ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA is among eight developing countries that will benefit from a US$12 million international climate change adaptation programme fund from Germany to help raise agricultural production and increase food security.
Through the Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will work with ministries of agriculture in Nepal, Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Uruguay, VietNam and Zambia to strengthen their adaptation to climatic changes and safeguard livelihoods.
According to a statement posted on the FAO website recently, the initiative aims to help countries make improvements in the medium to long-term planning and budgeting processes.
The statement says the strategy will help link and strengthen existing programmes in the targeted countries to improve their prospects for accessing global funds for climate finance, such as the Global Environment Fund and the Green Climate Fund.
â€œFunding for the US$12 million effort is being provided by Germanyâ€™s Federal Ministry for the Environment; Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB),â€ the statement reads.
It says FAO will offer policy advice and technical support to ensure that climate change adaptation priorities in the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors are incorporated in the planning process.
The statement also says UNDP will engage with countries in managing climate risk, planning and budgeting to help them strengthen information systems, project formulation and coordination between government institutions.
â€œOur food security in the decades to come depends on our collective ability to innovate and adapt to climate change. The agriculture sector is critical to every nation and is a lifeline for livelihoods. Therefore, FAO and UNDP have joined forces to support partner countries to integrate agriculture into national adaptation planning processes,â€ the statement quotes UNDP Global Environment Finance Unit executive coordinator Adriana Dinu.
FAOâ€™s Climate, Energy and Tenure Division director, Martin Frick, said there is need for ministries of agriculture, fisheries and forestry in the eight countries to develop and implement domestic policies aimed at addressing climate change programmes.
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka