IFAD recommends actions to combat climate-related hazards in APAC

IFAD reportAPACClimate-related hazards are intensifying in the Asia Pacific region, disproportionately affecting vulnerable rural communities, according to a report released by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD said that policymakers must prioritise climate resilience and adaptation measures in order to protect rural communities from losing economic advancements. 

The ‘Building climate resilience in the Asia Pacific region’ report reviews the key results and lessons learned from the IFAD-supported Adaptation for Smallholder Agricultural Programme (ASAP) which ran from 2012 to 2017 and invested US$305mn in targeted rural development projects that needed support in adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change on rural communities. 

According to IFAD, the ASAP programme made significant progress in the region, supporting more than 510,000 small-scale farming households to adapt to climate change in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam.

The report highlights the diverse, effective and innovative approaches that IFAD has developed in cooperation with rural communities to adapt to and mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change on rural people’s lives and livelihoods.

The report analyses approaches and actions that were successful and can be “scaled up” in the region, providing a solid foundation for the new phase of the programme called the ‘Enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agricultural Programme’ (ASAP+), potentially channelling an additional US$500mn in climate finance to support the climate resilience of 10 million vulnerable people, particularly women and youth.

Kisa Mfalila, IFAD’s regional climate and environment specialist for Asia and Pacific, said, “Small-scale producers often know what they need to be more resilient to the effects of climate change, we can support them by helping them to access the appropriate finance and technology. The report confirms that farmers have developed many successful adaptation techniques over time. We need to act fast to draw upon local knowledge”

Key recommendations of the report include ways to successfully adapt production enhancing innovations among smallholder farmers. It also highlights the importance of supportive policy frameworks and that public institutions, private sector provide adequate finance and advisory services. It also emphasised the usage of public-private partnerships to add value to and speed up the uptake of solutions created by local people and that public sector initiatives should be combined with efforts from private sector players, providing inputs and machinery, advisory services, technology solutions and market access to be able to market more profitable products.

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