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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Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.07.2024 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


Adaptation to Climate Change in Mountains

01.12.2023 - 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.


Clean Air Project in India (CAP India)

01.10.2023 - 30.06.2027

India is one of the most severely affected countries by air pollution in the world. This project will contribute to India’s new National Clean Air Programme, with the aim to improve air quality with co-benefits on public health, environment and climate change. Capacity building and technical assistance through Swiss expertise will support data measurement and analysis, city level clean air action plans and awareness raising campaigns to take precautionary measures and mitigate air pollution.


Improving the National Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) capacities of Mongolia

20.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

The intervention seeks to improve the national emergency response capacities of Mongolia in the area of Urban Search And Rescue (USAR). In Mongolia, USAR services are delivered by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Capacity building will be pursued through a selection of measures with special focus on targeted training in USAR techniques on the newly built training facilities, as well as support for organizational and operational conceptualization.


Sustainable Natural Resources Management (NRM) for Enhanced Pastoralist Food Security in the Borana Zone, Ethiopia.

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027

Natural resources, particularly water and pasture, are among the key determinants of pastoralist livelihoods’ sustainability. The proposed Project contributes to the outcomes of the SDC’s Food Security Domain as stipulated in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa. It aims at improving pastoralist food security and adaptive capacities in the lowlands of Borana Zone, Southern Ethiopia, through enhancing the sustainable management of natural resources.


Improving Community Resilience through Sustainable Livelihoods in the Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

01.12.2022 - 30.11.2027

The contribution to the Aga Khan Foundation project aims at improving the resilience of livelihoods of the remote rural communities of Rasht valley, vulnerable to climate change. The local population will get equitable access to water and sanitation and childcare services. The population and particularly women will get income generation opportunities and engage in management, regeneration and protection of their natural resources while adopting disaster risk reduction measures and practices.


ICIMOD - Contribution to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026

ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental knowledge and learning center serving its eight member countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region. SDC support towards strengthening ICIMOD’s role as an enabler of regional cooperation and informed policy dialogue will benefit mountain communities through green, climate resilient and inclusive development, while profiting from Swiss thematic expertise.


Peace Support Facility – FSO Safer Salvage Operation - Yemen

14.11.2022 - 31.12.2024

An oil spill from the Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) tanker “Safer” could occur at any time, discharging up to 1’148’000 mio barrels of crude oil along Yemen’s Red Sea coastline and neighbouring countries, affecting the lives and livelihoods of up to 12 million people. Through this contribution, Switzerland supports the United Nations’ salvage operation to prevent an oil spill in the Red Sea and its potentially disastrous impacts on Yemen and the region. 


Strengthening policy dialogue on DRR & RR of Andean countries

14.11.2022 - 31.10.2025

The project aims at strengthening policy dialogue on Disaster Risk Reduction and Rapid Response among Andean countries in particular and within the Latin America countries in general. The participation of SDC’s key partners in DRR and humanitarian events (e.g. the yearly Humanitarian Network and Partnership Week) will facilitate knowledge exchange, experience sharing and increased collaboration within the region. The project will further contribute to this by engaging in knowledge management supporting regional policy dialogue, and by financially contributing to specific events.


Increase Cabo Delgado

01.11.2022 - 31.10.2024

Applying the triple nexus approach, the project aims at creating an enabling environment to build resilience, foster economic development and social cohesion among the conflict affected communities of Cabo Delgado province through the improvement of essential services (energy, water); support of economic development (capacity building, income generation); peacebuilding and conflict mitigation through social cohesion activities between internally displaced population and Host Communities. 


Adaptive and Resilient Communities in their Habitat Project (ARCH)

01.09.2022 - 31.08.2032

The project aims at supporting the remote mountainous communities of Pamirs and authorities in developing resilient habitat and improving people's livelihoods in Tajikistan. This will be achieved through reducing vulnerabilities to natural hazards while strengthening participative disaster risk governance as well as joint definition and implementation of relevant risk reduction measures.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Tajikistan
Climate change and environment
Employment & economic development
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Employment creation

01.09.2022 - 31.08.2032


CHF  6’600’000



CREWS - Contribution to the Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems Initiative

01.08.2022 - 31.12.2025

The Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems Initiative (CREWS) 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 saving millions of lives and significantly reducing economic losses caused by natural disasters and a changing climate. The Swiss contribution supports CREWS as key mechanism to achieve the UN Early Warnings for All Initiative. The combined expertise of SDC and MeteoSwiss increases impact and sustainability of CREWS.

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