Connect the Dots: UNDP projects link land, energy and agriculture to protect the environment and create climate resilient livelihoods. – World

True resilience relies on connecting the dots. Make the link between nature, climate and energy. Connect the dots between land use, energy and agriculture, between livelihoods, natural resources, economic growth, social development and conservation, between people and the impacts of climate change on their life.

It’s a nice balance. And as countries around the world strive to increase ambition and accelerate the implementation of nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement, to develop national adaptation plans, to Achieving the goals set out in the Sustainable Development Goals, reducing risk and building more resilient societies, significant progress is being made that connects the dots and identifies a way forward.

This means tackling micro-hydropower and the snowpack in Nepal, decentralizing – and democratizing – access to basic infrastructure such as water supply systems in Colombia, protecting rural settlements from the climate in Rwanda, link land management, soil conservation and agriculture with energy efficient solar power and biogas. in Ethiopia, and the construction of more integrated national adaptation plans in Bhutan.


The link between land, energy and agriculture is an urgent issue in Nepal. About 80% of the Nepalese population depend on the land for their livelihood. Land degradation, rising temperatures and declining river flows are a major concern for both agriculture and the country’s hydroelectric sector.

It is a delicate challenge that requires a holistic solution. Land degradation is increasing due to agricultural expansion and increased demand for fuelwood in areas without access to the energy grid. The need for clean cooking options is particularly urgent. In addition, due to prolonged drought seasons in some areas, the demand for irrigation systems is also increasing. This additional demand puts increased pressure on the hydropower sector, which in turn can lead to more environmental damage. To provide people off-grid with sustainable energy solutions, UNDP is supporting the installation of solar-powered water pumping and distribution systems. These offer viable solutions to ensure more sustainable management of water resources and may even offer new opportunities for entrepreneurship.

With funding from the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environment Facility, UNDP supports the government of Nepal with $ 42 million climate change adaptation project designed to ensure sustainable livelihoods and promote food security. Led by the Department of Forestry and Soil Conservation, the project introduces and extends integrated watershed management practices and climate-smart agriculture in four major watersheds. In total, the initiative will directly benefit more than 120,000 people.

“We know that people and the planet are closely linked and that the health of our watersheds is crucial for the resilience of communities, upstream and downstream. – Secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Dr. Bishwa Nath Oli.


In Rwanda, UNDP is working with the government and the GEF to deploy the “Ecosystem / Landscape Approach for Climate Evidence of the Rwanda Rural Settlement Program. “

The project will ensure that housing and communal facilities around the “* Imidugudu” resettlement villages are climate-friendly. Rainwater harvesting and alternative energy options will be introduced to support resilient livelihoods and to reduce pressure on ecosystems for fuelwood.

In terms of energy, the project will use a mix of household energy solutions that will include cheaper and more efficient biogas systems, improved stoves and the use of solar technologies for lighting and cooking. By connecting the dots with the private sector, the project will help communities develop long-term financing and business models for the maintenance and replication of technologies.

The notion of Green Villages was first piloted by the government of Rwanda as part of a partnership with UNDP and UN Environment. The Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) provided an integrated approach to address Rwanda’s growing natural resource challenges, while providing homes, schools, water, gas and electricity to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the country.

Rwanda prioritizes adaptation in its Nationally determined contribution and planning processes with the support of the UNDP Climate Promise initiative. “Because Rwanda is very vulnerable to climate change, adaptation is a major concern and a priority for the country. Reflecting these objectives, the country adopted in 2011 the Strategy for Green Growth and Climate Resilience (GGCRS) defining the actions and priorities of the country in terms of climate change concerning both mitigation and adaptation and how these will be integrated into economic planning, ”according to the country’s NDC.


Ethiopia has several adaptation projects that involve land management and clean and renewable energy options. Through these projects, communities undertake livelihood diversification and implement climate-smart agriculture measures, such as promoting the use of improved varieties and crop diversification. Integrated landscape restoration and appropriate management arrangements ensure long-term resilience building. This includes soil and soil conservation measures, slope stabilization and water harvesting, combined with small-scale irrigation and drinking water facilities in agricultural and pastoral sites.

Communities build more resilient economies by improving the marketing and production of their products. The introduction of solar-powered water pumps and biogas reduces deforestation for community groups. By connecting the dots between land use and forestry, communities are planting fast-growing trees for firewood and construction and using energy-efficient wood stoves for cleaner cooking solutions. Partnerships with the private sector will be established to improve the adaptation of technologies and practices to make agricultural value chains more resilient.


The impacts of climate change are expected to have significant and long-term effects on fragile and unique ecosystems, accelerate the rate of land degradation, have an impact on water quality and agricultural production in Colombia.

In Colombia a Project funded by the GCF, which improves communities’ access to drinking water through the use of solar water pumps.

When considering the link between land, energy and agriculture, rural areas are extremely vulnerable. Energy grids fail to reach them, fuel is either scavenged from the forest or from fossil fuels, and basic services often fail to reach these remote, largely agricultural communities. In the case of Colombia, the introduction of solar-powered water supply systems is not only cost-effective and eco-friendly, it also serves to democratize access to basic services such as water. This access also helps communities prevent the spread of COVID-19[female[feminine with more efficient water and sanitation services.


In Bhutan, UNDP, with support from GCF, is supporting the National Adaptation Plan with a strong focus on the water sector. Improving water use and management is intrinsically linked to energy production in the country, which is heavily dependent on hydropower.

Hydropower is essential to Bhutan’s economy, accounting for 42% of exports and 13% of overall GDP. But hydroelectric infrastructure is highly exposed to flooding and climatic risks. Receding glaciers could adversely affect hydroelectric facilities through downstream flooding. Meanwhile, the decrease in water flow in rivers will have serious repercussions on energy security and the economy of the country.

One supported by UNDP project supported the construction of a climate-resilient water collection, storage and distribution system to benefit more than 1,000 households.


Action on the ground takes place through climate change adaptation projects like these, which have a direct impact on local communities. But you also have to work upstream. National stakeholders need to adopt systems-level actions to scale up with more and more such investments.

UNDP and FAO are working with government to set policy priorities on land use and agriculture with the recent launch SCALA program. Supported by the German Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of its International Climate Initiative (IKI), the SCALA program helps 12 countries, including Colombia, the Ethiopia and Nepal, to translate their NDCs and NAPs into an actionable and transformative climate. land use and agriculture solutions with multi-stakeholder engagement. These priorities are closely linked to themes such as land, water, agriculture and energy.

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