Empowering the Poor in a Changing Climate: Experiences from UNDP Supported Initiatives on Adaptation


UNDP has been working during the last decade to support countries to transition to green, inclusive, climate-resilient development paths. More than US$790 million in grant financing from the Global Environment Facility-managed Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund, as well as the Kyoto Protocol’s Adaptation Fund and bilateral finance, have been mobilized to assist countries to achieve their adaptation priorities. These resources build on and complement over US$2.5 billion in co-financing that has also been invested.

The experiences and knowledge generated through the various initiatives that UNDP supports across the globe indicates that adaptation and poverty reduction are inherently linked and must be addressed simultaneously. Climate change acts as a risk multiplier, adding socioeconomic and environmental risks to the already significant challenges that developing countries and poor communities face. Addressing poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change is therefore essential to preserve past, current and future development gains.

The cases in this report highlight the work UNDP is supporting to address poverty reduction and adaptation with resources from the Global Environment Facility, the Adaptation Fund and the Canada-UNDP Adaptation Facility. In order to achieve these two goals, a strong enabling environment comprising capacity building, empowering communities, engaging the private sector and supporting the development of institutions and policies has been critical. As such, this report focuses on case studies around four key elements:

  • Strengthening institutional capacity, expertise and public sector mandates to coordinate and more effectively manage the emerging risks posed by climate change;
  • Empowering communities to identify solutions and establish mechanisms to scale up local innovations;
  • Stimulating small and medium-sized enterprises by reducing barriers to markets and credit and engaging the private sector to leverage finance and investment;
  • Supporting governments to integrate climate change risks into key development plans, policies and strategies.