates poverty, hunger and conflicts in the countries of the South in particular. The SDC is therefore committed to development that is climate compatible in the long term.

While people living in coastal regions are especially affected by rising sea levels, people in arid and desert regions are suffering from increasing water scarcity. Mountain regions, for their part, are experiencing flooding and mudslides ever more frequently. The livelihoods of the inhabitants of these regions are therefore in special need of protection.

Vulnerability and adaptability

Planning and implementing climate change mitigation measures requires technical expertise, financial resources and the commitment of political decision-makers. All of these are often in short supply in developing countries. Targeted measures can however reduce the climate risks faced by communities and preserve or even improve their livelihoods. For example, thanks to seasonal weather forecasts, smallholder farmers in Peru and India have been able to choose the optimal time to sow and harvest their crops, and have thereby markedly improved their yields.

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Current projects

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Municipal environmental management

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023

Based on its significant expertise in the field of sustainable waste and wastewater management Switzerland supports Bolivia in addressing its environmental challenges by consolidating models of sustainable management of wastewater treatment services and solid waste management for small and intermediate cities. In coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Water, it contributes to the implementation of public policies reinforcing the quality and efficiency of environmental services, involving local populations and institutions. This will reduce harmful effects on the health of the population.


Waste Collection and Transportation Management in Ulaanbaatar (WCTM)

View of Ulaanbaatar city

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023

The project aims to contribute to an effective, efficient and financially sustainable collection and transportation system for solid waste in Ulaanbaatar, based on Swiss and international practices. The intervention will contribute to improve the services, introduce a transparent tariff system and support the implementation of the new law on waste management. It targets the underserved and least developed areas of the capital (ger areas) where most poor people reside, aiming at decreasing inequalities.


Strengthening Capacities for Energy Efficiency in buildings in Latin America (CEELA)

15.03.2019 - 31.10.2023

By strengthening capacities and regulatory frameworks in energy efficient and thermally comfortable housing in Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Peru the CEELA project will contribute to reduce CO2 emissions in the sector while at the same time improve the quality of life, resilience and health of building occupants including economically disadvantaged groups. CEELA builds on long standing Swiss experience in sustainable buildings and will nourish policy dialogue at national, regional and global level.


Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Cycle of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

01.03.2019 - 30.06.2022

The Intergovemental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides governments with scientific evidence to inform climate policies and international climate change negotiations. The project will strengthen evidence and representation of mountain regions from developing countries in the next IPCC report, strengthen the IPCC science-policy dialogue in Switzerland on these matters, establish science-policy dialogues in 5 dev. countries and launch a mentoring programme for young climate scientists.


Gestión integral del agua

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

In Bolivia, Switzerland has been supporting the Ministry of the Environment and Water in improving integrated water and watershed management for several years. In this last phase of the project, support is given to the consolidation and implementation of the “Plan Nacional de Cuencas” (National Watershed Plan) to ensure water security and increase the climate resilience of vulnerable populations. Consolidation includes better coordination among various state levels, sectors and institutions and the systematization and capitalization of experiences and results.


Swiss Contribution to the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN)

15.12.2018 - 31.12.2021

Many developing countries do not have the capacity to tap the different financial opportunities available for financing sustainable forest management (SFM). The Swiss contribution to the Global Forest Finance Facilitation Network (GFFFN) will provide catalytic support in the form of capacity building and technical expertise to promote the development of meaningful action and finance.


Adaptation to Climate Change in Mountains

15.12.2018 - 30.09.2027

Mountain ecosystems and societies are particularly sensitive to climate change. Targeted adaptation measures are essential to increase the resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems in mountains. The programme will harness Swiss expertise and generate information on climate change impacts and related adaptation strategies in mountains and feed them into regional science-policy platforms and global policy frameworks for adaptation planning in mountains.


Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains

15.12.2018 - 30.11.2023

Mountain societies and ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate change and adaptation measures are needed to increase their resilience. The programme will harness Swiss expertise and generate knowledge on climate change impacts and adaptation solutions in mountains on the global level. It will feed expertise into regional science-policy platforms and global policy frameworks to advance adaptation planning, for the benefit of vulnerable mountain communities.


UNICEF, Strengthening WASH Response in Humanitarian Action, Geneva – 2018-2019

01.12.2018 - 31.12.2021

In 2019, the Global WASH cluster will continue the implementation of the four strategic objectives set out in the 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan. The Swiss contribution will focus on Capacity building, Advocacy as well as Knowledge management, three strategic objectives which have received only limited attention in the last years. The Swiss contribution will contribute to ensuring predictable, timely and effective WASH response by the WASH cluster partners in humanitarian crises through direct and indirect field support.


Support to Climate Change Management (GestionCC )-Phase 2

01.12.2018 - 30.09.2021

All countries are faced with the challenge of translating the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the national level. Switzerland and Peru have both innovated in setting up the governance structures needed to tackle climate change. This project aims to improve Peru’s ability to successfully implement its commitments under the Paris Agreement[1] and to share its experience in Latin America and globally in order to raise ambition in climate change adaptation and mitigation.


Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Partnership

01.12.2018 - 31.12.2025

The global Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Partnership supports Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in creating necessary human capacities to generate and communicate climate and weather risks timely and effectively. This allows to save millions of lives and significantly reduce economic losses caused by natural disasters and a changing climate. Providing Swiss development, humanitarian and insurance expertise to the CREWS Partnership will contribute to increased impact and sustainability of public and private investments in this field.

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